Is Attic Fan Necessary With Ridge Vents?

Ventilation is very much important for a house not just because of the increased heat, but also for the structural betterment and a healthy environment.

But it’s very hard to decide which type of ventilation system you actually need. Among those confusions, one of the most common headaches is, is attic fan necessary with ridge vents?

You don’t need attic fans to be installed if you already have enough soffit or ridge vents in your house. Installing attic fans despite having enough ridge vents might backfire rather than cool down your roof.

Our article has covered a wide array of this topic. So, let’s jump into the article and get to learning.

Is Attic Fan Necessary With Ridge Vents?

Not necessarily, no. If you have enough ridge vents in your house then installing an attic fan wouldn’t make much of a difference.

But in a worse case, it might increase the heat of your house make your air conditioner work even harder which will cost you extra bills.

To understand the answer clearly, let’s take a look at the mechanism of your roof vents. The soffit vents on your roof help drive the cooler air from outside and exert the humid air by the gable or ridge vents placed near exterior walls.

This process is adequate enough to keep your home environment cool. But you might want to amp up the process by installing attic fans.

Attic fans do help to drive out the hot air from inside the house but in some cases, they might do the opposite. If you have enough soffit and ridge vents then you don’t need to install any attic fan.

But if you do despite that, the fan might pull in air from the outside rather than expelling the inside hot air and it will increase your electricity bill even more instead of decreasing it.

Another problem with having an attic fan while you already have enough ridge vents is that it can pull in rainwater from the outside during monsoon and it might lead to building molds and leakage in your roof.

So, you really don’t need to spend extra money on an attic fan if you already got enough ridge vents on your roof.

Is Attic Fan Necessary With Ridge Vents

Is It Better to Have a Ridge Vent or Attic Fan?

To understand which one is better between attic fan or ridge vent, let’s take a look at the following table.

Characteristics Attic Fan Ridge Vent
Preferred house With larger attics with poor ventilation Suitable intake venting
Ventilation process Uses electricity Uses natural air exhaustion
Mechanism Active venting Passive venting
Durability 15 years or more Lifetime

Attic fan and ridge vent has a similar process of ventilation. They both exert the hot air from your home to keep the environment cool.

That is why you don’t actually need both of them installed at your home. Just choosing one of them will be enough.

Is Attic Fan Necessary With Ridge Vents

But is there one that you should prefer more than the other? We certainly think so. Attic fans are good for houses with larger attics and have a very poor ventilation system.

But ridge vents can be installed at any house with a suitable intake venting.  If your house has really poor ventilation, then an attic fan will be good for you, otherwise, just go with ridge vents.

The attic fan uses electricity so it will cost you extra to run it through the day. But ridge vents work with a natural air exhaustion process so you will be able to save lots of money and you get to keep your house cool and dry as well.

Attic fans have an active venting mechanism hence it requires electricity to function. Whereas ridge vents have a passive venting mechanism which is the natural air ventilation process, so it doesn’t require energy to function in general.

Attic fans will provide you with services for 15 years or more. But ridge vents will last a lifetime in your house if there is no damage is done to the house.

And ridge vents are way cheaper than attic fans. So, it is pretty clear that ridge vents are better than attic fans.

Is Ridge Vent Enough for Whole House Fan?

Unfortunately, no. Just installing ridge vents or soffit vents won’t be enough for your whole house fan.

You will need to install gable vents on your roof to keep the ventilation process running smoothly and the house environment cool.

Ridge vents just expel the hot air from the house, but just exerting the hot air doesn’t keep the house cool. You will need to drive in cool air from outside to keep the ventilation process running otherwise, your air conditioner bill will just go up and up.

And this is when you need whole fans. Whole house fans are suitable for you if don’t intend to air condition your house.

In this case, installing whole house fans will save you by driving fresh air from the outside through windows and doors.

In this situation, installing gable vents on the roof with your ridge vents will be best for keeping the ventilation process in its sweet spot. And you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket for that.

But when you are using a whole house fan, make sure you are using enough vents for the air to pass by. You will need to install two to four times more vents you normally use in an attic space.

You may need to use about one square foot of net free area for every 750 cubic feet per minute of fan capacity.

Is Attic Fan Necessary With Ridge Vents

Are Attic Exhaust Fans Necessary?

Yes, they sure are. Just as any other thing, your roof also gets hot in the scorching heat of summer and it becomes unbearable to live in such a situation.

But installing some exhausts on your roof can really help the house environment keep cool and can save you from the huge bill of an air conditioner.

By installing vents on your roof or attic, you can keep the ventilation system of the house up and running which will make your house more comfortable to live in and you will get a nice, cool environment.

On the other hand, if you decide not to install exhaust fans on your roof, you may have to bear a huge bill of air conditioners every month. But installing vents will cost way less than that and they can last a lifetime in your house.

Installing vents also saves your house from structural damage and mold buildup in the attic. You will be able to save a lot of money and you will get to live in a nice, healthy environment if you install attic vents or fans.

How Do You Know If You Need an Attic Fan?

You might be in a pickle trying to decide if you need an attic fan for your house. This is very simple to decide.

If you already have enough ridge or soffit vents in your house, then you don’t need to waste your money on attic fans. But if your house has a very poor ventilation system and you have a very large attic, then it is wise to go for attic fans.

Attic fans run on electricity so you will have to spend more money on them and they last up to 15 years or more. They do have some drawbacks like this but for a house with a poor ventilation system, attic fans are the right choice.

If you have a two-story house, you might have noticed that your first story is much cooler than your second story. It is because of the poor ventilation system of your roof.

So, if you install attic fans, you will be able to cool down your upper floor but it won’t much impact the downstairs.


Hope the article helped you find out if an attic fan is necessary with ridge vents. Now you will be able to make the right decision for your house ventilation.

But never compromise on the quality while you are picking a ventilation system for your house. Because those are a lifetime investment for your house and poor decisions might lead you to cost way more money than you intend to spend on the ventilation system.

Jessica Avila

Jessica Avila is a Home Improvement content writer, I am well-versed in a wide range of topics within the industry. I will help you specially Dining and Drawing area.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button