What are Attic Ventilation Fans?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 July 2019
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Attic ventilation fans are devices that help to move hot air out of an attic space, effectively lowering the temperature of the area directly under the roof of a building. Fans of this type can also be helpful in minimizing attic moisture, particularly in humid weather. In some climates, an attic ventilator fan can even be used to cool the entire home without the use of a central air conditioning system.

There are three different types of attic ventilation fans that are in common use. One option is a simple turbine-style fan that uses wind power to manage attic ventilation. Fans of this type are often situated directly under the eaves of the structure. There is no power source other than the wind, a fact that renders this particular type of fan relatively useless in climates where there is little air movement. Still, the generation of heat in an attic will tend to cause the blades of the fan to turn enough to expel at least a portion of the hot air from the attic space.

Other attic ventilation fans are operated with the use of electricity. Models of this type are usually equipped with a simple on/off switch, although some models also allow the user to select multiple speeds. Another popular option with the electric attic fan is the inclusion of a thermostat that allows the fan to activate whenever the temperature in the attic reaches a certain level.


Solar attic ventilation fans have become more popular in recent years. The solar models offer all the benefits of an electric attic fan in terms of moving hot air out of the attic space. However, some models operate with the use of solar panels but no type of energy storage. This means that the designs that come with only solar panels will not function to full capacity when there is no direct sunlight. Installing a model that has a storage battery will make it possible to keep the fan working at peak efficiency even at night, a big advantage in locations dealing with tropical temperatures.

In addition to reducing the overall temperature in the attic, high-quality attic ventilation fans can also minimize the development of attic mold. This attribute is especially important in areas where humidity levels tend to be high during the summer months. Less mold in the attic means a lower chance of the mold spreading into the walls and reaching other parts of the home. Limiting the development of mold also minimizes the risk of triggering allergies or causing respiratory problems for anyone living in the home.



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