A large 18,000 Btu/h window unit air conditioner with energy efficiency (EER) of 8.8 costs more than 17¢ to operate for one hour. What's wrong? Find whole house fans at Lowe's today. REMOVE THE FAN AND DRYWALL OVER THE OPENING IN YOUR CEILING. SIMPLE CONCEPT A whole-house fan is a fairly simple device. This is a replacement shutter for the Master Flow 30" Belt Drive - SE Michigan climate is often humid and not much cooler at night than during the day (for the days that we'd want extra cooling most), so it would be less effective We are in Florida and provide plenty of information about hurricanes and sinkholes, for example, but nothing on basements and ice dams. - Time / cost to box in (higher cost / complexity to create some type of automated solution vs. regular maintenance to open / close the box as needed) First, remove the screws from the shutter assembly or louver assembly of your whole… Most of the complaints about whole house exhaust fans are from homeowners who either didn’t get a good installation or are living with an older model. 5700 CFM. If your appliances don’t use room air—in other words, they are in a compartment or closet sealed from the rest of the home—it’s not a problem. They were the original big-ass fans, moved a tremendous volume of air, and created a continuous breeze throughout the house. If you have a dead fan, a really noisy old one, or are considering installing a whole house fan in your home for the first time, one good resource is www.wholehousefan.com. - Potential risk of back-drafting with combustion appliances (gas dryer on the first floor, older gas furnace & gas hot water heater in the basement), Pros: (Minneapolis) I am planning on a whole house fan in a house we are building. Martin has written so many great articles for this site he may have forgotten about this one. © McGarry and Madsen, If you have a dead fan, a really noisy old one, or are considering installing a whole house fan in your home for the first time, one good resource is, page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the. Why has the thermostat screen gone blank? Don’t separate the two halves of the tape … The whole house fan pulls air in from open windows and exhausts it through the attic and roof. More likely it will draw air from wherever a window(s) are open. I remove the filter replacement door and block off return airs with a plastic garbage bag. Whole House Fans. ", "The implication of this particular figure is that an equal or greater amount of cooling kWh savings can be obtained simply by increasing the cooling thermostat setting without even using a whole-house fan. : one of the Tamarack units) >>. By the way, if you haven’t seen a whole house fan before, the photos below show what one looks like when turned off, with the louvers closed, and also from the attic (without the off-season cover box). How to Remove a Whole House Fan System Step 1: Shut Off the Power Where is the air filter for my central air conditioner and furnace? Your Whole House Fan Is Noisy. Here is a link: Tamarack whole-house fans. To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts: • How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? Vents up to 1900 SF home. This is a problem created when the suction created by the fan can causes combustion gases that would ordinarily go up the flue to be pulled back into the home. On the uppermost ceiling in the living area of your home, locate a central point where the ceiling is directly below the attic. In the winter I put a "window kit" over the opening from the inside and built an insulated box with a cover over in the attic. You should also clean the cover and remove … Best of all, whole-house fans use only one-tenth of the energy that air conditioning does. Whole house fans should provide … If you don’t plan on using the fan, then we recommend removing it, repairing the ceiling and insulating the attic area above it. A whole house fan can be used as the only means of cooling or to reduce  the need for air conditioning. Currently we just have a sheet of R5 rigid foam screwed to the ceiling to block off the hole (ugly, but it works for now). If your air conditioning is costing too much this summer, look into a whole-house fan. Because of the high humidity in most of Florida and the Southeast U.S. during summer months, use of a whole house fan during spring and fall make the most sense around here. My air conditioner won't turn on. Does an old air conditioner use more electricity as it ages? ;-), https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/fans-attic-do-they-help-or-do-they-hurt. How can I find out the size of my air conditioner? You could crack open windows in every room. Timothy, Step 2: Remove the Shutter Assembly Older models of whole house fans are noisier than new models. Although a whole house fan does not cool the air, the constant flow of air around a person has a cooling effect similar to standing under a ceiling fan. The central whole house fan or poor mans AC as my dad called it has some benefits but also can cause all sorts of issues as well. What I guess I'm really looking for