Gable attic fans are an excellent way to cool your attic and entire house. The fan is installed on an attic wall with the exhaust port located on the opposite wall. It draws hot air from within the house and expels it outside through the exhaust port. Gable fans may be powered by electricity or solar energy. The fan circulates cool air throughout the attic and house which helps to create a cooler environment indoors. This helps to reduce demand on your cooling system, which lowers electricity consumption. It isn’t difficult to install a gable attic fan. Fortunately, you don’t require many tools either. However, it helps if you’re careful to avoid the mistakes below.
1. Obtaining a Fan with Inadequate Capacity
It is a good idea to measure the size of your attic before you purchase and install your fan. Take time to obtain the height, width and length of the attic. Once you multiply the figures, it gives you the total cubic feet. Be sure to purchase a fan that can cool your specific cubic feet. A fan that is too small will fail to provide you with the desired service. Larger attics may require 2 fans for higher efficiency.
2. Not Checking your Attic Vents
It is vital that you confirm the number of vents in the soffits as well as those in the ridges. Ideally, the vents should occur in equal numbers in the soffits and ridges. This enhances the performance of your attic fan. It allows you to get the full benefit of your fan. It is also important that you examine your vents for dirt and debris. Make arrangements to clean out clogged vents, as they hamper the efficiency of the fan.
3. Location of Exhaust Port
Hot air from the fan is expelled through an exhaust port. The location of this port is vital for proper operation of your fan. Select a wall that is not exposed to prevailing winds. This makes it easy for the fan to expel hot air from the attic without any resistance. It also contributes towards reduced power utilization. Do not leave the exhaust port uncovered after installation. An uncovered port is a good entryway for dirt, leaves, debris and small animals into your home. It also causes the port to clog up frequently, which hampers efficiency. Use wire mesh to cover the exhaust port.
4. Electrical Matters
It is best not to proceed with installation before you confirm electrical specifications. If the amperage of your fan exceeds the attic circuit, the overload could have serious consequences. Check to see if your attic circuit has sufficient capacity to accommodate your fan. If you find that the reserve capacity is inadequate, it is best to use a new 15-amp circuit. This should be installed in your circuit breaker box. Check your local building codes for guidelines on electrical installations and the proper cables to use. Should you have any doubts or don’t feel comfortable with electrical matters, it is best to call in a qualified electrician. This will ensure proper installation and also guarantees safety.