Specialist, impartial guidance on how to purchase a whole-house fan, including alternatives, sizing, when and how to use them, and producers.
Are you tired of soaring electrical expenses and needing to run your air conditioner day and night in summertime? Have you established allergies, likely caused by stale, non-ventilated, “shut-in” air? If so, you may think about setting up a whole-house fan. This can supply much needed ventilation and cool your home using far less energy than that taken in by an air conditioner.
Inning accordance with the United States Department of Energy, whole house fans are a simple and low-cost approach of cooling a house. They offer exceptional ventilation, lower indoor temperatures, and enhance evaporative cooling. The cost for a whole house fan is $150 to $350 versus the cost for central air conditioning, which runs $2,000 to $4,000 or more. In addition, entire house fans use one-quarter the power of central air.
The word “ventilation” originates from the Latin word for “to fan.” In the case of homes, this suggests out with the hot air and in with the cool.
The attic is the target location for an entire house fan since hot air rises, and, especially during summer, attic temperatures can reach 130 degrees F. Because the attic is not just at the top of your home but mostly confined, the hot air gets trapped in the attic, triggering the interior of your house to heat up.
An entire house fan goes in the ceiling between a home’s uppermost spaces and the attic. It pulls cool outside air inside through open doors and windows and distributes it throughout your house. The warmer air in the house is prepared into the attic where it is then pushed outside through roof vents. The attic fan is even more efficient at expelling the hot attic air than passive attic vents working on their own.
Whole house fans cool the entire house using outdoors air rather of “conditioning” inside air. The genuinely “cool” part about them is that they keep air moving through a home, and moving air feels cooler than still air.
There are also some drawbacks to entire house fans:
- They can only cool the within your house to the outdoors temperature level, so if it is hot outside, it will be just as hot within, except for the coolness provided by air movement.
- Unlike an ac system, an entire house fan can not dehumidify the air.
- A whole house fan can draw dust and pollen into your home.
- In winter months, entire house fans could provide energy loss as heated space air leakages into the attic. A shutter or cover can lessen this problem.
- A whole-house fan includes sound to your living environment, which can be a problem–specifically if it lies near bedrooms.
Whole House Fans vs. Attic Fans
What is the difference in between an entire house fan and an attic fan? Whole house fans suck out hot air from your home, force it into the attic, then exchange it with cooler outside air by means of vents. Attic fans only serve to eliminate some hot air from the attic. They are still effective, however–they can conserve you 30% on cooling expenses by eliminating caught super-hot air that gathers in the attic and then supports into your home’s home.
Attic fans can reduce upstairs temperatures by 10 degrees F., lengthen roof life by keeping shingles cooler, and, with an included optional humidistat, keep attics dry during winter season.
Use of an attic fan is easy since it goes on or off instantly by means of a thermostat. The attic fan only runs when it is beneficial.
Try to find these 3 things in an attic fan:
1) All metal construction– do not purchase a fan made of plastic.
2) A quality thermostat because you do not wish to need to crawl into your attic to manually turn the fan on and off.
3) A fire stat, which shuts the attic fan off under exceptionally high temperatures, such as if your home is on fire.
Attic fans come in rooftop and gable-end designs and can be powered by electrical energy or by solar energy.
Whole House Fans Options
If you’re considering an entire house fan to match your air conditioning system, or to take the place of your AC, you first must evaluate your requirements. The following guidelines will help:
Enter into your attic to see what you need to work with. A sign of bad ventilation is an unbearably hot attic in summer season. Check for moisture, obvious from any mold, mildew, rusted nailheads, damp or compressed insulation, or wood rot.
Likewise try to find vents. There are gable vents, roof louvers, consumption vents, and soffit and eave vents. Note the size and location of each. Finally, approximate the attic’s square video footage. Inning accordance with most building codes, you need 1 square foot of vent area for each 150 square feet of attic floor space. Do not ignore your ventilation requires. Building codes specify minimums; you might want to increase those to make sure correct ventilation.
Make sure to have a balance of intake and exhaust avenues to appropriately aerate your home. In the attic, bear in mind that the flow of air is restricted by the amount of consumption. If a ventilation system is balanced, half of it will be provided by exhaust vents in the upper part of your attic, with the other half provided by intake vents.
Call your utility business. Lots of offer rebates for whole house fan setup. Numerous companies offer 10-year guarantees. Make certain you inquire prior to making a purchase.
Old entire house fans tended to be noisy, consume substantial energy, need frequent upkeep (belt-driven ones require the belts changed occasionally), and were not well insulated. The newer whole house fans are well crafted to take care of these problems in multiple methods.
