Do you want to keep your home’s air conditioner running efficiently and smoothly this summer? Consider installing and using an attic fan, which is an essential tool for keeping your home cool, and preventing unnecessary stress on your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system.
As hot air rises, inadequate ventilation causes hot air to become trapped in a home’s attic, which can raise the temperature in your attic to as high as 150 degrees. Therefore, be on the lookout for these signs of inadequate attic ventilation:
- Curling and bulging roof shingles often indicate that the attic is too hot.
- In the winter, check for frost or ice that has developed in the attic. This indicates that moisture has become trapped, which indicates poor ventilation. Moisture and ice in the attic can lead to rotting wood.
How an attic fan works
Installing an attic fan helps improve ventilation, by both cooling the attic space and allowing hot air to escape properly. You control the fans via your HVAC thermostat, and only need to turn the fan on when the temperature in the attic rises above a set point. The fan draws in cooler air from outside your home, lowering the attic’s temperature, and reducing stress on your air conditioner. At the same time, hot air is pushed out by the fan.
Don’t forget about vents and insulation
Unfortunately, an attic fan cannot work efficiently without proper attic vents. Attics should include rafter, soffit and gable vents. These vents allow for natural airflow to occur, which prevents excess heat or the buildup of ice. Hire a trusted HVAC specialist to conduct a ventilation audit prior to installing your fan. The audit will help determine if additional vents are necessary.
Don’t forget to check your attic’s insulation, as well. Adding a layer of insulation between the attic and the rest of your home further reduces stress on your HVAC system, as it prevents your air conditioner from working overtime to cool unfinished attic spaces.
For more expert information on attic fans, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. Roth has been serving residential and commercial customers in the Portland area since 1976.