Attic Fan Installation Cost: 2022 Average Rates
Depending on where you live, your attic can reach temperatures upwards of 150 degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days. In fact, heat in the attic accounts for roughly 20 percent of cooling costs for the average homeowner. Installing an attic fan is an excellent way to cool down the space, regulate temperatures, protect your home from damage, and guarantee adequate ventilation.
The average attic fan installation cost is $550, and that includes the fan, materials, and labor. Homeowners spend an average of $240 for a new attic fan, and carpenters charge $70 per hour for installation. It costs another $75 per hour in labor to hire an electrician to wire and install your attic fan.
Generally speaking, the cost to install an attic fan depends on the model, type, and size of the fan, how complex the installation is going to be, where the fan is going to be installed, local labor costs, and additional materials. With that said, let’s take a look at all the individual considerations involved in attic installation; that way, you can have a better picture in terms of the overall cost.
Why Install an Attic Fan?
Before we take a look at the cost of an attic fan installation, it’s important to understand the advantages of having one installed in the first place. Attic fans operate by filtering in cooler air from the exterior of your home and pushing warm air in your attic outside. As a result, they come with a number of benefits, including:
- Increased lifespan of your roof. Attic fans prevent build-up of heat and moisture from resulting in structural damage to your roof. Not to mention, roof shingle warranties typically require that the roof has appropriate attic ventilation.
- Lower cooling costs. An attic fan will save you money on air conditioning, while also improving energy efficiency in your home during the summer months. By cooling down your stifling attic with an attic fan, your air conditioning does not have to work as hard.
- Improved ventilation. Attic fans work great at removing undesirable odors and gases from your attic space.
- Reduced moisture. Attic fans help inhibit condensation in your attic, which is the direct cause of mold, mildew, rot, and damage. They will also protect your stored items from being affected by moisture damage.
- Ice dam prevention. When your attic does not have proper ventilation, the heat from your attic can melt snow collecting on your roof. This results in water flowing underneath the roof and freezing. Over time, the ice accumulates and doesn’t allow additional snowmelt from draining. This issue can lead to a host of problems such as leaky ceilings, walls, and roof.
Overview of Attic Fan Installation Costs
Depending on the type of unit you choose, its location, the conditions in your attic, and any additional add-ons, you could spend as little as $200 or as much as $1,200 on your attic fan installation. However, most homeowners can expect to spend between $300 and $800 to have an attic fan installed. The process first involves choosing the type of attic fan you want, whether it be a roof-mounted model, gable-mounted model, or solar-powered.
The unit that you choose, as well as the conditions in your home, will determine whether or not the project requires the expertise of more than one professional. With that said, the following are all the factors included in the final cost of your attic fan installation.
Attic Fan Costs
Generally speaking, attic fans can be broken down into two main types based on how they are installed: wall-mounted or roof-mounted. Additionally, some attic fans operate using your home’s electrical supply, while others run on solar power. The cost of an attic fan ranges from as low as $80 to $400 or more, and which one you choose will impact the price of the install.
Mounting Type (Location)
There are two basic types of attic fans: roof-mounted and wall-mounted models. The wall-mounted (or gable-mounted) variety tend to be a bit easier to install since they don’t require any removal of roofing material. In fact, sometimes they can be installed in place of an existing wall vent. Some additional benefits to wall-mounted attic fans include:
- Easier to install when existing gable vent is present
- Comes in larger sizes, offering more cooling capacity for larger spaces
- Leaks are less likely to occur
Roof-mounted fans, on the other hand, necessitate a hole being cut through both the roof and the shingles in order to install the fan. The fan is mounted on either a plastic or sheet metal base and your contractor will shingle around the fan. Below are the estimated costs for attic fans based on their mounting type. Keep in mind that the price will vary based on factors such as airflow (cfm) and size.
|Attic Fan Mounting Type||Price Range|
|Wall-Mounted Unit||$75 to $300|
|Roof-Mounted Unit||$75 to $400, or more|
Electric vs. Solar
All attic fans require some type of power source. Most of them are electrically powered using your home’s electrical supply, which requires the assistance of a licensed electrician. However, there are other models that run on solar power instead. Although solar-powered attic fans tend to have a higher upfront cost, they cost virtually nothing to operate and don’t require electrical wiring.
