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Old 06-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
lzenglish
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Default Whole House Fan

Get one, if you want to save energy, and piss the wife off! LOL! Yes, A Whole house fan is a way of life, as you need to use the cool/cold morning outside air, to cool the house, and attic space ,in the morning hours, which will keep your DX A/C unit from running, at far below the normal A/C energy cost. Downside: Possible Pissed off cold wife, a little more dust in the house, (which can be fixed by a couple of electrostatic air filters in the bathroom windows, which I'm working on, And, possible security problems, as you need a minimum of 2 square feet of intake opening, to run one. I use a pit bull, a 12 guage shot gun, and a whole house security alarm system, for the security aspect. If you do spring for one, buy a good one, and not a rattle trap from the big box store. I have had my Dayton 36 inch from Grainger for over 20 years now, and it is very quiet, on low or high speed. So far, this season, we have hit over 90 degrees O.A. at least 10 times, and I have not had to run my DX A/C yet. My whole house fan has a 1/3 hp motor, verses my 3 HP DX Compressor Motor. Just food for thought!, And IMO !

Wayne

Last edited by lzenglish; 06-07-2012 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:21 AM   #2
JakeKohl
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I bought a Tamarack for my 2nd story office above my garage. The space isn't finished yet but I have tested the unit and it's really neat. It has thick foam insulated doors on top (in the attic space) that slowly open when the unit is turned on. Once open, the fans start up. It solves the insulating issue with most whole house fans and it installs in one standard joist bay so you can avoid having to box in any new framing. They're a little pricey but they have some good features and seem well built.

The unit I have in that space is the HV1000 and I hope to get one of the higher capacity 1600 units for the house soon.

http://www.tamtech.com/store/fans-wh...g,category.asp
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

Obsolete technology for some time now. Think HRV or ERV and proper sizing. Direct exhaust fans assume perfect outdoor temperatures and humidity-rarely available at the same time in most climates.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

Obsolete technology that still works very well. Pay attention to your surroundings, cool the house down before the big temps hit, and then close the house up. Works great for us, and is the plan for tonight before the 90+ temps hit before the weekend.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

Our house in MA had one. Used it all the years we lived there. The last few years I had the mini-split hp installed but we had good service from the whole house fan. We would wait until the sun got low in the afternoon sky and open all the windows and let'er rip. Huge air flows. pull the bed covers down to cool it off. Sometimes we ran it all night and you could close doors and windows to concentrate air flows. Just like everything, you live with it and you learn how it best works for you. Come morning, close the windows and preserve the cooler mass in the house. Come winter I had a 4" ridged insulation cap to drop over it to seal it off. It cost a boat load of kw to run that thing, but at the time it was what we had. Oh, and when something got burned in the kitchen nothing worked better at getting rid of that air.

I believe that Panasonic makes the best of them today.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

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Originally Posted by BadgerBoilerMN View Post
Obsolete technology for some time now. Think HRV or ERV and proper sizing. Direct exhaust fans assume perfect outdoor temperatures and humidity-rarely available at the same time in most climates.
I don't agree that it's obsolete. My house was originally built without air conditioning...and it's pretty darn cost effective.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

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Originally Posted by JakeKohl View Post
I don't agree that it's obsolete. My house was originally built without air conditioning...and it's pretty darn cost effective.

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Old 06-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I don't think it's obsolete technology either.
I think it's old technology that's a comeback due to time tested and proven results.
And like was said- If used properly is quite energy efficient.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I have one and LOVE it. It was already installed when we bought the house and I didn't know much about it. The sucker has a huge motor that nearly trips the breaker when turned on and it can MOVE some air.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I would never have a house without one. Mine gets used more than the a/c by far.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I stand corrected.

It was never a good idea in climates with nighttime dew-points below 50F.

In N.Cal or Maine, maybe even along the coast in the Carolinas, OK; but I have spent a lot of time in Eastern, IA and some in Indiana...I don't think so.

