If you’re looking for a way to save energy during the cooling season without having to turn up the thermostat, consider a whole-house fan. Such a fan pulls fresh, outdoor air throughout your home, and when temperatures are cooler outside, it can cut air conditioning bills considerably.
Ideal homes for these fans have two or more levels. They also work best when the humidity is low. Pulling in excess humidity, even at a lower temperature, can make your home feel warmer and reduce indoor air quality. Mold and dust mites thrive in humid environments, and if you need your cooling system soon after using the fan, it may have to work harder.
The fans are available in different sizes based on their cubic feet per minute (CFM) capacity. As a rule, HVAC experts advise that homeowners double the square footage of their home to find the CFMs of the fan they need. A 1,500 square foot home would require a fan that moves 3,000 CFM. You may need to add attic vents, as well, to exhaust the outgoing air, which is something your HVAC contractor can calculate.
A whole-house fan is an effective way to manage cooling costs. They use a fraction of the energy that an air conditioner does. Used early in the morning and later at night when temperatures are cooler, they take the burden off your cooling system. They’re also a solution to the buildup of stale air indoors during the long cooling season because they exhaust indoor pollutants like harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Because most whole-house fans don’t filter the incoming air, they also introduce whatever pollen and odors exist near your windows. You may have to limit their use during allergy season if you have sensitive family members.
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