How much does a whole-house fan cost to install?
$600 – $2,300 average cost installed
Get free estimates from attic fan installers near you, or view our cost guide below.
January 11, 2022Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 3 expert attic fan installers on HomeGuide.
Whole-house fan cost
A whole-house fan costs $600 to $2,300 installed on average. Whole-house attic fan prices alone are $300 to $1,500, depending on the size and type. Whole-house fan installation costs $300 to $800 in labor when using existing wiring or $600 to $1,600 with a new circuit and switch.
|National average cost||$1,500|
|Average cost range||$600 to $2,300|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
- A whole-house fan cools the entire home, while an attic fan only cools the attic itself.
- A whole-house fan does not reduce humidity as it uses the outside air to cool the home.
Whole-house fan installation costs
Whole-house fan installation costs $600 to $2,300 on average, depending on attic conditions and the fan size and type. The installation estimate typically includes labor, insulation, and permit costs but not a fan cover or shutters.
|Whole-house fan||$300 – $1,500|
|Fan shutters (if not included)||$40 – $200|
|Attic fan cover||$20 – $40|
|Insulation (1 roll)||$20 – $30|
|Permits / inspection||$50 – $350|
|Installation labor & wiring||$300 – $1,600|
Labor costs to install a whole-house fan
Labor costs $300 to $800 to install a whole-house fan when using existing wiring or $600 to $1,600 with a new dedicated circuit and switch. Labor costs increase if additional vents or framework modifications are required.
|Job||Labor cost to install|
|Installation using existing attic wiring||$300 – $800|
|Installation including a dedicated circuit and switch||$600 – $1,600|
The following factors affect the labor cost:
- Attic size and modifications – Some fan installations require cutting the ceiling joists, adding rafters, or adding vents.
- Roof vent installation costs $200 to $700 per vent. An attic needs 1 square foot of venting for every 450 cubic feet per minute (CFM) and may require more if the vents are screened or louvered.
- Electricians charge $40 to $100 per hour. Whole-house fan installation takes 4 to 8 hours, depending on whether the attic has sufficient venting and wiring.
- Installing a dedicated circuit and wall switch costs $300 to $800 and is sometimes required for a whole-house fan.
- Handyman prices are $50 to $80 per hour. A handyman with electrical, carpentry, and drywall experience may be qualified to install a whole-house fan.
- Drywall repair costs $200 to $750 on average. Installing a whole-house fan requires cutting a hole in the ceiling.
- Permits cost $50 to $350 and are required for structural and electrical wiring changes.
Whole-house fan prices
Whole-house fan prices are $300 to $1,500 on average for the unit alone. Direct mounted models typically fall at the low end of the price range, while roof-mounted fans or quieter ducted fans are priced at the high end.
|Home size (square feet)||CFM recommended||Average unit price|
|1,500||3,000 – 4,500||$300 – $1,200|
|2,000||4,000 – 6,000||$350 – $1,300|
|2,500||5,000 – 7,500||$400 – $1,400|
|3,000||6,000 – 9,000||$450 – $1,500|
Other factors that affect whole-house fan prices include:
- Fan size – The fan price increases as the diameter and cubic feet per minute (CFM) increase.
- Features – Optional features like a thermostat, timer, multiple speeds, and smart functionality increase the cost but add convenience and improve efficiency.
- Motor type – A belt-driven motor costs 20% more on average than a direct-drive model.
- Winter cover – Adding an insulated fan cover during the winter months prevents heat from escaping through the fan opening. Most attic fans do not come with a cover.
Whole-house fan types
- Direct mounted fans are installed in the attic floor. Installation may require moving ceiling joists due to the fan's diameter.
- Ducted fans include a 6' long duct between a vent in the attic floor and a fan aimed at a gable or roof vent. The duct adds space between the fan and the home’s interior, providing quieter operation than direct mount fans.
- Roof-mounted fans are installed directly in the roof and may be ducted or non-ducted, depending on the house. Roof-mounted fans are ideal for flat roofs or limited attic space. Professional installation is recommended to prevent leaks as it requires cutting a hole in the roof.
