Attic ventilation isn’t something at the top of most to-do lists, but it should be. This one area of home improvement can help lower utility bills during both the summer and winter as well as extend the life of asphalt shingles, furnaces and air conditioners. In most homes, these benefits can be attained through the simple addition of attic fans that promote more efficient air exchange in the attic.
The temperature in a poorly vented attic can reach 140 to 150 degrees on a warm summer day. This can damage anything stored in the area and, if this air is allowed to say in the attic, it will leech down into the home, forcing the air conditioner to work harder, and more often, to maintain a comfortable temperature. Even a well-insulated attic will still transmit heat, just at a slower rate.
Even if you have passive venting – ridge vents, gable vents or dormer vents – there often isn’t enough air movement to cool the interior of the attic. The best choice is to add an attic fan. Sizing an attic fan is pretty easy. It’s generally accepted that exchanging 10 full air volumes every hour is sufficient to keep the temperature in the attic around the same as the outdoor ambient temperature. Most fans can be set to operate only when the temperature in the attic reaches a certain level (usually 80-90 degrees). There are also completely solar-powered units so the fans only work when they’re needed without draining any electricity from the grid.
The only other thing to take into consideration when installing an attic fan is the need for air inlets that pull cool air into the area as the warm air is being blown out. Soffit vents are the most common and economical choice.
For more expert advice about attic fans and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.We have been proudly serving northwest Arkansas as a licensed HVAC contractor for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attic ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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