If you are thinking about buying a whole house fan, there are a few things you need to know before making the investment.
Most whole house fans require an attic to run the duct work. Whole house fans are meant to run with a few windows open in the early morning, late evening and overnight, when the air outside is cooler than the air inside. The outside air is pulled through the open window, through your home and ventilated through a short, wide airduct out of the attic.
Whole house fans are a great way to lower your home’s’ temperature without spending a large amount of money. If you live in a warmer climate, they are not likely to eliminate the need or desire for an air conditioner unit, or evaporative cooler. Homeowners with whole house fans in warm climates will continue to use their air conditioner, on occasion, during late afternoons, or when the early morning and nighttime temperatures are not cool enough to run the fan. However, they don’t need to use it as long or as often, saving money on air conditioning costs.
Cooling the core of your home
Homes cooled with whole house fans do not reheat as rapidly. Thermal mass cooling is the key principle to why whole house fans work so well in southern Colorado climates, because the outside temperatures are cool enough to run whole house fans often 10 to 12 hours a night. The longer you run a whole house fan, with a few windows open, and when the air is cooler outside than inside, the more heat is pulled out of your home, cooling the thermal mass of your home, such as furniture, the walls, and flooring. When heat is pulled out of the mass, the home becomes truly cooled down. This process is called thermal mass cooling. It is important to turn off the fan, close the windows, and close window coverings, before it starts heating up outside, to help your home reheating rapidly. At the end of the day, your home feels cooler and more comfortable because it resisted the heat better than it would have without the whole house fan. This is why the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as long or as hard.
Cut your electric-related cooling costs by up to 50%
There are multiple lines of fans in several different sizes to accommodate varying square footages, and pricing varies depending on model, accessories and sizes. Whole house fans have one of the fastest return-on-investment of any green energy product on the market. In most cases, the system will be fully paid for in one to three years, due to the amount of energy saved from lowering the time and frequency the air conditioner is used. This can cut electric-related A/C costs by 50 to-90 percent, and can increase the life of your A/C unit.
Healthier, more fresh home
Whole house fans have many benefits besides just cooling the home and helping reduce electricity costs. They help improve the indoor air quality of a home by exhausting and ventilating the stuffy air, pet dander, allergens, germs, dust, and other pollutants inside the home. QuietCool whole house fans complete 15 to 20 air exchanges per hour. One complete air exchange occurs within a few minutes. QuietCool fans move an average of 1,250 to 6,400 cubic feet of air per minute. That is the equivalent of 50 to 100 typical bathroom fans.
Whole house fans & attic fans
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between an attic fan and a whole house fan. They are very different products, but they can work in tandem to cool and ventilate your home during the day and night. A whole house fan is used for cooling both the home and attic. Whole house fans are not effective when run during the day when it is warmest outside. This is where an attic fan comes in.
Attic fans ventilate and exhaust your attic only and are used primarily during the day, but they work well in the evening and night as well. Attic fans pull air from the outside through existing vents in the attic. This allows the attic to stay within 10ºF of the outside temperature at all times when the fan is running. Without an attic fan, an attic can get up to 150ºF during the summer, which can ruin the integrity of your home and cause high electric bills.
Even during the winter months, homeowners can use an attic fan. In the winter, moisture and mold can build up due to the air in the home being very warm versus the air in the attic being very cold. The snow on the roof then becomes ice and holds the excess water. This is called ice damming and it is what creates mold, mildew, and premature roof rotting. With an attic fan, the constant flow of air in the attic lowers the overall humidity level and helps keep the attic healthy.
The best system combines an attic fan and a whole house fan to cool, ventilate, and exhaust the entire home, day and night, and all year long.
More information about QuietCool whole house fans and attic fans is available at SIEA.com/QuietCool. Information can also be requested by emailing Empower by San Isabel Electric at empower@SIEA.com, or by calling 800-247-SIEA (7432).