How to Winterize an Attic Fan


Attic fans pull cool air in from the outside and circulate it through your house, venting hot air to the outside. Using an attic fan can help you turn on the air conditioning later in the summer and shut it off sooner in the fall, saving you money. Iowa State University Extension reports that an attic fan uses about one-third of the electricity consumed by central air conditioning. As cold weather approaches, however, you must winterize your fan to keep cold air from entering your house.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Fiberglass insulation bats
  • Gloves
  • Measure the fan opening in the ceiling. This is the louvered opening where air enters and exits the attic.

  • Cut a sheet of plastic 1 inch larger than the fan opening on all sides. Tape this plastic over the fan opening, sealing it with tape all the way around the opening.

  • Climb into the attic. Locate the safety switch beside the fan and turn it off.

  • Cut the insulation bats to fit inside the fan housing. Wearing gloves, stuff the insulation into the fan housing until it's full. Iowa State University notes this is the least expensive method of insulating a fan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some fan manufacturers sell custom covers to go over attic fans in the winter.
  • Remove the plastic and insulation before you start the fan in the spring.

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