would be any additional data that might help drive the decision -- so far I'd come across an older NIST study that seems to suggest that would be a pretty viable strategy: "If the house temperature is to be maintained at a reasonably comfortable condition, the use of a whole-house fan could be substituted for that of an air conditioner whenever the outdoor temperature is less than about 82 °F. I can’t find it? Shop whole house fans and a variety of heating & cooling products online at Lowes.com. How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? The metal louvers close down automatically when the fan is turned off but, because it is similar to having a jalousie window in the ceiling of the house, the lack of insulation and air leakage around the louvers creates an energy-sucking hole into the attic. Remove the blades from the whole-house fan before you begin installing it. Like an attic fan, whole house fans remove hot air from a home or building. The fan is mounted in the ceiling of a central hallway (in the top floor of a two-story house) and draws cool outside air in through … Install new ventilating attic fan. - Can quickly remove odors from the home. The big plus for a whole house fan, though, is low energy use, and they were a standard feature in many Gainesville homes up until the late 1960s. Remove the fan, drywall over the hole, & cover with insulation (less time & money, better insulation, less flexibility for cooling), 2. It may be old technology but, according to the U.S. Department of  Energy, whole house fans are also on the leading of edge of energy-efficient solutions for the 21st century. This reduces the weight and makes the fan less cumbersome. McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of, site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes, 16822 SE 92nd Danna Avenue, The Villages, FL 32162, Comments or questions to  mcgarryandmadsen@mac.com, While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. By contrast, a whole house fan has a motor in the 1/4 to 1/2 hp range, uses 120 to 600 watts, and costs around 1¢ to 5¢ per hour of use. If both methods of cooling are present, seasonal use of the whole house fan (during the spring and fall) may yield the optimum combination of comfort and cost. • Why does it take so long to cool a house when an air conditioner has been off for a while? Create an insulated box over the existing fan w/ a linear actuator set to open the lid when the fan runs (more time & money, likely lower R value, leaves flexibility for cooling but introduces additional system complexity for maintenance). ... Solatube Whole House Fans will pull the … You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. - Higher cost if replacing with a quieter, more efficient model (i.e. Our house in SE Michigan has both AC and a whole house fan that I know is resulting in a huge loss of heat during the winter (and likely similar loss of conditioned air in the summer). • How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? This won't delete the articles you've saved, just the list. 6878 CFM Energy Saver Advanced Whole House Fan The QuietCool ES-7000 advanced whole house The QuietCool ES-7000 advanced whole house fan is a new take on the idea of whole house ventilation. What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low? A whole house fan draws cool air in through the windows and can bring down the temperature of your house significantly in less than an hour, depending on the external temperature. • Where is the air filter for my central air conditioner and furnace? It pulled fresh outdoor air into the house from a central location in the home—usually the ceiling of the hallway—and sucked it into the attic, pushing house air out through the attic vents, along with any accumulated attic heat. A whole house fan is a type of fan, commonly venting into a building's attic, designed to circulate air in a home or building.It is sometimes confused with a powered attic ventilator, which exhausts hot air from … Also, construction methods and materials vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here. I should have hinged the cover with a rope to uncover. Become a GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, CAD library, and more. Homeowner Peace of Mind - The RT2 includes a built-in safety timer that automatically turns the fan … • Does an old air conditioner use more electricity as it ages? Admittedly I'm also skeptical that what looks pretty simple in the few Youtube videos I've seen of motorized covers will really be all that easy to build or a good idea in the long run. 1 fan: $422.08: $492.56: Whole House Fan Installation Labor, Basic Basic labor to install whole house fan with favorable site conditions. I can’t find it? Cons: Why People Don’t Like Whole House Fans. We can't answer the question -- you have to. - More effort involved to get savings than setting the thermostat for the AC to a higher temperature • How can I tell whether the condenser (outdoor unit) is an air conditioner or heat pump? I have a whole house fan and never use it. I haven't found much else that looked at use in similar climates (there's a Florida study that seems to be quoted often, but that doesn't look at all like our situation). • How can I find out the size of my air conditioner? Fortunately, if replacing your whole house fan is an option you'd want to consider over removing it entirely, you may just need to replace the fan motor rather than the entire system. A homeowner in Minnesota wants to include one in his new house, but the building … Sizing a whole-house fan for a larger house? A whole house fan … You can use a slightly damp cloth to remove dust from the fan’s motor. