What You Need to Know About Attic Fan Installation Cost

An attic fan can increase ventilation, reduce moisture buildup, and decrease the home’s interior temperature. Attic fan installation costs between $369 and $913, with a national average of $624.
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Attic Fan Installation Cost
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Highlights

  • A typical attic fan installation costs $624, but homeowners can expect to spend between $369 and $913.
  • The type of fan and related materials, labor rates, and the attic size are some of the main factors that influence the attic fan installation price.
  • Homeowners may see significant improvements in their energy bills, better interior temperature control, and longer roof lifespan if they install the right attic fan.
  • Working on a roof comes with inherent risks that most homeowners prefer to leave to experienced professionals. Doing so can minimize the chance of roof damage and personal injury during the installation process.
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Attic fans can be installed in the roof or the attic wall to help air circulate throughout the area. Proper air circulation can help control moisture and temperature in the attic, which protects the items stored there and may prolong the integrity of the roof. The typical attic fan installation cost is between $369 and $913, with a national average of $624, according to HomeAdvisor and Angi.

While installing an attic fan comes at a cost, it can help prevent damage from mold and mildew and prevent temperatures from getting too high in the summer. There are different types of attic fans to choose from, including attic exhaust, dual power, solar, and turbine. These options allow the homeowner to choose the best fit for their attic.

Factors in Calculating Attic Fan Installation Cost

Attic Fan Installation Cost
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Many elements can affect the total cost of an attic fan. Factors homeowners will need to consider are the types of attic fans available, the size of the attic, their geographic location, and the materials, supplies, and labor required to complete the installation process. Understanding these factors can help homeowners determine how much installation will cost. They can also search “attic fan installation contractors near me” to find a local installer who can give them an accurate estimate.

Fan Type

There are a few different types of attic fans that can facilitate attic ventilation. Attic exhaust fans can be powered by wind, solar, or electricity, and the choice depends on what will work best for the attic and the total budget.

A standard, passive attic exhaust fan is less expensive and works through air exchange from soffit intake vents that allow cooler air in to push the trapped, hotter air out. A solar attic fan is powered by solar energy, so while it costs more up front, it doesn’t cost any money to operate after it’s installed. An electric attic fan gives homeowners more control over when it runs, but it also costs more to install and can raise energy costs based on use.

Materials and Supplies

It can cost between $65 and $650 for an attic fan alone. On top of that, the cost for the vent and the supplies needed to install an attic fan can range from $5 to $100. This price includes any roofing shingles or siding that needs to be replaced after the fan has been installed. This range includes any roofing shingles or siding that needs to be replaced after installation. Supplies such as nails and caulk can cost between $5 and $10.

If the roof doesn’t already have vents, then the installer will need to add some. Roof vents cost between $30 and $50 for the part alone, while gable vents cost between $30 and $60. Installation costs will vary depending on how complex the job is. Roofing shingles cost between $17 and $40 per square foot, and siding costs between $2 and $12 per square foot before installation.

Attic Fan Materials and SuppliesAverage Cost (Parts Only)
Attic fan$65 to $650
Caulking and nails$5 to $10
Gable vents$30 to $60
Roof vents$30 to $50
Shingles$17 to $40 per square foot
Siding$2 to $12 per square foot

Labor

While the cost of additional materials and supplies is relatively low, the labor fees to install a gable or roof-mounted attic fan can raise the total cost quite a bit. Since this job involves dangerous work on ladders and roofs, hiring an attic fan installation contractor is the safest option for most homeowners. Roofing contractors and handymen are typically the people who install attic fans, but specialized professionals may also be needed in certain situations. Roofing professionals typically charge between $45 and $75 per hour, and it takes about 2 hours to install attic vent fans.

In some circumstances, a carpenter may need to perform modifications to the roof in order to install an attic vent property, and this can cost between $10 to $150 per hour. For an electric or solar-powered attic fan, an electrician may need to connect the unit to the existing electrical system. Electricians charge between $50 and $100 per hour, and this type of electrical hookup usually takes about an hour.

