The 5 Best Attic Fans
You can make your attic cooler and lower your electric bills by installing one of the best attic fans available. Since hot air rises, installing a cooling fan in the highest part of your house reduces the heat and increases your savings. This buyer’s guide helps you pick the best product for your needs from a range of options that include budget models to premium models.
In This Article
Best Choice: Cool Attic CX1500 Gable Mount Power Attic Ventilator
The Cool Attic DX1500 Gable Mount Power Attic Ventilator is a durable fan with an automatic thermostat. It’s powerful but quiet, and its affordable price means it’s our top pick for best attic fan.
The Cool Attic Gable Mount Power Attic Ventilator has a 2.6-amp 60-Hz motor that moves 13,000 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) to cool your attic. It also features a galvanized steel flange and an automatic thermostat that makes it simple to adjust according to the outdoor temperature.
The single speed Cool Attic fan easily mounts in the gable of the home. You can install this 15-inch fan behind any louvers you choose, including the existing louvers. This simplicity ensures you do not have to modify your roofline or install a roof-mounted fan. You will need to have it hardwired into the home, however.
The fan runs on 115-volts, which won’t add much to your electric bills. And thanks to its engineered mounting system, it’s extremely quite and has almost no vibration, unlike some other fans.
Item Key Features:
- Simple installation
- Cools a large space of 1,850 square feet
- Only requires 115-volts
- Requires hardwiring
Premium Pick: QuietCool AFG SMT-3.0 Smart Attic Gable Fan
The QuietCool AFG SMT 30 Smart Attic Gable Fan has the prefect mix of energy efficiency and power. Plus, it self-adjusts, so it wins premium pick hands down.
The QuietCool AFG SMT-3.0 Smart Attic Gable Fan is the first-ever attic fan with a built-in thermostat and humidistat, making checking its performance the most convenient possible. This fan delivers fantastic results, cooling attic temperatures by 30-50 degrees. And on top of that, it even self-adjusts itself to run more efficiently. On just 22 watts, it can provide put to 2,830 CFM.
This attic fan also provides the most energy efficient attic fan listed in the California Energy Commission’s Appliance Efficiency Database. That’s the AFG ES-1500’s ultra-high efficiency electronically commutated AC/DC brushless motor (ECM). This model is 15 times more efficient than a traditional attic fan. QuietCool even backs it with a 10‐year warranty, so there’s no need to worry if it stops working—just remember to keep the receipt.
Item Key Features:
- Cools the attic by 30-50 degrees
- Built-in humidistat and thermostat
- Ultra high efficiency motor
- Plugs in for use, easy installation
- On the pricey side
Best Value: Iliving 12 Inch Variable Speed Shutter Exhaust Fan
The iLiving Variable Speed Shutter Exhaust Fan comes in a wide variety of different sizes and doesn’t cost very much money compared to other similar fans, making it our budget pick.
The iLiving Variable Speed Shutter Exhaust Fan helps cool your attic without involving a high up-front costs. It features weather-resistant aluminum shutters that open and closed automatically based on the fan’s usage and a heavy-duty galvanized steel frame. Not only is this fan great for attics, but it would also make a nice addition to a greenhouse that needs some extra ventilation.
While this fan can be used with a remote control, you have to purchase that separately, which is a bit inconvenient. The default 12-inch version of this fan offers 800 CFM, which may be a little on the low side for some homeowners. However, iLiving even offers 12 different size options from 7-36 inches, so you can pick the one that’s best for your needs.
- Comes in different sizes
- Corrosion and weather resistant
- Works in commercial or home environment
- Easily affordable
- Requires hard wiring
- Speed controller sold separately
Best Solar: Solar Attic Fan 36-watt – Black
The Natural Light Solar 36-watt Attic Fan is extremely easy to install and provides great results while helping make the earth a little bit greener, so it’s our solar pick.
The Natural Light Solar 36-watt Attic Fan saves energy by being solely reliant on a solar panel, making it perfect if you’re trying to make your home greener. This attic fan provides attic ventilation for 2,625 square feet using a 36-watt motor. Its simple installation requires no wiring.
This attic fan installs to the roof, most easily on a pitched Fiberglass-Asphalt Shingle roof. You can adjust the solar panel from a flat installation up to a 45 degree angle on any 3/12 to 12/12 pitch roofs. All installation hardware comes with the attic fan. Natural Light even offers a 25-year limited warranty on this model. You can even accessorize it with an optional snap-on thermostat sold separately, which is useful if you want to be green but live in a colder climate.