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. Whole House Fans. Turn off the breaker at your breaker box that provides current to the whole house fan. I have acquired a 60 year old house which has a whole house attic fan which I want to remove. It provides good attic ventilation in addition to whole house cooling. Temperature control intelligently controls the whole house fan to optimize comfort and energy efficiency. Today it seems like air conditioning has always been around. By contrast, a whole house fan has a motor in the 1/4 to 1/2 hp range, uses 120 to 600 watts, and costs around 1¢ to 5¢ per hour of use. For example, the annual cooling kWh reduction by whole-house fan at 78°F for the Washington D.C. ranch house is from 2500 kWh to 1900 kWh, or 600 kWh. http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/TN/nbstechnicalnote1138.pdf. A whole house fan can be used as the only means of … How to Troubleshoot a Whole-House Fan. I use my AHU blower and ducting as a whole house fan. I'm skeptical that the idea of designing an insulated cap controlled by a "linear actuator" is going to be easy to build, troubleshoot, or maintain. But a whole house fan turns from energy-saver to an energy-waster during heating and air conditioning months unless it can be sealed and insulated during those times. Unroll a strip of self-adhesive hook-and-loop fastener tape. How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? The house now has central heat and air conditioning. What's wrong? An in-wall … Most whole house fans are equipped with a cover. By pulling in cooler air, a whole-house fan reduces or eliminates the need for air conditioning. Visit our HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. Should I keep my whole house fan? Thinking things through, I wouldn’t put the fan in if I were building a new home — am I just falling into a trap of sunk costs with option #2? • Why has the thermostat screen gone blank? But, if you want to take advantage of the benefits of a whole house fan, then a cover needs to be constructed to air-seal and insulate around it. So far the cons seem to be: Wall mounted switch included. I wouldn't be without it. • What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners? Whole house fans … One disadvantage compared to air conditioning is that it does not dehumidify. In the new house the fan will be in the end of a hall going into the space above the garage. But in 1965 only 10% of American homes had an air conditioner and, around Florida and most of the Sunbelt, it was often only a single window-unit in the living room or master bedroom. I have allergies to pollen, etc. In-wall installation. Clean the Cover. We are not affiliated with, and do not receive any compensation from, any of the companies or products mentioned in this blog. I think it depends on personal preference and life style. Remove heat, unhealthy germs and airborne pathogens while you cool and refresh your home in minutes with a Solatube Whole House Fan. If your fan … It's a pain to climb up there twice a year. Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs? A drier space also means fewer indoor allergens and healthier air. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •. - It's already there In the summer with the AC on I believe the colder air drops down and isn't a problem. Using a 'whole house like' fan for cooling, Powered attic ventilator with whole house fan, http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/TN/nbstechnicalnote1138.pdf, Residential PV Installations in Florida Remain Strong. Figure 23 shows that the same kWh savings can be obtained by simply turning the thermostat from 78° to 82°F. << Can wiremold be used at an exterior location? Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough? • My air conditioner won't turn on. It will have insulated doors on both sides to seal in winter. But when the fan … © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. - Likely lower localized comfort than just using ceiling fans So, on a day with high humidity, the fan also pulls the humid air into the house. However, instead of simply removing hot air from the attic, a whole house fan removes hot air from the entire house. Generally speaking, your whole house fan is much like any other type of common household electric fan and is fairly simple in its design and there are only so many things that can go wrong with a whole house fan. Whole House Fan Cost Non-discounted retail pricing for: 2 speed whole house fan. Summer in