Choosing the Right Home Fan: Attic or Whole House?

13 February 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


During a home remodel, a fan can help a stuffy house remain cooler. There are two fan options for a homeowner, a whole house fan or an attic fan. Each comes equipped with its own benefits and drawbacks. Armed with proper knowledge, any homeowner can decide what type of fan they should have a local electrician install for them.

Do You Need a Fan in Your Home?

A home is insulated for one main reason, to help maintain comfortable levels within the home. While this is helped immensely by air conditioners in the summer, at some point the trapped air is going to need somewhere to go. This is where house fans come in. During the summer they move the hot air up and out of the home. This makes it easier for the air conditioner to more effectively cool the home.

Attic Fans

There is some debate on whether or not a building truly needs an attic fan. Some experts think they aren't particularly helpful while others believe them an invaluable tool. Regardless, it is a scientific fact that heat rises. If it does not have anywhere to go, it will get trapped in the top level of the home. This means that the attic has trapped hot air sitting in the area and keeping that part heated while the air conditioner tries to cool it down.

An attic fan is meant to circulate that air and push it out of the home, thus helping the home become a bearable temperature. These machines typically work only during the day. This type of fan can be a great way to save a small amount of money on your electricity bill.

Whole House Fans

Another option for a homeowner is to have a whole house fan placed in their home. This type of machine takes the warm air from the entire building, forces it up into the attic and then out of the house via vents. Whole home fans run during the coolest parts of the day, often the night and early morning hours. Remember to look for fans that have the most blades because these fans run the quietest. Otherwise, the blades moving throughout the night can be quite loud. This type of fan will reduce your electricity bill significantly more than an attic fan will.

After assessing what the building needs, it can be simple to choose what type of fan to have installed. If the desire is to completely replace the air conditioner system, the best choice is a whole house fan. If the end result is a reduction on the electric bill, an attic fan could be the right decision. Consult with a local electrician to come to a solid decision.