People often use the terms "attic fan" and "whole house fan" interchangeably when describing alternative methods to traditional, in-home air conditioning. An attic fan is strictly for cooling your attic and nothing more. It's a small fan (usually mounted in a hole on the roof or an attic side wall) designed to move hundreds of cubic feet of hot air per minute out of your attic area.
A whole house fan is a large fan located in the ceiling of a home, designed to pull cool air through the house and exhaust the air into the attic space. The use of a whole house fan depends on open windows, cooler temperatures in the early morning or late at night, and good airflow for maximum effectiveness. You must turn off any indoor air conditioning prior to using a whole house fan. Experts recommend installing both an attic fan and a whole house fan working in conjunction with one another to increase cost and energy savings for the home.
Typical Costs for Traditional Attic Fans
- Low-End Estimate: $55
- High-End Estimate: $300
Typical Costs for Solar Attic Fans
- Low-End Estimate: $250
- High-End Estimate: $600
- Solar attic fans are more energy-efficient in the long run yet cost more at the point of purchase than other electric attic fan kits.
Additional Costs to Install Attic Fans (Professional Services)
- Low-End Estimate: $30 per hour
- High-End Estimate: $70 per hour
- Expect professionals to take about 3-4 hours to install an attic fan, as working in a hot attic while dodging wooden beams and standing on ceiling joists makes for a laborious task.
Typical Costs to Install Whole House Fans (Professional Services)
- Low-End Estimate: $850
- High-End Estimate: $1,250
Typical Costs to Install Humidistats (Professional Services)
- Low-End Estimate: $90
- High-End Estimate: $150
- A humidistat activates the attic fan if it senses excess moisture inside the attic.