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Centric Air vs. Quiet Cool vs. Traditional Whole House Fans

A Centric Air whole house fan is modern, powerful and ultra quiet. The fan motors used in Centric Air systems are acoustically designed and precision balanced. These highly efficient fans are made of composite materials with wingtip design for increased performance and efficiency.

Adding to Centric Air remarkably quiet operation is the acoustical and heat resistant ductwork. This specialty ductwork not only dampens the noise of rushing air but also absorbs vibration, allowing the system to quietly operate even while you sleep.

Other whole house fan manufacturers like Quiet Cool typically use an open face motor with exposed electrical windings, which allows dirt and debris to plug the motor causing it to overheat, and prematurely fail.

centric air quiet cool traditional whole house fans

They also use cheaply made unbalanced fan blades, which over time, can cause the fan to become unstable and very noisy.

unbalanced fan blade

While traditional or older style whole house fans consists of large louvered shutters that can rattle, squeak and vibrate, Centric Air systems use an industrial grade damper and high airflow grill, which not only looks attractive but allows for 30% more airflow compared to standard return air grills.

traditional older style whole house fans

The cost to operate a Centric Air whole house fan is just pennies an hour making it one of the most energy efficient upgrades you can make to your home. To learn about the differences between Centric Air,  Quiet Cool and traditional whole house fans watch the following video

Time To Rethink What A Whole House Fan Is

I have to admit that my experience with whole-house fans has not always been positive. I remember almost 20 years ago as an HVAC contractor when homeowners would ask me to quote a whole house fan installation, I’d quickly steer them away. The noise from these traditional whole house fans reminded me of my time in the Army being around helicopters. Sure they moved a ton of air but try having a conversation, listening to the television and don’t even think about trying to sleep while it’s running.

Fortunately times have changed and the newer ducted style whole house fans are ultra quiet and extremely energy efficient.


How To Use A Whole House Fan During A Heat Wave

Much of the country is experiencing a heat wave, which is typical for the month of August. Daytime temperatures can reach 90 to 100 degrees and temperatures during the evening and early night are not much cooler. At about 9:00 PM the outside temperature where I live was 84 degrees, definitely not a good time to use a whole house fan. This was one of those nights I was grateful for air conditioning.

In the morning, however, at about 6:00 AM the outside temperature was 67 degrees. Although you may think, why would I use my whole house fan when my home is already cool from running the air conditioner, the reason is quite simple. Even though the temperature inside the home may be cool, the temperature in the attic and walls are not. They retained the heat from the day before and the temps in those spaces could be well above 100 degrees. As a result, unless that heat is removed it will radiate into the house, quickly heating up the living space. It’s for this reason that you want to run your whole house fan.

At 6:00 in the morning I opened a few windows and turned on the whole house fan while making sure that the temperature outside never exceeded the indoor temperature. After about an hour, I turned off the whole house fan and closed the windows. My entire home (living space, walls and attic) were now cool and comfortable, delaying the need for air conditioning.

While some of my neighbors air conditioners turned on as early as 9:00 this morning, I knew I would not have to run mine until much later, significantly saving on my cooling bill.

Although a whole house fan is not designed to completely replace air conditioning, it can help reduce the need for it, even during a heat wave.

To learn more about the benefits of whole house fans, visit www.CentricAir.com

RIP Affordable Energy. CA Rates go up 80%

State power regulators decided today (May 15, 2015) how to divvy up the biggest electric rate hike in California history, boosting rates by as much as 80 percent for residential customers who use the most power.

More than half of the residential ratepayers served by the state’s two largest utilities will see no increase at all in their rates. But for those who consume the most, the new rates translate into an average increase of $85 per month for electricity.

The plan, approved 3-2 by the state Public Utilities Commission, affects about 9 million customers of the state’s two largest utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co.

The new rates, which will appear on June bills, were approved seven weeks after the PUC mandated a $5 billion rate hike. The plan’s passage came after a week of intense lobbying by industrial, commercial, agricultural and residential groups — all trying to influence how the PUC would allocate the rate hikes.

Big Loss for Big Users

The average rate increase for all residential customers of the two utilities is 19 percent. But low-income ratepayers and those who use the least electricity will face no rate hike at all.

The biggest losers are the biggest users.

Residential ratepayers are divided into five tiers, and those in PG&E’s top tier — about 9 percent of that utility’s residential customers — will see electric rates jump from 14.3 cents to 25.8 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s an 80 percent increase.

That translates into an average increase of $85 — from $232 to $317 — on monthly bills.

For Edison’s heaviest residential users, the rate hike is 71 percent or an average increase from $194 to $265 on monthly bills.

Industrial customers of PG&E and Edison face rate hikes of about 50 percent, while commercial and agricultural ratepayers will see less significant increases.

Hike Fuels Protesters

The increases will be retroactive to March 27 — the day the record rate hikes were approved.

“This is probably the worst economic calamity the state has ever seen,” said David Marshall, chief financial officer at Gregg Industries, a 400-person iron foundry in El Monte. “It has got ramifications well beyond anything that we can begin to understand.”

Today’s vote took place amid the jeers of protesters, who wore tombstone-shaped placards that read: “R.I.P. Affordable Energy.”

PUC Commissioner Jeff Brown bellowed back.

“We cannot walk away from it. We cannot pretend that this is some sort of problem that we can walk away from,” Brown said.

The final plan was a revised version of the plan released by PUC President Loretta Lynch last week. Lynch reworked her plan after an outcry from businesses proclaiming the proposed rate hikes would doom California’s economy and a critical statement from Gov. Gray Davis.