That is, if the humidity goes up at night (as it is bound to do in a good part of the country) then running a DX unit (A.C.) (the main function of which is to dehumidify the space) then you are fighting a losing battle. In fact I have had to tell may clients here in Eden Prairie, MN that the "A.C." will not keep up if they like to open their windows for sleeping.

Naturally after a nice storm like we had last night opening a window to temperatures and humidity 35 points lower than noon yesterday makes perfect sense. But a loud, electrically inefficient whole-fan with requisite "balancing" of windows etc. You can have it.

Most people need cooling in the dog-days of summer when humidity and temperatures are high day and night. On those days a whole house fan isn't as efficient as a ceiling or a box fan for that matter.

If you really want to go retro get out on your sleeping porch and shut off the noise and the electric bill at once.

To quote another smart guy: "The low to mid-speed COP of a 1 ton 20+ SEER mini-split is into double-digits when it's 75F outside/80F inside. It can remove more heat (both sensible & latent) cruising at 200-300W than a kilowatt of whole house fan under those conditions. (And it's quieter, and it doesn't create a mid to large sized infiltration leak-point to raise the average heating & cooling loads the way whole-house fans usually do.) But when it's 65F outside 80F inside the whole house fan can probably beat it on sensible-cooling efficiency."
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

Our code requires that a whole house fan be interconnected with a smoke detector. With the fan running, if a fire starts, it will pull the fire through the house and into the attic in a matter of minutes.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I'm in Northern Illinois and put one in 30 years ago. It's in hallway ceiling discharges into attic. This moves all kinds of air. I would never be without
one. You get a warm day, house closed up; night time outside cools down. Turn fan on and instant cool down . I have mine wired on a variable speed switch.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I'm also a big believer in whole house fans.
I put them in all my houses that I've lived in.
I get up in the morning, and pull cool air in, and push the cooler air into the attic. In the afternoon, I turn it on again to force all the really hot air out of the attic, then I turn on the swamp cooler, which is ancient technology but is $$$$s cheaper than A/C and works great in Colorado.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I think they need to come up with one with a PLC to shut it off when the intake temp exceeds the exhaust temp. That would be awesome in the shop as well.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

I installed one in my house 25 years ago and it worked great for years. A few years ago I installed central air and removed the fan. Guess where it went? Right out to my new garage. I have a 24x40 with no windows and this fan cools it off nicely. So, you see mine served double duty. lol

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Old 06-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6768rogues View Post
Our code requires that a whole house fan be interconnected with a smoke detector. With the fan running, if a fire starts, it will pull the fire through the house and into the attic in a matter of minutes.
I know why but find this interesting. As it is pulling the smoke out, it is also pulling fresh air in from somewhere to feed the fire...
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

One thing that puzzles me is that the CFM rate of the fan. Does'nt it need just as much of an escape route at the same rate??? Is that possible with a standard ridge vent and maybe soffit vents?
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

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One thing that puzzles me is that the CFM rate of the fan. Does'nt it need just as much of an escape route at the same rate??? Is that possible with a standard ridge vent and maybe soffit vents?
a standard ridge vent doesn't do you any good without a plethora of soffit vents...but yeah, you need adequate ventilation. A ridge vent system should have a LOT of soffit ventilation to maintain flow and should be able to support the fan exhaust.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Whole House Fan

What's the difference between this type of fan and a attic fan to cool the whole house? My situation: I have a ranch single family house outside of NYC, about 1200 sq feet. A brick house built in the 50s. When we moved in it had wall A/C units. We replaced them with 2 Fujitsus split A/C. They work fine although the bigger unit in the living room could use some help on really hot days. We turn on the units when temps start to hit 80s. Yesterday was a a good example it really wasn't THAT hot outside, maybe in the low 80s but in our house it's HOT. There are plenty of windows in all directions in our house but even with all the windows open the place is hot and end up going to the A/C. I am starting to investigate on ways to lower the temps for the whole house. Would something this whole house fan fit the bill? Or is there a better solution out there? Thanks for any advice.
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