Installing a Gable Fan


If an attic has a gable (a vertical end wall often pointed at the top), it is usually easy to install a fan there. A gable fan is easier to install than roof-mounted fans or vents, which leak if not sealed correctly.

If your gable does not have a vent, install one. Plastic louvers are less attractive than fixed wooden units, but they seal out wind and rain more effectively.

Calculate the square footage of your attic and total the square footage of your eaves vents. These two figures help you buy a gable fan the correct size.

Gable fans have thermostats to turn on automatically when the attic gets too hot and turn off when it cools.


About 4 hours to run cable inside an attic and install a gable fan (not counting additional framing or cutting for gable vent)

Voltage tester, drill, drywall saw, jigsaw or circular saw, hammer, screwdriver, strippers, long-nose pliers, lineman's pliers

Stripping, splicing, connecting wires to terminals; installing rough wood framing

Find power source and make sure the fan does not overload the circuit. Lay sheets of plywood on the attic floor if the joists are exposed. Wear long clothes, protective goggles, and a dust mask.

Gable fan, cable, wood screws, wire nuts, cable clamps, electrician's tape

Wiring a gable fan is simply a matter of connecting it to power. Because it has a built-in thermostat, wiring for a switch is not needed.

Step 1

If there is no gable vent, install one. If the studs are too far apart, add some framing. Cut 2X4s to fit between the studs and attach them with 3-inch screws.

Step 2

To install a vent shutter, you need not cut or modify framing. Use a jigsaw or set a circular saw just deep enough to cut through the siding and sheathing.

Step 3

Cut a hole that the vent frame covers. Attach the louver by driving screws through its frame and into framing members.

Step 4

Mount the fan onto the framing by driving screws through the mounting flanges and into framing members.

Step 5

Fasten the fan thermostat to a framing member. The fan whip should be taut so it won't wobble and rattle against the framing when the fan runs.

Step 6

Shut off power to the circuit. Run cable from the thermostat into a power source. If no junction box is available in the attic, bring power up from a circuit in the floor below. Make sure the circuit can handle the additional load.

Step 7

Wire the thermostat following the manufacturer's directions. With the thermostat shown above, you insert stripped wire ends into a terminal bar and tighten the setscrews. Adjust the thermostat control and restore power.

Comments (3)
rawlings57 wrote:

I installed a gable fan in my home but I get vibration from the fan. How can I correct this problem?

1/22/2010 12:58:17 PM Report Abuse
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