According to research, for instance, in the state of Texas, for an attic without proper cooling, the temperatures can get as high as 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (49-60 degrees Celsius) (Source). The high heat from the attic will not only damage your stored items but also affect the integrity of your roofing in the long run and cause uncontrolled temperatures in your home. One of the best ways to avoid all these problems, keep your home temperatures controlled, keep your stored items intact, and the roof strong would be to get the best ventilation system for your attic.
Getting an attic fan may seem like your only solution to keeping the temperatures up there regulated. Unfortunately, some attic fans make noise becoming yet another biggest nightmare for any homeowner. That’s the reason why you should only invest in the quietest attic fan to ensure that the attic is properly cooled while you get your deserved peace of mind at home.
What is an Attic Fan and How Does it Work?
An attic fan is simply a fan installed in the attic to help keep the temperatures of the attic storage in control during the summer or for those living in warm climates all year round. The unit works by drawing hot, humid air out of the attic and pushing it outside, providing much-needed ventilation.
The basic principle of an attic fan is that it draws in air from the outdoors through the soffit vents installed in the eaves while releasing hot air from the attic through the attached dormers. This way, it replaces the stale hot air with fresh air, cooling the attic and the rooms below.
Quietest Attic Fan Buyer Guide: Important Factors to Consider
There are several factors that you should consider before investing in attic fans. Below are the most important ones to ensure that you get the quietest attic fan that meets your specific requirements.
Attic Space and Air Volume
Air volume is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and it’s often a factor used to measure the power of any given fan. The higher the CFM, the more powerful the fan is, which means that more air will be drawn out. However, this doesn’t mean that you should get the highest CFM possible; the more the CFM, the more the energy costs, so it’s important to get an attic fan that matches the size of the attic space.
Here’s what you should do- take your attic measurements in terms of length, width, and height.
The fan should be able to clear the hot air within 15 minutes, and so the attic fan you get should be able to pull all the air from the attic within this given timeframe. Getting a very powerful fan will result in higher energy bills and pull conditioned air from the rest of the home.
On the other hand, a fan that isn’t powerful enough won’t do the job well and thus have very minimal effects on the heat in the attic space.
Attic Air Flow
Ensure that you inspect the attic to determine how well it’s sealed off from the entire house below. Inspect the attic windows, doors, hatches, and all the gaps exposed to the rest of the house.
If it’s not well sealed, make sure that you involve a professional to seal it for you. A not-so-well sealed attic will only result in poor results after installing the attic fan. The fan will put air-conditioned air from the rooms below, increasing heating and cooling costs.
Sealing the attic will allow the fan to work optimally. Additionally, this will also help prevent ice dams during the winter as the fan will effectively remove hot air from the attic and replace it with cold air from the outside.
The material design for the attic fan you choose should be of high quality, durable, and capable of withstanding harsh environments. You’ll probably not service the unit for months or years until when it’s broken down or wears off and needs a replacement. Some attic fans are made using plastic material capable of resisting moisture but highly vulnerable to extremely low and high temperatures.
Because of this vulnerability, most modern fans are made of painted or galvanized steel that can withstand scorching and cold climates as long as the protective layer on the steel isn’t damaged.
Noise Levels and Ease of Usage
While attic fans are a lifesaver, they can be too annoying due to the humming noises they make. Luckily, a quiet fan will keep the temperatures in the attic cool without making loud sounds.
The ease of use is also another important factor you should consider. You want something that you will install and forget that it was ever installed-something that can run automated. You don’t need something that you will need to keep switching on/off manually every now and then.
Types of Attic Fans
There are three types of attic ventilation systems, and they include:
- Solar and Electric Attic Fans
- Non-Mechanical Attic Ventilation
- Whole House Fans Systems
Solar/Electric Attic Fans Solar power attic fans, also known as roof vents, significantly help circulate airflow in the attic but are not as powerful as electric ones. The most common electric/solar attic fans are gable end and rooftop attic fans. Electric counterparts are more powerful and cost-efficient, while the solar models are costly but leverage free green power. Regardless of the fan you choose, it must have a thermostat and a firestat to shut off automatically in case of fire.
