While attic fans are generally safe and provide the benefit of improved air circulation, improper installation, faulty wiring, or neglect can pose a fire hazard. This risk underscores the importance of professional installation and regular maintenance. Particularly in homes with metal roofing, it is crucial to ensure that attic fans are installed with proper clearances and are not in contact with any flammable materials. Metal roofing can sometimes affect the electrical aspects of an attic fan due to conductivity if not installed correctly. Therefore, it is always recommended to have a qualified electrician or a technician experienced with metal roofing to inspect and install attic fans to mitigate any potential fire risks.
Most attic fans get placed there and forget, says Kenneth Kent, deputy marshal of the Arlington County Fire Department. They are not inspected for years, and when they malfunction, they can cause a fire. But back to the topic at hand, can attic fans cause fires? Attic Fires Can and Do Happen. Like any electrical appliance, attic fans are susceptible to fire.
A faulty attic fan can overheat and cause a fire. Faulty or loose wiring, old appliances, and overloaded circuit breakers are other cases of attic fires. Some fire safety experts believe that installing a whole-house fan or attic fan may pose a greater risk of attic fires. With that said, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of installing the attic fan.
If you cool your home with an attic fan, make sure it's built with quality materials, such as metal. Plastic fan parts can pose a fire hazard. The absolute most common cause of attic fires in residential houses is electrical malfunctions. Sometimes the circuits overcharge, and if the switch does not trip, the overloaded circuit could cause a fire.
Electrical surges that overheat in attic insulation and other parts of the house are responsible for approximately 43% of all residential attic fires. When it comes to residential attic fires, the most common cause of the fire is a problem related to an electrical malfunction. If your circuits ever become overloaded and cause a switch to fail, excessive power consumption can cause a fire. According to FEMA, about 43 percent of all residential attic fires are the result of this scenario.
In addition to electrical malfunctions, other common causes of attic fires include problems related to the heating system, as well as natural sources such as lightning or fallen trees. Will it help cool the top floor? It could, although if the attic is well insulated, it shouldn't make much of a difference. What determines whether or not your attic needs a fan is the temperature and airflow in the attic itself. If the attic heats up too much, it will eventually damage the roof.
And if you have electrical wiring in the attic (and almost everyone does), the combination of a very hot attic and a heavily loaded circuit could cause a fire. Fires caused by attic fans are quite rare, but they can occur if the maintenance inspection is ignored for a long time. Have an attic professional inspect your attic insulation to ensure it meets current fire standards. Whole-house fans, which are typically installed in an attic between the roof and the living space, are designed to cool homes by drawing warm air and blowing it out through the ventilation grilles.
If you draw air out of your attic, you must provide a means to replace it with the outside air introduced to the attic. I don't know if an attic is more likely to catch fire than another part of your house, but the attic is a place where a fire can quickly get out of control. Not only will proper attic insulation prevent flames from spreading, but making sure you have the right attic insulation will also make your home safer in other ways, by preventing mold growth, for example. We know how to keep your attic clean and disinfected and we know exactly how to keep your attic insulation working as it should.
I've been considering adding attic fans to my gable vents and opening or adding ceiling vents to replace the air, because right now I don't know what else to do. There are a few ways to prevent attic fan fires, but first, let's see what causes it. Installing an attic fan may seem like an easy DIY project, but it's best left to the professionals, unless you're a licensed electrician. Attic Projects' professional and experienced team of attic cleaning specialists can help you address key issues and deliver sustainable, cost-effective solutions, giving you the peace of mind you need.
Any of these elements can cause a spark to ignite the attic insulation, causing a fire that can spread rapidly through the attic. If you haven't cleaned your attic in a long time, it might be time to contact a professional attic cleaning company. This means homeowners need to be aware of the risk their attics and attic insulation can pose, and take steps to help keep their homes as safe as possible.