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Attic Size

The amount of ventilation an attic needs to maintain moderate temperatures and moisture levels largely depends on the size of the attic. This in turn determines the types of attic fans that will best keep up with the needs of the attic. If the attic is larger, a more powerful fan will be required to adequately manage the air in the space.

A fan’s power is measured by how much air it can move per minute measured in cubic feet. An attic fan will list its cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating, with a higher rating corresponding to a more powerful fan.

Geographic Location

In areas throughout the U.S. with a higher cost of living, supplies, labor, and materials can be more expensive than in areas that typically see lower costs. Current demand for contractors can also influence the local cost for installing an attic fan. The best way for homeowners to determine the actual cost to install an attic fan is to contact a local roofing contractor, though there are some average costs around the country that homeowners can review.

LocationAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Boston, Massachusetts$430 to $850
Chicago, Illinois$300 to $600
Houston, Texas$300 to $730
Los Angeles, California$500 to $1,450
New York City, New York$330 to $650
Orlando, Florida$350 to $550
Seattle, Washington$650 to $1,400

Additional Costs and Considerations

Some of the best attic fans are simple exhaust fans, or they may include add-on features such as a thermostat or solar power. Other costs and considerations include the need for attic insulation, roof repairs related to the attic vent or worn-out roofing materials, and the cost to actually operate the attic fan.

Customizations and Add-Ons

Passive attic fans without a motor are the simplest and cheapest option since they only require adequate ventilation to allow airflow that moves hot air out. The downside is that without electrical power, exhaust fans aren’t regulated with a thermostat. Since approximately 20 percent of the average home’s cooling bill is attributed to the heat in an attic, homeowners benefit from reducing that cost with a regulated attic fan.

On the other hand, attic fans with motors typically include a thermostat to monitor the temperature and activate the fan when the temperature reaches a certain level. These typically cost between $100 and $300 plus $100 for installation. For just $80 to $100, homeowners can also opt for a motorized attic fan without a thermostat.

Some attic fans come with a humidistat to monitor humidity levels, but humidistats can also be purchased separately for between $40 and $50. A humidistat increases the attic fan’s benefits by monitoring and controlling moisture levels and reducing possible issues such as mold, mildew, shingle rot, damaged paint, and warped structural elements.

Attic Insulation

If an attic isn’t properly insulated, it’s difficult to adequately heat and cool the attic. This can result in higher heating and cooling bills as well as excess humidity and moisture issues such as mold and mildew.

Attic insulation costs between $1,500 and $3,500, and while this is an investment that will significantly increase the project price, insulation can help prevent future issues that may end up costing much more to repair. The best attic insulation contractor, such as Dr. Energy Saver, will be able to assess the current condition of the attic insulation, advise on next steps and provide a recommendation for the type of insulation needed and estimate how much labor will cost.

Roof Repair

When a contractor inspects the attic to prepare for attic fan installation, they may discover that roof repair is necessary before they can continue. Previous damage from leaks could compromise the installation of the new attic fan or vents. Contractors from the best roofing companies (such as Aspen Contracting and CMR Construction & Roofing) can assess the current state of the roof to determine which repairs are necessary.

Roof repairs can include replacing damaged or missing shingles, replacing flashing, replacing the roof deck, and patching small holes or sealing leaks. Roof repairs cost between $379 and $1,758, and the cost largely depends on the extent of the damage, the materials needed, and labor costs to complete the work.

Operational Costs

A basic roof-mounted attic fan doesn’t cost anything to operate as it’s self-propelled by the home’s airflow and exterior wind that moves through intake vents. This type of fan can help reduce heating and cooling costs by facilitating airflow in the attic. It may not be as efficient or run as frequently as an electric or solar-powered attic fan with a thermostat, but it also won’t add to an electric bill.