- Solar powered
- No wiring required
- Comes with 25-year limited warranty
- Doesn’t take up much roof space
- Thermostat sold separately
Best Heavy-Duty: MaxxAir IF18 3000-CFM 18-Inch Blade Heavy-Duty Exhaust Fan
The MaxxAir IF18 Heavy-Duty Exhaust Fan is made from galvanized steel and is primarily aimed at use in industrial settings, barns, and greenhouses, so it gets to be our heavy-duty winner.
The MaxxAir IF18 Heavy-Duty Exhaust Fan is ideal for industrial settings because of its heavy-duty nature, but it can be used in many other places. This fan features four 18-inch fan blades and exterior shutters so you do not experience drafts when the fan is shut off. It’s made from galvanized steel to prevent rusting so it stays in working order.
The safety features of this device place it in the top five best attic fans. It has an OSHA-compliant safety grille and an OSHA-compliant PSC energy efficient motor that is thermally protected and completely enclosed. On top of that, its ventilation system also helps eliminate odors and removes contaminants while reducing excess moisture or heat.n
- For industrial use
- Comes in multiple sizes
- Comes with one-year limited warranty
- Rust resistant
- Requires hard wiring
The Importance of Attic Fans
During the heat of summer temperatures, though it may approach 100°F outdoors, in your attic it can reach 150°F or more. Excessive heat in your home’s attic can damage your roofing shingles and increase the load on your air conditioning, causing your electric bills to skyrocket.
To compound the problem whenever you cook or take baths or showers, steam rises through the home and collects in the attic. The moisture from the steam combined with the heat in the attic creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can be hazardous to your health.
Your home’s roof vents can’t do it alone. You need to create airflow and reduce the attic temperature, and installing a top attic fan can draw out the hot air and help cool the attic. This also reduces the moisture and helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. (This is also why it’s important to have a bathroom exhaust fan in your bathrooms.)
Attic fans are easy to install, provide a cost-effective way to reduce the temperature, and most require little maintenance. The choices among these devices continually grows, so choosing the best attic fan requires a great deal of research. We’re here to help with that by cutting your research time by doing the heavy lifting. We examined the many options out there and have assembled this list of the five best attic fans.
How to Choose an Attic Fan
We did our best to pick out five of the best attic fans, but picking a fan for an attic is a bit trickier than choosing window fans for use inside your home. If you’re still a bit lost on which is the best attic fan for you, try thinking about these different questions:
- How big is your attic? If the fan is too small and the attic is too big, it won’t be very effective
- What’s your budget? Attic fans can get expensive, so it’s good to have a price point in mind
- Is efficiency a priority for you? All fans will have a different efficiency rate, and you can find low-wattage or solar fans if that’s something you’re concerned about
- Where do you live? If your home is in a hotter climate, you’ll probably want a higher power fan than if you lived in a colder climate with milder summers
Keeping these questions in mind can help you narrow down the choices and pick the right fan for your home.
How to Get the Most from Your Attic Fan
In most cases, getting the most out of your attic fan requires a couple more steps than just installing it and flipping the switch. When you install your new fan, be sure to balance the blades. If you do, it will help them last longer and operate more quietly.
You should also run your fan consistently after installing it. Regular use helps keep it running smoothly. When the fan is installed, you can even have a home efficiency audit conducted. It can provide tips that will help you save more money.
How to Avoid Noisy Attic Fans
Some attic fans produce lots of noise during operation. The speed at which they work and amount of insulation in the attic contribute to this. Other contributing factors to noise include poor or damaged ball or sleeve bearings, friction between the various moving parts and unbalanced blades.
Choosing a fan with high quality parts or more blades helps combat noise. The best attic fans have four or more blades to run quieter. Also, look for a brushless motor for quieter operation, plus improved efficiency and performance. Belt drive attic fans and those with larger blades also run quieter.
If you’re still looking for one last recommendation on which attic fan to get, I’d go with the Cool Attic CX1500 Gable Mount Power Attic Ventilator. It’s simple to install and works quietly, and on top of that, its 1,300 CFM and single, powerful speed make it a breeze to cool up to 1,850 square feet.
While putting out its high performance, it only uses 115 volts of electricity. Its four blade construction contributes to its quiet operation and its cooling output. The only drawback is it require hard wiring which means you need a professional to install it if you are not an experienced do-it-yourselfer. The Cool Attic fan just provides too many pros to not to make it our top pick for best attic fan.