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Ask the Experts: Attic Ventilators

Even though the summer brings high temperatures, don’t let it bring high electric bills with it as well. Did you know that you could find huge savings on your electric bill in your attic? With functioning attic ventilators, savings can be yours. Let the experts at Mr. Electric® help you understand what method will be of greatest benefit to you.

Brad Richards with Mr. Electric of Tucson offers his expert opinion on attic ventilators and will explain how to save money on your electric bill in the summertime.


Mr. Electric: What exactly does an attic ventilator do?

Brad Richards: An attic ventilator fan is essential in the summer because it evacuates the hot air that accumulates during the day from the attic and draws air in from the outside. Think of it as a means of cycling the trapped air out with fresh air from the outside. It ensures that the temperature of the air in the attic is closer to the air temperature outside. With stagnant air, the sunlight on the roof heats the air inside the attic greatly. It is best to evacuate that hot air in the summertime so that you can save money on your cooling. If you’re air conditioning unit (A/C) is running and you don’t have a functioning attic ventilator, your attic is acting like a radiant heater while you’re A/C is trying to cool the room at the same time. Essentially, they are working against each other and costing you more money.


Mr. Electric: What are the different types of attic ventilators?

Brad Richards: There are two types. One of them is a roof-top unit that draws air directly out through the roof and pushes outside air into the attic to regulate the temperature. The other type is a 120-watt gable fan system. This system consists of one fan that blows air into the attic and another fan that blows air outside, creating airflow that is constant to reduce the temperature in the attic. The gables are triangular in shape and are located on opposite ends from each other on the sides of the attic.

With both types of ventilation systems, there is a solar option. The system that we recommend most often is the roof-top solar fan. Hot air rises and the fan tends to pull the air up and out of the attic, while both gable openings are open for the fresh air to come in. This is the most efficient and best money saver because when the sun comes up, the solar cells power the fan and the fan speeds up the more the sun becomes more direct. Then, when the sun goes down, it naturally turns itself off because there’s no more direct sunlight on the attic.


Mr. Electric: What are the benefits of a homeowner installing an attic ventilator?

Brad Richards: The number-one benefit of having an attic ventilator in the summer is you are able to keep your home cooler for less money. Solar-powered fans offer an even higher return on investment because you aren’t paying for electricity to run the fan. Using natural sunlight to cool your attic is a great way for homeowners to save money in the process.


Mr. Electric: Do you have any additional tips or recommendations?

Brad Richards: Regardless of whether you choose roof-top vents, gable fans, or solar powered fans, any home in the summer would benefit from attic ventilation. In other words, if you have an attic, there is a benefit to having ventilation.

For more information about attic ventilators and how they can benefit you, your home and your wallet, check out this article from the experts at Mr. Electric.