The Wonders of Whole House Fans

Whole House Fans:

Are you looking for a way to keep your house cool in the summer without using too much electricity? You might want to look into whole house fans as I have one installed in my house and it works pretty well at removing hot air and drawing in cold air from outside, especially at night. Back in the 50’s and 60’s they were much more popular when air conditioning was more expensive but now few people know about them and when I show houses that have them installed my clients can be confused when they see it in the ceiling.


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Whole house fans are installed in the ceiling of your house and draw air from all the rooms once you open the windows. The air is moved into the attic and exits the house from vents. This creates an area of low pressure within your home so that outside air will enter from the windows to cool your house. This provides cooling and ventilation at a fraction of the cost of air conditioning and removes chemicals and pollutants from cooking and cleaning.  If you have an older fireplace you may have noticed a similar effect when you use it in the winter. The hot fire sends smoke and air up your chimney and cold air is pulled in through poorly sealed doors and windows making your house colder instead of warmer.

There are some drawbacks however due to the way the whole house fan works. For starters you need to have a professional install it in the ceiling, it is going to need wiring and possibly new attic vents to let the air escape. There will also need to be insulation and seals for when winter comes because you won’t be using it then. In addition the movement of air inside the house with out proper ventilation can lead to the build up of toxic gases from your furnace in living areas. The operation of the fan can be noisy if not installed properly or running at too high a speed, some fans have different speed settings to alleviate this problem. Lastly the fan only works well if the air outside is cooler than the air inside so it is more effective in the early morning and night than during the afternoon.

Whole house fans are great overall but you probably will need to pair it up with a regular AC for those really hot Jersey days

House illustration ver2 6-10



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