Attic fans are great for helping to keep your house cool, but sometimes they
break. If your attic fan breaks, it'll need to be fixed. Either you can have a
repairperson take care of it for you, or you might be able to do it yourself.
Following is information on how to diagnose and fix simple attic fan problems.
Diagnosing the Problem
Figuring out what's wrong with your attic fan is a crucial step
in repairing it. After all, how could you possibly fix a problem when you don't
know where or what it is? First, you can determine whether the problem is in the
fan itself or is an outside electrical problem. Do this by unplugging the fan
from its outlet and plugging it into an extension cord that's plugged into a
working outlet elsewhere in your home. If the fan comes on, you have an
electrical problem in the circuit the attic fan is on. It's best to hire an
electrician to deal with electrical problems.
If, however, the fan still
doesn't turn on, the problem is most likely with the fan motor or the
thermostat. Most fans have an on/off switch that bypasses the fan's thermostat.
If you can turn the fan on in this way, the thermostat is most likely your
problem. If not, there's probably a problem with the motor.
Repairing the FanFan motors are pretty complicated pieces of
machinery, so there's really not too much you'll be able to do outside of
getting a replacement. However, one thing that you can look at is the fan belt.
A broken belt will cause the fan to run without actually drawing in any air.
Simply replacing the belt could solve your problems. You can also check to make
sure the exhaust vents are free of dust and debris.
Your only option
with a broken thermostat is replacement. Whether looking for a replacement motor
or thermostat, getting the right replacement part is important for the fan to
function properly again. Your local home improvement store might be able to help
you out, but with so many different models of fans on the market, you may have
to look online to get the part you're looking for. The manufacturer's site is a
good place to start. Once you have your replacement part, follow the
manufacturer's instructions for installation.
If none of these methods
work, you'll probably have to consider purchasing and installing a new attic
fan. Whatever the case may be for you, it shouldn't take too long before your
attic is cool once again.
Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013