Therefore, it is usually less expensive to install a solar-powered attic fan than an electric-powered one. Not to mention, you may qualify for a federal tax credit if you opt for a star-rated solar unit. Here’s a cost breakdown for attic fan models based on how they are powered:
|Attic Fan Power Source||Price Range|
|Electric-Powered Unit||$100 to $300|
|Solar-Powered Unit||$200 to $500, or more|
Additional Materials Costs
Aside from the actual fan, you’re also going to need some additional materials for a successful install. These materials include things like plywood, caulking, siding, vents, and various electrical components. None of these items will break the bank, but they are worth factoring into the final cost of your attic fan installation:
|Siding||Up to $100 (dependent on the size of the hole)|
|Shingles||$100 a square foot|
|Caulking||Roughly $4 to seal the fan|
|Wall-Mounted Vents||$10 to $60|
Installation Factors and Prices
Depending on the attic fan model, the project may require the assistance of more than one contractor. If you opt for a roof-mounted unit, you should hire a roofing professional. You can expect to spend between $45 and $75 an hour for a licensed, experienced roofer. As the process will take roughly two hours to complete, the total labor cost to install a roof-mounted unit is $90 to $150.
For wall-mounted units with an existing vent, you can hire a carpenter for the job. Carpenters charge an average of $70 per hour. With the work taking around two hours, the total labor cost to install a wall-mounted attic fan is roughly $140. If you choose an electric attic fan, you’ll also need to hire an electrician to connect it to your home’s power supply. In this case, the wiring will take about an hour at an average rate of $65 to $85 an hour.
For convenience, all of these costs are reflected in the table below:
|Type of Contractor||Job Needed||Hourly Rate|
|Roofer||Install of roof-mounted units||$45 to $75|
|Carpenter||Install of wall-mounted units||$70|
|Electrician||Wiring for electric units||$65 to $85|
Thermostats and Humidistats
Most attic fans will come equipped with a thermostat, which controls when the fan turns on. These types of units typically run between $100 to $300, with installation costing around $100. Attic fan models that do not have a thermostat are much cheaper – between $80 and $100. However, installing a separate thermostat/humidistat controller is well worth the investment. You can expect to spend around $40 to $50 on the controller.
Higher-end attic fan models typically feature a humidistat as well. These models are designed to control excess humidity, which reduces the risk of peeling paint, decaying shingles, warping beams and floorboards, and mold and mildew.
Your attic environment can also play a role in the cost of your attic fan installation. For example, if the attic is difficult for your contractor to access, this may drive up labor costs. To help reduce the cost, it’s highly recommended that you clear out some of the items in your attic space. That way, your contractor has an easier time maneuvering.
Another potential scenario that could increase the price of install is if the attic floorboards have moisture damage. This can make it hazardous to walk around, which means your professional will need to be extra careful. As a result, the project may take longer and could be more expensive.
Quick Tip: Regardless of the type of attic fan you choose, it will require attic access in order to install. In most cases, your professional will perform an initial inspection before they give you a quote for the work. During this time, make sure you speak with your service providers about potential safety hazards or accessibility concerns to avoid extra fees.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
If you’re trying to save as much money as possible on your attic fan installation, you may be wondering whether or not you can handle it yourself. In most scenarios, installing a passive, wall-mounted vent can be done as a DIY project. However, if you plan to mount anything on your roof or you’re installing a solar- or electric-powered fan, you should seek out the expertise of a professional carpenter, roofer, and/or electrician.
Wrapping It Up
Installing a brand-new electric-powered attic fan in a home will usually cost between $300 and $800, including the fan, labor, and thermostat. Of course, this price will vary based on the specific model, how complex the install is, and labor rates in your area. Regardless, installing an attic fan is highly beneficial for ventilation, reducing moisture, extending the lifespan of your roof, and lowering your energy bills.
Since the actual cost to install an attic fan varies based on a number of factors, it’s recommended that you speak with at least three professionals. That way, you can find someone that you trust, someone who understands your individual needs, and someone who’s going to give you the best rate for their services.
What is a whole house fan?
Whole house fans are typically installed on either your roof or in your attic. They operate by pulling air into your home through open windows and venting it out through your attic. These units serve as a great addition to your home’s cooling approach, by moving cool air in and hot air out.
Should I install an attic fan or a whole house fan?
Although both are installed in your attic, there are key differences between attic fans and whole-house fans. While an attic fan’s job is to keep air circulating through your attic space, removing humidity and heat, a whole house fan works to cool your whole home by exchanging the warm indoor air with cool outside air.Whole house fans tend to be more expensive, both to purchase and to operate. More cost-effective models are often noisy, while quieter models require several in order to be effective which drives up the overall cost. In other words, a whole house fan works great in combination with your air conditioning but you do not want to run one during the winter months. Attic fans, on the other hand, can be operated year-round.
How much does it cost to install a whole house fan?
Like attic fans, there are a number of factors that influence the cost of installing a whole house fan. Some of these include the size of your home, the number of vents required, and the efficiency of the unit you choose. With that said, you can expect to spend an average of between $580 and $1,270 to install a whole house fan in your home.Most homeowners typically spend around $750 to install a 24-inch whole house fan with an average noise rating and two-speed options. Although, you could spend as little as $450 or as much as $3,000 depending on the specific whole house fan model.
Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
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