Raleigh Attic Insulation Specialists

FAQs for Fan Installation Services

Fan Man Attic Fan Company Information

The Fan Man was established in 2001 by Mark Romano upon completion of a BS Degree in Business Management from East Carolina University.  Working alongside his father in construction and roofing Mark had been made aware of the many benefits proper attic ventilation offers. He realized this was a vital but often overlooked aspect of construction and so with this in mind he formed Fan Man Inc. The company has evolved over the years, now offering a multitude of products and services to address overall efficiency of a home. We provide full energy audits, insulation, air sealing, fresh indoor air quality testing and ventilation.

Fan Man Inc. is a  licensed general contracting, electrical, BPI certified, and RESNET certified home rating company.

Fan Man Inc. carries workers compensation, general liability, and completed operations insurance. The Fan Man has been awarded the Angies List Super Service Awards in Raleigh and Charlotte for 2009 through 2013.

In 2013 Fan Man Inc. partnered with The Home Depot to launch a custom attic ventilation program.

In February 2014 Bonterra Builders partnered with Fan Man Inc. to provide custom ventilation and energy upgrade packages to new home purchasers.

Every aspect of any product installed through the Fan Man is covered by a non-transferrable 10 year warranty. This includes parts and labor. Our 10 year warranty sets us apart from competitors. We strive to provide the best in customer service and this has been the key to our success over the last 13 years. We are proud to have received numerous accolades in the community for exceptional service and our 10 year warranty is a key aspect of our diligent customer service. See the testimonials page for customer reviews.

Fan Man Inc. is partnered with the major power providers in the three markets we currently service.  Rebate programs vary throughout those companies and are listed below.  There are also federal and state incentives based on the improvements made. 

Duke Power “smart saver” program – As a Duke Energy certified partner, consumers qualify for a rebate up to $250 when improvements are made to better seal and insulate your home. http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/savings/insulate-seal.asp

Duke/Progress Energy – As a certified seal and insulate contractor and partner, eligible customers will receive up to a $500 rebate by improving insulation and sealing leaks.

https://www.progress-energy.com/carolinas/home/save-energy-money/energy-efficiency-improvements/heip/index.page

Georgia Power – As a certified partner and program participating contractor in the Georgia Power “Earth Sense” program, consumers taking the “whole house approach” toward improvements can qualify for a rebate up to $2200.http://residential.georgiapower.com/products-programs/home-improvement/

Residential Energy Audit Questions

An energy audit is a comprehensive assessment of energy consumption, indoor air quality, and combustion safety of your home. We use a variety of measurable techniques to evaluate these scenarios.  Some of which include:

* Measure R value of insulation in attic, walls and floors to determine any inadequacies.

Carbon monoxide (CO) testing inside the home and combustion appliances (ex. gas furnace) to make certain a safety hazard doesn’t exist.

* Gas sniffers check for gas leaks around the gas meter and appliances in the home.

* A blower door test is used to determine the amount of air leaking into and out of your home. 

* Thermal imaging is used to determine areas of inadequate insulation and where heat transfers into or out of the home.

Fan Man energy audits always include a detailed written assessment and specific areas of improvement.

Yes, if the home is not properly sealed you will experience problems related to drafts and heat transfer out of the home.  A tight air barrier is just as important as insulation, but they serve different purposes. Your home has a pressure barrier (anything that keeps air from flowing out of or into your home.  It also has a thermal barrier (insulation) that reduces the amount of conduction of heat from one object to another.  Many times we find that a home is losing more energy through air leakage than from poor insulation.

Our audits are the most comprehensive on the market and typically cost between $300-$500, depending on the size of your home.  Once your audit is complete, you receive an extensive analysis and suggested improvements that can be made by you or a contractor. Our company specializes in most of the suggested improvements and when you contract with our company to make the improvements, your audit is free! We also provide a free exit audit to demonstrate and measure all the improvements made.

Yes,  35% of the air in your home needs to be replaced every hour in order to maintain healthy air quality. In others words, all the air in your home should be recycled every three hours. We use a blower door test to measure exactly how much air is flowing through your home under natural conditions, if your house is under the 35% mark, we can install an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator). This device brings a constant supply of controlled fresh air into the home while capturing the energy of stale air being removed from the home.

Anything that burns gas emits CO (carbon monoxide), which is odorless, tasteless and deadly.  Any unit inside the pressure boundary of a home (a furnace in the basement for example) should be checked to make sure carbon monoxide is not being expelled into your home.  Fan Man uses CO detectors and probes to make sure your equipment is burning and drafting properly and your family is safe.

While running the blower door we perform zonal pressure tests and use thermal imaging to narrow down specific problem areas.

Currently, GA Power offers a $200 rebate towards the cost of an energy audit when performed with a certified participating partner.  Fan Man is a partner.

Fan Man Inc. is partnered with the major power providers in the three markets we currently service.  Rebate programs vary throughout those companies and are listed below.  There are also federal and state incentives based on the improvements made. 

