Drop The Temp: Heres How Much Attic Fan Installation Costs

Kenneth Wilson

In the summer months, excessive heat may only collect in your attic space – compromising your comfort and causing your home energy bills to increase (or remain high). An attic fan is a relatively low cost solution that can pull the hot air out of the attic lowering your interior temps.  As a rule of thumb an attic fan can lower attic temperatures by degrees which leads to about a 10 degree difference in your living area.  

Expect installing a roof turbine attic fan on a 1900 sqft house (needed 1900 CFM) to cost $500-600 or an electric fan to cost $800 - $1,000. Read below to learn about the types of attic fans.  There are various types of attic fans (in different sizes) to meet other home needs. Note that certain fan types may only increase the project’s associated costs.

Total expenses are also dependent on several factors, including permits, chosen material, and wiring. The cost to install a whole house attic fan is a worthwhile investment if you think about its benefits in cooling your home during scorching days.

Additionally, these fans can also pull the moisture and odors away from home. It increases the lifespan of your roofing in the process. 

Factors Affecting Attic Fan Installation Costs

In setting your budget for attic fan installation costs, first, determine where your money gets spent so you can figure out various saving opportunities. Suppose you can afford a little more budget. In that case, you may even include some additions or enhancements.

Let’s discuss some of the most defining variables that may affect the total project costs:

Type of Attic Fan

Generally, five different attic fan types range from $115 to $1,150. It includes passive, turbine, exhaust, electric, solar, and dual-powered attic fans.

Note that every type of fan entails unique installation requirements, which may then hike up the costs. For instance, attic electric fan installation will cost you more than other options as it will require you to seek the services of a carpenter and electrician. This attic fan type is also typically installed in the roof or gable, making it more expensive.

Here’s a quick rundown of the five different types of attic fans and their average costs:

Attic Fan Type

Average Costs

Passive Fan

$86 - $115

Roof Turbine

$115 - $172

Attic Exhaust Fan

$115 - $517

Electric Attic Fan

$115 - $517

Solar Fan

$345 - $1,150

Dual Powered Fan

$345 - $1,150

  • Passive Fan - Passive attic fans are considered the most cost-effective option, ranging from $86 to $115. Homeowners working with a limited budget can benefit from this choice. This type of attic fan doesn’t need electricity to work, and it also impacts the entire house’s natural airflow. However, you won’t have a way to control its operation since you cannot hook it to a thermostat. Those who have the roof reshingled often take the opportunity to install a passive attic fan. Nonetheless, you may also opt to hire a local carpenter or roofer for the installation. 
  • Roof Turbine - If you’re looking for a more efficient choice than passive fans, roof turbine attic fans also prove to be a popular option. It will cost you $115 to $172 on average. It works with the natural airflow of the house– spinning as the hot air pushes against the turbine. Since it also doesn’t require electricity for power, you will still be unable to use a thermostat at your convenience. One downside is that a roof turbine attic fan may allow rainwater to enter the area, especially during heavy rains. If your property is located in an area with frequent rain showers, this may not be the most suitable option for your needs. 
  • Attic Exhaust Fan - Standard attic exhaust fan installation costs $115 to $517 for either passive or electric units. Note that passive units cannot be connected to a thermostat, but they are energy-efficient and will help you cut costs on power bills. In contrast, electric exhaust fans are more convenient to use since you have thermostat control. Many attic exhaust fans are installed after a home gets reshingled. It is typically installed in the roof’s ridgeline or the end of the gable. 
  • Electric Attic Fan - Standard electric attic fans cost $115 to $517. True to their name, this fan type uses electricity for operation and is hooked to a thermostat. Since it runs on electric power, it may contribute to increased electric bills. Though, buying a high-quality model should be energy-efficient to use and will have fairly-priced annual operation costs. An electric attic fan is usually installed on both roof or gable-mounted set-ups. However, remember that it will not function in the event of a power interruption. 
  • Solar Fan - Solar attic fan installation costs start at $345 up to $1,150. This attic fan type will cost you more than other options, but solar units are energy-efficient around the clock. The upfront costs will pay for themselves quickly in your energy savings, given solar attic fans use the energy harnessed from the sun instead of traditional electricity. These are usually mounted on the roof, so you cannot install them at the end of the gables. 
  • Dual Powered Fan - A dual-powered attic fan starts from $345 and $1,150. This hybrid system uses solar power as a primary power source, but it can instantly switch to electric power amid scarce sunlight (during cloudy days or hot nights). You will need to hire a qualified electrician for its installation. It is usually set up on the roof or ridgeline and not on the home’s gable end.  

Fan Location

Another critical factor is the location of the attic fan to be installed. It usually comes in three areas: roof, ridgeline, and gable. Depending on your preferred location, you may have cheaper installation costs, especially if the easy process doesn't require too much labor and materials.

Gable is the most accessible location to install an attic fan, while ridge vent and roof-mounted sites may be more expensive as it has a complicated process.

Refer to the table below to overview the three common attic fan locations and their average installation costs.  

