Switching from air conditioning to a whole house fan can be a great move to keep your power bills low and create a nice cool breeze in your home. Whole house fans typically work best when the humidity is low, and generally take a bit of coordination to figure out which windows should be open to get a comfortable breeze. Once you get the right combination of windows, you can sit back and relax in your cool breezy home.
If you live in an area that does not have an oppressive humidity throughout the summer, a whole house fan is just the reason to drop your air conditioning costs and switch over. However, even if you do live somewhere with high humidity, the whole house fan can be used on lower humidity days and then you can switch back to air conditioning on higher humidity days and still have a significant cost savings in energy.
Making a Breeze
It will take a little practice for you to get a good air flow going through your house, but it shouldn’t take long. The easiest thing to do is to open all the windows in the room that you are occupying at that time. You will really want a breeze to benefit from the fan, so keep the windows in other unoccupied rooms closed, as that will spread the air out too much. However, having just one window open in the room you are in can create a near windstorm, so playing around with the windows will help you determine what suits you best.
If you are switching to a whole house fan from an air conditioning system, you are most likely used to the quiet of central air. In this case, you will want to be mindful when selecting the velocity of a whole house fan in an attempt to select one that’s sound is not overwhelmingly loud.
Fan velocity is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) with speeds ranging from 1,000 CFM to 7,000 CFM. While a 7,000 CFM may be effective in moving lots of air and cooling your house, the penalty is that it will be extremely loud. Obviously, the further away your are from the fan, the less noise, but you are going to be happier with your fan system that is less deafening.
Start by looking at fans with low CFM. This may require more fine tuning to get your open and closed windows correct and have optimal air flow, but your ears will definitely thank you.
Get a Timer
If you are used to the automatic cooling that central air can deliver with a timed system, you are definitely going to want to look into getting a timer for your house fan. Many people love their whole house fan for cooling at night, but find that if you leave it on all night, it can become too cold. This is easily dealt with by installing a timer that will allow you to control the fans on and off cycles and how long each cycle lasts, similar to the way you would control your air conditioning system.
Switching from an air conditioning system to a whole house fan can be very rewarding in its wonderful cool breezes traveling through your house. Check out the different options available to you and begin saving on your power bill when you install a whole house fan in your home.