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My brother has an old house in San Jose, CA. It get very hot in summer, and they have a hard time sleeping because of the heat.

They are thinking of installing an attic fan. I was wondering how much of a difference would an attic fan make in the house, maybe reduce temps 10 degrees farenheit? Are there better solutions such as repairing the attic insulation? And what kind of costs should he expect to pay a contractor to do the job for him?
 

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Might help, might hurt.

Depends how well sealed the attic is from the house.

Adding insulation never hurts.
 

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if you can cycle the air out of the attic with the night temperature it will keep the house slightly cooler after the sun has been beating on the roof all day.if they do a ceiling fan(low speed)and a window unit(set at 75F) in the bedroom that will be a total change.if money is an issue...try the attic fan first,and then a ceiling fan second and check out the results.keeping the blinds tweeked so no sun hits the walls or shows anyplace in that room also helps.... if they are on a west exposure in the PM.on that attic either just venting the eaves or installing a forced fan will dump some of that 100F build-up
 
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