An attic fan is a great way to keep your home cooled off during the hot summer months. The attic fan works by removing the superheated air from your attic so the air in your entire home can circulate and cool down. After the attic fan has been in use for some time, it may develop problems. Knowing how to troubleshoot common problems that could befall your fan will help you make simple repairs yourself and avoid hiring a repairman.
Check All Electrical Connections
Before you tear apart the fan, check the electrical connections. Look at the circuit breaker to make sure it is not tripped. If it automatically trips again after resetting it, you may have a short in the wires along the circuit.
Also, check the wire connections at the fan, at an electrical junction, or at an outlet box. If the attic fan is plugged into an outlet, use a voltmeter to make sure that the outlet is working. You may need to replace a circuit breaker, an electrical outlet, or one of the wire connections.
Fan Motor Runs but Not the Blades
If the motor is working, but the fan blades are not moving, the problem may be the belt. Remove the outer casing of the attic fan and check to see if the belt is sagging, cracked, worn, or broken. If there is any damage to the belt, replace it with a new one.
Little or No Airflow
When running at a high speed setting, does the attic fan run hard or sluggishly? If it is running very sluggishly or not producing a lot of air in the high speed setting, you may have a problem with the exhaust or intake. Check the intake for any debris. Also, make sure the exhaust of the attic fan is high and near the roof.
Annoying Humming Noise
An attic fan with a few blades may pick up a humming noise as it runs on a high speed setting. The only way to get rid of this hum is to continually operate the fan on a low setting or replace the fan with a newer one with more blades.
Fan Shudders and Rattles
One of the problems that many people have with their attic fan is that it shakes and rattles. This is because it is not getting enough air. If you have a closed-off attic, install a window, or open one on the other end. This will create a nice airflow and allow more air into the fan itself. Make sure the window is at least 30 feet away from the fan, though.
Burning Smell from Fan
If the fan emits a burning smell from the exhaust, there is a problem with the motor. Remove the motor and replace it. If the smell still remains, the belt could be slipping, or the gears that turn the blade shaft could need some grease.
Attic Ventilation: Installing a Ridge Vent
What You'll Need
Ridge vent Steel tape measure Utility knife Reciprocating saw Pencil Screws Ladder Hammer Chalk line Safety goggles Circular saw Roofing nails or staples
When temperatures are high during the summer, hot air accumulates in the attic. Something else that works its way up there is moisture generated by the home. When such moisture condenses, it has a damaging effect on the construction material.
Attic ventilation serves two purposes: temperature control and moisture control. To achieve this, both intake and exhaust vents are necessary. The outlets are usually located near the ridge of the roof, while the inlets are usually located along the eaves. This article illustrates how to install the former.
Step 1—Take Precautions
Before you start the work of installing your vents, take time to ensure your safety while on the roof. Wait till the weather is calm and dry to start this job. Wear rubber-soled shoes and look out for slippery shingles or rotten decking. Always be aware of power lines and television antennas so you can avoid them.
Step 2—Install the Ridge Vent
Use a utility knife to remove the felt paper and then pull out the staples and roofing nails. Put down a chalk line in a 6-inch perimeter around the ridge and use this as a guide for your circular saw as you cut a channel out of the roof sheathing. Leave the joists alone.
Step 3—Finish the Job
Now, using staples or roofing nails, fix whatever permeable material you are using as your ridge vent over this channel. After that, cover the vent with a cap. This could be either a metal piece or special shingles designed to leave the airflow from the vent unobstructed.