Can I Put A Box Fan In My Attic? (Attic Ventilation)

When the weather gets warmer, you need to cool down your house to make it comfortable. Attic fans are a good idea for cooling down the house. But can you fix a box fan inside the attic to cool the room? Let’s find out. 

You can put a box fan in the attic to make your room cool and comfortable during the warm weather. Since the box fan can suck the air from its back and pushes it forward throughout the room, it is a good way to create air exchange. However, attic vent fans are commonly used for this.

Fans in the attic can make a lot of difference in your room during the summer. But at the same time, there are some demerits. In this guide, we will talk about the functions of an attic fan, the chance to use box fans, and how to install a box fan in an attic. 

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What is an attic fan, and how does it work?

Before you know the possibility of using box fans in the attic, you need to know a bit about attic fans because you will replace these fans with box fans.

Generally, attic fans are a type of attic vent. 

When installed in your house’s ceiling attic, it circulates the air at the top of your house. 

The fan takes the hot and humid air sitting in the attic, circulates it, and pushes it out of the upper space of your house. 

This way, it keeps your house cool in the summer. 

It also keeps your house dry and comfortable during the dry, dark, damp, and snowy winter. 

Attic fans are not needed separately in any HVAC installation. 

The attic fans need their installations based on the type of attic fan, labor, and other works.

Installing these attic fans can reduce the pressure from your HVAC system. 

It can keep the top of your room cool in summer and the insulation dry in winter and reduce the need for an air conditioner or a heating device.

Benefits of an attic fan

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An attic fan can provide many benefits, like comforting your house in summers and winters, reducing the pressure from your HVAC system, etc. 

There are several other benefits of an attic fan. Here are some of them:

  • Since the attic fan can cool down your house, you can decrease the use of your house’s air conditioner. That will save energy and reduce your electricity bill. 
  • If your second-story rooms are not as cool as the first-story rooms, it could be due to the heat radiating from the attic to the living space. With proper insulation, attic fans can help prevent the heat from entering your room and keep the upstairs cool and comfortable.
  • During winters, the warm air of your house due to the heating device can interact with the cold, moist air under the roof and accumulate moisture in the roof. Including an attic fan on the top of your house will prevent moisture accumulation. 
  • Too much heat and humidity can weaken your attic’s insulation. An attic fan will remove this hot and humid air from the attic and reduce the pressure from the insulation materials of your attic. 
  • Solar attic fans are cheap. You can run the solar attic fans with the sun’s power and do not have to pay after the installation. 

Drawbacks of an attic fan

Despite so many advantages, an attic fan has some demerits. 

  • Electric attic fans are costly during operation, especially based on the type of fan. You may save power by reducing the use of ACs, but the money you save will be seen in the electric bills. 
  • Poor attic fan installation can cause roof leakages and result in more expensive problems. 
  • You must ensure that the attic is properly sealed and insulated. Otherwise, you may end up with too many expenses and discomfort. 
  • Indeed, the attic fans can circulate the air and push out the hot air from your attic, keep the top of your house cool, and reduce the entering of the hot air. But it won’t cool down your entire house.

Can I put a box fan in the attic?

If you do not want to use an attic fan, you can introduce a box fan inside the attic as an alternative to the attic fan. 

It will do the same job as the attic fan. 

It can suck the hot air back from the attic and propel it forward. 

You can also install a box fan yourself in the attic. 

You do not have to do expansive attic remodeling. 

You can use an existing attic vent to install the box fan. 

A box fan can make any room cooler, provided the open windows’ incoming air is cooler than your room’s air. 

However, it depends on the volume of air you try to move. 

If your attic entrance is in the bedroom, closing the door and using a box fan in the attic will move enough air to cool down the room. 

You must ensure that you secure the box fan safely and keep the wires, insulation, and other important things away from the fan.

In the next section, we shall discuss a guide to installing the box fan in the attic. 

How can I use a box fan in the attic?

Using a box fan in the attic is relatively easy. 

You need the right materials and a proper step guide to do it. 

However, if you are worried about committing silly mistakes, you can hire a professional to do the job. 

Here are the things you need for installation:

  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Wire cutters or strippers
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Wood hand saw
  • Plastic tarp strips
  • Duct tape
  • Caulking gun
  • Caulk

You can find these supplies from any hardware store. Some are available in homes.

Now, let’s get into the step guide. 

Step 1

Keep the box fan down in a work area and cut off the end of the power cord with a blade or utility knife. 

Cut open around 3 inches on the outer insulation of the power cord from the cut end with the same knife. 

Pull the insulation back and strip ½ inch of the wire’s insulation from the ends of both wires using the wire stripper.

Step 2

Turn over the box fan. 

Remove the screws around the grille of the fan with the Philips screwdriver. 

Pull off the grille from the fan and keep it aside. 

Step 3

Place a stepladder under the vent grille in the attic’s wall. 

Remove the screws around the vent’s grille using the same Phillips screwdriver. 

Remove the screws with the help of pliers if they are glued into the grille’s frames. 

