Attic fans are an energy-saving way to ensure that your attic stays cool during the hot summer and spring months. They also ensure your attic is well ventilated during the winter months. This is possible by the simple principle of pushing out hot air and dragging in cool air. Attic fans are usually noisy but this problem can be overcome using the quietest attic fans. How then does an attic fan work? This is a complete explanation as brought to you by SoundProofGeek.
Are you intrigued by the performance of attic fans, and you wonder how they work? This is a quick summary for you. Attic fans generally have two sets of fans; one for blowing out the hotter air, and the other for sucking in the colder air. This way a ventilation current is set up in your attic and it stays cool.
How Does an Attic Fan Work and Is It Part of Central Air?
Attic fans can either be roof-mounted or gable mounted, and they suck out hot air from your attic to the outside. There are different types of attic fans and they mostly have small vents to draw in cool air and a primary fan that sends hot air outside.
Thermostats are common features of an attic fan, and they have a dial that lets you adjust the temperature. This is the temperature at which you would desire your attic fan to come on automatically and to shut down when the temperature drops below this. In addition to a thermostat, you can wire your attic fan to a wall switch for manual control.
Attic fans are different from central air conditioners because ACs are much more cooling and they work to cool down the entire house. Attic fans on the other hand work to cool only the attic and reduce moisture there as well.
How to Replace an Attic Fan
- Turn Off the Circuit Breaker
For safety, you will have to turn off the breaker that controls power to the attic fan. Unscrew the breaker box cover with a screwdriver and test for power using a voltage tester to be sure the power is off. Pull out the wires and separate them.
- Unmount The Old Fan
For the roof-mounted fans, pull out the nails holding the flashing to the roof. Gently pry up the shingles to the sides of the flashing and lift it high enough for a good space between the fan and roof. Then gently pull the fan away from the roof.
For a gable mounted fan, remove the bolts of the fan brackets to the support. Then pull the fan away from its support.
- Install The New Attic Fan
For a gable mount, installing the attic fan is as simple as placing it in the space previously occupied by the previous fan. Then hold it fast using the accompanying bolts and screws.
For roof-mounted attic fans, you’ll need some preparations first. Start by spreading a layer of roof sealant under the new fan’s flashing. Slip the fan’s flashing under the shingles and slide the fan over the opening in the roof. Nail the corners of the flashing to the roof deck, then using sealant, seal the edges of the shingles and the nail heads.
- Connect The Fan to Electricity
Trace the fan cable to the electrical box and with a box clamp, hold it fast. Use the wire connectors in the circuit to connect the wires accordingly; white to white and black to black. Also, connect the ground wires then replace the box cover.
- Test The Fan
Switch on the circuit breaker and restore power to the fan. Test the fan to be sure it’s working properly.
How Does an Attic Fan in The Garage Work?
An attic fan in the garage works to replace the hot air inside the garage with cool air from outside just like with attic fans. Garage whole-house fans are specifically for garages with attic spaces above. A distinguishing factor between an attic fan and a garage fan is the inbuilt fire damper. This fire damper prevents fire spread to other parts of the house in the event of a fire outbreak.
On extremely hot days, attic fans in the garage work better than ceiling fans to prevent extreme heat transfer between your garage and attic, reducing damage to your vehicles and stored property. The fans also help reduce pollution inside your garage especially if you leave your car on.
Final Thoughts About How Does an Attic Fan Work
With this explanation by SoundProofGeek on how an attic fan works, you can appreciate this home accessory much better. Just as a shop fan is to a shop, an attic fan is an important part of your home’s ventilation system. Apart from keeping your attic cool, it helps prevent moisture and mold buildup All of this happens by simply pushing out internal hot air, and sucking in external colder air setting up a ventilation current.
Dave Pearson is a Canadian musician, sound editor, and audiophile. He is also the founder and owner of the website SoundProofGeek. On SoundProofGeek, Pearson offers advice and resources on audio equipment, including how to assess and improve audio quality, how to troubleshoot and repair audio equipment, and how to improve the music listening experience.