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What is Natural Home Cooling?

Natural home cooling involves the use of techniques that take advantage of natural elements and resources to maintain a comfortable indoor environment without relying exclusively on traditional cooling systems. Below are some of the best ways to cool a home without A/C:

Ventilation:

Cross ventilation: Open doors and windows on opposite sides of the home to allow fresh cool air to flow through. This helps remove hot stale air inside the home by replacing it with cool fresh outside air.

Attic ventilation: Consider using an attic fan to help prevent heat buildup in the attic and to prevent heat from the attic radiating to the living space.

Whole House Fan: Use a whole house fan when the evening, morning or nighttime temperatures are cooler than outside to create a natural cooling effect throughout the home.

Shade:

Plant shade trees: Plant trees strategically on the west and east side of the home to provide shade and help block the sun during the warmest time of the day.

Use shutters, curtains, and blinds: Keep shutters, curtains and blinds closed during the hottest time of the day to help block direct sunlight. Reflective and light-colored window coverings are the most effective.

Insulation:

Adequate insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors helps to maintain a consistent temperature inside the house. Insulation prevents the transfer of heat from outside to inside.

By combining some or all of the best ways to cool a home without A/C, you can create a more comfortable and enjoyable indoor environment while minimizing energy consumption. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of these strategies may vary depending on your location, climate, and the specific design of your home.

What are the differences between ECM and PSC motors?

ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) and PSC (Permanent Split Capacitor) are two different types of electric motors commonly used in whole house fan systems. Here are some key differences between the two. ECM vs PSC motors:

Technology:

ECM Motor: ECM motors use advanced electronic controls to maximize motor performance. They use electronic controls to vary its speed.

PSC Motor: PSC motors on the other hand, change the speed by increasing or decreasing the voltage.

Initial Cost:
ECM Motor: ECM motors are often more expensive upfront compared to PSC motors.

PSC Motor: PSC motors are generally more cost-effective initially. 

Long-Term Savings:
ECM Motor: While ECM motors may have a higher initial cost, they can lead to long-term energy savings, potentially offsetting the initial investment.

PSC Motor: PSC motors may have lower upfront costs but may result in higher energy bills over time.

In summary, ECM motors are considered more advanced and energy-efficient, providing better control and performance. However, the choice between ECM and PSC motors depends on factors such as budget constraints, specific system requirements, and the desired level of energy efficiency.

Can a whole house fan help achieve carbon neutrality

Yes, a whole home fan can contribute to achieving carbon neutrality in a home. Here’s how:

Reduced Energy Consumption: Whole home fans are designed to cool a house by pulling in cooler outside air and expelling warmer indoor air. This can reduce the need for air conditioning, which is a major contributor to energy consumption in many homes. By relying less on air conditioning, you can lower your energy usage and subsequently reduce your carbon footprint.

Lowered Dependency on Fossil Fuels: If your home is primarily heated or cooled using fossil fuels like natural gas or oil, using a whole house fan can help reduce your reliance on these non-renewable energy sources. By using natural ventilation to cool your home, you can decrease your consumption of fossil fuels and, in turn, reduce your carbon emissions.

Promoting Renewable Energy Integration: If your home is equipped with renewable energy sources like solar panels, using a whole home fan can enhance the effectiveness of these systems. For example, during the daytime when solar panels are generating electricity, a whole house fan can help keep your home cool without needing to rely on traditional air conditioning systems.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: Whole house fans can help improve indoor air quality by circulating fresh outdoor air through the home. This can reduce the need for mechanical ventilation systems and air purifiers, which may be powered by electricity and, depending on the source, contribute to carbon emissions.

Mitigating Urban Heat Island Effect: By cooling your home naturally with a whole house fan, you can help mitigate the urban heat island effect. This effect occurs in densely populated urban areas where buildings, roads, and other surfaces absorb and retain heat, leading to higher temperatures. By using natural ventilation, you can reduce the heat generated by your home and, on a broader scale, contribute to cooling urban environments.

While a whole home fan can be a valuable tool in achieving carbon neutrality, it’s important to consider it as part of a holistic approach to sustainability. Combining it with other energy-efficient measures, such as proper insulation, sealing, and the use of renewable energy sources, can further enhance its impact.

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What is better an attic fan or a whole house fan?

