Do Attic Fans Really Work?

Your house constantly feels hot. But you’ve already improved your HVAC system and your insulation. What more can you do?

One solution that many people turn to is an attic fan. Attic fans have a lot of benefits that many don’t realize, but there is a caveat. If they aren’t installed properly, they can actually make the situation worse. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of attic fans and whether they are right for you.

How Do Attic Fans Work?

We all know that heat rises. Step into your attic during a hot day, and you’ll have all the proof you need. When you’re cooling your house, having an attic full of hot, trapped air makes it much harder for your entire home to cool off. It’s like having a blanket of heat directly on top of you.

Attic fans blow the hot air out of the attic, which in turn makes it easier to cool your home. Rather than your home being surrounded by blistering hot air, it’s now covered with cooler air. Many attic fans can work to start cooling a home within an hour, just by dumping the hot air out of the attic.

What Are the Advantages of Attic Fans?

Attic fans are a very energy-efficient way to improve the cooling of your home. Once you have attic fans installed, you can turn them on to dump the hot air out of your attic. Once the hot air has left, you can turn the fans back off, and the attic will passively help your house get cooler. Attic fans are also easy to install. Comparatively, they’re much easier to install than a new HVAC system.

If you have an HVAC system that’s struggling or an older system that you still want to get some use out of, you may be able to do so with the improved efficiency of an attic fan. At the same time, you probably don’t want to rely on just the fan alone. 

When Don’t Attic Fans Work?

It’s possible that you’ve heard from some people with attic fans, and they haven’t had the best experience. Here’s why.

Attic fans need to be installed in a properly sealed but not insulated attic. If the attic isn’t properly sealed, it isn’t able to dump the hot air and pull cooler air in from outside. But if the attic is too well insulated, the attic fans won’t be helpful at all. 

If the attic isn’t well sealed, the vacuum will instead suck cooled air from inside the home. This will have the opposite effect. Suddenly, the attic fan will actually be making the home hotter rather than cooler! The better the insulation is between your home and the attic, the less useful attic fans will be. If your attic is well insulated, the heat from the attic isn’t likely to be affecting your property.

Because attic fans can actually “consume” conditioned air in this way, attic fans are not always very energy efficient. They can be counterproductive if they aren’t installed correctly and in the correct scenarios. An attic fan has to be installed by an experienced professional to avoid exactly this scenario. You can have your home inspected to determine whether you’re even a candidate for installing attic fans.

What Can I Try Other Than Attic Fans?

Insulation is one of the best alternatives to attic fans. Installing better insulation can greatly improve the performance of your HVAC system. You can consider blowing in insulation into your attic rather than purchasing attic fans. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be in need of a tune-up. HVAC systems should be maintained every year to remain efficient and to head off any expensive maintenance and repair issues.

If your HVAC system is 20 years old or older, it’s very possible that you’re coming up on when you’re going to need to replace it. While you can install attic fans, it’s very possible that an investment in a new HVAC system may give you exactly what you need. If you’ve found that your HVAC system just isn’t pumping cool air anymore, it might just need a recharge.

How Can I Get Attic Fans Installed?

Attic fans can be installed in virtually any residence with an attic. First, a professional will take a look at the attic, assess the situation, and determine whether additional insulation or sealing needs to be done. The attic fans will be installed and can then be controlled just like the rest of the HVAC system. If attic fans aren’t the best choice for your home, your professional will be able to give you other options to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Are you interested in finding out whether attic fans might work for you? Contact the experts at Metro Express Service in Carrollton to find out more. We serve the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area.