An Attic Fan: Ventilation Is Critical To Your Attic's Overall Health

Temperatures in your home's attic can reach as high as 150 degrees in warm weather, impacting both ventilation and energy costs. But with an attic fan, you can keep that heat from building to protect your attic and lower the heat gain inside your home.

attic fan, Boston, Massachusetts

While the short-term benefits of keeping your home cooler are the main reason for ventilating your attic, you'll get a secondary benefit by preserving the life of your roofing materials, especially if they're composite shingles. The asphalt backing on these shingles can weaken when exposed to extreme heat, day after day.

Depending on how much and what kind of insulation you have in the attic, heat gain can last for hours after a warm, sunny day. And everything in the attic will absorb the heat, which can radiate into your home long after the sun sets. Although all attics have vents, either ridge, gable or soffit, sometimes the venting is insufficient for the building heat to escape.

Using an attic fan, however, can help to lower the attic's temperature. Most fans have thermostatic controls that turn the fan on at 80 to 90 degrees, creating more air exchanges per hour, and cooling everything down. When the temperature in your attic is the same as the outdoor air, you'll extend the life of your roof and experience lower energy bills.

When choosing a fan, select one that turns the air over at least 10 times per hour to ensure peak benefits of using one. You'll have to know the cubic footage of your attic and base your selection on the capacity of the fan. As a general rule, your attic should have one square foot of venting for every 360 cubic feet per minute of air you need to exhaust. Work with a contractor to select the right-sized attic fan.

If you're not comfortable with do-it-yourself projects or you'd like professional assistance wiring or selecting an attic fan, contact Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today! We've provided HVAC services for the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts since 1928.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.

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