Duke Power “smart saver” program – As a Duke Energy certified partner, consumers qualify for a rebate up to $250 when improvements are made to better seal and insulate your home. http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/savings/insulate-seal.asp

Duke/Progress Energy – As a certified seal and insulate contractor and partner, eligible customers will receive up to a $500 rebate by improving insulation and sealing leaks.

https://www.progress-energy.com/carolinas/home/save-energy-money/energy-efficiency-improvements/heip/index.page

Georgia Power – As a certified partner and program participating contractor in the Georgia Power “Earth Sense” program, consumers taking the “whole house approach” toward improvements can qualify for a rebate up to $2200.http://residential.georgiapower.com/products-programs/home-improvement/

Attic Ventilation and Attic Fan

A good rule of thumb is 100 degrees or less. A poorly ventilated attic can have temperatures that reach above 160 degrees. Even an attic with a convection fed system (ridge and soffit vents) can reach between 140 and 150 degrees. When an attic temperature gets above 100 degrees the heat is drawn toward the living space through the insulation and has a detrimental effect on the air handler and duct work in the attic. A powerful ventilation system along with the proper intake air is capable of keeping your attic around 100 degrees on a 90 degree day.

Typically the HVAC air handler and ductwork for the upper floor(s) is located in the attic. The heat trapped in the attic is being absorbed into the duct work and the air handler. By the time the cold air is produced in the metal air handler and the air runs through the ductwork it can be heated between 8 and 20 degrees because of the extremely hot air in the attic. When the temperature in the attic is lowered the air conditioning unit runs more efficiently to produce cooler air.

This depends on several factors. The total square footage of the attic space along with the pitch of the roof determines the volume of air in the attic. The volume of air, along with the shape of the attic determines how many fans you need. Typically one fan will ventilate a maximum of 1400 to 2000 sq. ft depending on the pitch of the roof.

To achieve proper air flow we will close in a section of the ridge vent in close proximity to where the fan will be installed. This will only allow shaded air to be pulled evenly across the soffit vents and have the maximum cooling effect on the attic space. If this wasn’t done, hot air would be drawn in through the ridge and recirculated through the fan. This can cause the attic temperature to climb an extra 15-20 degrees.

Several factors will determine the amount saved on your cooling costs. The placement of the air handler and ductwork is a major factor. If they are located in your attic and absorbing the heat trapped in your attic space the savings on your energy bill will be greater than if your air handler is located somewhere else. It also depends on the temperature you set the thermostat as well as the age of your AC unit. In most cases our customers save between 20 and 30% of what it costs to cool their home. For customers with gas heat you can easily determine your cooling costs by deducting your winter electric bill from your summer electric bill. Considering what you save in cooling costs this system will pay for itself in 2-4 yrs. If you factor in other benefits such as a more efficient air handler and longer roof shingle life then your pay off is much sooner.

During the peak summer, fans typically run 12 hours a day. You can expect a powered fan to cost just over $6/month which is about .11/kwh. This equates to about the same amount of energy as three 60 watt light bulbs. Our power fans draw 2 amps of electricity while in use. The average air handler and condensing unit for your AC will draw between 20 and 24 amps. Far less energy is used when running the fans than when trying to cool a home with an overheated attic.

Solar attic fans run off the suns energy and therefore consume no energy when in use.

Yes. A poorly ventilated attic can cut the life of your roof in half. A 40 year roof for example can very easily last only twenty years if it is exposed to the heat of the sun along with 150 degree temperatures in the attic. This is essentially cooking your roof from both sides.

When a shingle is overheated “burn-off” occurs. This occurs when a shingle over heats and the top layer breaks loose and falls off. The top layer of the shingle has a protective coating which prevents algae build-up. When that coating comes off mold and fungus can grow on your roof. When the attic is kept at a cooler temperature the “burn-off” effect is minimized. This in turn keeps your roof looking better longer and the rate of deterioration is much slower.

If you are running your AC there is a good chance that your attic fan will be running at some point in the day. On a sunny 70 degree day your attic will reach 100 degrees so your fan will be running periodically throughout the day. During the summer in the south your ventilation system will turn on early and operate throughout the day. When your fan is running it is saving you money on your air conditioning.

Yes. Each fan runs automatically and is connected to its own thermostat. We set the thermostat at 95 degrees so when the attic reaches 95 degrees the fan turns on and runs until the attic temperature reaches 85 degrees. There is also a switch installed with the fan so that it can be turned off manually should the need occur.

This is one key aspect that sets the Fan Man apart from other companies. Our installation process has been refined to ensure that each fan will run quietly and smoothly. First, galvanized screws are used to secure the fan – not roofing nails. We do this because over time nails will become loose. On the other hand screws secure the fan to the roof. Secondly, the fan is balanced to minimize noise and vibration. These steps ensure a balanced fan which runs smoothly and quietly.

