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What is a Whole House Fan?

Whole house fans ventilate homes by pulling hot air out of the building through a unit installed in the structure's ceiling. They are usually located in a central hallway on the first or second story ensuring a good position to effectively draw air from the entire house.

How Do Whole House Fans Work?

Whole house fans ventilate homes by sucking hot air out of the building and forcing it into the attic space. The hot air is then forced out of the attic through the gable or soffit vents. This produces a negative pressure inside the home and pulls in cooler air from outside the house through open windows. In homes without central air conditioning, whole house fans can provide some overall cooling.

The Pros and Cons of Whole House Fans

The advantages of whole house fans include:

  • homes can be cooled very quickly;
  • fans are cheaper to operate than an AC;
  • the system uses no coolants making it environmentally friendly; and
  • the economical installation can be do-it-yourself project.

On the other hand, older fan models may be noisy and take up a lot of space. Because they use no coolants, the outside air which is drawn into the house will only be as cool as it is outside. On very hot days, that may not be enough to really make a difference in a home's comfort level. Lastly, the air entering the home is unfiltered and may be filled with dust, pollens, and other allergens.

Popular Manufacturers of Whole House Fans

  • R.E. Williams Contractor Inc.
  • Quiet Cool Fans
  • AirScape