Author Topic: Whole house fan, new designs?  (Read 1007 times)

ice_beard

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: East Bay, CA
Whole house fan, new designs?
« on: May 31, 2018, 01:01:44 PM »
I'd like to get a whole house fan for our newly purchased home (built in early 60s).  We have hot days and cool evenings with low humidity and I think a whole house fan would be money well spent.  I'm familiar with the concept and how they work.  I was researching them (I didn't get any hits using the search function, was surprised) and found there have been some changes in the design of some.   I am accustomed to the large, rafter mounted fans that are indeed kind of loud but also do their job quite well.  This website   http://faninstaller.com/ shows a slightly different model that uses a short duct and mounts the motor higher in the attic.  It claims to be quieter and better sealing than the traditional model.  Does anyone have any experience/thoughts on which one to go with? 

We have a ranch home and some background white noise would not be a huge deal to my wife and I as we use white noise machines to sleep and we also live next to an arterial road, so anything that blocks out some traffic noise would be beneficial.  The primary goal of course is an alternative to running the A/C when conditions are appropriate for such a unit. 

thanks

Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Whole house fan, new designs?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 12:46:55 PM »
We installed a Quiet Cool last summer and its terrific. I recommend you think about ideal placement in your home, then climb up into the attic adn see if you have the clearance for the suspended duct. If you have a low sloping roof, it might not be appropriate for the selected spot as it needs space to stretch out. 

We live on a busy street but for me, it was more important not to introduce unnecessary noise to accompany a household appliance. Traffic gets quiet at night but the fan noise level will remain the same.  We've been very happy with the QC performance. We have one with two speeds and the low is not really noticeable but you can hear the high speed.

We also live in the SF Bay and its the perfect climate to take advantage of free overnight cooling. 

kandj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Whole house fan, new designs?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2018, 01:42:55 PM »
I've been looking into a/c alternatives and I had no idea attic fans like that were an option, stoked to have stumbled across this thread!

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3848
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Whole house fan, new designs?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 07:58:39 PM »
I've been looking into a/c alternatives and I had no idea attic fans like that were an option, stoked to have stumbled across this thread!

They're awesome if you can install one.

If you can't, build yourself a fan rack to shove in a window.  https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/05/house-fan-for-vertical-windows-diy.html

I built that for Seattle, when we were renting, didn't have AC, and it was getting unusably hot upstairs.  Box fans in the window just make noise if they're fighting ambient wind.  This actually exhausted the hot air.  I later built an intake downstairs - https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-post-summer-review-of-my-vent-fans.html

When we moved, we got a manufactured, which doesn't have an attic - so no high flow attic fan.  There's a tiny little unit that moves some air, but not enough to be useful.  So I just used the same fan rack and we use that to suck air through the house at night.

It's not nearly as nice as a proper attic fan, and I've considered how to increase the airflow (without adding too much noise, ideally), but it works very well and sucking cold air through at night is an awesome way to reduce A/C use.  Unless it's really, really hot out (95-100F), I can run the house most of the day without having to kick the AC on if we've sucked cold air through at night.

ice_beard

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: East Bay, CA
Re: Whole house fan, new designs?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 10:18:37 PM »
Just a clarification....  I'm certainly not an expert on these topics, but I do believe an attic fan and a whole house fan are not the same things.  An attic fan moves air in your attic while a whole house fan cools your house by sucking in air from the outside of your house up into the attic.  This works when it's cooler outside, the whole house fan can rapidly cool down your house  I don't know much about attic fans and I don't know when they are useful.

Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Whole house fan, new designs?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 09:42:21 AM »
Attic fans cool your attic space directly, thereby reducing heat load in the adjacent house but they do not directly vent the house.  They usually have a temperature sensor and automatically kick on when it gets above XX degrees.

reverend

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
    • RobDiesel
Re: Whole house fan, new designs?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 11:37:35 PM »
Attic fans don't really do much for cooling the attic (or rather, keep heat out of your house), but for air circulation in the house, I've found that turning on the "circulate' option on my thermostat runs the fan (without furnace or AC) for a few minutes each hour.

If you have cool evenings and low moisture, like in Colorado, then you are probably better served with a whole-house fan that sucks air in through an open window and then blows it out your attic.