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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Do Attic Fans Make Sense for My House?


Handling the summer heat in Los Angeles can put immense strain on a residential air conditioning system. Many homeowners want to find ways to cut back on their AC use to lower their bills. There are several ways to help combat the indoor heat without using a refrigerant-based air conditioning system. Attic fans are one of these tools, although people are often unsure if these types of fans will help or not.

You can always ask an electrician in West Hollywood, CA at Kilowatt for help in making a choice about cooling your home and improving ventilation. We’ll give you a short overview of attic fans in this post to help you see the possibilities—but please call us before you make any major decision!

Defining the Attic Fan

The attic fan is often confused with the whole-house fan, and you may hear the terms used interchangeably. They aren’t the same, however. A whole-house fan is designed to draw air from throughout the home at night and exhaust the heat out of the roof. This creates an air deficit inside the house, allowing cooler outdoor air to enter.

An attic fan, on the other hand, is designed specifically to ventilate the attic and lower its temperature. It doesn’t draw air up from the rest of the house from a series of vents, but instead vents out the super-heated air in the attic during the day.

Why Is Cooling the Attic Helpful?

Reading the above description of attic fans and whole-house fans may make it sound as if whole-house fans are the better choice for a home. But this isn’t necessarily the case. We enjoy reasonably cool nights in Los Angeles, so it’s rarely necessary to do much more than open windows in the evening to cool down a house. It’s the heat during the day that’s the bigger problem—and this is where an attic fan works the best.

Even on a warm, sunny day, the temperature in the attic can rise above 120°F because of the radiant heat coming through the roof. This massive heat sink in the house will seep down into the living spaces below. Attic insulation helps slow the movement of heat, but an attic fan can make a bigger difference. The fan exhausts out the extra heat to balance the indoor and outdoor temperatures. This can mean a house that’s 8°F cooler, which is often the difference in whether the AC turns on or stays off. Attic fans use far less electrical power than a central air conditioner.

Attic fans are helpful around the year as well, since they vent out moisture that rises into the attic. This prevents wood rot and damage to the roof that can end up leading to early roof and tile replacements.

We’ll Help You With Attic Fans

Our expert team is glad to answer all your questions about attic fans and other options for cooling your home. We’ll see that you have the hot-weather solutions that meet your needs.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical has served Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley since 1990. Talk to our electricians today about attic fan installation.

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