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Whole House Fans

A whole house fan is designed to cool by moving warm air up and out and drawing cooler, fresh air into the home. Read on to learn everything you need to know before purchasing or installing a whole house fan in your home:

What is a Whole House Fan and What Does it Do?

A whole house fan is a large fan installed in the floor of your attic or at a home’s highest point (the ceiling of the top floor of your home). in operation, a whole house fan pulls air up and out of a home, causing a negative pressure differential that pulls cool, fresh air into the home from open windows and doors. For many homeowners looking to cool their home or promote air circulation without installing a central air conditioner or ductwork, a whole house fan is the answer. Whole house fans are less expensive than central air conditioning and can adequately cool a home if properly sized.

Whole House Fan Types, Sizing and Installation

There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing and installing your home’s new whole house fan, including attic ventilation and fan type.

Whole house fans come in two types:

  • Direct-drive
  • Belt-drive

In a direct-drive fan, the blades are attached directly to the motor shaft. Belt-driven fans use a pulley and belt to rotate the blades. Typically, direct-drive fans are louder than belt-driven models, but both will keep your home cool.

Whether you choose a direct-drive or belt-driven unit, it’s important to make sure that the fan will be able to exhaust the warm, stale air drawn up from a home’s living area outside. If an attic is not properly ventilated, the fan will not work properly, and your attic may be compromised by mold and mildew.

Calculate the size of the fan you need by multiplying the square footage of your home’s living area (minus the garage, attic or basement) and multiplying it by 3. The resulting number is the number of cubic feet per minute (CFM) your fan will need to move. Divide the cubic feet per minute by 750 to determine the square footage of attic ventilation you’ll need to accommodate your new whole house fan.

Selecting and installing a whole house fan in your home involves these steps:

  1. Determine what size whole house fan your home will require.
  2. Head into the attic and select a location for fan installation.
  3. Remove the plywood floor and insulation covering the installation location.
  4. Build a frame for the fan using 2x10 boards cut to fit snug between the attic floor joists.
  5. Cut through the ceiling below the frame.
  6. Use weather-stripping and spray foam insulation to seal the space around where the fan will be installed.
  7. Install the fan and secure using recommended screws or clasps.
  8. Attach the fan’s grill from the room below the fan.
  9. Plug the fan in.
  10. Open doors and windows in the home.
  11. Open the attic vents or windows.
  12. Turn on the fan.

As you can see, selecting and installing a whole house fan is a big task. Contact your local Aire Serv to see how we can guide you through the process.

How to Use a Whole House Fan

Once installed, there are several ways to maximize the output of your whole house fan. Check out these ideas to get the most of your home’s new cooling system:

  • Turn your whole house fan on at night when the air temperature outside is cooler than the air temperature in the house.
  • A whole house fan will not cool your home if the temperature outside is sweltering, however it will move air, making the heat feel less stagnant and more tolerable.
  • Install a programmable thermostat or timer in conjunction with your new whole house fan so that it turns on automatically during certain conditions or at specific times.
  • Close windows and doors in rooms that are not being used to concentrate the air flow in rooms or areas of the home you’re currently using.

Contact Aire Serv for Professional Whole House Fan Installation

Breathe easy knowing relief from warm, stagnant air is just one call away! Contact the HVAC experts at your local Aire Serv to learn about whole house fan installation for your home. Our technicians will walk you through your options and considerations, the installation process and more.

Schedule an appointment online or contact the Aire Serv location nearest you to get started.

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