The use of whole-house fans has increased quite a bit in recent years. While such a fan can potentially be one of the best appliances you have, many people are still skeptical as to how well they really work and whether they’re actually worth the money. This article will explain how a whole-house fan works, how it compares to air conditioning and the benefits it provides.

How a Whole-House Fan Works

A whole-house fan is always installed in the attic and connected to a vent in the ceiling. Ideally, the unit will be somewhere that is centrally located, such as above a stairwell or in a main hallway. This is to ensure it has proper airflow and can continually pull a considerable amount of air up out of the various rooms and into the attic.

The fan is connected to a switch so that you can easily turn it on and off as needed. Before running this system, you always need to have a couple of windows open at least a few inches. The fan is so powerful that it constantly draws in a large volume of air. The way it cools is by drawing all the warmer, stale air inside the home into the attic, which creates a strong draft that pulls cooler air into the home from outside through the open windows. It also pushes all the warm air it pulls in outside through the attic vents, which quickly makes the attic cooler as well.

If you tried to run the fan with all the windows closed, it would quickly create negative air pressure that could force a door open or make your ears pop. The larger issue is that it can lead to a dangerous backdraft that can pull the exhaust fumes from a gas appliance like a water heater into your home instead of the fumes venting outside. While this should never happen if you have a few windows open when running the fan, it’s still important to have carbon monoxide detectors near gas appliances and bedrooms just to be safe. Of course, this is true even without a whole-house fan.

How to Use a Whole-House Fan Most Effectively

You only want to use a whole-house fan when the outdoor temperature is no warmer than your desired indoor temperature. If you run it when it is hotter outside, all it will do is pull heat in and make the indoor temperature rise. You also don’t want to run the fan in overly humid conditions due to all the moisture it would bring inside your home.

In Northern California, you’ll typically be able to shut off your air conditioning and run the fan on most evenings throughout the hottest parts of the year. In spring and fall, you should also be able to rely solely on the fan. The one exception is if you suffer from allergies or any respiratory issues. In this case, you don’t want to use the fan during allergy season or when the pollen count is high since it would draw lots of allergens into your home.

For the fan to work effectively, you need to have the doors open in every room that you want to cool. If not, it won’t be able to draw as much air in through the windows since a closed door will block the airflow.

You can use the fan to cool specific rooms or to provide general cooling for your entire home. One method you can apply is to use the fan to first cool the parts of the home you use most in the evening, such as the living room and kitchen. You can then close the windows in these areas once they are fully cool and open the windows in each bedroom sometime before going to bed to cool all of them.

Most fans have high and low power settings, and you always want to start off running it on high so that it cools more quickly and effectively. Once your home is cool, you can then switch the fan to low so that it uses less energy. It will also make less noise running on low so that it doesn’t disturb you when you’re trying to sleep.

It usually takes a bit of trial and error to determine how many windows you need to open and which windows you should open to allow the fan to work most effectively. If only one window is open, you’ll end up creating an extremely strong draft or essentially a wind tunnel. If too many windows are open, the draw of the fan will be greatly reduced so that it doesn’t pull in as much air and doesn’t cool quite as well. The fan will also generally work better if you open windows in rooms that are the furthest away from it so that the draft it creates cools a larger portion of the house. Similarly, opening windows on opposite sides of the house will also allow it to provide more effective cooling.

Comparing Whole-House Fans to Air Conditioning

Whole-house fans are quite energy efficient and only use a fraction of the energy central AC systems do. This means that running the fan instead of your AC whenever possible will allow you to effectively cool your home for less money.

If the outdoor air is cooler than inside, the fan will also cool a whole lot quicker than your AC. Most fans will completely exchange all the air inside a home around 20 times per hour or around once every three to four minutes. By drawing all the warm air out and bringing cool air in, it can potentially decrease the temperature in the home and attic by 30 degrees in a fairly brief time.

How a Whole-House Fan Improves Indoor Air Quality

A whole-house fan is not only an effective cooling method but also consumes significantly less energy than a traditional AC system. Another major benefit is that it will greatly improve the air quality in your home. When you leave your windows closed and your AC running, it leads to the air becoming increasingly stale and the level of indoor air pollution continually rising. A whole-house fan will almost immediately overcome this issue since it brings fresh, cleaner air in from outside and pulls the polluted air out of the home. It will almost immediately make a major improvement in indoor air quality since it exchanges the air in the home so frequently.

Enhance Your Comfort With [Company_name] Today

Environmental Heating & Air Solutions has been providing expert home comfort services to clients in the Roseville and Benicia areas since 2010. If you want to install a whole-house fan, our team will ensure you procure the right size unit and show you how to use it most effectively. We also specialize in home insulation, home automation and a full range of indoor air quality services. If you need any air conditioning, heating or plumbing services, we can help with that as well. To learn more about the benefits a whole-house fan can bring to your home or to schedule any type of home service, contact us today.

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