Whole house fans lost popularity during the cheap energy years when everyone wanted to run the air conditioner 24/7.
A well positioned whole house fan, used properly will cool most houses down to a comfortable level during all but the most humid summer days. They are particularly effective in the north during the early summer and early fall.
Instillation is simple, and the cost of the fan depends on model. Prices start somewhere under $250 and go up to about $425 for a deluxe model. Available in most large hardware stores or major home improvement stores.
The attic must be ventilated for the fan to work, the fan will pull air through the house and vent it into the attic, the cools both the house and the attic.
If the fan is being installed in a newer home, the attic framing is probably manufactured wood trusses on 16″ centers.
These cannot be cut or modified to accommodate the fan. There are fans designed to be installed over trusses.
Before operating a whole house fan, a couple of windows must be opened two or three inches to allow air flow through the rooms that need cooling.
Protect downstairs windows from vandals.
In the fall, we recommend going into the attic and covering the fan with an insulation blanket.
This will stop heat loss during the winter. A hot water tank insulation blanket is perfect for the job.
Remember to remove the insulation before the next season’s use!
Check the tension on the drive belt (if applicable) and oil the motor if necessary or applicable annually.
If the louvers need lubrication try using silicone lubricant or Endust furniture polish.
NOTE: If a whole house fan is operated without opening the windows, the vacuum created will extinguish the pilot light on gas water heaters and furnaces.