Since it unanimously the approved rate hikes in March, the PUC has crammed a year’s worth of work into six weeks, struggling to fashion rates that simultaneously recoup the $5.2 billion the state has spent buying power for the customers of the state’s two largest utilities and trigger enough conservation to help fend off some of this summer’s expected rolling blackouts.

Customers of San Diego Gas and Electric Co. and those who buy electricity directly from energy wholesalers, such as the California university system, are shielded from rate hikes.

Reported by ABC News:

The Rising Cost of Energy and the Impact on American Families

In the past 10 years electrical rates, on average, have increased by 40%. With additional federal regulations and the EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide limits for power plants, the cost of electricity is expected to continue to increase significantly for the foreseeable future. For many households, utility costs can be as much as 25% of housing expenses and with air conditioning accounting for up to 50% of that, some people may have to choose between basic necessities such as food or medication and running their air conditioner during a heat wave.

A 2011 survey of low-income households for the National Energy Assistance Directors Association reveals some of the adverse health and welfare impacts of high-energy costs. Low-income households reported these responses to high-energy bills:

∙ 24% went without food for at least one day.

∙ 37% went without medical or dental care.

∙ 34% did not fill a prescription or took less than the full dose.

Although some may think air conditioning is not a necessity, the fact is that heat waves kill more Americans than other natural disasters such as floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes. In July 1995, Chicago, Illinois experienced a heat wave that caused over 700 deaths. Since 1950 the number of heat waves has increased and heat waves have become longer. The hottest days have become hotter and more frequent. In the contiguous United States, new record high temperatures over the past decade have consistently outnumbered the record lows.

With rising temperatures and increasing electrical rates, many homeowners are looking for alternatives to running their expensive air conditioners in order to stay cool. Although air conditioning continues to be the best solution for staying cool during the day, companies such as CentricAir have given homeowners an alternative during the evening and at night when temperatures outside are cooler than inside. CentricAir has created an energy efficient line of natural cooling and ventilation products that are cost effective for today’s needs. Using precision balanced, acoustically designed fans with industrial grade components and solid-state electronics, CentricAir fans are mounted in the attic on the ceiling and pull cool fresh air into the home through open windows. The hot air inside the home and attic is then forced out through the attic vents. Due to its great cooling efficiency, CentricAir fans bring the temperature inside the home to comfortable level allowing for an enjoyable evening and comfortable nights sleep. They also use a fraction of the energy of a typical home air conditioner making it one of the best home energy efficiency upgrades you can make. To learn more about CentricAir and their ultra quiet and energy efficient products visit www.CentricAir.com

Rate Hike Coming Soon To Power Bill

As the air conditioners hum across the county, residents should brace themselves for bigger utility bills.

The Public Utilities Commission on Friday unanimously approved a two-tier plan that will affect more than 30 million people, raising rates on more efficient users while giving a break to big energy users.

“This is really the utilities versus everybody else,” said Evan Gillespie with the Sierra Club California. Published July 4th, 2015 OC Register

Instructions For Operating A Whole House Fan

A whole-house fan can provide an energy-saving alternative to air-conditioning, particularly when the air outside is cooler than inside. Although such fans don’t remove humidity from the air like an air conditioner, they provide a powerful degree of ventilation throughout your home.

    1. Open windows in your home when operating the whole-house fan to avoid creating concentrated suction in any one spot.

    2. Close any fireplace dampers before turning on the fan to avoid pulling soot into a room.

    3. Turn on the whole-house fan when the air outdoors is cool and dry, typically during the evening, at night or early morning hours. Turn off the fan during the day when temperatures outside rise higher than in the home.

    4. Open the windows in any particular rooms you wish to cool, closing windows in other rooms. This helps increase the air movement where you need it most.

    5. Use optional timers to run your fan for a specific amount of time. Do not use controls that automatically switch on the fan as it is essential that you open windows and close the fireplace damper before operating the fan.

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.

A whole house fan can reduce your need for air conditioning

For moderate climates, a whole house fan can reduce your need for air conditioning except on the hottest most humid days.

Maximum cooling with a whole house fan

Whenever the outside temperature drops about 10 degrees below the inside temps, open the windows and turn on the fan to pull cool, fresh air inside the home and exhaust the hot stale air out through your attic vents.

For a morning “pre-cool,” run your whole-house fan just before sunrise, then close the windows to seal in the cool air as the day warms up. In the evening when outside temps drops again, turn on your fan to cool off the house.

Whole house fans are very effective in multi-story homes where the heat rises making the upstairs much hotter than down stairs. Also, certain areas of the country have better potential for whole house fan cooling than others.

Design options for whole-house fans

Ceiling-mounted whole house fans are most common. They are typically installed in the attic between the ceiling and living space.

Ducted whole-house fans are quieter than traditional whole house fans because they are mounted in the attic, away from living space.

A two-speed control allows you to quickly flush the hot air out of the house on high speed or create a continuous, gentle breeze on low speed.

Do’s and Don’ts

Make sure your heating and cooling system is turned off.

Windows must be open (without enough ventilation from open windows, the powerful suction can create a dangerous backdraft from gas appliances).

Make sure your whole house fan comes with a damper door to help create an airtight seal. If you don’t have a damper, it will be like leaving a window open.


Some municipalities and utility companies offer energy rebates for whole-house fans. According to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, whole-house fans use about 10% of the energy an air conditioner uses and can pay for themselves in just a few seasons.