Do Attic Fans Really Work for Lowering Your A/C Bill?

In the Dallas area, we all think a lot about how to stay cool in the summer. Days can get brutally hot, and with that high humidity, it’s hard to find good solutions to the problem.

Most homes use air conditioning, but it gets expensive. Plus, the wear and tear from running it usually mean you’re going to need AC services like repairs or maintenance somewhere along the line.

Cutting back on your cooling bill can also help extend the life of your unit.

Most of us would love to find ways to lower the AC bill throughout the summer without suffering the full force of a Texas summer.

There are a lot of ideas floating around to help with that, and one you may come across is an attic fan.

They’re supposed to help cool your house, but do attic fans really work? The answer is yes.

Attic fans lower your air conditioning bill by removing the heat at the top of the house. They can also help cool the second floor, and in fact, they even prevent moisture from building up beneath your roof.

We’ll go over claims about attic fans, how they really work, and whether or not that makes them a viable option for beating the heat.

How Do Attic Fans Work?

Proponents of attic fans will tell you that they can cool a house very efficiently. What they do is push hot air out of the house and then draw warm air in the house up to the attic. Since hot air tends to rise, the hottest air in the home will always be in the attic. If you push that away and draw in fresh air, the average temperature in the house will go down.

This mechanism allows an attic fan to efficiently cool a home with very little effort on your part. For the cost of a cheap fan, you get reasonable air circulation throughout the house, and the air exchange keeps the indoor temperature comfortable.

How Attic Fans Can Save You Money On A/C

Is that claim true? For the most part, it is. Attic fans work exactly according to that description. A fan placed in the attic can run as often or long as you like, and if it’s oriented correctly, it will blow hot air out of the attic.

Attics really do house the hottest air in your home, and blowing it out will draw air up from below and create an effective heat exchange.

During months when it’s not hot enough for constant AC yet and you’re primarily opening windows and using fans to cool your home, an attic fan can have a dramatic impact on your home temperature. It can enable you to put off running the AC a little longer into the warm seasons.

Attic fans are also cheap to run. They are simple fans, so they don’t eat up much electricity. If you ran an average attic fan 24/7 for an entire month, it would raise your bill by about 20% (assuming you aren’t also running the AC that month). If you compare that to the cost of running your AC, you can see the potential for saving money.

Drawbacks to Using Attic Fans

Even though attic fans work, they are not a universal solution. There’s a pretty big catch to the whole system. Attic fans require air intake somewhere in the home. If you run an attic fan with all of the windows closed, you’ll prevent consistent air movement from occurring. This means that the attic fan won’t be able to push out very much air, and it will struggle to make much of a difference in your home comfort.

Now, you can run your AC with the attic fan to get that circulation, but then you’re really just drawing cooled AC air into the attic, which is not what you want.

Long story short, you need open windows for your attic fan to work well. As you can imagine, that means that attic fans are not viable for cooling throughout the year. In the peak of a Texas summer, you’ll want to close your windows and run the AC for best effect.

If you don’t have AC, your attic fan can help cool the house, but if you do, the attic fan is really ideal for off-peak heat. Late spring and early fall are when the attic fan will thrive, and you’ll really appreciate having it.

Do Attic Fans Really Work? Yes, They Do!

If the prospect of an attic fan sounds enticing to you, you should consult with an HVAC expert to see how viable it is in your home. Since they add points of entry in the roof and complicate the overall system, they are worth more or less for a home depending on many factors. A professional consultation can give you a better idea of how much an attic fan is worth in your house.

Dallas is hot. Sick of high air conditioning bills and ready to install an attic fan? Give us a call today at Metro Express Service. We’ll help you make sure your attic stays cool, so you can save money on A/C — even in the Texas heat!


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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