Whole-house fans use 90% less electricity than central air conditioning. As a result, having one installed can drastically decrease your cooling costs in Vacaville, CA. They can also help increase your indoor air quality, among a host of other benefits.
How Professionals Install a Whole-House Fan
Whole-house fans work by pulling cool outdoor air through your home from your windows. Warm, stale air is then exhausted out of your roof vents. Whole-house fans are sometimes confused with attic fans. A whole-house fan works differently from an attic fan because manufacturers design it to ventilate an entire house. Alternatively, an attic fan is less powerful and only adequate to cool an attic space.
When an HVAC professional arrives to install a whole-house fan, they will work with you to determine the best placement. These ventilation systems work the most efficiently when placed in a central hallway. This location allows for maximum airflow through your house. Next, the HVAC technician will cut an air intake hole in the hallway’s ceiling into the attic. This hole is usually covered by a square vent that will blend in with its surroundings. The vent has self-closing louvers to create a seal when the fan is not in use.
The professional will then bolt the fan to several floor joists to ensure it is adequately secured. During this process, they may add a rubber gasket and washers to reduce vibration and noise while the unit operates. A flexible duct is then installed over the fan to direct the airflow into your attic.
In most homes, the professional will have to increase the attic’s ventilation to accommodate the proper operation of the whole-house fan. This is accomplished by installing additional attic vents. You will need two to four times the venting capacity of a house without this type of ventilation system. The calculation is about one square foot of vent space for every 750 cubic feet per minute of fan capacity. After the installation is complete, you will be able to turn the fan on and off with a pull string. Some homeowners opt to spend the money to have a switch installed instead for convenient use.
After your whole-house fan installation, you now have an energy-efficient way to cool your home. Running a whole-house fan whenever the indoor temperature is hotter than the outdoor temperature will cool a house. On mild spring and fall days, you may not have to use your central air conditioning at all. When daytime temperatures rise during summer, you can run your fan at night to cut down on cooling system use.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration suggests that air conditioning makes up over 20% of the average household’s energy costs in the Vacaville, CA region. Running a central air conditioning system costs roughly 20 cents an hour. Alternatively, a whole-house fan costs a mere penny to 5 cents to run per hour. Installing this type of ventilation system can significantly reduce your monthly utility bills and defray the installation cost.
Indoor Air Quality
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the concentration of many airborne pollutants can be two to three times higher inside your home than outdoors. Some of these pollutants are volatile organic compounds, pet dander, and mold. A well-installed whole-house fan can replace the stale air in your home with fresh outdoor in under three minutes. Running your fan for a short while can vastly improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe. The short amount of time it takes a whole house fan to exchange the air in your home makes using it a viable way to freshen your house’s air, even in the winter.
Efficiently Removes Odors
Another advantage of a whole-house fan is that you can quickly remove bothersome odors from your home. If the cook in your family accidentally burns dinner or makes a delicious but overly fragrant meal, you can clear the air in moments. Whole-home ventilation can also come in handy during improvement projects like painting to remove fumes. In addition, many homeowners run their whole-house ventilation system after completing their cleaning routine. It removes any harsh smells from cleaning products and dries mopped floors quickly.
Whole House Fans Remove Humidity
High humidity in a home can lead to uncomfortable conditions and promote mold growth. Running your ventilation system during the dog days of summer, when you may draw hot and humid air into your home, is probably not a good idea. However, at most other times of the year, turning on a whole-house fan can remove excess moisture. For instance, if you have multiple household members who shower in the morning, a flip of a switch can quickly rectify this steamy situation.
Reduced Wear and Tear on Your Air Conditioner
Unfortunately, as a homeowner, you know that maintaining and replacing a home’s cooling system is expensive. When feasible, using a whole-house fan instead of air conditioning can significantly increase the lifespan of your cooling unit. You also will not have to replace air conditioner air filters as often and will save on repair and maintenance costs.
Modern whole-house fans with flexible ducts are very quiet. However, many homeowners appreciate the subtle white noise they make while they are sleeping at night. It can drown out some of the sounds from street traffic and other sources, allowing them a better night’s rest. Most whole-house fans come with speed settings. If the fan is too loud when running at full capacity, you can turn it down for the evening.
Easy to Maintain and Repair
Whole-house fans are cheap to maintain. They do not need yearly tune-ups like most HVAC systems. Instead, they have oil ports to add lubrication, which is only required once every two years. If an issue does develop with this type of ventilation system, it is inexpensive to repair because of its simple design. They are also easy to keep clean because you can use regular household cleaners to dust off the blades and the motor housing.
Whole House Fans Do Not Require Much Space
A HVAC professional installs the bulkier components of a whole-house fan in your attic. They do not take up space in your home or yard. They are also out of sight. The only visible part is the vent in your hallway. You can work with the installer to choose a vent color that matches your ceiling.
Reduce Your Carbon Foot Print
Using a whole-whole house fan is much kinder to the environment than an air conditioner because it uses much less electricity. They also do not require replacing air filters like a cooling unit. Most air filters are not recyclable, and you must throw them away with the garbage. Additionally, they do not require potentially toxic chemicals such as refrigerants to operate.
Quick and Inexpensive Installation
Manufacturers design modern house fans to be easy to install. In the past, these ventilation systems required the installer to build the housing for the fan. Today, models come with a metal frame and can be mounted to existing floor joists in your attic. Most whole-house fans can be installed in a few hours, cutting labor costs.
Contact the Professionals
At Cozy Home Services, we have over 20 years of experience meeting the HVAC needs of the Vacaville, CA community. We install heating and cooling systems, repair, and maintain heating and cooling systems. Additionally, we are expert plumbers and can perform energy audits to help you save money on utility bills. Contact us today if you have questions about how installing a whole-house fan can benefit you.