Install A Fan

By Mark J. Donovan

March 13, 2017 4 min read

On a hot summer day, your home's roof temperature can approach 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Much of that heat works its way into your home's attic, and from there, some of it eventually makes it way into the living areas of your home. When the sun sets, that trapped heat doesn't just evaporate. It stays trapped in your attic and home, causing you to have to either live with the heat or keep your air conditioner running at full capacity for much longer. This is where the installation of an attic fan can be invaluable.

Besides making your home miserably hot and uncomfortable, trapped attic heat also affects the integrity of your home's roof shingles, eventually leading to the accelerated breakdown and eventual failure of asphalt shingles. Again, this is why installing an attic fan is so helpful.

However, a hot summer should not be your only motivation for installing an attic fan. During the winter months, when the home is closed up tight, moist air from the living areas of the home works its way up into the attic. This is particularly true if the attic's home is not well-insulated.

With doors and windows consistently kept closed during the winter months, the home has little ventilation. Thus, moist air from showers, cooking and laundry eventually finds its way up into the attic, if it is not properly vented from the main living areas of the home, which most of the time it is not. If not vented from the attic, warm moist air in the attic during winter months will condense and then freeze on the roof sheathing and rafters. This can eventually lead to mold and mildew growth in the attic, which can then present all types of health hazards to the home's occupants. The trapped moist air can also lead to rotting of the roof's framing structure.

With the installation of an attic fan, you can start to prevent the warm moist air from staying trapped and condensing in the attic during the winter months. When the attic fan is operating, it helps to draw cold outside air in from the soffit vents, located near the roof eaves, and pushes the warm moist air out of the attic via the roof vent.

This same process works in the summer -- when the attic fan is operating during the summer months, the cooler outside air is drawn into the attic through the soffit vents and the hot attic air is vented out the attic roof vent. Thus, the heat battery that would otherwise exist in the attic is eliminated, enabling the air conditioner to work less in your home, and saving you on your home cooling costs.

In the past, homeowners had to remember to turn their fans on and off. In addition, the attic fan had to be wired into the home's existing wiring that added to the cost of installation. With today's technology, those problems are a thing of the past. These fans can automatically turn on and off based on the attic temperature. Also, you can purchase attic fans that are solar-powered, thus eliminating the need for calling in an electrician to help with the installation.

So if you want to save on your home energy costs and extend the life of your home's roof, consider installing an attic fan. The investment would pay for itself in a short time, and you'd live more comfortably in your home more of the year.

Mark J. Donovan's website is at

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