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.
|Fan model||Max CFM||Max Area|
|QuietCool AFG S MT-3.0||2830 CFM||3300 sq.ft|
|Cool Attic CX24BD2SPD||4500 CFM||5000 sq.ft|
|QuietCool 40 Watt Solar Powered Roof Mount Attic Fan||1092 CFM||1560 Sq.ft|
|Broan-NuTone 345SOWW||537 CFM||767 sq.ft|
|iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Exhaust Solar Roof Attic Exhaust Fan||1750 CFM||2000 sq.ft|
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 its 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.
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. At 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 that are resistant against corrosion and such defects.
The Cool Attic CX24BD2SPD comes with a 10 year warranty.
QuietCool 40 Watt Solar Powered Roof Mount Attic Fan
This is a roof mountable solar attic fan by QuietCool. QuietCool is a company renowned to making the quietest attic fans, and this product of their is no exception.
This attic fan runs with the help of a 40 Watt solar panel. It produces a maximum CFM of 1092 which is enough to ventilate an area of 1560 sq.ft.
One problem with solar powered attic fans is that they don’t deliver consistant performance. When the skies are cloudy their performance go down. But in the case of this QuietCool fan weather consitions are not a problem. It comes with an inverter which will store eletric energy from the sun and use it to run the fan when the current flow is low.
The fan also comes with a built in thermostat which switches on it at a temperature of 88 degree F, and switches it off at a temperature of 77 degree F. This fan helps to maintain the attic temperature no more than 10 degrees of the outside temperature.
Being a solar attic fan, and also a roof mount one this QuietCool fan is teh quietest of all fans in this list. I can confidently say that this is the quietest attic fan of all. One reason for this quietness is that it is mounted on the roof so it is away from the living areas of the house. Any noise from the fan is hard to reach your ears due to this distance. Another thing is the ECM motor which all solar attic fans use, they are whisper quiet.
This attic fan is designed to run at a single speed. It is simple to install and is covered by a 15-year long warranty.
Reference: Specification sheet
Broan NuTone is a solar powered attic fan with whisper quiet operation. It is a low powered attic fan that produces a maximum of 537 CFM which is capable of cooling an attic area of 767 sq.ft.
Unlike other solar attic fans the design of this Broan fan looks much more attrcative thanks to the low profile design and placement of teh solar panel. Thios solar panel can generate 28 Watts of power which will keep the fan running at its full speed.
This fan doesn’t come with a thermostat but you can opt for one. This thermostat which is specially designed for this fan will shut it off when the temperature goes below 50 degree F. The reason why this is only optional is that experts recommend using attic fans even in winter times to remove moisture from the attic, and in such cases, the fan won’t work if it is connected to the thermostat.
As mentioned before this is a small attic fan suitable for smaller areas. The unit houses a 5 blade fan which runs whisper quiet in the attic. This is a roof-mounted attic fan, and the solar panel and the mountings are hail resistant. One downside of this fan is that the solar panel is non-adjustable, many competitors offer adjustable solar panels to improve the reception of sunlight.
The fan come with a manufacturer warranty of 1-year which is pretty low compared to many offered by the competition.
iLiving ILG8SF301 is another whisper quiet solar attic fan that is installed on the roof of the attic. iLiving is a known name in teh country and this is one of the best products they offer.
This is a huge fan with a power rating of 1750 CFM and it is capable of cooling an area upto 2000 sq.ft. This is pretty large for a solar attic fan with a power rating of 20 Watts.
This is a ‘hybrid’ attic fan ie, it is powered by both solar and electric energy. However to make it work with electricity you will have to buy some additional equipment. Out of the package it comes as a solar only attic fan.
The solar panel of this attic fan is adjustable at four angles; 0, 15, 30, and 45. In addition, the solar panel can be horizontally rotated. These allow you to adjust the unit in the direction of the sun to get maximum solar exposure.
The iLiving fan also comes with a Smart thermostat with an on/off feature which gives you more control over the attic fan even from a distance. This unit is covered under a 15-year warranty.
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 with better technology the bearings have improved and both of them have almost the same quietness.
After prolonged use, it is not uncommon for the bearings of attic fans to get damaged. Such a damaged bearing will surely make a lot of noise when the fan is running. And not only that the fan will be noisy it can also be dangerous. So it is recommended to check the bearings of the unit if your fan starts to make a lot of noise.
2. Lack of lubrication
As you know attic fans run at high speeds to generate enough airflow to vent the attic. Therefore like all machines, their parts 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 things you 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 does 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 has 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 they 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 then that fan has a quiet motor.
Prefer a belt driven attic fan
Attic fans that 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 that runs at a low RPM can give you a 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
As mentioned before unbalanced blades make a fan noisy and dangerous. It is wise to check the balance of the attic fan blades before and after installation. A perfectly balanced fan will be quiet and it will 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.
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.