Is it ok to put an antenna in an attic?

This is a question that our tech team gets asked every day. Luckily, we’re able to give an answer that people like to hear: Yes, definitely. You absolutely can put an antenna in the attic

Putting an antenna in the attic is an easy way to deal with weather issues and let’s face it, who wants to go up on the roof when you don’t have to? There are some concerns with attic mounting an antenna and you should know before you start.. Let’s take a look at some things you’ll need to consider when putting an antenna in an attic.

Putting an antenna inside makes it less effective.

Your house’s construction can affect antenna reception. You can lose up to half of your incoming signal through roof tiles, and if your home is made of stucco, it’s possible that the metal mesh used in your home’s construction could impact the antenna’s effectiveness as well.

In general, your antenna will lose about 3dB of sensitivity when put in an attic. This is definitely a case where “your mileage may vary.” That number is based on wood framing and composition tile. For ceramic tile, especially red Spanish tile, you may lose more than that. Choose a larger antenna or add a pre-amp to compensate.

Antennas work best when they are up as high as possible.

The higher your antenna is, the fewer obstructions there will be between it and the towers. That’s why people use large masts on the top of the roof. If you put the antenna in the attic you may have to deal with more trees and other obstructions around your home. This may affect your ability to get signal, period, and it may mean that your channel selection is more limited.

Just because it’s in the attic doesn’t mean it should be on the floor.

Antennas aren’t really designed to sit on floors. They don’t balance terribly well and when they aren’t aligned with the towers, they’re less effective. Consider a small mast like our universal J-mount to mount an antenna inside. This is especially important with one of our Xtreme Signal antennas and other antennas that stand up. When you’re putting the antenna up, consider how you may want to aim it as well. In a typical pitched roof, you may not be able to rotate the antenna the way you need it.

You might want to choose a little more powerful antenna.

It might be best if you plan on attic mounting to think about a more powerful antenna, one that is rated for 15-20 miles further than you were considering before.

If you’re not sure which antenna to get, call us! We’re here to help during East Coast business hours. Call 888-233-7563 and you’ll reach a real antenna technician in our Novi, Michigan offices. They’ll be able to help you choose an antenna and recommend accessories that will work for attic mounting. Our staff is ready, willing, and able!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.