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Want to keep your home cool in the hot, summer months without having to empty your wallet? Attic fans are a great, inexpensive way to make your air conditioner more efficient and substantially lower your utility bills. Attics can reach 150 degrees or more in the summer, especially in hot locations like Phoenix or Tampa. To alleviate the heat you can install an attic fan which will pull in the outside air and force out the hot attic air, lowering your air conditioning bill by 20% or more.
The cost of an electrical fan and installation is relatively inexpensive, and once installed requires almost no maintenance. Additionally, over time, an attic fan will keep you from having to spend money on roof maintenance, as heat can damage your shingles. You may see asphalt shingles with curled-up corners or bulges, both signs of a too-hot attic.
An electrical fan kit can cost between $80 and $450, depending on the size, number of blades, quality, and noise level. Alternatively, if you’re looking to save on operation costs and prefer green energy, solar-powered fans are also available, and typically cost between $350 and $800.
Electricians will usually charge between $30 and $75 an hour to install an attic fan, depending on the location, ease of access, and complexity of the project.
It’s recommended to choose a fan with a thermostat, a standard feature on most fans today, which you can set to go on and off at certain temperatures so that you’re fan will only run when necessary.
Depending on the style of your roof, you may need to hire a professional roofer to install a ledge or mounting surface on which to place the fan. Alternatively, a hole may need to be made in your roof within which the fan is placed, and this needs to be properly insulated.
Proper insulation and ventilation is an important factor in keeping your home as cool as possible. Without proper insulation a large amount of cool air will escape and be lost, and hot air will seep into the rest of your home. In the winter the converse effect will occur, raising your heating bills.
Ventilation is also important, for both warm and cold seasons. During cold months improper venting can lead to moisture buildup, which, if not able to escape, can rot the entire roof. In the summer months, the stagnant, hot air will have no place to escape and will dry out roof supports. You can increase ventilation by installing gable, soffit and other roof vents.
Whether you opt for an electric- or solar-powered fan, you’ll be doing a great service to your home as well as your family. Not only will you stay cool, you’ll also save a lot of money.
Mark Stevens is a writer from New Jersey who has written over 100 home improvement articles. Want to ask Mark something? Send him a message.