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Attic Fan vs. Whole House Fan

What’s the difference between an attic fan and a whole house fan?

An attic fan is completely different from a whole house fan. They are smaller fans that are installed on the roof or gable in the attic. They are designed to move air out of your attic area only and are not designed to cool the living space of your home like a whole house fan.

A whole house fan is typically located above the ceiling in a hallway area of a home. In some occasions, they can be located in a wall. The fan is designed to pull cool fresh air into the home through open windows and exhaust the hot stale air out through the attic vents. A whole house fan serves a dual purpose and is designed to cool both the living space and the attic.

Whole house fans work so well that if you operate one all night long, you might just need to sleep with a blanket. They can often cool a house to a comfortable temperature in just several hours.

You can get concentrated cooling with a whole house fan by opening the windows in selected rooms. As the fan operates, it creates a comfortable breeze in the rooms where the windows are open. Warning: Be sure to open windows before you turn on the whole house fan. If you don’t and you have a fireplace with ashes in it, you can create an ash storm as air is sucked down the chimney forcing the dirty ashes through the house as they are pulled toward the whole house fan.


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