Attic fans can be quite noisy. After all they are machines working at high speeds, and without much insulation.
Having such a noisy machine in our home is definitely annoying. This is why more and more people are opting for quiet attic fans.
What causes noise in attic fans?
Attic fans make noise due to different reasons. Some of them include;
1.Damaged ball bearings or sleeve bearings
Attic fans use either ball bearings or sleeve bearings. It is generally believed that the fans with sleeve bearings are quieter but it is more or less the same now.
An attic fan with damaged bearing not only causes loud noises but also can be dangerous.
2. Lack of lubrication
Attic fans, like all machines, need to be lubricated. Lack of proper maintenance results in friction between the moving parts. This not only causes loud noises but also results in faster wear and tear.
3. Unbalanced blades
The blades of the attic fan should be properly balanced. Even if they were accurately balanced during installation the accumulation of dust and dirt can cause imbalance. Since these fans run at high speeds even a small change in balance results in noise as well as wear and tear.
How to find a quiet attic fan?
There aren’t many companies can do in terms of insulation to make an attic fan quieter. Most of the noise comes from the motor, blades, and vibrations. So what you can do is;
Look for a fan with more blades
For any fan the more blades it has the quieter it will be. This is because, for a fan with more number of blades, each blade do not have to work as much as that of a fan with a lesser number of blades (for the same CFM).
That means a 2000 CFM fan with 4 blades is quieter than one with the same CFM but only 3 blades.
Go for a quieter motor
The noise from the motor contributes much to the overall noise produced by the attic fan. So going for a quieter motor is ideal.
Brushless motors are much quieter and have better performance and efficiency than a brushed motor. So if you want a quiet attic fan go for one with a brushless motor.
To identify which motor is brushless go through the specifications of the attic fan. If ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) technology is mentioned anywhere that fan has a quiet motor.
Prefer a belt driven attic fan
Attic fans which are belt driven are much quieter than direct driven ones. This is always mentioned in the specification sheet of the fan, so look for it, go for it.
Prefer attic fan with bigger blades
A large fan running at slow speed will be much quieter than a small one running at high speeds. So opting for a large attic fan can give you quieter performance. However, the size of the fan depends on a lot of other things so make a learned decision.
Balance the blades during installation
It is wise to check the balance of the attic fan blades before installation. A perfectly balanced fan will be quiet and last long.
Use professional help for installation
Attic fans can be installed by yourself. But having professional help make sure that the fan runs quietly.
This is because in order for the fan to run quietly the installation needs to be done perfectly with proper insulations to prevent any vibrations. Any slight vibrations, in time, may lead to bigger ones.
Which are the quiet attic fans you can buy?
1.QuietCool AFG S MT-3.0 Smart Attic Gable Fan
Though the name says gable fan, it can be mounted on the roof as well (just make sure you buy the roof vent cover).
Like its name, this quiet attic fan can cool an area up to 3300 sq.ft. It has 2830 CFM at the highest speed, meaning it can move that many cubic feet of air from the attic in a minute. It can lower the temperature of the attic by up to 50 degree Fahrenheit.
Definitely, this fan is really quiet thanks to its ECM motor.
This is a ‘smart attic fan’. It comes with a built-in thermostat and a humidistat, and its 10-speed motor will adjust its performance based on their input. The humidistat makes sure that the humidity in the attic doesn’t exceed 60%. Depending on the motor speed this fan can move 963 to 2830 CFM of air making it suitable for any attic area ranging from 1100 to 3300 sq.ft.
In addition, this smart fan consumes only a maximum of 145 Watts. For the least speed, the consumption is only 15 Watts.
According to CEC this is the most efficient attic fan, it is 15 times efficient than a traditional model.
This attic fan is also has a more powerful variant, called AFG Pro 3.0, which can move up to 3013 CFM of air.
Another attractiveness of the Quietcool attic fan is its warranty. It comes with a 15-year manufacturer warranty.
Overall, this is an excellent quiet attic fan available at an affordable cost. If you decide to buy this, look no further.
2. Cool Attic CX24BD2SPD 2-speed belt drive attic fan
Cool Attic is a very popular attic fan made in the USA. It is 24 inches in size and can draw air up to 4500 CFM.
This attic fan comes with two-speed settings. On its lowest speed it moves 3100 CFM of air, and on the top speed achieves the figure of 4500 CFM.
This is definitely a very powerful fan for an attic. The company recommends that the attic needs to have at least 1200 sq.ft area and 8-10 sq.ft Net Free Exhaust Area to use this fan.
This fan can be used as a whole house fan as well.
One thing to note is that this fan shouldn’t be used with any speed controllers. It uses a PSC (permanent split capacitor) motor so speed variations are not possible. Using any speed controls can damage the motor of this fan.
This attic fan is belt driven. So it is quieter than many direct drive models available. It also has four blades, which makes this one quieter than its competitors.
This Cool Attic fan has galvanized steel blades which are resistant against corrosion and such defects.
The Cool Attic CX24BD2SPD comes with a 10 year warranty.
3. iliving 18 Inch Single Speed Shutter Exhaust Fan
This is a quiet, single speed, gable mount attic fan with a CFM of 2600.
It can cool an attic area up to 3200 sq.ft. It is also available in different sizes as well as have variable speed options.
If you are opting for the variable speed model, you can connect a thermostat with it to automatically adjust the performance.
This attic fan is quiet owing to the use of sleeve type bearings.
The iLiving fan comes with automatic shutters just like the Cool Attic fan. Both the shutters and the fan are made of durable materials so you won’t have to worry about corrosion for the many years to come.
This fan comes with a warranty of only 1-year, not exactly a headturner.
4. Solar attic fans
Solar attic fans are powerd using a solar panel. They all come with DC brushless motors and they often have 5 or more blades. As menioned before DC brushless motors are very quiet and efficient. So if you are looking for a quiet, solar powered fan check this list as well.
Whether your attic fan is quiet or not depends not only on your choice of buying but also on how it is installed. If you really want a quiet attic fan I recommend hiring a professional for installation.