Modern Whole-House Fans: An Upgraded Comfort Experience
Perhaps you remember a clunky, noisy attic fan during the summertime in the house you grew up in, years ago. If so, we’re guessing those memories may not be very fond, and they might prevent you from considering a whole-house fan for your present home, even if it’s a good fit.
As with many home comfort products, design improvements have made whole-house fans an option still worth looking into. From supplementing an existing cooling system to, in some cases, serving as a stand-alone system to cool down your home after sunset, these new and improved fans could be a smart investment in the comfort and cooling efficiency of your home, without kindling any of the unpleasant memories.
Why Whole-House Fans?
Installed in a home’s well-ventilated attic space and connected to a louver in the ceiling of the living area below, a whole-house fan draws warm, stale household air into the attic, expelling it to the outdoors, while pulling fresh outdoor air into the house thru open windows. Whole-house fans are typically operated at night, when the outdoor temperature cools down, taking the place of an air conditioner whenever conditions allow.
The advantages of a whole-house fan include:
- Reduce the use of your air conditioner, lowering electric bills
- Extend AC equipment life thru reduced use of AC system
- Exhaust stale indoor air, odors, and other indoor air pollutants to the outdoors
- Help remove excess heat in the attic that may have accumulated there during the day
- Bring fresh air brought into your home (Beware outdoor allergy sufferers, this is not a good product for you!)
Out With the Old Clunkers, In With Quiet Efficiency
Complaints About Older Fans
The well established prejudices against traditional whole-house fans are in most cases rooted in fact. For starters, the belt drive motors and fans used in older units were not quiet in any way, shape, or form, and regardless of where in the attic the fan was located, it could usually be heard all over the house. Add to that the hinged ceiling louvers that were typically used, which generally rattled the whole time the fan was running, and you get a feel for the background noise many of us slept thru, decades ago.
Then there was the special framing work needed in the ceiling of the upstairs hallway, to accommodate the large ceiling louver. Costly and a pain to have done – and the louvers used in the past were huge. Not necessarily an eyesore, to some people, but they sure weren’t going to win any ‘home beautiful’ awards!
And when wintertime came around and the fan wasn’t being used, the ceiling louver, with no real dampers or insulation, became an easy avenue for cold air dropping into the house from the attic, as well as a pathway for heat to leak up into the unfinished space. Piling fiberglass batting insulation on top of the louver in the attic certainly helped, but it was never a perfect fit, and talk about a pain in the butt!
Back to the large motors and fans used in older whole-house fans, ‘back in the day’ they weren’t winning any awards for electrical efficiency, and while it wasn’t as hard a hit as an air conditioner, the fan’s impact on the monthly utility bill was certainly noticeable – and no fun to think about when it was still hot outside and the sun had set an hour or two earlier. Another vote against a loud fan that only cooled the house at night, once the temperature out there got cool enough.
Solutions In Modern Whole-House Fans
Whole-house fan manufacturers have followed along with the rest of the home comfort industry in developing quieter, more efficient products that address many of the issues raised with older style systems. More efficient electrical consumption, much quieter operating levels, ceiling grilles that accommodate existing ceiling framing and air velocities, and designs that better address winter conditions in the attic are some highlights of the models of whole-house fans that our home comfort team at Save Home Heat Company recommends.
The whole-house fans that we install provide:
- Highly efficient electric motors
- Low-maintenance fans and motors
- Significantly quieter operation than traditional systems
- Ceiling grilles that can properly handle the air velocity
- Insulated, acoustically dampening duct connection from grille to fan
- Tight-sealing, insulated barometric dampers for the wintertime
Call Us Today To Learn More!
Save Home Heat Company has been providing friendly, honest, expert service to Denver-Boulder area homeowners for over 40 years. You can count on our team to provide you with knowledgeable, professional advice and recommendations for your home in a low-pressure fashion, and to patiently answer all your questions so you can make educated decisions that you will feel good about, now and in the future. Please give us a call if you’d like to learn more or if want to schedule a free install quote for a high quality whole-house fan for your home – or for any of your heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical needs.