How Much Does It Cost to Install an Attic Fan?

Average range: $225 - $850
Low
$75
Average Cost
$450
High
$1,500
(Installation of a gable mounted electric fan and thermostat)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install an Attic Fan?

Average range: $225 - $850
Low
$75
Average Cost
$450
High
$1,500
(Installation of a gable mounted electric fan and thermostat)

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Reviewed by Irene Pomares. Written by Fixr.com.

Attic fans are a necessary part of every home. Heat rises and collects in the attic space. During the summer months, excessive heat increases your home’s energy bills. Humidity collects in the space leading to mold growth and wood rot. An attic fan placed in different parts of the attic or roof can effectively circulate air through the space, removing heat and moisture and preserving your roof’s lifespan. Many different types of attic fans are available in different sizes to accommodate various home needs, which can all impact the cost associated with the project.

The national average cost to install an attic fan is between $225 and $850. Most people pay an average of $450 to install a gable mounted electric vent in an attic with a thermostat. The cost to install a gable-mounted passive vent is about $75. At the high end, you can pay up to $1,500 to install a roof-mounted solar-powered fan with a thermostat and humidistat.

Attic Fan Prices

Attic Fan Installation Cost
National average cost$450
Average range$225-$850
Minimum cost$75
Maximum cost$1,500


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Attic Fan Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$75
Installation of a gable mounted passive fan
Average Cost
$450
Installation of a gable mounted electric fan and thermostat
High
$1,500
Installation of a roof-mounted solar-powered fan with thermostat and humidistat

Attic Fan Installation Cost by Type

The cost to install attic fans varies by type and ranges from $75 to $1,000. There are five types of attic fans: passive, turbine, exhaust, electric, solar, and dual powered. Each one of the fans requires different installation considerations, which can impact the cost. For example, installing an electric fan is more expensive because of the need for a carpenter and an electrician. Also, they are installed in various areas of the home’s roof or gables which can also impact the installation cost.


Cost to Install a Passive, Turbine, Exhaust, Electric, Solar, and Dual Powered Attic Fan

Cost to Install a Passive, Turbine, Exhaust, Electric, Solar, and Dual Powered Attic Fan


Attic Fan TypeAverage Cost (Installed)
Passive Fan$75 - $100
Roof Turbine$100 - $150
Exhaust Fan$100 - $450
Electric Exhaust Fan$100 - $450
Solar Fan$300 - $1,000
Dual Powered Fan$300 - $1,000


Passive Attic Fan

A passive attic fan is an affordable way to cool your attic space, with the average fan costing $75 to $100. The fan expels not only heat but also moisture from the home’s attic space. The device helps with natural airflow and works without electricity, so it is very affordable. Most people have a passive attic fan installed when they have their roof reshingled, but you can also hire a carpenter or roofer to cut a hole and install the fan. It can be fitted in the gable end of the roofline. A passive attic fan is an affordable and energy-efficient option that functions even during a power outage. However, it cannot be hooked up to a thermostat, so there is no way to control its function.

Roof Turbine Installation Cost

A roof turbine costs $100 to $150 installed. Usually, you will have a roof turbine installed at the time you have your home re-roofed. Many homeowners opt to have old turbines replaced when they fail to spin. A roof turbine does not require electricity to function and depends on the hot air pushing up to spin. The wind turbine exhaust has been used for centuries. It is highly energy-efficient. However, during severe storms, it can allow rain to enter the attic space. It cannot be controlled with a thermostat.

Attic Exhaust Fan Installation Cost

An attic exhaust fan averages $100 to $450 installed. This passive fan requires no electricity to function; however, you can buy electric models. Homeowners typically have the attic exhaust fan installed when they have their home reshingled, but they can be installed at any time. It can be installed in the ridgeline of the roof or the gable end. A passive attic exhaust fan is energy efficient and does not depend on electricity to operate.

Electric Attic Fan Installation

An electric attic fan ranges in price from $100 to $450, including the labor and fan. It is controlled with a thermostat. You program the thermostat to trigger the electric fan to come on at a certain temperature. It can be installed roof mounted or gable mounted. An electric attic fan comes on when needed and can be easily attached to a humidistat. However, it will not function during a power outage.

Solar Attic Fan Installation

A solar attic fan costs from $300 to $1,000 for the fan and installation. Since the fan depends on the power of the sun, it is highly energy efficient. They are mounted on the roof to utilize the sun’s power on the panels, so they cannot be installed in the home’s gable end. The installation costs are higher than the cost to install other types of attic fans, but the savings in electricity compensate in the long run.

