Summer is the time of year we think about “cooling off” – especially at home. Air conditioning is the obvious way to cool your home. But there are other ways less costly and equally as important:
Whole House Fans and Attic Fans. While they sound similar – they have different functions. Let’s take a look!
WHOLE HOUSE FAN
As the name implies, a whole house fan, is just that … a fan powerful enough to move air through the whole house. The operation is simple: a fan is installed in the ceiling of the upper floor. You open basement windows and allow cool air from below to circulate through the house, as it is forced into the attic. It then escapes through roof vents. This constant circulation of cooler air replacing warmer air, eventually cools down the entire home.
The attic fan is also aptly named, because it’s function is to move air through the attic. Many homes lack adequate attic ventilation. This results in very, very hot attics. Overly hot attics can deteriorate roofing and wood decking while radiating heat back into the home. This excessive heat causes upper floors to be difficult to cool. A properly placed attic fan (high on the roof) will draw air through eaves, then up and out through the fan and other attic venting. Nowadays, attic fans are totally self-contained, thermostatically-controlled, solar units that require no connection to house wiring. You simply secure it to the roof opening, seal it and forget it! It will silently click on and off, as needed, throughout its long multiyear life.
Almost every home will benefit from an attic fan. It will keep your home more comfortable and your roof will last longer. As far as a whole-house fan, that’s up to your preference. Some people can’t live without air conditioning. While others say whole house fans do the trick. There are few who have both AC and a whole house fan – finding a balance of when to use each.
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