- A peaceful fan. Generally speaking, the more blades a fan has, the quieter it will be. Likewise ensure your unit has a welded frame so it will not relax and begin to squeak. Have the fan isolated from your home’s framing with foam strips or rubber mountings. That way the motor hum will not resound through the framing and drywall.
- Quality shutters. The much better the quality of the shutters or doors, the less thumping sounds will take place when the unit shuts off. The most recent fans have self-sealing insulated shutters that close when the fan is not operating, which avoids heat from escaping when the system is not in use.
- A timer. A timer is recommended over a thermostat, due to the fact that a thermostat can turn the fan on when no one is home (i.e., no windows or doors are open). In addition, a fire in the fireplace might activate the fan to go on if it’s managed by a thermostat.
- Size. Preferably, look for a big fan that will run well at a lower speed, thereby using less energy. A heavy system might likewise be quieter than a light-weight model due to the fact that it rests on foam weatherstripping, held down just by its own weight. See more about size listed below.
- Installation method. Many whole house fans are reasonably simple to install. Direct-drive designs are the most do-it-yourself friendly since, for most, no attic joists have to be cut. Belt-drive entire house fans that use an integrated pulley system take longer to install, but a belt-drive unit provides for a smoother and quieter operation.
Sizing a Whole House Fan
When choosing an entire house ventilation fan system, an essential factor to think about is what size it ought to be. Entire house fans are ranked inning accordance with the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air they can move. So, the larger your house, the larger the fan it will have to move the air successfully.
If your home has basic 8-foot-high ceilings, simply increase the home’s overall square footage by 3 to calculate the right size of fan for your home in CFMs. For instance, if your home is 2,000 square feet, figure 2,000 x 3 = 6,000 CFM. If a few of your ceilings are greater than 8 feet, purchase a slightly bigger one.
For a 2,300-square-foot house, the advised size of a belt-drive system is 36 inches (which will cover 6,900 CFM). Both belt-drive and direct-drive systems for a 1,900-square-foot house need a 30-inch system that can deal with 5,700 CFM. For a 1,500-square-foot house, the direct-drive 24-inch system, which covers 4,500 CFM, is recommended.
If you select a high-speed fan, you have to ensure there’s sufficient attic venting to expel its output. A good guideline is 1 square foot of venting area for every 750 CFM of fan. Or you can merely provide the same quantity of attic venting as the size of the shutter hole in the ceiling.
When & How to Use a Whole House Fan
For ideal effectiveness, use your entire house fan in the late afternoons, evenings, and/or mornings when the outdoors temperature levels are cooler than within temperature levels.
Here are a few fundamental pointers for using a whole-house fan:
- Turn off the central air when using a whole house fan. Otherwise, you will expel all that expensively cooled air in your home!
- Open the doors and windows. The fan requires inbound fresh air. If you do not open windows and doors, the fan may cause your gas-burning appliances, heater, or hot water heater to backdraft exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide into your home.
- Do not have a fire going in the fireplace. A fire will not vent properly due to the fact that of the change of air pressure that a whole house fan causes.
Whole House Fan Manufacturers
Here is a better take a look at a few popular choices:
- The QuietCool System is a multifan, multilocation system that moves 1,500 CFM of air per fan through a ducted system, similar to a forced-air heating and Air Conditioner system. It is easy to install and has actually insulated self-closing damper doors to prevent unwanted air loss.
QuietCool fans are set up in a hanging position from the attic rafters, which puts the fans as far away from your home as possible to reduce noise.
They can have multiple on/off switches if you desire one fan to run in one part of the house however not in another part. The QuietCool has no motorized doors or belts to replace, and the fan blades are not plastic. It includes a 10-year guarantee and expenses about $1165.
- The Tamarack Technologies HV1600 entire house fan requires no upkeep and has an R-50 insulated doors, which, when not in use, form an airtight seal in between your attic and living area. This basic fan expenses $950.
- The “Ghost” is a two-speed entire house fan with a remote on/off switch. This is an easily installed and energy-efficient large-diameter fan that closes and seals when not in use. It comes with a three-year service warranty and costs $1,250.
- The “Superfan” is an energy-efficient entire house fan that does not need any upkeep. It has one main unit with a German-made fan motor referred to as a backward curved impeller motor, designed to pull large amounts of air through the duct quietly. It also has an on/off switch and a wireless remote control choice. The Superfan is ranked for all houses approximately 3,000 square feet, though it is not suggested for houses in very cold climates. The cost is $1,550, with installation approximated at between $400 and $500.
- The Centric Air is a ducted, two-speed whole-house fan. Its collection plenum and grille fits between 16-inch or 24-inch on-center ceiling joists and the fan motor is located at the far end of the duct, keeping the motor noise far from the living quarters. This makes this type of fan a great option over bedrooms or other living areas where peaceful is very important. Cost has to do with $1575 on Amazon.