The choice between an attic fan and a whole house fan depends on your specific needs. Understanding the whole house fan vs. attic fan dynamic is crucial for making an informed decision. Here’s a brief comparison of the two:

Attic Fan:

Purpose: Attic fans are designed to cool the attic space of a home. They help remove hot air and moisture that can accumulate in the attic, which can lead to higher temperatures in the living spaces below.

Installation: They are typically installed on the roof or gable vents or sometimes in the attic floor. They are focused on exhausting hot air from the attic to the outside.

Energy Efficiency: Attic fans can help reduce the load on your air conditioning system by preventing the attic from becoming excessively hot. This can potentially lower your energy bills.

Usefulness: They are especially beneficial in warmer climates where the attic can become very hot, potentially affecting the temperature in the living areas of the house.

Limited Impact: They do not directly affect the indoor air quality or temperature in the living spaces.

Whole House Fan:

Purpose: Whole house fans are designed to cool the entire house by pulling in cool outdoor air through open windows and exhausting warm indoor air through the attic and roof vents.

Installation: They are usually installed in the ceiling of a central hallway or an upstairs location. They work by creating a powerful airflow through the entire house.

Energy Efficiency: Whole house fans can be highly energy-efficient, especially in regions with cool evenings and nights. They can often replace the need for air conditioning during moderate weather.

Usefulness: They work best in areas where the evenings, nights and early mornings are cooler than the daytime, allowing you to cool the house efficiently without relying on air conditioning.

Impact on Indoor Air Quality: They can help improve indoor air quality by ventilating stale air and replacing it with fresh outdoor air.

Which is Better?

In the debate of whole house fan vs. attic fan, if you live in a region with hot summers and your primary concern is reducing attic temperatures, an attic fan would be more appropriate

If you live in an area with cool evenings and nights and want a more comprehensive cooling solution for your entire home, a whole house fan would likely be more beneficial.

It’s also important to note that proper insulation and ventilation in the attic are crucial for the effectiveness of both systems. Consulting with a professional or an energy auditor can help determine the best solution for your specific situation.

Benefits Of A Whole House Fan

When watching TV and relaxing at home, don’t forget to turn on your Whole House Fan for a fresh, cool indoor environment. 

Here are some of the benefits of using a whole house fan:

It can help to cool your home without using air conditioning.
It can help improve your indoor air quality by removing stuffy stale air.
It can help to save money on your energy bills.

When Is The Best Time To Run A Whole House Fan?

The best time to run a whole house fan is during periods when the outside air is cooler than the inside air, typically in the evening, at night or early morning. This is most common in climates where the temperature drops significantly after sunset.

Here are some specific recommendations on the best time to run a whole house fan:

Evening, Night, and Morning: Start running the whole house fan in the early evening when the outside temperature starts to drop. Continue running it throughout the night, and turn it off in the morning when the outside air starts to warm up.

Warmer Months: Use the fan during the warmer months of the year, when the outside air is more likely to be cooler than the inside air.

Open Windows and Doors: Make sure the windows and doors are open in the rooms you want to cool  when you’re running the whole house fan.


Monitor Temperature: Keep an eye on the indoor and outdoor temperatures. If the outside air becomes warmer than the inside air, it’s time to turn off the fan.

Use in Conjunction with AC: In some climates, a whole house fan can be used to complement air conditioning. You can use the fan to cool down your home in the evening and at night, and then close up the house during the day and use the AC if needed.

Remember that whole house fans work most effectively in climates where there is a significant temperature difference between day and night. In hot and humid climates, they may be less effective and may even increase indoor humidity levels. Always ensure proper ventilation in your home.

Help The Planet, Improve Indoor Air Quality & Save Money

By installing and using a whole house fan you can improve indoor air quality, reduce your homes carbon footprint and save money on AC bills.

Energy Efficiency: Whole house fans provide a cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative to air conditioning. They work by pulling cool air from outside and exhausting hot air from the house, creating a natural breeze that cools the interior. Compared to air conditioners, whole house fans consume significantly less energy, reducing the demand for electricity and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions associated with power generation.

Reduced Air Conditioning Usage: By using a whole house fan during cooler parts of the evening, night or early morning, you can lower the temperature inside your home without relying on air conditioning. This reduces the need for air conditioners, which are energy-intensive appliances. By reducing your air conditioning usage, you can decrease your carbon footprint and contribute to the conservation of energy resources.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: Whole house fans can help improve indoor air quality by continuously ventilating the house. They help to expel stale air, pollutants, and odors from the home and replace them with fresh outdoor air. This natural ventilation process can reduce the reliance on artificial air fresheners or chemical-based air purifiers, which can have environmental impacts.

