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Install an Attic Fan

An attic fan can help you efficiently cool your home. Hot air in your attic gets transferred to the ceiling below, which can raise the temperature in your living areas significantly. Follow the steps below to keep your home cool.

Roof of a house.

Do-It-Yourself Attic Fan Installation Instructions

To save time, use an existing roof or gable vent to install your new attic fan. This way you don’t have to cut a brand new hole, but simply make the hole for the vent larger so it can accommodate the fan. You also want a fan that's appropriate for the square footage of your attic space by checking the manufacturer's specifications.

When working with electricity always:

  • Turn OFF electricity at the main fuse box (or circuit breaker box) that controls the power to the fixture or the room you're working on.
  • Test the wires to ensure the power is OFF.
  • Place the wall switch in the OFF position.
  • All electrical connections must be in agreement with local codes. Check with local authorities to see if a permit is required.
  • If in doubt, contact a qualified electrician.

Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for safety, warning and caution information.

Roof Mount

Step 1

Use a pencil or a piece of chalk to draw a hole matching the diameter of your fan.

Step 2

Drill a starter hole (if utilizing an existing roof vent, skip this step).

Step 3

Use reciprocating saw to cut the hole for your fan.

Step 4

Slide the fan housing under the shingles and position the fan directly over the hole.

Good to Know

You may have to cut or remove some shingles to make the fan fit.

Step 5

Use roofing mastic to seal the fan.

Step 6

Nail down the corners and apply tar to seal the nails.

Step 7

Replace shingles around the fan.

Good to Know

Where you can, place the shingles butt up against the fan so no water can leak in.

Gable Mount

Step 1

This mounting is even easier – choose a fan with mounting brackets, allowing it to mount across the studs.

Step 2

Position the fan over the hole and screw the brackets to the studs.

Wiring Your Attic Fan

Step 1

Secure the regulator to a nearby stud or rafter.


Always step on ceiling joists when you're working in the attic. Never step between them.

Step 2

Remove a knockout and install a cable clamp in the hole. Thread the power supply cable through this clamp and tighten.

Step 3

Attach fan wires to the regulator wires according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4

After making all the connections, install the cover on the regulator, and set the temperature control according to the manufacturer's recommendations.


If you have a tile, metal, or flat roof, have the fan installed by a professional, as special tools and precautions are necessary in these cases.

Watch our DIY Basics video: How Do I Maintain My Roof?