That was our top criteria for selecting the best whole house fan.
If you’re ready to cool down immediately, the QuietCool scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick for the homeowner looking for a great product.
Whole House Fan Comparison
Cool Attic 24
Cool Attic 30
Cool Attic 242
|Cut-Out Left to |
|2000 – 2800||1000 – 1500||600 – 1200||650 – 1200||1000 – 1800||2000 – 3000||1000 – 1800||3000 – 4000||800 – 1500||3000 – 4000|
|3,586 – 4,757||3,190||1,527||1,100 – 3,560||3,100 – 4,500||5,400 – 7,800||3,200 – 4,600||3,226 – 6,418||1,829 – 2,285||9,700|
|Warranty||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years||1 Year||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years|
Whole House Fan Buying Guide
What is a Whole House Fan?
Air conditioning units can cost anywhere from $2000 to $5000 and sometimes even more. A whole house fan is going to be about $500-$1100 so there is already a savings there. Add in the tremendous difference in the amount of power a whole house fan uses versus a traditional central AC unit and you may be thinking about getting a system for your own home.
Other benefits to having a whole house fan is that it gets rid of the stale, “closed up” air that central AC units circulate. If you suffer from allergies and notice they seem to get worse when the AC is on, this is why. A whole house fan will ventilate your home and make the air much fresher and healthier. Your home will feel cooler, breezy and much fresher since the whole house fans keep the air moving rather than just sitting there.
Where does a whole house fan get installed?
Your home needs to have an attic if you want to get a whole house fan since this is where it is installed. The reason they are installed in attics is because your attic is the hottest part of your home and can even reach temperatures in the 120s and 130s. Since the air is trapped in the attic, this will also heat up the interior of the house too.
Once you get the whole house fan installed and flip it on, you will immediately feel a difference because it will literally pull cool outdoor air through your open windows and circulate it through the house; no more feeling like you can’t enjoy the outdoors because the AC is on. With whole house fans you use the great outdoor air to cool your home at a fraction of the cost of AC units. The warm air in your home is drawn up into the attic and then expelled through the roof vents.
Why it is better than an Attic Fan?
The difference between the way a whole house fan works and an attic fan works is in what they do with the hot air that is in your home. The main difference is that a whole house fan removes the hot air from the interior of your home and forces it into the attic where it is exchanged with cooler outside air. This is done through roof vents.
An attic fan removes some hot air from the attic but not the interior of the home. Attic fans do save a bit on cooling related power costs and it can also preserve the life of your shingles but you will get a much more significant result with a whole house fan.
Is it Right for You?
Before you make a decision about whether to purchase a whole house fan, be certain to take a look at these guidelines that we’ve included. You need to be aware of what your needs are before you get started purchasing.
- What are you dealing with? – Do you have mildew, mold, rusty mail heads or even damp insulation or wood root? You need to check the kind of ventilation your attic has. It will also be unbearably hot in summer in the attic. All attics are hot in the summer, but when it is absolutely impossible to be up there, more than likely you are dealing with poor ventilation.
- What Kind of Vents does your Attic have? – Vents are another form of ventilation so you need to take a look and see what kind of vents your attic has. There are different types of vents that can be used on attics:
- Gable vents
- Roof louvers
- Intake vents
- Soffit vents
- Eave vents
You want to note where all the vents are in your attic and if possible note the size, location and type of each vent your attic has.
- What is the Attic Square Footage? – Most building codes state that attics need to have 1 sq ft of vent area for each 150 sq feet of floor space. The new houses are being built to code, but if you have an older home, you may find that you don’t have the required vent area. If possible, increase the building code minimums for proper ventilation. This is not a place you want to take short cuts.
- Balance your Intake and Exhaust Avenues – When a home’s ventilation system is installed properly, there is a balance of intake to exhaust avenues. The air flow in your attic is controlled by the amount if intakes you have. Make sure that half you system is exhaust fans and the other is intake vents and you will be good.
- Inquire About Utility Company Rebates and Warranties– Many utility companies will offer consumers rebates to install a whole house fan so be sure to ask if your local utility company offers this. Also don’t forget to check into any warranties that the company may offer as well. These are things you want to check unto before you purchase a whole house fan so you get the best discounts, rebates and warranties possible.
What to Look for?
One complaint that homeowners had about whole house fans is the noise, but technology being what it is today, manufacturing companies have worked on this issue and there are models out there that have eliminated vibration noise and other problems. When you are looking for the right whole house fan for your needs, look at the following factors as well.
- How many blades does it have? – The more blades your whole house fan has the quieter it’s going to run for you. The reason for this is due to the fact that with more blades, each blade has less work.
- Isolate the fan from the home’s frame. Use rubber mountings or even foam strips to provide a barrier between the fan and the house. This also prevents the fan motor sound from bouncing off the walls and framing.
- Looked for a Durable, Welded Frame – When the company welds its product, it is putting out a high quality product almost always. These welded frames last longer, stand up to a lot of abuse and last.
- Good Quality Shutters – Just like with any product, the better quality shutters you purchase, the less thumping you will hear when the shutters close. You also want them to be self sealing and insulated as well. This prevents cool air from escaping when they’re not in use.
- Timers are better than Thermostats – Timers are always good to ensure that the whole house fan doesn’t come on at the wrong time. A thermostat could inadvertently turn on the furnace, even when people are not home.
The best times to use a whole house fan are going to be in the early mornings or in the late afternoons and evenings when the outside temperatures are at their coolest. They will also be cooler than the inside temperatures and this will give you the best results. There are some other basic tips that will get the most out of your whole house fan. We’ve outlined them below.
- When you use your whole house fan, make sure the AC is off or all you will succeed in doing is sending all the cool air right outside.
- Keep your windows and doors open when using the whole house fan. This is a very important tip because not having the doors and windows open can cause your gas appliances if you have any, to back draft exhaust fumes which can bring noxious fumes and carbon monoxide into your home.
- Do not use the whole house fan when you have a fire going in the fireplace. It will not vent properly due to the change in air pressure.
- In the winter time to prevent energy loss, cover the vents so heat doesn’t escape through them.
Whole house fans, by far, are an excellent alternative to using your central AC unit. If you want to save on energy bills, this is the way to go about it that will not involve you having to sit and suffer in a house that is too hot and stuffy. Installation is typically fairly easy with these systems and you can either choose to have it installed or do it yourself if you know what to do. If you’re not very handy, this is not a project to take on.
There are many benefits to using these whole house fan systems, and they offer some flexibility in the rooms that are cooled much more than AC units do. With the information you have learned in this buyer’s guide you are ready to start researching what is out there.
The top rated whole house fans we reviewed are some of the best out there and they cover houses from 600 square feet to 2000 square feet but there are larger models are well if you have a large home. Read the information about the unit you are considering. Make sure you know the square footage of your home before you purchase and get a reliable installation job and you will have a means of cooling your home that will save you a lot of money each month if you’re running your AC a lot.
- QC – 4700 – http://www.quietcoolfan.com/qc-4700.html
- QC – 3100 – http://www.quietcoolfan.com/qc-3100.html
- QC – 1500 – http://www.quietcoolfan.com/qc1500.html