As it gets hotter and hotter in summer now, people have come up with many different ways to cool down rooms. Attic fans, which are said to have a variety of benefits, are a very popular choice. But if you have never used attic fans before, you may wonder, do attic fans really help to make your place cool? We will provide you with an answer and explanations in this article.
Is the Attic Important in Cooling Down Your Room?
Most people will always neglect the attic space, but it is important not to ignore it. The attic is your home’s shield during the hot days. During summer or the heatwave season, the attic fan will help in reducing your home’s temperature.
The sun’s heat energy is absorbed and radiated to the attic space, which is conducted in other places in your home. This heat will create an uncomfortable living space in your house forcing you to install an AC unit that might be expensive and making your bills go up.
The attic fan helps cool your house by pushing out the hot air in the attic space and drawing in the cool air. This will cool down your house making you comfortable in your home and saving your bills on the air conditioning unit. An attic ventilation fan works better in a poorly ventilated house and you can choose from simple to high-end models one can get in the market.
Do Attic Fans Really Help to Cool A Room?
Yes, Attic fans can make a difference.
They can provide a cooling effect that reduces temperature significantly in your house. Using the simple physics principle of air circulation, it can draw in cool air while letting out the warm air.
It will offer you more benefits that include:
1. Lowering Your Electricity Bill
With the cooling effect, you get by installing an attic fan, you will be using your air conditioning unit less. This will ensure that your cost of electricity is low.
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2. Protect Your Roof
Too much heat on your shingles will reduce its lifeline. An attic fan will provide the cooling effect that removes the moisture that can cause mold growth. This will ensure your roof can last for a long time.
When Should You Use An Attic Fan?
An attic fan may be needed in your home sometimes. Conditions that may make it necessary for you to have an attic fan include:
Having small insulation spaces in the attic, if the attic space is less than R-19, you will need an attic fan. The fan will help move the hot air from your Attic helping out the existing insulation infrastructure to create a comfortable.
Secondly, it can be used when the attic is thoroughly sealed. The sealed attic will force you to install a fan to be able to move the hot air.
Lastly, you will be using an attic fan if you have it installed and functioning well.
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Can You Run An Attic Fan with the AC on?
Yes, you can mostly run your attic fan with the AC unit if you are living in a closed room.
If your attic space is thoroughly sealed, you will be forced to install an attic fan. The attic fan will be responsible for creating a cool environment in the attic by removing the hot air. The AC, on the other hand, will work by creating a cool environment in your living spaces by removing the warm air and drawing in the cool air.
Also, if you have unsealed attic and gaps that the attic fan might draw in the conditioned air and let it out, that creates an unpleasant environment. When you are in this state, it is also vital for the AC unit to be on to replace the conditioned air that is being drawn out.
The two running together will create a comfortable living space faster because the attic fan deals with the attic spaces as the AC unit deals with other living spaces.
Ideally, there is a downside to running these two units together. The electricity bill in your home will go up. The air conditioning unit usually uses a lot of energy and when they are running together with the attic fan, you will spend a lot of money on electricity bills.
What Temperature Should the Attic Fan Be Set to?
An attic fan works by drawing in cool air to the attic space that pushes out the hot air through vents. In such doing, the attic fan will reduce the temperature in the attic space that in turn cools down the whole house.
The attic fans are fitted with thermostats that will switch on and off the fan depending on the homeowner’s preference. It is, however, recommended by different manufacturers to set the temperature between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. During the heatwave season, you can set the temperature higher this will prevent the fan from running for an extended period.
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How Cold Should the Attic Be in Winter?
During the winter season, it is usually very cold and there is a lot of humidity. We should be able to have a cold attic and a cold roof during the winter season. Keeping the roof cool will ensure the building materials used can breathe.
Every drop of water or humid air that gets into the attic can escape easily through the roof. Glass fiber wool is used to perfect this process since it can breathe and does not attract water. In keeping the roof cold, we will protect the snow on the roof from melting hence it can be blown away easily by wind.
Many people will say it is better to have the attic at the same temperature as the outside environment during winter. This is wrong because there will always be heat leakages making the humid air dangerous to the attic. It is important to have the attic warmer compared to the outside to avoid condensation and mold formation. If the outside environment is -10 degrees Celsius, have the attic temperature at 2 to 3 degrees Celsius.
The problem of an ice dam is not visible to the naked eye, but having a warm attic will solve a comfortable home.
Should I Run My Attic Fan in Summer?