This has become a very popular question in recent years. Solar fans seem to make perfect sense; no electrical usage, no wiring, and best of all tax credits. Solar fans can be a great option, but only in limited circumstances. The problem with solar fans when compared to its electric counterpart is the extreme inconsistency with which it moves air. Conditions have to be perfect for a solar fan to achieve the same amount of air flow you get with an electric fan. This means you must have direct sun, with no cloud cover or shading, and a south facing roof. A lot of times these factors do not exist and therefore you need additional solar fans to make up for the inadequacies created by these conditions. In effect you end up spending more money (even with the tax credits) because you have to buy a larger solar system to gain the same effect of a smaller electric fan system. Customers have to keep in mind that by dropping the attic temperature 40-50 degrees you stand to save much more money than eliminating the power usage of a 120 watt fan.

Solar Skylights

We offer two sizes. A 10″ skylight will illuminate 100 sq ft. and a 13″ skylight will brighten 300-400 sq ft.

The light produced on a bright day will be much greater then on a day when it is cloudy.

We don’t like to go over about 12′ of tubing because it diminished the light too much.

Radiant Barrier, Seal and Insulation

We look at radiant barrier installation a little differently because of our emphasis on the house as a whole. When the radiant barrier is installed on the underside of the roof there is excess heat exposure to the shingles and this will shorten the life span of your shingle. Another problem with this installation technique is the loss of heat in the winter as the heat from your home will be allowed to escape to the roof.

By installing radiant barrier over the insulation we accomplish several things:

prevent heat inside the attic from radiating into the living space in the summer

hold radiant heat in your living space at ceiling level in the winter.

extend the life of the roof shingles by eliminating a high concentration of radiant heat between the radiant guard and the roof.

This application will only work with proper attic ventilation in place first, but with proper attic ventilation the attic can be kept around 100 degrees and this will maximize the effectiveness of the radiant barrier and in turn offer you the benefits of a more comfortable home, less usage on your air handler, and extended life on your shingle. 

All are very important and work together to serve different purposes.  Many homes are well insulated but still cold and drafty in the winter.   Insulation slows down convection, which is the transfer of heat from one object to another.  Radiant barrier blocks radiant heat, which is energy in the form of light wave, think sun light.  Then there is convection which is hot air rising and trying to flow out of the home.  The best approach is to verify the air leakage of the home with a blower door test.  If the home is very leaky then air sealing needs to be done to bring it into an acceptable range.  Secondly the insulation level should be brought up to an R49, then the radiant barrier should be applied on top of that.  That’s the optimum scenario.

We look at radiant barrier installation a little differently because of our emphasis on the house as a whole. When the radiant barrier is installed on the underside of the roof there is excess heat exposure to the shingles and this will shorten the life span of your shingle. Another problem with this installation technique is the loss of heat in the winter as the heat from your home will be allowed to escape to the roof.

By installing radiant barrier over the insulation we accomplish several things:

prevent heat inside the attic from radiating into the living space in the summer

hold radiant heat in your living space at ceiling level in the winter.

extend the life of the roof shingles by eliminating a high concentration of radiant heat between the radiant guard and the roof.

This application will only work with proper attic ventilation in place first, but with proper attic ventilation the attic can be kept around 100 degrees and this will maximize the effectiveness of the radiant barrier and in turn offer you the benefits of a more comfortable home, less usage on your air handler, and extended life on your shingle. 

You can put radiant barrier over blown in insulation but it will compress the insulation some, thereby reducing the Rvalue.  That’s why our first recommendation is to go over the blown in insulation with a batt type insulation and then install the radiant barrier.

Those numbers can really vary depending on insulation levels and air leakage combined with the radiant barrier.  When we address the air leakage, insulation, ventilation and radiant barrier we can typically save people between 30-45% of the heating and cooling cost.

No, our radiant barrier is perforated so moisture in the air will pass right through like it is supposed to.

It’s not just about insulating anymore.  In most cases insulation does not stop air flow.  In most scenarios people are losing as much energy from air flow as they are due to poor insulation.  Air leakage needs to be verified with a blower door test and average insulation levels need to be verified.  Then air sealing techniques can be used to tighten the home and insulation can be added to slow conduction.

Insulation can be a tricky thing.  For example if you have an R30 batt type insulation (rolled out, mostly pink) and there are small gaps around the edges or where the pieces butt together then the effective R value is really closer to R15.  If you can see the tops of the ceiling joists along with the gaps and spaces in other areas then you have a very low R value.  

A good example is a 1000 square foot ceiling with an unsealed and uninsulated attic hatch.  The ceiling has continuous R30 insulation except for the 10 square foot attic door.  Even though this represents only 1% of the ceiling area, it brings the effective Rvalue of the entire ceiling down to an R22.  In other words, its like taking 30% of the insulation out of the rest of your attic space.  The attic hatch/steps must be sealed and insulated.

Air leaks around can lights, light fixture boxes, air conditioning vents, wiring chases drilled down in the top plate of the framing and any other penetration in the ceiling of the house can be sealed.  Air also leaks from where the sheet rock meets the framing and gets down in the walls and comes out receptacles and light switches.   Air usually comes in from the crawlspace and basement through plumbing and wiring penetrations and can also enter through the framing.

The department of energy recommends R49 but a minimum R30 in the climate zone we live in.  Fan Man Inc. recommends proper air sealing and a minimum R49 to maximize the comfort and efficiency of your home.

Cooling Attics

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