Folsom Roofing: Article About Attic Fans
During the summer or during the warmer months, homeowners may be looking for a way to keep their attic cooler. Homeowners may look to attic fans to help keep the attic cool. There are two main types of attic, or ventilation, fans: whole house fans and powered attic ventilators. As with most roofing components, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of fans. A Folsom roofing contractor can help determine which fan is right for a particular home.
Whole house fans are usually installed into the attic floor. When turned on, they pull cool air from the home's living space into the attic. This air is then vented out of the attic through ridge vents or gable vents. Usually, these fans are turned on at night when the air temperatures outdoors are below 80 degrees. Whole house fans are designed to be used in homes that do not have air conditioning as this unit may recirculate humidity the next day. If the home does have an air conditioner, it is recommended to not use the whole house fan until the unit has been retired for the season.
While attic fans can keep a home cooler while reducing energy costs, there are cases where these types of ventilation fans are not recommended. Some older homes, for example, will need more ventilation than building codes may call for.
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Adding the extra ventilation can be costly to the homeowner. Additionally, if the area is not safe to leave the windows open at night or if the air remains humid during the evenings in the summer, this option may not be best for that particular home.
Powered attic ventilators are often mounted on the roof or in the attic's gable wall. They usually turn on by themselves when the attic reaches a certain temperature. Because these types of fans cost less to install than whole house fans, they may be preferred by many homeowners. While this type of ventilation fan is used with the intention of blowing hot air out of the attic, these devises are often problematic as they can depressurize the attic. This can cause air conditioned air to be drawn out of the home's living space and increases the homeowner's energy use. In some cases, these ventilators can actually cause the water heater to back draft, introducing carbon monoxide into the home.
If neither of these attic fans are a good fit for a particular home, a professional roofer can also ensure that the insulation between the attic space and the living space is sufficient. This way, the hot air will not make its way into the home.