By Gene and Katie Hamilton
What's a duct fan, you ask? It's a booster that works with your central heating and cooling system that draws additional air to problem areas in your house. The fan delivers warm or cool air where you need it, which is particularly useful in rooms where circulation is poor. Since it improves the air from a central system, the fan is an alternative to adding a space heater in the winter or a window unit in the summer. By keeping a room comfortable longer, you're conserving energy and making the most of your central system.
The unit uses two low-voltage fans to pull air out of the duct and into the room, making it a more comfortable environment. The unit needs to be near an outlet and plugged in to operate, and it requires some adjusting at the control panel in the center of the device. The fan comes in several sizes and is designed to slide into the existing vent opening in the floor or wall.
A handyman will install a 4-by-12-inch duct fan for $225, which includes the cost of the unit and installation. You can buy the fan at www.aftproducts.com and install it for $78, the cost of the unit, and save 65 percent. Even if you're new to doing it yourself, this is a no-brainer that you can easily accomplish.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a duct fan with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.