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Video – How Do Whole House Fans Work?

Video: How a Whole House Fan Works

A whole house fan blows hot air out of your home through the attic and cool outdoor air is sucked in through the windows, making your home cool and comfortable.

A whole house fan provides natural, effective cooling for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning, making it one of the best home energy efficiency upgrades.

How Homes Heat Up During the Day, and What to Do About It

As the outdoor temperature rises during the day, the heat is captured in the walls and interior spaces of your home, this makes cooling especially difficult and costly. When the temperature outside finally begins to cool, the heat trapped in your home during the day can often make the house uncomfortably warm – especially in second stories! Air conditioning, of course, is the normal solution to this problem, but air conditioning during the hot summer months is expensive.

A CentricAir or QA-Deluxe whole house fan provides you with a cost effective solution to your problem! Due to its great cooling efficiency, the whole house fan brings the temperature of your home down to a level that greatly reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for air conditioning. It also uses a fraction of the energy of a typical home central air conditioning system.

Limitations of Whole House Exhaust Fans

The unique ducted design eliminates many traditional limitations with operating and installing a whole house fan. Problems with loud intrusive operation, heat loss and maintenance issues are all solved. However, anyone considering a whole house fan needs to understand that they do have inherent limitations as a cooling device.

A diagram of how whole house fans work
  1. Whole house exhaust fans are NOT the same as air conditioners. Most air conditioners are designed to provide air that is about 20 degrees cooler than the temperature inside the home. For example, if the temperature inside the house is 82 degrees, the A/C unit will produce 62 degree air which in turn will cool the house about 1 to 2 degrees each hour. Unlike an air conditioner, whole house fans use the outside air to cool the house but due to the large amount of air that they move, a 10-degree difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature is sufficient to begin cooling the house.
  2. Removes heat build up from the entire building structure. During a hot day the outside of the home (roof, walls, etc.) absorbs and retains a lot of heat. Until the heat dissipates, it will continue to radiate into the living space causing the air inside the house to heat up. By running your whole house fan in the evening, at night or early morning you are not only removing the hot stale air inside the home but you are also cooling the entire building structure.
  3. Older homes heat up quicker than newer homes. Although you may wake up in the morning to a house that is nice and cool after running your whole house fan all night, you may find that the house quickly heats up as the temperatures outside rise. This is due to the construction of the home and not the whole house fan. Older homes typically have single pane windows and less insulation in the walls and ceilings than newer homes. For this reason, older homes allow outside heat to penetrate the house much quicker than newer homes that have double pane windows and thicker insulation in the walls and ceilings.
  4. Two-story home. Since heat rises, the upstairs area of a two story home is often warmer than down stairs. As a result, it’s important to keep the downs stairs windows closed and the upstairs windows open if your goal is to cool the upstairs. For rooms that are significantly hotter, the windows should be open more than those in other rooms. Some experimenting is usually necessary in order to get the desired result.
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