An attic exhaust fan with a thermostat will come with some operational costs if it’s electric, but it’s more efficient in facilitating attic airflow, which can lower cooling costs. A local roofing contractor may be able to provide data on how it will impact a homeowner’s utility bills. A solar-powered attic fan costs more up front, but it won’t raise the utility bill once installed and will be able to monitor temperature and humidity effectively.

Attic Fan Installation Cost
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Types of Attic Fans

Different types of attic fans will affect the attic fan installation price, but each comes with varying methods to control the temperature and humidity in the attic. Homeowners can consider which option best suits their budget and needs.

The most basic attic exhaust fans are passive, and since they operate through natural air exchange with intake vents, they don’t require power to turn them on and off. Electric, solar-powered, and dual-powered attic fans cost more, but they are also more efficient. The choice of attic fan comes down to the needs of the specific attic space and how the attic fan will affect utility bills.

Type of Attic FanAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Attic exhaust$100 to $450
Dual-powered$300 to $1,000
Electric$100 to $450
Passive$75 to $100
Roof turbine$100 to $150
Solar$300 to $1,000

Attic Exhaust

Some attic exhaust fans are passive, meaning they aren’t powered by electricity or solar energy but rather use the natural airflow from the attic and exterior wind. Other attic exhaust fans use electric or solar power to run, which can lead to better management of heat and humidity in the attic.

The typical cost for any attic ceiling fan runs between $75 and $1,000 and largely depends on how it’s powered. For instance, traditional attic exhaust fans range from $100 to $400. The cost will also depend on how much power the unit has. Electric fans can also impact utility bills, while passive and solar attic exhaust fans won’t add to the utility bill.

Another type of exhaust system is a whole-house attic fan. This style is installed in the attic and facilitates air circulation throughout the home, drawing hot air out and pulling cool air into the home. A whole-house fan costs more than an attic exhaust fan, falling between $900 and $2,500, but the efficiency makes it a great option to reduce overall cooling costs. Many homeowners in mild climates find that a whole-house fan cools their home well enough that they don’t need to install traditional air conditioning.

Dual-Powered

Dual-powered attic ventilation fans are best for homeowners who want as much control over the unit as possible while also saving on their utility bills. These types of attic fans are primarily powered by solar energy, but on cloudy days or during the night, they will use electricity to operate as needed. Dual-powered attic exhaust fans cost between $300 and $1,000.

Electric

An electric roof-mounted attic fan is an efficient way to cool the attic space. Many electric units include a thermostat and humidistat; these monitor the temperature and humidity in the attic to automatically turn the fan on and off when needed.

While this type of attic fan does use electricity and may affect the utility bill, it more effectively controls the conditions in the attic and protects the area from mold and mildew. The cost for an electric attic exhaust fan typically falls between $100 to $450.

Passive

Passive attic exhaust fans are the least expensive option for a few different reasons. First, they’re not powered, so they only run when there is adequate airflow between the vent and attic rather than using power to operate more frequently. They also can’t be linked to a thermostat or humidistat.

While using a passive fan won’t increase a homeowner’s utility bill, there may be a greater chance that it won’t keep the attic at an ideal temperature and humidity level. Passive attic ventilation fans cost between $75 and $100, and they come with lower labor costs since electrical work isn’t required.

Roof Turbine

Roof turbines are an energy-efficient option that are similar to passive exhaust fans since they’re not connected to a power source. Roof turbines sit atop the roof and draw hot air out of the attic, replacing it with cooler air pulled in by the natural air exchange. This type of attic exhaust fan costs between $100 and $150. While it’s an effective option, it also comes with more potential issues than other types. For instance, its design is prone to letting water seep in during heavy rains, so it’s not ideal for wetter climates.

Solar

Solar exhaust fans are powered by sunlight. This is the most expensive type since the unit itself is more expensive than other types. It also has higher installation costs since there are more tasks and parts to install. However, solar-powered attic fans have fewer long-term costs than other powered fans since they use less electricity. Solar attic exhaust fans cost between $300 and $1,000. A thermostat and humidistat can also be installed along with a solar exhaust fan to help regulate the temperature and humidity.

