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How Much Does Installing an Attic Fan Cost?

Attic Fan Prices

"Out of sight, out of mind" is the attitude many homeowners take towards their attic. This thinking, however, can be detrimental not only to the attic itself, but other area of the house. Continue reading to learn more about the importance, as well as the cost, of installing an attic fan.

What Attic Fans Do

The main function of an attic fan is to provide ventilation. During the summer attic temperatures can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit. By pushing out hot, stale air and pulling in cooler fresh air, attic fans help to lower attic temperatures and improve air flow throughout the home.

An attic fan is installed either on the roof (usually near the peak) or in a gable wall. Roof installations tend to be a bit pricier, as more labor is required (due to the fact that roofing material is disturbed). The cost of a wall installation can be minimized by placing the fan in the opening for an existing vent rather than cutting a new hole in the wall. Once installed, an attic fan activates according to a pre-set temperature: when the temperature is reached, the fan begins to draw in outside air and expel inside air (note, however, that the fan works in conjunction with passive soffit vents; blocked vents can result in conditioned air being pulled from the house rather than the outdoors, which will make your AC unit work harder and raise utility bills).

In addition to regulating temperature, some attic fans are equipped with a humidistat that removes excess moisture from the air (a wintertime concern). Even if your fan doesn't have this feature, it will still play an important role during the cold months. While it might seem contrary to good sense, attics should remain somewhat cold during the winter. An attic that is too warm will melt roof snow and ice, which, when they refreeze, can cause a damaging ice dam on the roof.

Types of Attic Fans

Traditional attic fans are wired into a home's electrical system, but newer models are powered by sunlight. Solar powered attic fans cost a bit more up front than electric-powered models, but they are easier to install, require less maintenance, and are self-powered. Just take care to install the fan in a place that receives adequate sunshine, or else it might not be able to operate with sufficient power.

Attic Fan Costs

Factors affecting the actual cost of an attic fan include the type of fan purchased, where it's installed (roof or wall), whether it has a humidistat, ease of attic access, and the size of the attic (larger attics might require more powerful, more expensive fans).

  • Professional installation of an attic fan should cost $500 to $1,000, although prices could reach as high as $1,500 in some cases.
  • You can purchase and install an attic fan yourself for $100 to $200. In addition to the fan you'll need some caulking, a piece of plywood for mounting the fan, and a number of tools (not to mention basic carpentry and electric skills). Popular Mechanics provides a detailed description of the work entailed.

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