Do Duct Booster Fans Work? (Explained)

Photo of a duct booster fan vent on the wall. Do Duct Booster Fans Work?

Do duct booster fans work? You might be wondering. If you need to invest in duct booster fans to get an even airflow in your home, read on below to find out!

Yes, duct booster fans really do work as long as you understand how they can be helpful for your household and the issue you’re having. Duct booster fans work by regulating the airflow through your HVAC vents. 

There are two main types. The first is inline duct fans. These sit in the ductwork and helps pull air from the general flow so that each vent gets the right output. The second type is a register fan. It goes into the room that isn’t getting a lot of airflow and draws more air out of the vent itself.

Learn about the differences between them below!

What is a duct booster fan?

A duct booster fan is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a fan that will help boost the airflow in your ductwork, connecting your HVAC to its vents around your home.

Booster fans are aftermarket products that you can install to help boost your HVAC’s airflow into hard-to-reach places. Some units need them as they age, and others will never need them. Understanding your situation depends on what your problem is!

How can you tell if your home needs a duct booster fan?

There are quite a few signs you can watch for that will tell you whether or not your home needs a duct booster fan. Some of the most common causes for homeowners to install them include the following:

  • Hot or cold spots in a room
  • Cold/Hot rooms that the HVAC just can’t quite reach
  • Inefficient heating or cooling throughout the home
  • The system is too small for the home

These are all reasons to consider getting a duct booster fan for your home. If you notice these issues, it means that your HVAC unit just isn’t cutting it anymore. You don’t necessarily have to get booster fans, but they can help address these issues!

How do duct booster fans work?

Let’s take a moment to learn how these kinds of fans work. As I mentioned above, there are two types of fans that you can consider. These are:

  • Duct inline fans
  • Register fans

Duct inline fans

These are internal fans that are installed into your actual ductwork itself. They pull airflow from your unit and direct it toward the vents that need it most. If your unit is strong, these vents help redirect the same power to the vents needing extra support.

Register fans

These are mounted outside your ductwork, specifically onto the vent. They work on drawing more air through the vent itself. They are more “on demand” than the inline ductwork. Depending on your needs, you can actually program them externally to be stronger or weaker.

Which duct booster fan type is best?

Both of those sound pretty great, right? So, what will be best for your ductwork and needs? It will depend mostly on what kind of ductwork you’re working with.

Inline fans are best designed for large and complex ductwork designs where the air can get “lost” as it searches for the right vents. Commercial buildings are an excellent example of this. Or two-story larger homes. These systems tend to be more expensive.

The register fan booster fans will be better for the smaller units where you are just looking for on-demand help in a few spaces. They are designed for small systems that you want to amplify more when and where needed. They are cheaper than inline ductwork fans because they are installed directly where needed. They are outside of your register. 

Where should you install a duct booster fan in your home?

You’ll install the fans differently, spending on which type you choose, as you’ve learned from the description above. You should install them in areas where the demand is needed.

For example, in that cold bedroom in the back of the house or that closet in the front hall. If you need help determining where you should install either inline fans or the register fans. In that case, you’ll want to call an HVAC technician to help you figure out which area is best.

Are duct booster fans worth the investment?

All things considered, duct booster fans are worth the investment for those that want a cheap fix to an airflow problem. That said, they won’t fix an HVAC that isn’t working right.

For example, leaky ductwork or clogged fans. You’ll have to assess your HVAC first to ensure that it doesn’t have an underlying issue like that. If it does, your vents just won’t be able to compete.

Fun Fact:

IF you repair a leak or clear a clogged filter, you’ll most likely find your HVAC will work much better, and you may not need a booster fan!Generally, duct booster fans are worth the investment if you can afford them. Just make sure that your home needs them first!

What are some benefits of using a duct booster fan?

There are some important benefits to consider when you’re looking at installing duct booster fans. The biggest ones include the following:

  • Getting more use out of an older HVAC system
  • Enjoying extra power in complex systems
  • Puts off the need for costly replacements

Getting more use out of an older HVAC system

If your HVAC system is outdated, you can rely on booster fans to help keep it working properly even years later. It’s great for getting as much use out of your existing system as possible.

Enjoying extra power in complex systems

If you’ve got a complicated ductwork system, booster fans will give you a bit more juice when your HVAC system is weaker in certain areas with many twists and turns. The extra power helps provide a more even temperature and airflow.

Puts off the need for costly replacements

The main benefit is that it can help you get some more time and use out of your HVAC before having to install a new one.

For example, if you’re a new homeowner, you may not have enough money to replace an entire HVAC. In that case, installing the duct booster fans will give you some time to enjoy more comfort in your home without having to replace the entire unit immediately. Remember that this “patchwork” option will only work for so long.

The other perk of installing duct booster fans, according to EcoTelligent Homes, is that they can help cut energy costs significantly! Since the fans help your system to work more efficiently, it won’t run as long or as often. It also saves stress on the appliance itself, helping you get even more years out of it!

There’s a lot of negativity around duct booster fans as far as their general helpfulness. However, they can be an excellent investment for your home and energy bills.

They regulate airflow through your HVAC ductwork via an inline fan installed directly to your ductwork or through a register fan installed outside of your room’s current vent. They greatly benefit your home’s overall energy use and the ability to get more use and enjoyment out of your HVAC.

However, they won’t fix an underlying issue, such as a leak, clogged filter, or fan. They’ll just help keep it running a bit until you can fix those issues.

If you know someone who needs help determining whether duct booster fans are right for their home or not. Please share this article to help them understand when they’re useful and when they’re not!

Rosa Peterson

Rose is the writer and creator of Better That Home, a blog about home design and decor. Rose has been designing spaces for over 10 years and writing home design and decor for big publishers. She has been inspired by many other creatives from around the world and loves to share those inspirations with her readers. Read more about Rose here