Attic: Check Attic Vents and Fans


An Attic is the area of your home which is above the ceiling of the highest story of your home, and just below the roof.

Attic vents are the mushroom-shaped circulating fans on your roof, and/or the openings you see on the side of your house near your roof. These vents can become blocked by leaves, bird’s nests, etc. Your attic also contains ‘insulation’, a fluffy material that reduces the transfer of heat, similar to the way a down coat keeps a person warm. Insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter, and helps to keep your home cool in the winter. Since heat rises, homes tend to lose heat through the roof, which is why attic insulation is important.

In most homes, the Attic space will be ‘un-finished,’ which means that it will not have any heating and air conditioning for this area, and the walls are not covered with drywall or plaster. However, in some homes the Attic space will be finished living space.

Some Attic spaces are easily accessed by permanent stairs, while in other homes the Attic space is accessed only through a moveable ceiling panel or a pull-down foldable ladder.

Routine Care

Check attic vents and fans

The reason for this task is that your attic space sits between the insulation in your ceiling (the floor of the attic) and your roof.If air circulation in this region is not adequate, your attic will be too warm in the winter and too hot in the summer.

This area being too warm in the winter can lead to the formation of ice dams in snowy climates. And this area being too hot in summer means your air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy.

Timing: September (yearly)

How To

This task involves inspecting the vents and cleaning out any obstructions.

You should also inspect the operation of your attic fan, if applicable. If you have an attic fan, you should clean the fan blades thoroughly, and check that they turn freely. If the fan is obstructed by leaves or bird’s nests, you may have to climb on top of the roof to dislodge them. If the fan motor has oil ports, then put a few drops of machine oil in each location.


The benefits of this task are relatively high. Doing this task can help maintain the energy efficiency of your home, and in snowy regions of the country it can help prevent ice dams.


The cost of this task can be moderately high, from an investment of time standpoint, depending on how easy or difficult it is to access your attic spaces. You will likely need a good flashlight to complete this task.


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