Benefits of Installing an Attic Fan

While adequate attic ventilation likely isn’t on the top of most homeowners’ minds, it’s a beneficial improvement to consider. Attic fan benefits include decreased energy costs, reduced interior temperature, increased roof lifespan, and decreased moisture. The good part is that once an attic fan is installed, homeowners can reap the attic fan benefits without much effort or maintenance.

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Decreased Energy Costs

Hot air trapped in an attic can boost temperatures to an unlivable 120 and 150 degrees. This heat cap on a home makes the HVAC system work extra hard to keep the rest of the house cool. Installing an attic fan has the ability to drop the trapped air by 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which translates to a 5-degree temperature drop within the home and reduced wear on the central air unit. This reduction also translates to lower energy costs as the air conditioning won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.

Passive attic fans, including roof turbines, don’t use any electricity and improve the efficiency of the HVAC system, so they can provide decreased energy costs. Likewise, solar attic fans don’t use electricity, so they won’t increase utility bills as they help to keep the house cooler without extra power usage.

Reduced Interior Temperature

Lowering the interior temperature of the home with the use of an attic fan not only reduces energy costs, but it also makes the interior of the home more comfortable without costing more. A 5-degree temperature shift may not seem like much on paper, but the comfort level will be very noticeable.

Increased Roof Lifespan

The list of problems that come with excess heat, moisture, and humidity in the attic is long, including mold, mildew, rotting beams, damaged roofing, damaged insulation, and increased energy costs. Each of these issues can decrease the roof’s lifespan, leading to costly roof repairs or replacement. Adequate attic ventilation with the right type of fan helps to prevent all of these issues by facilitating airflow, which cools the space and removes the heat, moisture, and humidity that threaten the health of the roof.

Decreased Moisture

Mold and mildew love moisture, and they thrive in warm, moist areas. If an attic isn’t properly ventilated, excess heat and moisture build up and provide the perfect environment for wood rot, mold, and mildew growth. Mold and mildew are unsightly, and they can lead to serious issues for the structural integrity of the home, not to mention the health of the home’s occupants.

Over time, excess moisture can weaken the structural integrity of the trusses, beams, and roof decking. In serious cases, these elements could become so rotten and weak that they collapse, leading to a dangerous situation and costly repairs. Before it gets that far, moisture in the attic can cause other problems, such as damaging the insulation or roofing material. Attic fans help prevent moisture from accumulating in the attic, protecting it from the problems that can come with excess moisture.

Attic Fan Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

At minimum, installing an attic exhaust vent requires getting up on the roof, removing roofing materials, cutting a hole in the roof deck, installing the attic fan, and repairing the surrounding roofing. Since this requires experience working on a steep roof, DIY attic fan installation isn’t recommended unless homeowners have experience and the proper safety gear. Getting up on the roof can be dangerous, which is why hiring a local roofing contractor is the safer option.

If homeowners notice their air conditioner working overtime, increased energy bills, or unpleasant smells coming from the attic, or if they spot damaged roofing, it may be time to call in a pro. A roofing contractor can come to the home and assess the roof and the attic to determine if the attic is adequately ventilated. They can also offer suggestions for the type of attic exhaust fan that would work best for the space.

It’s also a good idea to have a roof inspector assess any damage that occurred as a result of inadequate ventilation, particularly mold and mildew issues. Homeowners can also check for other issues, such as cracks or holes that could allow rodents to take up residence or let in moisture, or rodent droppings. Depending on the condition of the attic, it may be necessary for a homeowner to calculate the cost of attic cleaning to clean, disinfect, and decontaminate the space before having anyone work in the attic.

