Read this to find out what gable fan is best for you

Gable fan being installed

Are you looking for ways to reduce home cooling costs? This is one of the main reasons people buy gable fans. A gable fan mounts behind your attic gable vent and pushes all that hot air out of your attic on warmer days. This summer I had a chance to install two different gable fans, a solar model and a plug in powered model. Overall, both fans have really helped keep the house cooler, and our air conditioner comes on much less frequently. But what gable fan works best? There are a few key decision factors to weigh, but for me, noise was one of the biggest.

The types of Gable Fans I compared:

I did some shopping (and asking) around and narrowed my choice to the two gable fans listed above. We actually have two attics and two gable vents, so I had a chance to install both and do a product comparison.

The solar fan costs a little more up front, but won’t cost you anything to run as it’s solor powered. It has a nice powder coat finish and easier mounting than the Broan, but that stuff doesn’t matter much once the unit is installed. Both gable fans have thermostats, the solar fan is set to turn on once your attic gets to about 85 degrees. Installing the solar panel was easy and they give you plenty of cable if you need it. Overall, I really like how the solar gable vent works day after day, without me even noticing it’s there.

A video comparison showing the Broan vs. Solar – what gable fan is best?

I’ve also been pretty happy with the Broan gable fan. It comes with slightly less hardware and is a bit more difficult to install, but nothing you won’t be able to handle. I purchased some rubber isolators and installed these with the Broan – just to reduce noise as much as possible. You also have to run power to the Broan vs. the solar but hopefully your attic has some power source available you can tap into like mine did. The Broan has an adjustable thermostat and I set ours to about 115 degrees. For our house and location, the Broan comes on days when it’s in the 80s or higher. I also notice it comes on much earlier in the day when it’s going to be hot. The most important thing to note is even with the rubber isolators, the Broan is much louder and more noticeable than the solar fan. On the plus side, it moves a lot more air (the solar gable fan is 25 watts vs. the Broan which is 3.4 Amp or 400+ watts). The solar fan is also sun dependent, whereas the Broan runs whenever you need it. This is mostly a factor between 5-8 PM, when it’s the hottest part of the day, but the sun’s angle isn’t optimal for powering the solar gable fan.

The Verdict:

For me, I prefered the solar fan in this test. It’s a silent soldier that works to keep your attic cooler without any additional electricity cost. While the Broan gable fan does move a lot more air, it comes with the cost of additional noise. I found myself slightly distracted when the fan was on, even when I was downstairs (the attic fan is in the second story attic).