If you decide on an attic fan for your home, knowing when to use it and the proper way to run it can help to ease strain on your HVAC system, save you money on your energy bills, and ensure the longevity of your roof. And, although the warmer months of the year are when they typically see use, attic fans can be used all year to circulate air.

However, several factors impact how your attic fan should be set, such as the current season, the temperature outside, and the time of the day, to ensure the most efficient use of your system. Understanding how to properly set and run your attic fan on the right schedule will help to ensure that your family’s home is not only more comfortable, but also more energy efficient. 

Should I Run My Attic Fan in Fall & Winter?

It may be easy to assume that, as the weather cools down, the need to run your attic fan would also go down. Yet, when temperatures start to drop, condensation and moisture start to build up and can pose a threat to your home. Your attic fan works to circumvent this occurrence by circulating air – which then prevents moisture and condensation from accumulating.

Why is moisture in your attic bad?

  • Insulation Damage: Moisture and condensation in your attic can result in wet insulation, which then causes it to lose its thermal resistance. This can cause your HVAC system to work harder to keep your home warm and, ultimately, can lead to the insulation needing to be replaced.
  • Mold & Mildew Accumulation: Additionally, mildew and mold are two more challenges homeowners can face if their attic is not adequately ventilated during these colder time of year. Mold and mildew can be very problematic for occupants with asthma, allergies, or weakened immune systems – definitely something to avoid.
  • Ice Damming: Running your attic fan in cooler temperatures also helps to prevent ice damming, which can cause damage to your roof and be costly to repair. Ice dams result from heat rising in your home to your attic which causes snow on the roof to prematurely melt, then drip down into the eaves, where it eventually refreezes. Attic fans work to prevent this by keeping the air in your attic cool, so that the snow does melt too quickly. During the cooler, winter months, your attic fan thermostat should be set below freezing so that it prevents the air temperature in the attic to help with ice dam prevention.

It may seem counterintuitive to run the fan all year if you are trying to save energy and money. However, running the fan year round provides the proper prevention needed to avoid costly damages and repairs that can arise from not having a properly ventilated attic.

Should I Run My Attic Fan in Spring & Summer?

As temperatures begin to rise in spring and throughout summer, you will typically find that setting your attic fan’s thermostat to around 75 degrees helps to keep your overall home’s temperature more consistent and comfortable – really, you’ll want to keep it as close to the outside temperature as possible.

How long should I run my attic fan on warmer days?

As summer temperatures continue to increase, homeowners may find that they need to run their attic fans more often. Where you live can play a big part in this, but typically, most homeowners find that as long as they’re running their attic fan during the daytime, they’ll experiencing a significant increase in benefits. 

If your home experiences a lot of direct sunlight during the day, though, your home may benefit from running your attic fan for longer periods of time to help keep the space more comfortable.

When deciding on whether or not to run your attic fan night, you need to consider whether or not your HVAC system seems to be effectively keeping your home cool at night, or if it seems like it is struggling to keep up. If the latter is true, then running your system at night can help to lighten the load on your HVAC system.

Reach Out Now With Questions

Do you still have more questions about adding an attic fan in your home? Are you considering one, but unsure of which type to go with? Do you have an attic fan and want to learn more about how to properly run yours for optimal comfort? Or maybe you aren’t sure an attic fan is the right choice – and want to explore upgrading your insulation or have your air seals checked?

No matter the questions on your mind, the professionals here at Pettit Heating & Cooling are happy to take the guesswork out of it and help you choose the right addition to keep you and your family happier – no matter the weather outside. Call us at 615-654-0814 or reach out online today.