Dual Powered Fan

A dual powered attic fan costs $300 to $1,000 installed. A dual powered fan relies on the sun when available but uses electricity on cloudy days or hot nights to function. You need the services of a qualified electrician to install such a fan type. The solar fan must be installed on the roof or ridge line so the solar panels can absorb the sunlight. It cannot be installed in the gable end of the home.


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Cost to Install Attic Fan by Location

The cost to install attic fans ranges from $75 to $1,000, depending on location and type. Three locations can be used for fan installations: roof, ridgeline, and gable. Depending on the location, the installation can be easier and cheaper or more complicated, requiring more materials and labor. Gable is the easiest installation. Ridge vent and roof mounted installations are more complicated and costlier. Typically, roof and ridge vent fans installations go right through the roof and are installed when you have your roof reshingled to create a good seal. All are available in various types.


Cost to Install an Attic Fan on the Gable, Roof or Ridge Vent

Cost to Install an Attic Fan on the Gable, Roof or Ridge Vent


Fan LocationAverage Cost (Installed)
Gable$75 - $450
Roof$300 - $1,000
Ridge Vent$300 - $1,000


Gable Attic Fan Installation

The price of a gable mounted fan, including installation, ranges from $75 to $450. An attic wall fan that is passive provides a low-cost option. The more expensive wall-mount attic fans that rely on electricity to operate cost more. However, they consistently and reliably move air and humidity. A gable fan can be installed at any time. Gable fans are installed in a vent in the triangular area of the wall that sits between the edges of the two roof pitches, this area is referred to as a home’s gable.

Roof Mount Attic Fan

A roof mount attic fan ranges from $300 to $1,000 to purchase and install. Gable and roof mount attic fans both work to keep your attic cool. When comparing gable and roof mount attic fans, roof mount fans are typically more efficient at pulling heat and humidity out of the space. Typically, at the time of a re-roof, many homeowners with a roof mount attic fan replace it with a newer model. A roof mount attic fan is usually installed near the peak of the roof in the middle of the attic area.

Ridge Vent Fan

The cost to install a ridge vent fan ranges from $300 to $1,000 for the fan and installation. Ridge vent fans are typically installed during a reshingle when the ridge vent is cut into the home’s roof. The shingles can then be installed around the opening. Typically, if you have a ridge vent, a fan is not installed because the ridge vent functions to circulate air. However, in areas with high humidity, a ridge fan is a good option.

Average Labor Cost to Install Attic Fan

The average cost to install an attic fan goes from $225 to $850, depending on the fan and the labor needed for installation. If the installation involves any part of the roof, a roofer would be needed and can charge around $75 per hour to install the fan. However, when installing an electric, solar, or dual powered fan, an electrician will be needed and will charge from $40 to $120 per hour to wire the fan and thermostat. You should count on at least two hours of work to install the fan and at least one hour to wire it properly. The average cost of installing an attic fan is between $155 and $315 and between $70 and $535 for materials.

Whether installing a passive, gable-mounted attic fan or a dual powered solar attic fan, it requires cutting through the roof deck or attic wall. Both systems also require roof access for installation. Most professionals perform a roof inspection before providing you with a quote. If the condition of the roof or attic is dangerous, then the price could be higher, and the job could take longer to complete. When figuring out the final cost of installing an attic fan, you might need to factor in additional materials such as the cost of shingles if you install a roof mounted or ridge vent attic fan. If you install a gable attic fan, then you might need new siding. Also, caulk is needed to seal up around the edges of the attic and vent fan.


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Attic Fan Sizes

You’ll want to determine the size of your attic and your home’s square footage to pick a fan size for your home. A dark and steep roof requires 15 percent more CFM (cubic feet per minute) than a home that does not have an overly pitched roof. To figure your attic fan size, you take the square footage of the attic and multiply it by 0.7. You will then take the number and multiply it by 1/2 or a steep roof or 1/15 for a dark roof. The final number is the attic CFM that is needed for the space. Below is a table that outlines the attic size and the recommended CFM.