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How to Save Money on Attic Fan Installation Cost

The cost of home improvement projects can add up quickly, and this includes attic fan installation cost. Although most of the savings are found in long-term energy efficiency, homeowners who are on a tight budget can find ways to reduce the cost of attic fan installation while still making sure there is proper ventilation..

  • Opt for a non-motorized attic fan. Homeowners looking for the lowest price up front and over time can consider a passive attic fan or a roof turbine that doesn’t use electricity and won’t raise utility bills.
  • Consider solar power for lowered energy costs. While the initial investment for this type of fan may be higher, homeowners will still experience a reduction in attic temperatures that will dramatically lower how hard the HVAC system runs.
  • Install a thermostat and humidistat. Homeowners see even more savings when they have an attic fan connected to a thermostat. In addition, a humidistat can help prevent moisture damage over time in homes located in wetter climates.
  • Obtain multiple quotes. Getting quotes from multiple roofing contractors and handymen can help homeowners find the right price and recommended type of attic fan for their home. Homeowners can search for “attic fan installation near me” to find a local contractor for an accurate quote.
  • Ask for recommendations. Homeowners can ask a roofing contractor about the proper size and type of attic vent to properly ventilate the space.
Attic Fan Installation Cost
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Questions to Ask About Attic Fan Installation

Anytime someone wants to cut a hole in your roof, you will probably have some questions for them. In this case, asking the right questions can ensure you’re not only choosing the right contractor but that you’ll also understand the process and feel more comfortable when it comes time for installation.

  • What type of attic vents do you recommend?
  • How might this particular attic fan affect my energy bills?
  • How many vents are you going to install and where?
  • How long will the project take?
  • Do I need to be home while the work is being done?
  • How much damage is in the attic?
  • Do you have any attic-cleaning companies that you recommend?
  • Who do I contact if there’s a problem with the roof vent?
  • Is there anything I can do to prepare for the project?
  • Do you provide a written quote?
  • How accurate do your quotes tend to be?
  • Will I need to hire an electrician too?
  • How much will this type of fan reduce the temperature in my attic?
  • Would a whole-house fan be a better option for me?

FAQs

Installing an attic fan can help to properly ventilate the attic by facilitating airflow and reducing the likelihood that excess moisture will damage the roof’s structure and promote mold growth. But attic vent installation requires cutting a hole in the roof, a process that often comes with concerns. The cost of installing an attic fan can also vary widely, so asking the right questions and seeking answers can help homeowners be more comfortable hiring someone to take on the project.

Q. How long does attic fan installation take?

Attic fan installation should only take a few hours. Passive attic fans will likely be installed faster than electric or solar-powered attic fans, which require installing wiring. The project can take longer if there is damage to the roof or attic or if your contractor is installing multiple attic fans and vents.

Q. Can an electrician install an attic fan?

While roofing contractors typically install attic fans, an electrician may be needed if the attic fan is electric or solar-powered. A licensed electrician can ensure the attic fan is wired correctly and that it will work properly, though they won’t actually install the attic fan on the roof.

Q. How long do attic fans last?

Passive attic fans can last 40 or 50 years. Since they don’t have a motor and are naturally powered by airflow, there are fewer parts that can wear out. Electric and solar-powered attic fans, however, may only last between 10 and 15 years before they need to be replaced.

Q. Are attic fans loud?

Attic fans shouldn’t be excessively loud, but there’s a possibility that residents may hear them. If the fan is unusually loud while it runs, then it’s possible that the fan wasn’t installed correctly or has shifted position. Other reasons for attic fan noise include the fan not getting enough airflow to rotate properly, or the fan may be old and need to be replaced. In either case, homeowners will want to have the fan inspected by a pro.

Q. Can you install an attic fan in an existing roof vent?

In some cases, you can install an attic fan in an existing roof vent. Using the existing hole saves time and money, but a qualified roofing contractor should make the assessment first. If it is usable and the attic fan is the same size as the old vent, installation is easier and faster.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, The Home Depot, Haas & Sons