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5:26 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Ask the Contractor: Keep it cool with whole-house fans

Q: We are considering installing a whole-house fan. At the recent Home & Garden Show, we saw a manufacture QuietCool Whole House Fans – are you thumbs up or thumbs down on whole house fans?

– Geneva and Ed, Prescott Valley

A: QuietCool Whole House Fans can save over 90 percent on electricity vs. running your A/C unit. Whole-house fans work by pulling cool evening air through a couple of open windows in the home. The fans blow the inside air from the home into the attic and then push the hot warm air outside, thus cooling attic temperature sometimes as much as 40 degrees. They move so much air that they can exhaust all of the hot air in the evening in 4 minutes, rather than the hours it takes to cool a house by opening windows.

Generally speaking, one fan should be installed in a central location such as a hallway and one fan in each of the occupied bedrooms that are used for sleeping. The recommended amount of air flow (or CFM) should be approximately 2 to 3 times the square footage of your home. So, a home that is 3,000 square feet should have the number of fans that when added together move between 6,000 and 9,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air, while keeping in mind the aforementioned placement locations.

The QuietCool Whole House fans are ducted whole house fans that were developed based on a proven method of whole-house cooling that has been around for years. It is the most versatile cooling and ventilating system on the market today and these units are represented and installed by a local electrician, Elan Electric.

QuietCool fans ventilate exhausts and as Jim Johnson, owner of Elan Electric says, they are quiet! These fans are exceptionally quiet and are designed to move large amounts of air per fan. Install one of the higher-volume CFM whole-house fans in your hallway or a combination of a large fan and lower CFM fans in each occupied bedrooms for maximum cooling.

Sizing your home for the proper amount of CFM is important, since insufficient air flow will not allow for the desired minimum of 10 air exchanges per hour, which is recommended by the Home Ventilation Institute. Also, insufficient CFM may not produce an adequate breeze, which is needed to quickly cool the home, attic and skin temperature.

As we know, electricity prices are going up and a large central A/C can consume over 5,000 watts per hour. Considering the high cost of electricity makes installing a whole house fan system a wise decision. Jim said that the money you spend on installing a QuietCool fans, can be recovered in a short period of time.

QuietCool Whole House Fans cool by drawing cooler outside air in through your open windows, which lowers the room temperature by as much as 10 to 20 degrees with the open windows serving as intake vents, which allow you to control the air flow by selecting how many or which windows you open.

The cooling breeze can lower the skin temperature by 5 to 10 degrees F. The fresh, cooler air, after passing through the living space, is forced into the attic, which pushes the hot attic air out through the attic vents.

QuietCool fans have a built-in damper system that seals the fan from opening in the cool months. QuietCool fans are 100 percent made in the USA and come with a 10-year warranty from QuietCool Manufacturing Inc.

There are no belts or motorized doors to wear out. The QuietCool motors have lifetime lubrication and are maintenance-free. Using a whole-house fan is the most effective way to ventilate and cool your home.

Whole-house fans can draw in outdoor air pollutants and/or smoke from our controlled burns and tree pollens. However, there are numerous sources of indoor air pollutants, such as gas, kerosene, coal, wood, smoke & tobacco products; furnishings, asbestos-containing insulation, carpet dust mites, cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood, household cleaning and personal care products, central heating and air conditioner systems and humidification systems that whole-house fans can eliminate from your home. Remember, if you do not allow fresh outdoor air to enter your home, these pollutants may accumulate to levels that may cause health and comfort problems.

Q: I hear the questions quite often are whole house fans and attic fans the same?

A: Attic fans and whole-house attic fans are often thought to be the same. Yes, they both are installed in the attic and in similar ways provide cooling to your home. The truth is they are very different and it is important to understand how these products work.

Attic fans are installed in the attic near the gable vent and are designed to exhaust hot air from the attic space; they do not pull air from the living area. On hot days, the temperature in the attic can be well over 90-100 degrees. The hot attic air gets trapped in the attic, and attic fans can be effective in pushing the hot air out, which in turn helps to cool your living space. Attic fans are thought to be helpful in extending the life of your roof structure, and attic fans draw very little power, saving energy while working to cool your home. Attic fans can also be effective in reducing attic moisture during cold weather.

As we stated earlier, a whole-house system can be used instead of an air conditioner during certain months in our climate. Whole-house fans push hot, stale air out of the attic to help cool your home, however, instead of simply pushing the hot air out of the attic, a whole-house fan pulls cool air into the home through an open window and flushes hot air out of the home via your attic vents.

QuietCool fans hold many of the top spots for energy efficiency. If you have additional questions and need more information to see if this system will work for you, Call Jim Johnson at Elan Electric 928-925-7937 – he is the guy with the answers.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time twice each weekend Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m. on KQNA 1130 AM/99.9 FM or the web kqna.com. Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry and meet your local community partners and contractors.