Recommended Attic Fan CFM Airflow for a 1,000 Sq.Ft., 2,000 Sq.Ft., and 3,000 Sq.Ft. Attic

Recommended Attic Fan CFM Airflow for a 1,000 Sq.Ft., 2,000 Sq.Ft., and 3,000 Sq.Ft. Attic


Attic SizeRecommended Airflow
1,000 sq.ft.700 CFM
2,000 sq.ft.1,400 CFM
3,000 sq.ft.2,100 CFM


Attic Fan Pros and Cons

All attic fans have their pros and cons. The biggest pro to any attic fan is that it can rapidly cool the attic, so your home’s HVAC system does not work so hard, and your energy costs plummet, especially during warm weather. Proper ventilation from a fan keeps your roof in shape by removing moisture from the space so the roof does not rot, and the shingles do not prematurely age by shrinking, curling, or splitting. All attic fans can stop unwanted mold growth in the space. In some cases, the attic fan might not be sufficient ventilation for the space. Attic fans require maintenance, and some units are noisy. Some types require power to function, which would cause an increase in your monthly energy bill.

Attic Fan Maintenance

An attic fan requires no annual maintenance to operate. Some attic fans need oil applied to the ports every few years to keep the motor lubricated and prevent the fan from becoming noisy during operation. You might also want to clean the fan shutters that regularly open and wash the fan blade to make sure the device continues to work properly. However, cleaning is only required every few years.


Turbine Attic Fan Installed on a Red Metal Roof


Whole House Fan vs Attic Fan

Both whole-house fans and attic fans are installed in your attic, but some major differences may be noted between the two types of fans. First the price, attic fans cost on average $225 to $850, while whole house fans cost $580 to $1,270. Whole house fans are larger and cost more to operate. A whole house fan’s job is to cool your entire house by exchanging warm indoor air for cooler outdoor air. An attic fan’s job is to keep air circulating through the space while removing heat and humidity, so it does not become superheated. When comparing an attic fan vs a whole house fan, remember that an attic fan draws only about 300 watts of power, but a whole house fan draws 200 to 700. Depending on the size of the fan you install, a whole house fan could cost you more each month on your home’s energy bill.


Attic Fan vs Whole House Fan Installation Cost

Attic Fan vs Whole House Fan Installation Cost


TypeCost per Unit (Installed)
Attic Fan$225 - $850
Whole House Fan$580 - $1,270


Attic Fan vs AC

An attic fan is designed to keep the home’s attic or crawlspace cool. Releasing heat from the attic space lowers the temperature in the home, but an attic fan does not cool a house the way an AC controls the home’s living space temperature. They also differ in price, with attic fans having an average cost of $225 to $850 and AC costing $2,000 to $9,000. They both serve two very different purposes. However, it is beneficial to have both an attic fan and air conditioning unit in your home to work together to cool the home. The attic fan relieves some heat, so the AC does not work as hard, and your energy use is reduced.


Attic Fan vs Air Conditioner Installation Cost

Attic Fan vs Air Conditioner Installation Cost


TypeCost per Unit (Installed)
Attic Fan$225 - $850
Air Conditioning$2,000 - $9,000


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Automatic Shutter Price

Automatic shutters cost an additional $50 to $80 when you have your attic fan installed. The design of automatic shutters allows the device to open and shut by itself any time the fan is running or not. They offer better ventilation for the home’s attic while effectively releasing the heat and bringing in cool air. The opening and closing of the automatic shutters keep small rodents and bats from entering your home’s attic space.

Roof Fan Cap

A roof fan cap averages $50, and it is placed over the roof vent or attic fan. The roof fan cap serves multiple purposes, such as keeping rain and debris out of your attic. It acts as a barrier to block rodents, bats, and other unwanted pests from entering your home’s attic space. In addition, the roof fan cap provides a more complete look when installed over the attic fan to create a sleek, finished appearance on the roof.

Cost to Install Attic Insulation

The average cost to have attic insulation installed ranges from $1,700 to $2,000 for blown-in cellulose. Insulation in an attic space helps to prevent heat loss during the winter and keep the space cool during the summer. The use of attic insulation partners nicely with the functions of an attic fan. You can easily have attic insulation installed at the same time that you have an attic fan installed.

Attic Fan Humidistat

Installing an attic fan humidistat averages from $50 to $100. The humidistat works in much the same way that a thermostat functions, but it is used to measure the humidity levels within your attic instead of the temperature as a thermostat does. If you live in a humid location or your attic has moisture and mold problems, then a humidistat gives you better control over the moisture levels within your attic space.

Attic Fan Thermostat

An attic fan thermostat costs about $150 to $400 to install. It helps you keep track of your attic temperature so you know if the fan should be working or there is a problem. The attic fan thermostat functions in much the same way as a regular thermostat. You can purchase a wide assortment of styles such as manual or programmable. Some of the thermostats are easily controlled with your smartphone and an app.

