Whole House Fan

High Performance Whole House Fan

A Whole House Fan can be a great asset during certain times of the season. They are extremely limited though when you want to cool your home without running the air conditioner. If they are installed properly, you can usually take advantage when it is cooler outside, with no pollen, no contaminated air, low humidity levels, etc. BEST Techs Contracting can go on and on about when to use the Whole House Fan, the point is, they are supplemental to a professionally designed and installed HVAC system. The picture to the right is of the fan’s exhaust grille in the hallway next to the attic access.

Whole House Fan Interior Vent

However, when running the whole house fan, make sure you strategically open windows to create a draft. The idea of the fan is to pull cooler outdoor air from outside to replace hot stale air that is in your home. You do this by opening several windows and draw out hot stale air through a designed duct system that is vented to the outside. You DO NOT want the air to be vented into your attic. That is not the proper way to install the whole house fan. It invites dust, insect skeletal, carcinogen chemicals, rodent smells and their feces, and all sorts of harmful ingredients that you might have in your attic into your home. 

Whole House Fan Attic Unit

Done by a professional

Installing a whole-house fan can be tricky, it should be done by a professional like BEST Techs Contracting and not a handyman. You should pull permits as needed. You will need to have your home measured for the properly sized unit, new electrical wiring, ductwork to run the fan, and the fan will need to be vented to the outside. This picture to the left is of the fan almost completed. You can see that a portion of the ducts is installed and the airflow of the fan will need to be vented to the outside.

Strategically located

Whole House Fans come with a vented exhaust grille that you install in the ceiling. This exhaust grille should be strategically located in the home to be able to extract the hot balmy air to the outside. This is a crucial step to take, you do not want the hot air venting to the attic due to most homes do not have enough attic vents (high and low) to accommodate the volume of air the fan is pulling through the home. The fan should be pulling air out of the home and venting it to the outside, otherwise, you could invite unwanted hot air back inside along with other unmentionables. The Whole House Fan should have an insulated top cover in the attic when it is not in use. This prevents unwanted hot balmy air from entering your home. One important drawback to the whole house fan is noise. They can be loud and vibrate. Research the fan you are interested in investing in and do not buy one that is oversized for your home, this will increase the noise level of the unit.

This picture here on the right is of the whole house fan finished in the attic, and direct vented to the outside. You can see that we used R8 insulated ducting, taped, glued, screwed in place, and zip tied for added stability

Whole House Fan Ducting
Whole House Fan Exterior Vent

Important step

The last photo here on the left shows the outside (triangle hood) termination vent with downdraft cover, this step is especially important. Do not install an attic fan that vents into the attic, always direct vent to the outside!

What does this mean for you? A home with better comfort, better indoor air quality and a safer, more durable home which uses less energy.

BEST Techs Contracting is a Home Performance General Contractor that specializes in Healthy, Environmentally Friendly homes, utilizing Net Zero Energy and Passive House Standards. 

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