How to Use an Attic Fan

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Attic fans, while not the most commons home appliance in more recently built homes, still do exist in many houses. They allow a homeowner to provide superior ventilation and cooling to their home at a minimum of expense and with far less energy expense than is necessary to provide central air conditioning. The surprising thing, however, is that many people who own one simply don't know how to use an attic fan properly, nor how to use one to its optimal benefit. Do you have an attic fan in your house that never gets used at all?

Things You'll Need

  • Attic fan
  • Appropriate weather
  • Windows
  • Read the directions for your attic fan. Although this may seem a bit redundant, some attic fans do have specific instructions that bear remembering. So, do yourself a favor and read through the instructions before you operate your attic fan.

  • Open windows around your home. The attic fan works by pulling air up and pushing it out of the house. Therefore, you'll need to open windows throughout your home, or your attic fan won't be able to function properly.

  • Turn the attic fan onto its highest setting at first. This will allow the fan to power up and to open the slats that cover the attic fan from sight when it isn't in use.

  • Adjust the power of the attic fan to your desired power level after it has run on its highest setting for three to five minutes.

  • Use your attic fan to ventilate and cool your house without using the more expensive option of air conditioning.

Tips & Warnings

  • The best method for using an attic fan to cool your home is to run it at night, from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., during the coldest part of the day. Then, after all of the cool air has been pulled into your house, shut all of the windows and draw your blinds or shades. This will keep the cool air inside as the air outside begins to warm up during the heat of the day. Repeat this process daily for optimal results.
  • Those with health problems, especially breathing problems or allergies, may want to avoid attic fans and stick with air conditioning because attic fans can pull dust, air pollutants, mold and pollen into the house. All of these things are generally filtered through an air conditioning system.

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  • Photo Credit Gunter Fenne, Wikimedia Commons
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