Cost to run a whole-house fan
Running a whole-house fan costs $3 to $24 per month on average, compared to central AC running costs of $80 to $200 per month.
|Cooling method||Cost per day||Cost per month|
|Whole-house fan||$0.10 – $0.80||$3 – $24|
|Central AC||$2.70 – $6.70||$80 – $200|
*Average cost to run 8 hours per day
Whole-house fan energy usage and savings
Running a whole-house fan overnight instead of the AC can save $70 to $170 per month. A whole-house fan uses 70% to 90% less energy than a central AC system, depending on the motor type. Whole-house fans with electronically commutated (ECM) motors provide the most energy savings.
|System||Average energy usage (Watts per hour)|
|Whole-house fan||120 – 600|
|Central AC||3,000 – 5,000|
Whole-house vs. attic fan cost estimate
Attic fan installation costs $300 to $900 on average. Attic fans reduce the temperature in the attic, preventing structural damage caused by heat and humidity. A whole-house fan is often installed in the attic but cools and ventilates the entire home.
Is a whole-house fan cheaper than AC?
A whole-house fan costs less to install and run than central or mini-split AC systems. Running a whole-house fan during the cooler hours reduces air conditioning needs in most homes. Still, a whole-house fan cannot completely replace an air conditioner in hot and humid climates.
|Cooling system||Average cost installed|
|Whole-house fan||$600 – $2,300|
|Central AC installation cost||$2,500 – $7,500|
|Ductless mini-split AC installation cost||$1,800 – $10,500|
Whole-house fan pros and cons
A whole-house fan improves indoor air quality and comfort by exchanging the home's air volume every 3 to 4 minutes. Whole-house fans are not ideal for hot and humid climates or areas requiring extra security because they rely on outside air drawn in through open windows.
Are whole-house fans worth it?
Whole-house fans are worth it in most homes and typically have a 1- to 3-year return on investment (ROI) due to AC energy savings. Homes in moderate climates with a significant temperature difference between the days and evenings see the most benefit.
Do whole-house fans work?
A whole-house fan effectively cools the home when the outside air is cooler than the indoor air. Whole-house fans draw in outside air through open windows and vent warm indoor air through the attic. Whole-house fans work best in the evening, overnight, and early morning.
How much does a QuietCool whole-house fan cost?
A QuietCool whole-house fan costs $500 to $3,000 installed or $450 to $1,500 for the fan alone, depending on the size, type, and motor. QuietCool offers "whisper-quiet and energy-efficient" ducted whole-house fans for attic installation and roof-mounted fans for homes without attic space.
Whole-house fan size calculator (CFM)
Select a whole-house fan size that moves 2 to 3 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air per square foot of living space. Ceiling height and geographical location also impact the required fan size. Homes with ceilings over 8 feet should size up due to the increased air volume.
|Home location||Recommended CFM per square foot|
|Coastal and mountain regions||2|
Where to install a whole-house fan?
The ideal location to install a whole-house fan is in the attic floor through the ceiling at the home's center, typically in a hallway and free from obstructions. Install the fan in the uppermost ceiling of a multi-level home.
When should I run my whole-house fan?
Run a whole-house fan when the outside air is cooler than the inside air, usually in the evening, overnight, or early morning. Turn off the air conditioning when running the whole-house fan to avoid wasting energy.
Finding a whole-house fan installer
- Get at least three estimates to compare.
- Look for professionals with experience installing whole-house fans and evaluating the attic's venting requirements.
- Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
- Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for more than five years.
- Ask for references.
- Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
- Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
- Never pay in full before the project starts. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.
Questions to ask
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- What experience do you have with installing whole-house fans?
- What size fan do I need for my home?
- Does the installation include a cover or insulation to prevent heat from escaping during the winter?
- Will my attic require additional vents?
- How long will the installation take?
- How long should a new fan last?
- How do I control the fan?
- Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?
- What is and is not included in the estimate?
- What additional costs should I expect?
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted pros:
Cost to Install a Whole House Fan. (2022).
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole-House Fan? (2021).
QUIETCOOL WHOLE HOUSE FAN. (2022).
Cooling with a Whole-House Fan. (n.d.).
Whole-House Fans - Home Depot. (2022).
Whole House Fans - Lowes. (2022).
20+ Whole-house fan installers in Ashburn, VA
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