Keep the screws aside. 

Step 4

Place the box fan inside the attic’s opening, where the grille was present. 

Make sure that the open side should face away from you. 

Use a wooden hand saw and enlarge the opening if needed.

Do this before you put the fan inside the attic.

Step 5

Tape the strips of plastic tarp using duct tape at the box fan’s sides, top, and bottom to cover the seam in between and the attic’s wall. 

Apply a caulk from a caulking gun around the fan in the place where it meets the wall. 

Let the caulk set for some time. 

The manufacturer will instruct the amount of time to give the caulk set. 

Apply it again and let it set again for some time. 

Step 6

Remember to trip the circuit breaker in the main breaker box. 

That supplies electricity to the attic. 

So, before you start working or attaching wires to any circuits or outlets, consider turning off the breaker to avoid electrocution. 

The box will either be at the wall’s baseboard or over a beam near the attic’s ceiling. 

Step 7

Loosen and remove the screws at the cover plate on the electrical junction box with the help of the Phillip screwdriver. 

If the box is already exposed, ignore the step.

Step 8

Loosen the screws on the box, having a black wire wrapped around it with the Phillip screwdriver. 

Again, loosen the screw on the box with a white wire wrapped around the same way, using the same screwdriver. 

Step 9

Twist the exposed parts of the black wire from the box fan with a half-turn around the screw wrapped with the black wire. Tighten the screw.

Repeat it with another part. 

Twist the exposed parts of the white wire from the fan around the screw having the white wire wrapped around it, and tighten the screw. 

Step 10

Remember to cover the fan and attic with their individual grilles and screws. 

Remove the stepladder and turn on the electric power. 

Turn the box fan’s power by switching it on to test it. 


A ceiling’s attic vent will need to be cut through the parts of the wood beams. 

They can block the box fan from being placed inside the openings where the grille is present. 

When do you need a fan for your attic?

An attic or box fan inside the attic can be a very reasonable addition to your house. 

You can use the attic fans the whole year to get rid of the heat and moisture from the attic. 

The fans are mostly used in the summer to remove the extra heat and cool down the attic. 

It can, in turn, cool down the house and help reduce the use of air conditioners. 

The temperature in the attic should always remain within 100°F. 

During the summers, it becomes very hot, reaching around 150°F. 

Such high temperatures can cause damage and create problems in cooling the house. 

That is when you need to use ACs frequently. 

But attic fans can reduce the usage and electricity bill. 

So, installing an attic fan will be a good thing. 

It even helps to keep your house dry and damp-free during the winter. 

You can also use the box fan in the attic as an alternative to the attic fans. 

Different types of attic fans

There are different attic fans to keep your attic and house cool. 

Here are a few suggestions that can benefit you greatly:

  • Powered attic ventilator fans
  • Whole house attic fans
  • Solar attic fans

The installation cost of fans in the attics

If you want to install an attic or box fan in the attic, you should know and prepare for the installation cost. 

An attic or box fan installation will cost around $300 to $600. 

It can reach $550 if the labor cost is included. 

Sometimes the average cost can be around $595. 

Most homeowners end up paying between $369 and $877.

Depending on the unit’s quality, location, and additional materials, the installation charges can be as low as $200 or as high as $1,300.

For example, if you have 1,500 square feet of attic, then the cost would stand like this:

  • $70 for the fan
  • $15 for the additional humidistat
  • $40 for labor cost

The total cost can stand to $125. 

The electrician’s charges can range from around $5 to $75 per hour, and the carpenter can charge around $70 per hour. 

Final thoughts

Attic fans are a good choice to add to the attic. 

It keeps your house cool in the summer and dry in winter. 

Box fans are generally used as an alternative to attic fans. 

It works more or less the same way as the attic fans. 

Box fan sucks the hot air, propels it forward, and makes your house cool and comfortable.

You can fix a box fan in the attic if you get the right things and guidance. 

However, you can always hire a professional if you are confused. 

The cost can differ based on the attic type, fan type, location, etc. 

The cost can be as low as $200 or as high as $1,300. 


Does an attic fan help?

Attic fans are quite helpful, especially in the summer. 

It cools down your house and reduces the use of AC. 

But, attic fans can use too much electricity, and thus, the saved money will be seen in the electricity bills.

However, an attic fan will not be enough to cool down your entire house. 

You will have to use air conditioners sometimes to receive the desired comfort.

Reference: Attic Ventilation Fans, Attic Ventilation, Attic Ventilation to Reduce Indoor Air Temperature.

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Arthur Smith

Howdy! I am Arthur Smith, an electrical engineer who is extremely passionate about electronics. I have lived in different parts of the US and currently reside in Wisconsin. I am one of those rare children who knew what he wanted to study and do in life right from the start. I was a curious child who wanted to know how switches work and how the AC works, and I would always observe my dad whenever he would handle the wires and fix things around the house. I currently work as an electrical engineer at a reputed company and write for this blog. And I read loads of books or play video games in my free time.

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