Yes, during the summer, you should run the attic cooling fan.
In summer, the heat energy from the sun is absorbed and conducted to the attic. With more concentration of heat in the Attic, it can be conducted to the living space creating an uncomfortable environment.
In the summer, a running attic exhaust fan will ensure that the heat energy absorbs let out through the vent while the cool air is drawn into the Attic. This will create a cool attic that makes the whole house comfortable for anyone around. With the cool air, you will be able to relax as you like because the temperatures will be favorable.
With the attic fan functioning, you will not have to use your AC unit as much that makes you save a lot of costs that could have been used to cover the electricity bill.
What Humidity Should the Attic Fan Be Set at?
An attic fan helps get out warm air in the attic that can create a hot, uncomfortable living place. When there is much humid in the air, the attic fan can help eliminate the moist air. This will ensure that the attic is protected.
The humid air might cause condensation, which might promote molds’ growth in the Attic, which is a health hazard. Most attic fans are fitted with a humidistat that automatically turns on the fan when humidity exceeds a certain level. The extreme humidity level that everyone should avoid is over 70 percent. You should avoid high levels of moisture in the Attic because it can damage the attic infrastructure.
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Should I Remove My Attic Fan?
Having an attic fan in the attic space seems to be a low cost and an effective way of keeping your house cool during the hot season. You may be forced to remove the attic fan in case:
1. Good Insulation System
If you have a home with a sound insulation system and an attic fan, you should remove the attic fan. The insulation system will always reduce the effectiveness of the attic fan. The good insulation system will remove the hot air by not letting it go down to the living spaces. It is unnecessary to have an attic fan in a home with a good insulation system.
2. Loss of Conditioned Air
If you do not have an air-sealed attic in your home, you may lose a lot of conditioned air that attic fan will suction. With a tight attic space, the fan will have less air to suction out because of a big vent. Your soffit ventilation system needs to supply the fan with the required air to function properly.
If not the fan may pull in the air needed through unsealed holes and gaps in the attic floor. This will increase the air conditioning unit’s work or cause combustion problems with some appliances in your home.
Additionally, with the conditioned air’s suction, it may increase carbon monoxide composition in your home.
Therefore, it is better to have an attic fan in your house.
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How Do You Insulate a Whole House Attic Fan?
A whole house attic fan is insulated to reduce air leakages thus saving the cost used in heating and cooling. The insulating material is used to cover the fan’s louver from inside the house and you do not need to enter the attic to fix it.
The insulating material will help in reducing the amount of heat and moisture going to your Attic. The moisture that goes to the attic might cause mold growth that makes it a health hazard. The retardant foam or fabric is used to cover the louver during the winter and be removed during the spring.
You can also cover the top of the attic fan using a cardboard box. The box can be built by an individual using plywood. It is filled with rigid foam that will conserve the heat and covered with tape.
Installing this cover will involve removing the louver and fixing the made box into the ceiling frame and around the attic’s fan opening. This cover can be fixed quickly and it will not require you to crawl around in the attic to fix.
You can also replace the unit you have with the small attic fans that have inbuilt insulating covers.
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Does Attic Insulation Make A Big Difference?
Yes, attic insulation does make a difference.
During the winter period, you need to conserve a lot of heat in the house. You will have to fit insulation fabric on the Attic that will prevent air leakages resulting in heat loss. The heat stored will assist in creating a comfortable environment in your home.
The conserved head will help reduce the electricity bill used for heating during the winter. You will be able to go by seasonal changes with everyone being comfortable in your home. Moreover, when using less energy, you will be ensuring you make a difference in the environment.
Can You Install A Whole House Fan without An Attic?
Yes, you can install a whole house fan without an attic.
The whole house fan function by pulling in the air through open doors and windows and letting out the warm air through vents. A whole house exhaust fan will function well in a home that has a good ventilation system. Whole house fans are very powerful and they can cool a room faster if you open your doors and windows.
If you live in a flat-roofed house, you will need a whole house window fan. You are not needed to do any modification to the ceiling joints to install a fan. It all about choosing the right space in the room where you will install the fan.
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Attic fans were majorly adopted before the modern air conditioning units came to existence. They assisted a lot in creating a comfortable environment at home. Although there are a lot of factors to consider before installing, it can function well. The Attic fan can work with the modern air conditioning unit but only if you are in a closed room. You have to apply insulation during some season for it to be effective. During the different seasons, the attic fan will help you in dealing with moisture and heat.