Top Problems with Attic Fan Motor and How to Fix Them

Attic fans are a common appliance found in most homes. However, these fans can wear out with time and face multiple issues like any home component. Therefore, it is important to know how to solve these problems for the homeowners. In some cases, replacement motors for attic fans may be required to solve the issue completely. In other cases, the situation can get better without needing an attic fan motor replacement. Here, we will discuss the most common problems with attic fan motors and fix them.

Turning On Issue

One of the most common issues with the attic fan is that the fan may not turn on. Such an issue may emerge due to several reasons. One reason could be an electrical issue. Here, the fan may face an electrical problem such as a fuse blown or a bad connection between the electric supply and the motor. In some cases, the attic fan motor may also have a tripped circuit breaker. Therefore, finding the right solutions for these problems is crucial to make the fan work properly again.

The best way is to hire a professional to solve these electrical issues, as DIYing can be risky. The most expensive repair occurs if the attic exhaust fan’s motor gets damaged. If the issue is not electrical or thermostat-related, you may need a motor replacement. Getting the right motor for the replacement is important to ensure safe and productive usage in the future.

Blade Moving Issue

Sometimes, the attic fan may turn on, but the blades won’t move. In this case, you will often notice extremely loud noises from the fan motor. The main reason here is that the motor has to put extra pressure on the system to try and move the blades. The most common reason for this attic fan motor issue is either due to dirt/ dust between the blades or clogging within the system. Most electricians would first try to solve the issue via oiling. If this option doesn’t work, they may opt for motor replacement or deep cleaning by bringing the motor apart.

Air Flow Issues

When you turn the fan to high-speed settings, you expect the airflow to be significant. However, in some situations, it may not be the case. The fan may run super slow or have sluggish movements. In such scenarios, before jumping in to replace the motor completely, the best option is to check that the intake or exhaust system is working fine. In some cases, debris may cause these systems to get clogged, posing speed issues to the rotating blades.

Humming Noise

One common issue is hearing humming noises from the attic fan as time passes and the fan gets older. In most such cases, a replacement motor for the attic fan may be required. Try checking if the current motor can be repaired before selecting a replacement. In some cases, professional cleaning may help heal the humming noise from the attic system.

Also, motors may wear out with time as well. It may lose some components that can not be repaired. For such cases, get in touch with a professional electrician to suggest the most suitable replacement.

Burning Smell

If the motor makes serious burning smells, then some internal component is damaged. Mostly, a burning smell indicates that the motor is using more power but cannot produce the optimal result. Therefore, try getting a replacement motor to solve the issue permanently. Also, before the motor is replaced for the attic fan, grease the gears on the blade shaft and check if the belt has any slips. In most cases, these issues may be the underlying factor for the motor damage. Therefore, correcting them can help prevent motor issues in the long term.

Maintaining your Attic Fan

Getting the attic fan motor replaced can be very costly for some homeowners. Therefore, maintaining the fan is a better option to avoid serious replacement costs. The best option is to contact a professional HVAC expert to check the system and perform any required repairs now and then. This way, the fan’s motor can have a longer useful life and last better. The common repairing methods involve lubricating the system and cleaning to ensure no blockage.


Getting a home warranty to cover the motor replacement costs for your attic fan is an excellent option to save money in the long term. The replacement itself can be very expensive. Consider different options available in the mainstream market by multiple providers before getting the right home warranty to help fix many common attic fan motor issues.

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