Non-Mechanical Attic Ventilation System– aka gable vents were commonly found in an older home- pre-1980’s. These are pretty efficient in keeping the highest airspace in the attic cooler, but in areas with no air movement, these units can cause hot spots.
Whole House Fans– these are often mounted at the highest point in the ceiling and often pull hot and moist air from the house into the attic space. The attic should be adequately ventilated to disperse the hot air into the outside environment, or else the humid air is drawn in can encourage the growth of mold and other bacteria.
Top 9 Quietest Attic Fans
QuietCool 40W Solar Powered Attic Fan
- Made of alloy steel for durability
- 15-year warranty
- Preset thermostat
This unit is powered by a 40-watt solar but can also be plugged to the electrical outlet in your home. As its name suggests, it is both quiet and highly energy-efficient since it runs on two power sources. Depending on the type of house you have, you can pick either the gable mount or the roof mount. The unit is made of alloy steel, which guarantees years of survival even when exposed to extreme heat and cold.
The included AC/DC converter is handy, especially during nighttime operation, while the solar unit helps operate the unit during the daytime, significantly cutting down energy costs.
The unit is equipped with a quiet ultra-energy-efficient DC motor with a heavy-duty steel housing that protects the motor and keeps it running for a long.
The Downside: A user complained that their unit was loud and produced vibrations. This could be due to poor installation and location selection.
Broan 356BK1600 CFM Roof Mount Powered Attic Ventilator
- Ideal for spaces up to 2285 sq. ft. at 1600 CFM
- 4 blade steel fans
- Include insect screen
This is a room-mounted attic ventilator with a durable PVC dome that provides protection from the ultraviolet sun rays. It also features a 23-gauge metal flashing to allow for hot tar application, nailing, and mesh bird screen. The fan boasts a 14” steel blade that provides maximum air movement. For automatic operation, the unit is fitted with an adjustable built-in thermostat- simply install and forget that you ever had one in the first place.
With a CFM of 1600, this unit will guarantee cooling for space up to 2285 square feet of attic space. You only need to make a hole on the roof with a diameter of 14-3/8″ to get efficient ventilation. Lastly, you get a 1-year limited warranty upon purchase of this product.
The Good: Some users have complimented how this unit is super quiet and significantly helps reduce energy costs saving homeowners money.
The Bad: few folks complained that the unit doesn’t last more than 2 years, and they end up spending more than the original cost on repairs.
Remington 40-Watt Solar Attic Fan
- 15-year warranty on the fan
- 2-year warranty on the 110v adapter
- Brushless motor
- Includes humidistat and thermostat
Like most of the attic fans included in this guide, the Remington 40-watt fan runs on solar energy during the day and includes an adapter that allows you to connect to a power outlet for operation during the night. It’s equipped with a brushless motor that makes the fan resistant to the harsh environment, extending its lifetime and making the fan as quieter as possible.
Additionally, the unit is equipped with a thermostat and a humidistat to automatically switch on/off and change the airflow based on the attic conditions. This Texas Windstorm Certified attic fan can ventilate attic spaces up to 3400 square feet. Besides the 15-year warranty, the manufacturer gives a 30-day trial/ satisfaction guarantee upon which you can simply return the product if not satisfied.
The Good: The fan is super quiet and doesn’t generate noise. The installation process is quite easy and instantly switches between solar and electricity. Lastly, there’s a detailed guide on installing the unit- making it great for DIY installers.
The Downside: I’ve come across two users claiming that the unit doesn’t deliver the CFM indicated by the manufacturer. One user claimed that the unit doesn’t exceed 500cfm even when the manufacturer rates the unit at 2450CFM. Thorough testing needs to be done to verify this statement, though.