Roof Vent Price

The average cost to install a roof vent is $475. A roof vent and attic fan are often installed to work efficiently together to pull the heat and humidity from the attic and create cooling airflow within the space. A roof vent helps prevent condensation, which can occur as a result of a lack of ventilation. If the temperature within your attic fluctuates, then a roof vent prevents moisture from settling, and an attic vent further helps create the necessary airflow in the space.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Ridge cap shingles. Installing a roof-mounted vent for your attic always requires the addition of ridge cap shingles which are installed directly over it. The shingles offer protection from the elements, keep water from getting into the ridge cap, and provide a finished look.
  • Negative pressurization. If there is a higher air flow, you’ll need to make sure you have a larger amount of return air so you can avoid creating any negative pressurization in your attic.
  • Attic fan constantly running. If your thermostat is set too low, your attic fan might continue running without shutting off. You should check the attic fan’s thermostat setting and try turning it up to make sure the fan shuts off. If the thermostat is set high, try shutting off the attic fan with the switch. If it does not shut off, then there could be a problem with the unit's switch.
  • Noisy attic fan. Typically, attic fans require very little maintenance, but every few years, they need to be oiled and cleaned. If your attic fan makes noise, you’ll want to maintain the fan by cleaning and oiling the mechanisms to stop the excessive noise. If the fan still makes noise after the maintenance, you might want to consider a replacement.
  • Estimates. You should always get additional estimates from carpenters, roofers, and electricians. The estimates give you an idea of how much the services cost in your area. Also, you will learn the different options available with each company so you can pick a reputable installer.
  • DIY. Some people install a passive attic fan as a DIY project. However, it is better to have a skilled carpenter or roofer install an attic fan because you will be cutting a hole into your home’s gable or roof line. The area needs to be patched with plywood, shingles, and caulking to ensure that it does not leak. Installing an electric or solar powered fan requires the skills of an electrician.
  • Licensed professionals. You will need to make sure that all professionals, such as a carpenter, roofer, or electrician, are licensed and bonded in your area before having them work on your home’s attic fan. Installing an attic fan takes the skills of a professional. You’ll need to make sure the professionals are licensed to carry out the task at hand.
  • Warranty. Many attic fans, such as electric powered models and solar powered attic fans, come with a warranty ranging from one year to five years. Some cover manufacturer defects, and others also cover the cost of parts. You’ll want to take the time to read the warranty’s fine print to determine exactly what is covered.

FAQs

  • Do attic fans really help?

Yes, they help preserve your roof, remove moisture from the attic, and prevent ice dams from forming.

  • How much does it cost to install an attic fan?

It ranges from $225 to 850 to buy and install an attic fan, depending on the type installed and the location.

  • Do electricians install attic fans?

Electricians typically only complete the wiring of an attic fan. The installation is done by a roofer or a carpenter.

  • Where should attic fans be placed?

Ideally, your attic should have a passive ridge vent fan in your roof, and an attic fan in your wall or attic gable

  • When should you use an attic fan?

Attic fans should be used year-round to remove excess heat from the attic. This helps prevent ice dams in winter and an overheated attic in summer.

  • How long should an attic fan last?

A passive fan should last 40 to 50 years, while an electric attic fan should last at least 10 to 15 years.

  • Can you run an attic fan with the AC on?

Yes, your attic fan moves moisture out of your attic and prevents heat from entering the rest of your home, which means your AC won’t have to work as hard.

  • Does an attic fan need its own circuit?

This depends on many factors, including the size of the fan. Consult your electrician to find out.

  • Do attic fans save money?

This depends on the type of fan and what you hope to get from the installation. Electric fans can be costly to run but can extend the life of your roof. Passive and solar fans cost nothing to run.

  • Do you run an attic fan in the winter?

Yes, this prevents the formation of ice dams on the edge of your roof and prevents moisture build-up that can lead to mold or mildew growth.

  • Do attic fans use a lot of electricity?

This depends on the size of the fan, but yes, some larger fans that use electricity can use quite a bit and may raise your electricity costs.

  • Can you run an attic fan all day?

Yes, you should run the fan continuously to help remove heat and moisture from the attic.

Cost to install an attic fan varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Solar Powered Roof-Mounted Attic Fans on a House
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Cost to install an attic fan varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources