Whole house fan?


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Old 05-03-04, 03:48 PM
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Whole house fan?

Hi, I'm new around here. I just installed 2 wind turbines in our attic (not inhabited!) last weekend. The house is approx. 1400 sq ft. We are having some unseasonably hot weather here in los angeles, and they say it'll be a hot summer as well. the wind turbines seem to make only a small difference in keeping the house cool, though I see them spinning all day long.

We have no a/c, and have other priorities on the house before spending several thousand bucks for central heating/air.

What about one of those whole house fans? They basically suck air from your house into the attic, and then through the windows/doors into the house. Do they work well? I assume you'd use them in the evening when the oustide air is cooler than the house air. I figure it might be a cheaper way to make the inside evenings more bearable. Yesterday it was 85 inside the house, and last week it hit 87!

Thanks!

Geoff
 
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Old 05-03-04, 06:33 PM
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Similiar situation

I'm in the LA area too, also with no a/c. Make sure you have sufficient airflow through other vents. The turbines are the exit air flow and you need to have sufficient incoming air flow too. I added a few vents to my attic and a thermostat controled powered fan. Then, I bridged the thermostat line and added a manual switch for the power fan that I can turn on at night just before bedtime. I also insulated the attic space and painted a radiant heat barrier coat (a paint like product) to the underside of the roof.

So far, I'm happy.
 
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Old 05-04-04, 06:46 AM
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Whole house fans can be fantastic. My parents had one in their house in MO in the '60's. It was on a timer and every evening, we opened the windows and let the fan run into the night. The next morning, we closed up the house and it stayed cool most of the day.

I do something similar here in San Jose. I have ceiling fans in every room and let them run all the time. We open the windows at night and close the place up during the day. Yesterday, we hit the low 90's and as I write this, it's 68* in here. We should see the same temperature today and it will probably be 10* - 15* cooler inside than outside.

If you have good wall and attic insulation, double pane, low-e windows and ceiling fans, A/C probably isn't really necessary.
 
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Old 05-04-04, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave_D1945
If you have good wall and attic insulation, double pane, low-e windows and ceiling fans, A/C probably isn't really necessary.

That's part of the problem. The only thing that's insulated in this house is the attic. Absolutely nothing in the walls, regular single-paned wood framed windows, etc.

Too many things to fix & replace....

I think I will start with a whole house fan at least. Sure is cheaper than a/c. We do plan on replacing the windows in a year or two, there's just other stuff we've gotta spring for first.

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-04-04, 10:51 AM
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If you're open to some advice, I'd recommend that you get some insulation blown into the walls as early as possible. That will make a big difference. If you can, it may also be good to blow more into the attic - the old stuff has probably settled quite a bit and isn't as effective as it was.

When you get to the windows; if you can't do them all at once, start on the west and southern sides. They take the most direct sun during the summer.

Have fun
 
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Old 05-04-04, 11:11 AM
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Thanks, Dave. We are already planning on replacing one of the big west-facing windows with a low e2 sliding glass door. The other windows we have talked about, but we can only afford so much at one time...

Is the spray in insulation something I can do myself? Or do i need to contract that?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-04-04, 11:57 AM
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Wind Turbines

Tend to be very sensitve to tha amount of INTAKE ventilation.
Soffits must have plenty of intake air, I would reccomend 1 sq in per sq ft of attic.
1400 sq in of intake ventilation will solve most of your attic heat problem
 
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Old 05-05-04, 07:10 AM
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You could probably do the attic yourself but you would have to rent the equipment and buy the insulation. Get a price from an insulating contractor before you commit. They could do your place in a couple of hours and it would probably take you all day (or more).

Blowing insulation into the walls isn't a DIY'er job. You have to drill holes into each stud bay, blow the insulation, then patch the holes.

I suspect that if you contracted the whole job (attic and walls), the attic portion would cost about the same as if you did it yourself.
 
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Old 05-08-04, 10:05 AM
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Wink

You can put the insulation in yourself. Home depot has cellulose insulation and the blower for it. Also put a power vent fan in the attic that works off a tstat. Take the turbines out their no good at all that we find . Make sure you have enought vents in the over hang of the home. Id go with ceiling fans in all the rooms dont pull the dirt from out side into the home.
For now hang a shade or something up on the edge of the fascia board out side on the south and west side of the home over the windows.

ED my .02cents
 
 

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