Another user claimed that this unit doesn’t include the earthing cable, which can be dangerous as it’s an electrical appliance that’s often exposed to outdoor weather, including snow and rainfall.
iLiving ILG8SF12V – 12″ Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan
- Automatic shutters
- Adjustable fan speed
The iLiving ILG8SF12V is a quiet multipurpose fan that can be used in other places around your home, including the garage, shed, bathroom, and kitchen, for improved ventilation. Because it’s a multipurpose fan, it’s equipped with a fully enclosed, corrosion-resistant, and thermally protected, and permanently lubricated motor for durability and efficiency.
It’s the first in my list to include an adjustable speed functionality– but this is only achieved with the iLIVING ILG8SFSC speed controller, which is purchased separately. Additionally, it includes a weather-resistant shutter made from durable aluminum. The shutters can withstand high heat, moisture, and cold for longer than competing products. The motor is motion balanced to help facilitate quiet operation.
The Good: The fan is compact and quite powerful. The speed controller allows you to adjust the fan speed depending on your requirements.
The Downside: some users have complained about loud buzzing noises coming from the motor, especially after installing the fan speed controller.
Cool Attic CX1500 Gable Mount Power Attic Ventilator
- Motor size 2.6A
- 1300CFM rated
- Galvanized steel construction
- Thermally protected motor
- Adjustable thermostat
The Cool Attic CX1500 is a gable mount attic ventilator made of galvanized steel construction to stand even the harshest weather condition during the summer and winter seasons.
This 1300CFM unit is suitable for 1850 square feet attic space and comes with a thermally protected motor, a 10A adjustable thermostat, and a specially designed mounting system that eliminates all vibrations associated with the attic fans guarantee a quiet operation.
The fan blades have undergone a process known as precision balancing to eliminate noise and vibrations, and heat distortion. The fan requires a 600sqft intake vent area for efficient operation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who Makes the Quietest Attic Fan?
QuietCool is one of the renowned brands that make the quietest attic fans. A perfect example is the QuietCool 40W Solar Powered Attic Fan, which is silent and highly energy efficient. However, it’s to be noted that quiet and loudness are relative and vary from one person to the other, and what is considered quiet by one person could be considered loud by the next. With the advancement in technology, manufacturers have designed units that eliminate both vibrations and noise to the minimum.
What Is the Quietest Roof Mounted Attic Fan?
The quietest roof-mounted attic fan is the Master Flow Electric Roof Vent 1500-CFM. This unit is designed for an attic up to 2088sqft, giving airflow at 1500CFM. Compared to other models in the same range, this unit uses less power and saves you on energy bills on air conditioner in the long run. However, there are other varieties of roof-mounted attic fans you can get on the market today.
How Can I Make My Attic Fan Quieter?
There are different ways to make an attic fan quieter, and one of them includes mounting the fan on a soft pad to reduce vibrations transmission. The fans should be well balanced while the motor should be regularly maintained to keep it in a perfect state for smooth operation.
Is It OK To Leave Attic Fan on All Night?
No. It’s not recommended you leave the attic fan running at night since running the motor for too long can make it blow or reduce its lifespan. Furthermore, during nighttime, the temperatures are usually cooler, and hence no need to keep it running.
Are Attic Fans Noisy
Yes, regular attic fans are quite noisy and annoying. Despite making your home’s indoor temperatures livable, they produce a lot of noise which can disturb your quiet living. But as earlier mentioned, the advancement in technology has led to the manufacturer of silent attic fans that keep the heat down without unnecessary whine or hum.
Final Thoughts on Quietest Attic Fan
Attic fans are essential appliances that help improve our living, yet just like any other appliance, they come with their shortcomings. My dad used to say, why use an attic fan when you got an air conditioner?
But the thought of living in a home with a rapidly deteriorating roof has always scared me to the point that I had to get an attic space fan. Digging around, I found that these devices help keep the attic cooler and significantly enhance roofing lifespan by getting rid of a warm, humid climate that can destroy your roof.
These are just budget-friendly one-time investments that definitely won’t break the bank. They are as cheap as your favorite smoothie blender and yet quite useful. Don’t let the summer heat mess you again- get a quiet attic fan.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.