Location of Attic Fan

Average Costs


$86 - $517


$345 - $1,150

Ridge Vent

$345 - $1,150

  • Gable Attic Fan - Gable attic fan installation costs range from $86 to $517. These fans are usually installed in the vent (located in a wall’s triangular area) between the edge of the roof pitches. This area is also commonly known as the house’s gable. Passive fan types prove to be a great low-cost choice, while electric units will cost you more in operating expenses. Regardless, these units can reliably move airflow and humidity around the clock. 
  • Roof Mount Attic Fan - Installing a roof-mounted attic fan costs $345 to $1,150. Both gable and roof-mount fans are designed to keep your attic at a relaxed, comfortable temperature. However, roof mount fans are more efficient when heat and humidity are pulled outside the small space. It is usually located near the roof’s peak, just in the center of the attic. 
  • Ridge Vent Fan You will spend $345 to $1,150 for a standard ridge vent fan installation. Properties located in high-humidity areas can benefit from a ridge fan. It is typically installed amid a reshingle after the ridge vent is trimmed into the roofing. Shingles are then installed surrounding the opening. With a ridge vent’s function to circulate the area in your home, you may skip installing a fan. 


Aside from the upfront costs of the attic fan unit itself (at $65 to $650), you may also need to shell out on a couple of installation supplies such as the following:

  • Shingles: $115 per square footage
  • Siding: $115
  • Caulking: $5
  • Gable-mounted vents: $11 to $70
  • Roof-mounted vents: $34 to $57

Attic Fan Size

To pick the correct fan size for your attic needs, you will need to measure the total length of the attic and the square footage of the property.

If you have a steep roof, you will typically need 15 percent increased CFM or Cubic Feet per Minute than a home without a pitched roof. Don't worry. While all of this may sound confusing, your contractor can assist you in determining the ideal size for your attic.

Refer to the table below for a breakdown of recommended airflow (CFM) for every attic size.

Size of Attic

Recommended Airflow

1,000 Square Feet

700 CFM

2,000 Square Feet

1,400 CFM

3,000 Square Feet

2,100 CFM

Labor Costs

Most roof and roof ridge-mounted fans will require you to seek a roofing expert, with the hourly rate starting from $52 to $86. If there are no complications with the installation process, you can expect it to be completed after two hours.

Meanwhile, a gable-mounted unit may require you to modify a vent. It will cost you around $80 per hour for a minimum of two hours of work. Homeowners planning to install electric and solar attic fans must hire an electrician to handle all the wiring. The hourly labor rates start at $75 to $97. 

Extra Additions

If you have the room for an extra budget, consider these popular additions to ensure you'll make the most out of your newly installed attic fans.

You'll never go wrong with these additions, according to home remodeling experts.  

Automatic Shutters

Placing automatic shutters when you have just installed your attic fan may cost you an additional $57 to $92. It will allow the device to open or shut by itself, depending on whether the attic fan is running or not.

It offers the benefits of having better ventilation by effectively releasing heat and gathering cool air, and it also keeps rodents and pests out of your attic's space. 

Roof Fan Cap

On average, a roof fan cap can cost $57, and it is placed above the attic fan or roof vent. It has various convenient purposes, such as keeping rain and other debris out of your attic. (Related: Mold In Attic: The Causes & Solutions Homeowners Need To Know AboutAdditionally, it also serves as a barrier to block unwanted pests from entering the space. A roof fan cap adds a more finished sleek appearance on the roof.  

Attic Fan Humidistat

The average installation cost of an attic fan humidistat is around $57 to $115. The humidistat functions the same way as a thermostat, but it measures the humidity level of your attic instead of temperature.

This device can help you have better control over your attic's moisture level, so you won't have to encounter mold and moisture problems. 

Attic Fan Thermostat

Expect to spend around $172 to $460 for an attic fan thermostat installation. It effectively measures your attic's temperature, which allows you to know if the fan is working well or not.

You can buy different varieties of styles and can choose between manual and programmable thermostats. Other thermostats can be controlled just by a swipe of your hand through an app on your smartphone. 

Should I Hire a Professional Attic Fan Installer?

Homeowners with the right experience, skills, tools, and time to do the job can opt for a DIY passive attic fan installation. However, we strongly advise shelling out on professional labor costs to ensure the installation is done correctly and safely.

There is no need to put yourself at risk of danger when a professional can do it for you flawlessly. Installing an attic fan is not a beginner-friendly project. Even trained professionals take some time to set up these fans right where they belong.  

Should you plan to install an electric-powered fan, you will be required to consult an electrician for proper electrical installation and wiring. It is something you will need to consider an investment– as it guarantees the safety of all the occupants in your home. 

Final Thoughts

To answer the question of "Are attic fans truly worth it?" requires finding out to decide for yourself. Several homeowners swear by them, but others remain skeptical.

Depending on your goals, you can count on an attic fan installation to offer energy savings at the very least. Manage your expectations, though. The cost cut won't be as substantial as attic insulation or air sealing.

If you simply want to add ventilation for improved comfort and roof protection, installing an attic fan will genuinely make a difference! 

Kenneth Wilson
October 14, 2021
Cost Guides, HVAC

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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