Atlanta is humid, but a whole-house dehumidifier removes excess moisture when your AC can't keep up! I like my whole house fan but part of that comes from enjoying fresh air and not needing AC often. An attic fan’s primary … How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? The number of fan speeds is easily set using the remote. Whole house … The comfort aspect at 82°F can be made similar to that of 78°F by using ceiling fan or similar room circulating fan as long as the room humidity level is not excessive." They cool your home by removing the hot air and exhausting it through windows or soffits in the attic. REPLACE THE FAN WITH A NEW HIGH-EFFICIENCY WHOLE HOUSE FAN… Operating a properly sized 2-ton air conditioner with seasonal energy efficiency of 10 in Atlanta, Georgia, costs over $250 per cooling season (1,250 hours), based on 8.5¢/kWh, or roughly 20¢ per hour of runtime. A popular way to keep the house comfortable in hot summer months was to open up all the windows and turn on a whole-house fan. Turn on the AHU fan … If you like your whole-house fan, and want a good motorized insulated cap, buy a new Tamarack fan that includes the motorized cap. Measure the area to be sure your fan … Click on the link below to download it as a pdf document: One thing you need to be careful about when using a whole house fan is backdrafting of combustion appliances, such as a gas water heater. Also, see our blog post How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? - Too noisy to use the current fan at night (or for prolonged periods of time) Here’s the DOE’s cost comparison to air conditioning: •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••, Equipment cost for whole house fan = $150 to $350, Equipment cost for window AC = $250 to $750, Equipment cost for central AC = $2,000 to $4,000. They can help you determine the right size fan to buy, sell you the fan, and then help you install it right with video instructions. How can I tell whether the condenser (outdoor unit) is an air conditioner or heat pump? • What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low? • Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs? Remove the fan, drywall over the hole, & cover with insulation (less time & money, better insulation, … FAQ: Why Do Some Builders Avoid Foam Insulation. It feels like either I'm missing something big or it should just be a no brainer to take it out and spend our money on improving air sealing & insulation in the attic. Learn More About Our Whole-House … 2. A whole-house fan can provide an energy-saving alternative to air conditioning, particularly when the air outside becomes cooler at night. I've seen the Tamarack fans mentioned on the site in the past, but I'm not sure we'd get enough use out of one to justify the cost/benefit vs. just opening windows & running ceiling fans when we're in the room. A whole house fan is a great alternative to air conditioning in helping to cool your home; however, when an old whole house fan ceases to function you'll need to repair or restore it. Why does it take so long to cool a house when an air conditioner has been off for a while? Otherwise, you should consult a gas appliance professional before using your whole house fan. • Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough? These covers are often used during the winter months since they help keep the cold air out when the fan isn’t being used. Currently debating between two options: 1. A whole house fan provides natural, … The most relevant question is, Do you ever use the fan? A whole house fan blows hot air out of your home through the attic and cool outdoor air is sucked in through the windows, making your home cool and comfortable. What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners? So, if 1) you are buying a home with an old whole house fan that is still functional and, 2) you enjoy opening up the house during cool and moderately warm weather, then definitely keep it and use it until the high humidity days arrive. Whole-house fans are designed to remove hot indoor air and replace it with cooler outdoor air. The Department of Energy has published an informative whole house fan brochure, that includes instructions and plans for building an off-season cover at the ceiling and insulated box in the attic for your fan. Normally there are two locations where the fan sits, one directly on the ceiling with a large louver located somewhere on the end of the house, or located on the end of the house with a louver located on the ceiling inside that opens when the fan … The heat escapes through the fan … How to Remove Hot Air from a Room: In-wall AC unit stays put all year. A hall going into the space above the garage articles, enyclopedia,,. Is that it does not dehumidify sinkholes, for example, but on. Have insulated doors on both sides to seal in winter the OPENING in ceiling... Gba articles, enyclopedia, videos, CAD library, and created a continuous breeze throughout the house pain climb. Information about hurricanes and sinkholes, for example, but nothing on and. 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