Living in Florida, we have very warm weather most of the year and attics get really hot! Would an attic ventilation fan help keep you attic cool? The hot summer months make our electric bill much higher as the air conditioner runs longer since the attic can be so hot.  Is there a way to cool down the attic to cool down the house?  Many people talk about attic ventilation fans, but does your home need one?  Let’s take a look:

What is an Attic Ventilation Fan?

Attic ventilation fans help take out the hot air and bring in the cooler air to keep the attic cool.  The fan prevents the hot air from coming back into the house. This keeps it cooler inside, thus the air conditioner does not run as long. Most homes have vents that help with getting the unwanted air out, but it is a good idea to have gable fans installed in the home. These fans will continue to blow the hot air out of the home.

A Great Choice in the Warmer Climates

The University of Florida conducted research from 2001-2006 about ventilated attics. They found that homes with attic ventilation fans in hot and humid climates, such as Central Florida, report

  • Relative humidity remains well below that of the external environment
  • Condensation on roofing members is rare
  • Moisture is removed quickly

The report says that the research found that the vent works well in seasonal changes and keeps the home cool. However, floors must be air sealed, have enough soffit space, and the HVAC equipment must be functioning properly. If you find there are air gaps between your ceilings and the attic, you can re-insulate for better efficiency.  Adding the attic ventilation fan to help keep your attic cooler can help extend the life of your roofing material.

Attic Fan? Not In the Cooler Climates

This is important to note, as attic fans are not the chosen fans in other parts of the country.  Whole house fans work better in the cooler climates as people use them year-round. They are not made for the warmer climates because the air that is brought in to the home in the summer months is too hot. Thus, the fan cannot be used in the warmer part of the year.  Also, there are some warmer days in the “cooler months” in the south. It is not cool enough to run the whole house fan, thus not making it an economical purchase.

There is also a downside to attic ventilation fans. This a great reason to have a professional check out your home:

  1. A well-insulated home won’t need an attic ventilation fan because it won’t make a difference in the cooling of your home.  You already have the home set up for staying cool so this would not be a good investment.
  2. Your soffit ventilation must be more than 336 net square inches to supply a 700 cfm system. The air pulls through unsealed holes and gaps that are in the attic floor.  Ultimately, this can cause dangerous conditions like carbon monoxide in the home.

Conclusion

Before deciding if an attic ventilation fan is right for you in Central Florida, contact a professional. Have the company come out and check your house to see if it will be worth the expense.  If you have questions about attic ventilation fans, contact us today!

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