How Much Does Attic Fan Installation Cost?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated January 19, 2022
Cosy living room in an attic
Daniel Jędzura - stock.adobe.com

The average cost to install an attic fan is $370 to $875

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Contrary to what their name might suggest, attic fans help to cool your whole house—not just the attic space. They pull moisture and odors from your home, too. To install a small, passive attic fan may cost you as little as $100, but a larger solar or dual-powered attic fan may cost over $1,000 to install.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Attic Fan By Type?

With five different types of attic fans available, costs vary considerably and can range from $100 to $1,000. Each type of fan has different installation requirements that impact total cost.

Passive Fan

Passive attic fans are the most affordable, at $75 to $100. Passive fans use no electricity and work with the airflow in your home. But, because it doesn't run on electricity, a passive fan can't be connected to a thermostat, so there's no way to control operation.

Roof Turbine

Roof turbines are more efficient than passive fans and cost $100 to $150 to install. They work with your home's airflow and spin as hot air rises and pushes against the turbine. Because a roof turbine fan also doesn't use electricity, it's energy efficient but cannot work with a thermostat. 

And take note: in severe weather, rain may enter the attic through the turbine. So if your area is prone to heavy rainfall, this may not be the best option.

Attic Exhaust Fan

Attic exhaust fans cost $100 to $450 to install, and can be either passive or electric. Passive models cannot be hooked up to a thermostat, but they cost next to nothing to run as they don't use power. Electric exhaust fans are more efficient and have a thermostat control when it operates.

“There are many non-electrical ventilation products for the attic,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board Member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “For example, on hot days, cool air can flow in through a soffit vent and push warmer attic air out through the ridge and gable vents.”

Electric Attic Fan

Electric attic fans cost $100 to $450, installed. These use electricity to run and connect to a thermostat. The thermostat tells the fan motor when to engage so your home stays comfortably cool, even on the hottest days. 

Because it draws power, an electric fan can ramp up your electric bill. But a quality model should be efficient and cost very little per year to operate.

Solar Fan

Solar attic fans cost $300 to $1,000 to install. While this is pricier than many other attic fans, solar models are super efficient because they use the sun's energy instead of electricity. A solar attic fan pays for itself very quickly in energy savings.

Dual Powered Fan

A dual powered attic fan costs between $300 and $1,000. This premium attic fan uses the sun's energy as its primary source of power. But, if there isn't enough sunlight to adequately power the fan, it switches to electric power.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Attic Fan Near You?

Here are the average costs to install an attic fan around the U.S.

  • Orlando, FL: $425

  • Raleigh, NC: $485

  • New York: $465

  • Portland, ME: $595

  • Chicago: $455

  • Kansas City, MO: $700

  • Dallas: $460

  • Phoenix: $660

  • Denver: $955

  • Sacramento, CA: $1,110

  • Portland, OR: $765

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Attic Fan Yourself?

The exterior wall of a house with an attic fan
knelson20 - stock.adobe.com

If you have the skills, tools, experience, and time, you can install passive attic fans yourself and save on labor costs. You can save up to $160 on the cost of a roofer and, if you need to modify or install a vent, you can save up to $140

“Any time you install something into an exterior surface of your house, it’s very important to seal it properly,” Tschudi says. “Even the smallest opening can and will get damaged later by water, insects and even vermin.”

But know that this is not a project for beginners, and it'll take you far longer than it would take a pro, so you're better off hiring a local roofer. Plus, if you have a powered fan, you'll need to hire a certified electrician to handle the electrical installation and hooking up solar panels.

Attic Fan Cost Breakdown

When budgeting for attic fan installation, it's useful to know how your money gets spent so you can figure out if there are any opportunities to save. Or, if there's a little more room in your budget, you can plan for some enhancements.

Labor

For roof and roof ridge-mounted attic fans, you'll need a local roofing expert who'll generally charge between $45 and $75 per hour. Simple installations should take roughly two hours, so expect to pay between $90 and $150.

If you need to install or modify a vent for a gable-mounted unit, you'll need to hire a carpenter who'll charge you approximately $70 per hour. Assuming the job is straightforward, it's reasonable to expect to pay for two hours at a total of $140.

For electric and solar units, you need a qualified local electrician for the wiring. For uncomplicated jobs, expect to pay for an hour's labor at $65 to $85.

Materials

Fans vary in price based on type and size. Expect to pay anywhere from $65 to $650 for the fan unit.

Installation supplies include:

  • Shingles: $25-35 per bundle (about 33 sq. ft.)

  • Siding: up to $100

  • Caulking: $5

  • Gable-mounted vents: $10–$60

  • Roof-mounted vents: $30–$50

Extras

  • Automatic shutter: $50–$80

  • Roof fan cap: $50

  • Attic insulation cost: $1,700–$2,000

  • Attic fan humidistat: $50–$100

  • Attic fan thermostat: $150–$400

FAQs About Attic Fans

Do attic fans save money?

Passive and solar fans don't use electricity, so these can save you money in energy costs. But electrically powered fans do cost money to keep running.

Having an efficient attic fan can reduce the cost of running the AC and help to limit mold and fungal issues in your home as well as extending the life of your roof. In which case, yes, attic fans can save you money.

Can you run an attic fan with the AC on?

Yes. With a passive attic fan you'd have no choice anyway. And, with the attic fan drawing out hot air from the attic, it helps to regulate the temperature of your whole home, so your AC doesn't have to work as hard.

How long should an attic fan last?

Generally, passive fans last anywhere from 40 to 50 years, whereas electric and solar models last 10 to 15 years.

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