Whole house fans cool an entire home and save on energy costs. In fact, the cost is just pennies per hour. Since house fans are so effective at cooling homes and attics, they can run more intermittently than air conditioners. All of this adds up to a 50 to 90% energy savings on cooling your home. But how do you choose one to be installed that will work for your house?
Firstly, you should know that whole house fans are different from attic fans in that attic fans blow out any hot air from the attic through a vent and help prevent attic heat from making its way down into your home's living space. Whole house fans are installed in your ceiling in a centralized area. They also keep the attic cool, but do so by venting hot air out if it, and they draw in cool evening air from open windows. A good whole house fan can provide enough airflow to cool your entire home in about an hour.
Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, you do have to spend money to save money. Initial costs for house fans, depending on what size you need — and we'll cover that later — can be over $1,000.
Secondly, keep in mind that any reputable HVAC expert can install your house fan for you, but it can cost up to $800 and sometimes even up to $2,000, depending on the company, the area where you live, the size of your home and other factors.
If you want to install your house fan yourself and save some money, Air+Health can help. Learn how to choose the best whole house fan for you and how to install it properly.
Start by choosing the size of fan you need. You'll need your home's total square footage and ceiling height. Then use our whole house fan calculator to calculate the airflow CFM (cubic feet per minute) rate needed to cool your home. This number indicates the amount of air a fan can move through a room when operating at top speed. The larger the space, the higher the CFM must be to effectively cool the space.
Next, see the list of Cascade Series and Everest Series fans that fit your CFM needs. Air+Health whole house fans include a range of sizes and prices. Our Cascade Series Fans are powered by Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motors that work on about 90% less energy than traditional air conditioners. They're also very quiet to operate.
Our Everest Series Fans feature an Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM) that also consumes about 90% less energy than traditional air conditioners. The difference with these motors versus PSC motors is that they adjust the airflow to optimal levels based on the desired temperature, where a PSC motors have only one airflow speed.
Once you've chosen the appropriate fan, you're ready for installation, which is going to depend on the type of fan you've chosen. Start the process by:
- Turning off electricity to the main fuse box or circuit breaker for the room you're working on.
- Testing the wires to ensure that the power is off.
- Searching the attic for the proper location, which should be the center of the hallway ceiling with no obstructions from ducts, plumbing or electrical wires.
- Making sure you don't need a permit to install the fan. Check your local housing codes.
- Placing the wall switch in the off position.
- View the Cascade whole house fan manual for more installation instructions.
From there, you'll need to follow the instructions provide in your user manual for the house fan you choose. Remember, always contract a licensed electrician when in doubt. Also, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about whole house fans and how they can help keep your home comfortable. We also offer a range of whole house fan accessories .