Are you looking for a new attic fan for your home? Are you unsure about your options and which type of fan will work best? We’re here to help!
There is a common misconception that all attic fans are created equal, but you actually have a lot of options available. Chances are if you’re here reading this then you’re trying to get the best fan for your money, which is a great idea.
People think that the most powerful fans are by default the best option. However, this is not true as an oversized fan will boost energy costs and put a bigger dent in your pocket without any added benefits. Getting a properly sized fan according to the square footage of your attic will help eliminate this and keep your home as efficiently as possible.
Choosing the right fan isn’t easy as there are many sizes, power sources, and mounting options to choose from. Below I’ve compiled a list of our top picks for this year. Start by identifying whether you need a rooftop mount or gable mount. If you choose rooftop mount then decide whether you want a traditional corded attic fan or a solar attic fan.
Why Not Buy Just Any Old Attic Fan?
Many people skimp out when it comes to purchasing an attic fan because it’s an item that is not directly seen when staring at the front of your house. It doesn’t change how nice your house looks so they figure “eh, any old fan will work.”
Truth is sure you won’t see your attic fan, but you will FEEL it! That’s even more important! Keeping your house cool in the summer is important and provides a lot of comfort in your home. You should shop for an attic fan in the same manner as your air conditioner as it’s an important part of keeping your home cool.
How Hard Is It To Install An Attic Fan?
Installation of attic fans can vary in difficulty depending on the type of fan. Gable mounted attic fans will mount very easily with the included hardware. You will need to know how to hardwire in the fan to provide it power. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this hire an electrician as it can be very dangerous if done incorrectly.
Installation of a rooftop fan requires a hole in the roof and the fan to be sealed to the roof to prevent water from coming in during the rain. Solar rooftop fans require no wiring while non-solar will need to be hardwired in. Once again call an electrician if you have any doubts whatsoever.
Do I Need More Than One Attic Fan?
There is no single answer to this question. Everyone has their own opinion on airflow through an attic. We recommend starting with one fan. A house with too many attic fans can actually have a reverse effect by depressurizing the attic.
Why Should I Buy A Solar Powered Attic Fan?
No energy consumption! The main goal with an attic fan is to cool the attic with outside air, thus keeping the house cooler without having to crank up your air conditioning. The less power your house consumes the better. Having an energy-efficient home is both good for the environment and your pocketbook. On top of this manufacturers are offering great warranties on their solar products which protects your investment.
Should I Get A Roof Top Or Gable Mounted Fan?
Take a look at your home. If you already have an easily accessible gable style vent in your attic (most houses do) then go with the gable mounted option. If you do not, then you we recommend going the rooftop route. Remember if you’re cutting a hole for a gable mounted fan be sure it’s center because oftentimes the vent will be visible on the outside of the house. An off-center fan vent can be a major eyesore.
What Kind Of Energy Savings Will An Attic Fan Accumulate?
You can expect to see a slight difference in the amount of air needed to cool your home from your air conditioner. Attic fans like every other energy-saving utility will not drastically change your power bill but instead provide you with little savings that will add up over time.
What Can Attic Fans Do For Homes In Cold Weather Climates?
Some attic fans are equipped with a humidistat which will cause the fan to come on if it finds high humidity levels. High humidity levels in an attic are found when the warmth from the attic draws in moisture from snow or rain on the roof. The fan’s goal is to draw in the dryer outside air. This can help increase the life of the attic by protecting both the wood and electrical from humid conditions.
Tips for Choosing the Best Ceiling Fans for Your Home
How many brands and models have you already considered?
There are so many available on the market and it’s so difficult to know how to approach the selection process. We found it easier once we decided to draw up a list of the criteria that we thought were important in our situation; yours may be different but these pointers should help you to drill down to what’s important to you.
So when you start out comparing ceiling fans, now you will have an apples-to-apples list to help you decide. Here we go:
Fan Size Should Suit Room Size
How big is the room you’re going to install your fan in? If your room is small then you only need a single fan with smaller blades. For larger rooms, more air will need to be circulated. So, depending on how large they are, you may need more than one fan and/or bigger, more powerful fans.
Small-sized fans can be 36″ or less and suit tighter spaces. Medium-sized fans are 36″-48″ and suit regular bedrooms and kitchens. Larger models go from 48″ and more and are designed for large living spaces.
Your ceiling fan should not dominate the room by taking too much attention. You also need to take into account the blade sweep to make sure it will be a safe distance from the nearest wall. How high is your ceiling? You won’t want your fan to rotate any lower than 7ft from the floor.
If your ceiling is low, you will need a “hugger”, a fan that fits close to the ceiling. They are designed for low ceilings and do not hang dangerously low, threatening to hit people’s heads. If you have higher ceilings, choose fan units with longer stems because they rotate the fan closer to people in the room so they get the full effect of the breeze the ceiling fan produces.
Indoors or Outdoors?
If you want the fan for a patio, then you will need a different style of fan that is made for outdoor use.
Design, Style, and Finishes
Here I have to leave this choice entirely in your hands. These choices depend upon your individual preference. Classic, modern, themed, metal, wood, cane, plastic, light or dark finishes? Your choice but do make sure you choose fans that will fit in and complement the style and colors of your existing furnishings and decor.
Noise Levels Can Ruin Your Night
Take particular care with this part of the selection process. In a shop, it’s easy for ambient noise to mask how much noise the fan creates. But once it’s installed, you will notice that noise all night long. Believe me, the last thing you want is a ceiling fan that makes a lot of noise.
Before you purchase your new ceiling fan, try to hear it running in-store. Failing that, at least check the noise ratings in the catalog.
The highest quality ceiling fans are usually the quietest because their internal components are better balanced and they last longer.
Motor Types to Consider
Generally, there are two types of motors, direct-drive and friction driver. Of these two common types of fan motors, direct drive motors are considered to be the better quality. They typically last longer because they have fewer different parts. They are more expensive but last longer.
Do You Want Lighting With That?
Fans are usually placed in the middle of the room right where many people want their room lighting. Do you want your fan to double as your room lighting? It’s worth knowing that some fans come with light kits or can be fitted with a light kit if you want.
Some fans do not offer a lighting choice. If you want to combine room lighting with your fan choice, then find out if you have to buy the light kit separately on top of the cost of the fan.
The lighting options are also widely different, so that’s another decision to be guided by how they fit into your current or planned room decor.
Price versus Cost
Bargains are always great to find because most of us cannot afford to pay too much for our fans. However, cheap prices need to be considered carefully because there’s a reason why the price is cheaper than another fan will cost. Remember that there is a real cost in having to go out and buy another fan if the cheap one doesn’t last long enough. You’ve got to remove the cheap fan and then rewire the replacement.
More expensive fans usually have better components and better construction. And they will often have features that do not come with cheaper fans; they could have reversible fan direction for summer and winter use, or variable speeds and remote controls.
My advice is to give these issues serious consideration because you might be better off to spend a little more money for a fan that will be reliable and long-lasting. Choosing the best ceiling fan for your home is not an easy task but if you follow these tips, the process will be quicker and more methodical.