Decreased Use of Refrigerants: Air conditioners rely on refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases. HFCs contribute to climate change when released into the atmosphere. By utilizing whole house fans and minimizing air conditioner usage, you reduce the need for refrigerants and indirectly help in reducing their environmental impact.

Utilization of Renewable Energy: If your home is equipped with solar panels or other renewable energy systems, you can power your whole house fan using clean energy. By utilizing renewable energy sources, you further reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of whole house fans may vary depending on the climate, weather conditions, and insulation levels in your home. They are most effective in regions with cooler evenings, nights and mornings, where the outside temperature drops significantly compared to the inside temperature.

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Can a whole house fan improve indoor air quality?

Do whole house fans improve air quality? Yes, a whole house fan can improve the indoor air quality of a home.

When a whole house fan is turned on, it pulls air in from open windows and doors and exhausts stale, dirty air out through the attic or roof vents. This process helps remove pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants from the air in your home, which can improve indoor air quality.

Indoor air is typically more stagnant and contaminated than outdoor air, especially in homes that are poorly ventilated. Indoor air can contain a variety of pollutants, including mold spores, dust mites, pet dander, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cleaning products, paints, and other household chemicals. Exposure to these pollutants can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues.

With the average person spending up to 90% of their time indoors, indoor air quality can have a significant impact on overall health and wellbeing. By taking steps to improve indoor air quality, you can reduce the risk of respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues associated with poor indoor air quality. Ultimately, by prioritizing indoor air quality, you can create a healthier and more comfortable living space for you and your loved ones.

How to choose the correct whole house fan?

When choosing a whole house fan, there are several factors to consider:

Size: The size of the fan should be determined by the size of your home and the amount of ventilation in your attic. A fan that is too small will not be effective, while a fan that is too large may cause over pressurization issues in the attic.  At a minimum, you want one CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) for every square foot of living space.


Motor: A fan with a high-quality motor such as a Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motor will be more efficient and durable.


Noise level: Some whole house fans can be quite loud, so you want to choose one that is quiet enough to be used without disturbing your sleep or daily activities. Look for ducted whole house fans with a low decibel (dBA) rating of 51 or less.

Energy efficiency: Look for fans that are energy efficient. Traditional or older style whole house fans can use more than a kilowatt (1000 watts) of power, while the new ducted style fans can use significantly less energy.  This will help you save money on your energy bills.

Installation: Consider the ease of installation. The newer ducted style whole house fans are designed to fit within most ceiling joists (16” on center or larger).


Controls: Look for fans with remote controls or wall-mounted controls for easy operation. A remote control will eliminate the need to run wires down the wall, making for an easier installation. It will also make the fan more convenient to use.


Brand and warranty: Choose a reputable brand and make sure the fan comes with a good warranty.

Overall, it’s important to choose a whole house fan that is appropriate for the size of your home, has a high-quality motor, is energy efficient, and is easy to install and operate.

A photo of a CentricAir 1.5 whole house fan on its damper box

Are whole house fans cheaper to run than air conditioning?

Whole House Fan vs AC: Are fans cheaper to run?

Yes, running a whole house fan is generally less expensive than running an air conditioning system. Whole house fans pull in cool outside air through open windows and exhausts hot indoor air through the attic or roof. They work by creating a draft of air that can cool down your home, especially during the evening, nighttime or early morning when temperatures are cooler.

In contrast, air conditioning systems cool the air by removing heat and moisture from the indoor air. They require electricity to run compressors, fans, and other components, which can result in significantly higher energy bills.

The exact cost savings will depend on various factors such as the size of your home, the efficiency of your cooling system, and local climate conditions. However, in general, whole house fans can save you up to 50-90% on your cooling costs compared to running an air conditioning system.

In summary, if you live in a region with mild to moderate temperatures and humidity, using a whole house fan can be an effective and economical way to cool your home. Not only does it reduce your energy consumption and lower your utility bills, but it also provides a natural and refreshing way to ventilate your indoor spaces. Ultimately, the choice between a whole house fan and air conditioning will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.