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Attic Exhaust Fans

It’s no secret that hot air rises—making your home’s attic one of the hottest spots in your house. In summer, attic spaces can reach in excess of 160 degrees Fahrenheit! A hot attic can have a negative impact on the overall temperature of your home and increase the amount of energy you need to use to keep it cool.

Attic ventilation is just as important in the winter months when interior condensation is common and exterior ice dams can form on roofs and eaves. Winter moisture trapped in the attic can cause mold and mildew to grow on insulation and can lead to wood rot—making your attic unsafe for storage, and for people.

An attic fan can be a boon to your home’s attic ventilation.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about attic exhaust fans and attic fan installation, from the HVAC experts at Aire Serv®.

What Is an Attic Vent Fan or HVAC Exhaust Fan?

An attic fan is a type of HVAC exhaust fan installed in an attic as part of a home’s ventilation system. It’s designed to draw hot air out of the attic, helping to regulate the amount of stagnant heat and humidity in the attic.

Attic fans can be gable-mounted (mounted on a wall of the attic beneath a gable) or roof-mounted, and can be turned on and off manually or controlled by a thermostat. Thermostat-connected attic fans turn on automatically when the attic reaches a set temperature.

How Does an Attic Fan Work?

Attic fans or HVAC exhaust fans work by directing hot air out of an attic through the fan vent and drawing fresh air in through standard attic vents. This process keeps fresh air moving throughout the attic, reducing the presence of heat and humidity. In turn, attic fans assist in keeping homes cool.

There are a few different types of exhaust fans available. Some HVAC exhaust fans use the duct system that is already in place to move air, while others use their own dedicated air ducts to ventilate.

For an attic exhaust fan to work properly, it’s vital that an attic is adequately vented to the outside, insulated, and sealed from the rest of the home. If an attic is not well sealed, an attic exhaust fan will draw cool air (air-conditioned air) up through the attic and exhaust it out of the home, which is not what any homeowner wants.

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Why Is Attic Ventilation Important?

Attic ventilation is important for three key reasons.

Proper attic ventilation:

  • Reduces temperature extremes
  • Reduces energy costs
  • Extends the useful life of your home’s roof and insulation

Your home can exist without an attic vent fan, but installing one substantially increases the efficacy of your home’s ventilation system, making your attic less susceptible to mold, mildew, rot, and extreme temperatures.

Professional Attic Fan and Exhaust Fan Installation

The first step an Aire Serv service professional will take for an attic fan installation job is to audit the number of vents that already exist in the attic. An attic fan will not function properly if the attic is not otherwise well ventilated. In general, it’s recommended that homeowners install 1 sq. ft. of attic ventilation for every 300 sq. ft. of attic space. For optimal function, the attic should be well insulated and sealed off from the rest of the house.

After ensuring that the attic is well ventilated, Aire Serv service professionals will assist you in choosing the attic exhaust fan best suited for your home. In general, gable-mounted varieties are slightly easier to install, as our service professionals do not need to disrupt any shingles for installation. Automatic or thermometer-controlled fans are recommended, as they do not require homeowners to turn them on manually.

Once a homeowner has chosen the make and model of their attic exhaust fan, the service pro will, if necessary, cut the appropriate-sized hole in the ceiling or roof, install the shutter or cover on the exterior of the opening, and finally, install and wire the fan.

Depending on the size of your attic, your local Aire Serv technician may recommend installing multiple attic exhaust fans.

How to Replace Exhaust Fans

Depending on the age and model of the current exhaust fan, it can be difficult to track down the right fan to replace it with. It’s also important to have the proper exhaust fan ductwork in place to provide the correct amount of airflow.

Here’s how your Aire Serv service professional will replace your attic exhaust fans:

  1. Turn off the electric power to the attic.
  2. Disconnect wires and vent pipes from the old fan and remove it.
  3. Connect wires to the new fan by connecting and securing each wire with the corresponding color using wire nuts.
  4. Once wires are connected, mount the new fan to the fan framing.
  5. Reattach vent pipes, ensuring that everything is connected properly, and attach the vent cover.
  6. Turn the power back on and test the fan to make sure it’s working properly.

Like installation, we recommend that all attic exhaust fan work be conducted by a trained professional.

Breathe Easy with HVAC Exhaust Fan Installation and Service

Are you ready to install a new attic fan, upgrade the efficiency of your home, and keep attic mildew at bay? Breathe easy with attic fan installation from your local Aire Serv. Request an appointment online or call (855) 679-0011 to get started.

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