Whole House Fans
With increasing energy costs, a common question for homeowners concerns the best routes to conserving energy in their home and reducing cooling costs. With electric bills soaring during summer months, forward-thinking homeowners seek alternative cooling methods with long-term benefits for their budgets. One way home cooling is made more affordable is with “Whole House Fans.”
While many of us are unfamiliar with the benefits of a whole house fan, they have been a cost-saving option for home-owners for over 60 years. A whole house fan is a type of fan that is installed in the attic of a home that is designed to circulate, exhaust, and ventilate air. A whole house fan is often confused with an attic fan which only exhausts the hot air inside the attic rather than the entire volume of air inside of the home.
How Whole House Fans Work
Whole house fans run throughout the night, pulling in the cool breeze from outdoors into the house and the warmer air into the attic A whole house fan pulls air into a home from open windows (only a few inches open needed) and exhausts the cool air through the attic and out the attic vents. They have been proven to lower the energy bill approx 30-90% and provide good attic ventilation in addition to whole house cooling. Whole house fans should provide houses with 30 to 60 air changes per hour (varies with climate, floor plan, etc.—check with an American Veteran Heating & Air professional to determine what is appropriate for your home). The air-change rate you will choose depends on your climate and how much you will depend on the whole house fan for cooling.
Using Your Duct System as a Whole House Fan
You may be able to use the heating and air conditioning ducts in your home as a means of whole house ventilation. This would involve installing an intake duct to pull air into an attic-mounted system that directs the air into your heating and cooling ducts. A damper would control exhaust air from your home into the attic.
When combining the whole house fan with ceiling fans, comfort can be all but guaranteed, even in the warmer months. For the frugally-minded family, the whole house fan is the answer to how to cut cooling costs. Even if air conditioning systems are required in the summers, financial benefits can be reaped for families utilizing whole house fans during the more temperate seasons for cooling. For those seeking to consume less of our planet’s non-sustainable resources, whole house fans offer a more environmentally-friendly cooling option.