If your home has quite a few east- or west-facing windows, you may find cooling your home in the late afternoon and evening to be nearly impossible, even with your air conditioner at full blast. Blackout curtains can provide some shade from the sun's rays, but could leave your house feeling dark and stuffy. Fortunately, homeowners with attics may be able to combat this daily heat wave by installing an attic fan. Read on to learn more about these fans can benefit certain homes, as well as some factors you'll want to consider before installing one in your own home.
How does an attic fan cool your home during the evening hours?
Attic fans operate by venting the hot air in your home up and out through attic vents. By opening a few windows on the ground level of your home, you'll be able to replace this vented hot air with cooler outside air. These fans are much more powerful than regular ceiling fans, and should be able to substantially lower the temperature of your home within just a few minutes (as long as the outside air has cooled enough to be comfortable).
Because an attic fan will generally require you to turn off your air conditioner, you'll generally want to run it during the late afternoon or evening hours, when your house is hot but the outside air temperature has cooled from its midday peaks.
Is an attic fan right for your home?
Attic fans can often be one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways to quickly cool your home, especially if your windows let in quite a bit of afternoon and evening light. However, they're not right for all homes (or all climates), and ensuring that your home is a good candidate for an attic fan should help you avoid disappointment after investing in this home improvement.
If you live in a particularly humid area and generally run your air conditioner overnight during summer, installing an attic fan may wind up venting this humid area into your home and making it less comfortable than before. Attic fans also aren't the best option in areas where the temperature remains high well into the evening hours and overnight -- however, in desert climates where the temperature drops quickly once the sun has set, or in more temperate areas, an attic fan may be the perfect source of cool air.