Anytime the temperature reaches 82 degrees F and above, you can rely on your attic fan to shave 30 percent off air conditioning costs. Attic fans exhaust hot attic air that can turn a home into a sauna. Without proper attic ventilation, rooftops, attics, and ceilings get super-heated, making internal temperatures soar. By drawing hot air out and allowing fresh air to come in, the hottest part of the house will stay cool, helping the rest of the house feel comfortable.
In construction, installing whole house attic fans creates an attractive incentive for homebuyers. For contractors and homeowners, retrofitting an attic fan makes sense, as the energy savings will make up for the cost of installation. Fan installation is also a great way to go green—fans lengthen the lifetime of roofing materials, keep attics dry in the winter, and help keep A/C emissions down.
To make the most of an attic fan, roof ventilation design requires careful consideration. Choose the fan based on manufacturer specifications for square footage in the attic space. For larger houses, two smaller fans might be recommended. Mount the fan(s) two feet down from the peak of the roof. Fans can also be mounted to gable ends.
If you use an existing vent to install the fan, there must be two additional vents for intake air—too little ventilation can keep the right amount of air from circulating. Do not install vents beyond manufacturer recommendation, as too much ventilation can cause rain and snow to leak into the attic. After installation, the fan will operate with a thermostat. It will run the fan when roof temperatures exceed thermostat settings. Optimal thermostat settings for roof fans is 90 to degrees F, depending on climate.