Compared to a ceiling fan that functions within a room, whole house fans are used as alternatives to central air conditioning system to cool the entire house. Whole house fans are extremely energy efficient and cheaper. If you are looking for affordable home cooling options this summer, whole house fans should be on your list.
Whole house fans or oscillating fans keep your house cool and comfortable on hot summer days without causing too much electricity consumption. A whole house fan drags cool wind from outside or through the open windows and flushes out hot air through the ventilators. It creates cross wind circulation which makes the room cooler. Start the whole house fan after you return from work in the evening, and let it shower you with fresh cool breeze.
How to use a whole house fan?
House fans are the smartest application of quick cooling without using a lot of power. Moreover, you get a fresh feel, not an artificial cooling from an AC, which helps you maintain better health conditions and keep away problems caused by overuse of air-conditioners.
A whole power house fan is installed in the attic. The installation should be done by trained and certified professionals only because the job is tricky. Improper installation and faulty ventilation may result in noise and energy waste. The main unit is installed in the attic that pulls fresh air from the open windows and doors and exhausts warm wind from the house through the energy-recovery ventilator or heat-recovery ventilator in the building.
When installing an attic fan, you can use your old HVAC duct pipes. Modify the duct pipes of central cooling or heating system and reuse it for the whole house fans. You will also need to ensure there are enough ventilators in the house. Before installing an attic fan, consult with a professional and show the house, he will take proper measurements of the attic and tell you if you need to get more vents. The attic fans are rated between 2000-6000 cubic feet per minute.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for a fan capacity of 750 ft3 per minute, there should be at least 1 sq. ft. of free space.
A whole house fan is capable of several air-changes. You should ask for recommendations on air-change frequency. Depending on the climatic conditions, location of the room and height of the ceiling and the attic you can opt for 30-60 air-changes per hour. The rate may increase or decrease depending upon the variables mentioned above.
Coming to the use of power, the whole house fans are extremely beneficial. They use only upto 15% of the total energy consumed by central air-conditioning system. Depending on the size and capacity of the fan, you can expect it to use 200-700 watts whereas, An unit requires upto 5000 watts. So, you save big!
When the temperature is pleasant at night and there is no humidity, you can plug in the whole house fan and enjoy cool wind. If you are annoyed with the noise, check if proper installation was done. Additionally, you can install multi-speed fans and switch to rubber gaskets to lower the noise.