Do I need a whole house fan?

A whole house fan is an excellent addition to nearly any home. It is designed to cool your home by moving the warm air from inside your home up and out. This is known as “stack effect,” and it draws cooler, fresh air into your home. In this article we will share everything you need to know about buying a whole house fan for your home.

This image shows how the stack effect works in a home.
A visual diagram showing “Stack Effect”.

What is a Whole House Fan?

A whole house fan is a fan that we install in the ceiling of the top floor of your home. This fan pulls air up and out of your home and into the attic where it can be vented outside. As the warm air in your home is exhaust out through the fan into the attic it simultaneously pulls in cooler air from outside into the house. Whole house fans works best if you open your windows while you are running them. Whole house fans are less expensive than a central air conditioning unit and can provide substantial cooling to a home if properly sized. They are especially effective when you have nights that are cooler than day time. Another popular time of year to run a whole house fan is when it really isn’t hot enough to run the air conditioner.

Which Fan Is Best?

Whole house fans come in two different varieties. The first is a direct-drive fan. On a direct drive unit the blades are attached directly to the motor shaft. The second type of fan is a belt-driven fan and it uses a pulley with a belt to rotate the blades.

No matter which fan you choose to install, it is imperative that it be put in properly. The biggest difference between the two fan is noise, as direct drive fans are louder of the two. You will want to make sure that the fan is at the highest point in the home and ideally away from a bedroom if noise will be a problem for you. Remember, these fans exhaust the hot air into the attic. Therefore, it is essential that your attic is properly ventilated. Otherwise, the fan will not work correctly and your attic may be develop mold and mildew.

How To Size An Attic Fan

It is essential to proper function of a fan that it is the correct size. You can calculate the size of the fan you need by taking the square footage of your home and multiplying it by two. The resulting number is the number of cubic feet per minute (CFM) your fan will need to move at the minimum. However, we have seen much better results (faster cooling) multiplying square footage by three.

How to Use a Whole House Fan

Here are some best practices for using your new whole house fan.

  • Use your whole house fan at night when the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside.
  • A whole house fan will not provide adequate cooling during extremely hot conditions. However, the airflow can make your home feel more comfortable.
  • You can install a thermostat or humidistat with most models which will allow it to run only during ideal conditions
  • Make sure that you open windows and doors to allow for adequate airflow throughout your home

Contact Comfort Heroes for Professional Installation

You can rest easy knowing that comfort is only one call away! Contact our team of Comfort Heroes HVAC experts to learn about more solutions that fit your house. Our NATE Certified team will be able to walk you through all of your options and provide the perfect solution for your family.

“I Need to Find a Whole House Fan Installer Near Me!”

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