I am looking for a contractor or someone to recommend and
install a nice whole house fan in my home in New Hampshire.
Cannot find a Fan, AC/Heating or any sort of contractor that
knows anything about them. I don't want to just buy a $200
fan, cut a hole in my ceiling and hope it all works. For one
thing, not sure if my attic is vented well enough to let the
hot air out.
Cannot find much info on the web.
Anyone have any suggestions?
thanks - paul oman
Do you know how to use www.google.com to search?
Or did you not really want to do any research yourself? Preferring to just
Get ready to be taken advantage of if that is how you prefer to do things.
If you really do want to figure it out yourself, try reading the first link
a search for "attic fans" or "whole house fans" brings up.
All you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
That far up north, might be kind of hard..
If you were down here, it would be simple, as we install about 30 a year...
Most of your HVAC companies do..
If you cant find one, you start in the yellow pages and keep
calling....someone is bound to kknow about them.
I also picked one up at Sears. It was a 'return' and marked down to
$80. Installed it in a central hallway (it was as wide as the
hallway). But I put mine between the joists, not the "joices" as you
But ditto, likewise the best (and among the cheapest) improvement I
ever made to that house. That was in 1972--it's stlll doing its job,
good as new. Just a couple drops of oil in the motor and fan bearing
cups annually keeps it happy.
This sort of 'air conditioning' is great for relatively dry climates
with hot days (close up the house upon arising) and cool nights (open
up and turn on the fan--open windows in the rooms you want to cool).
Another 10 bucks for a 12-hour timer switch, so we could run it most
of the night and have it turn off early in the morning when the
outside temperature began to rise.
--John W. Wells
In alt.home.repair on Thu, 26 Jun 2003 11:28:26 GMT "Peter H"
I hate to complicate your life, but you might also consider a roof
fan. If you have an attic. It goes on automatically when the attic
starts to get hot, and it blows the hot air out of the attic, sucking
in cooler air through the soffits. For me, in Maryland, it used to go
on about 10 in the morning and off around 8PM. I think the thermostat
came set for about 85^. It's adjustable, but I think that is a good
value. Even on the hottest days, by the time I went to sleep,
everything was off.
I got a new roof about a month ago, a lighter color, a 2 on a scale of
1 to 4 or 5, instead of the 4 I used to have. So I expect it will
turn on later in the day now, and off earlier, but it's almost July
and we've only had 5 hot days, 45 days with rain in two months, and I
can't tell yet. (I can only hear the fan when the radio is off, and
sometimes I have to turn the fan switch to off to be sure it is on.
(I installed two optional on/off switches. One to turn it off when
the thermostat would turn it on -- I use that one in the early spring
and late fall to warm up my attic and I use the attic heat to keep the
house warm at night. The other switch to turn it on when the
thermostat would turn it off -- others might have use for that switch
I'm sure, but it seems I don't, but I don't mind because it was only
10 minutes extra effort to put in the second switch, next to the first
one, in the 2nd floor hall.)
The fan keeps the attic from ever getting hotter than the outside air.
Without the fan, iirc, it can be 120 (or 140?) in the attic when it is
95 degrees out. With the fan, it will be about 97. 110 (or was it
more?) when it is 85 out; with the fan about 87. It means things
stored in the attic won't dry out nearly as fast.
Prior to having this fan, I wouldn't even go upstairs when I got home
from work. I would sleep in the basement and get fresh clothes the
next morning. (I have an airconditioned town house that was only 4
years old then, but I don't like AC. It makes noise, costs money, uses
the world's resources, makes me feel closed in, and keeps out the
noise of the bird, the wind, and even the kids and the cars. With AC,
I feel isolated.)
I bought the most expensive model I could find, so that I wouldn't
have problems. Of course 20 years ago, the price range was from 60
dollars to about 70 dollars, retail. (they're still less than 100, but
money is really not the issue.) So I got an "expensive" one, and I
have had to replace the motor for some reason. The first motor lasted
7 years, and I ordered a new one from the fan manufacturer. It was
not hard to install from inside the attic (couldn't be installed from
outside). After the first time it only takes 15 minutes, really,
including moving the fan blade to the new motor. I just make sure to
do it after dawn and before 8 or 9AM. The second one only lasted 3
years. I don't know what the difference was. I bought the replacement
that time at Electric Motor Repair, a store in Baltimore. Every city
probably has one, by one name or other. I think it only lasted 3
years. The currrent one is over 7 years old and seems fine. I don't
know what the difference is.
I'm really curious about it. When it rains the rain bounces off the
roof and hits the screen around the fan (the fan has a cap without
holes but a screen around its waist.) The water drops break up a
little more when they hit the screen, not enough to make the attic
"floor" wet, but I wonder if that has something to do with the motors
wearing out. I looked for a place to oil the motors, but afaicr,
there wasn't one.
We had a whole house fan when I was a teenager and it made a racket.
It was right next to the bedroom door and I slept right next to the
bedroom door. I hated it. Now they have speed controls so that would
be better, but if it isn't turning fast enough the door slats won't
even open, isn't that right?
Plus they suck hot air in from the outside, along with dust. If you
get home at 6 or 8 and it is still hot out, you will not be as cool
after running the fan as you would be if you have the roof fan, which
keeps the 2nd floor from ever getting very hot in the first place.
Still during the hot week we just had, I thought (I"m still thinking)
about getting a whole house fan also. Because this week, after 9 it
*was* cooler out than it was inside the house on the second floor.
I've been working nights, at home, and it would have been nice to
really cool off the room, instead of using a table fan (with external
speed control to make it quiet.) I think....that I'd only run it for
10 or 15 minutes, only some nights of the summer.
If emailing, please let me know whether
or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
One problem that the house fans create is a hole in your ceiling. When not
using the fan in the winter this hole may cost you extra $$ in heat loss.
You either need to seal the fan for the winter with an insulated board with
some sort of a gasket around it or us a fan with sealed trap doors (my book
shows one from Tamarack Technologies http://www.tamtech.com /)
You are correct. At the start of winter I remove the interior shutter,
tightly wedge styrofoam insulation between the joists, cover the shutter
with plastic on the roof side and re-install the shutter.
I just put a few strips of rolled insulation over the fan blades on the attic
side and that's it. Oh....cut power to the fan to make sure nobody can
accidentally turn it on! My attic fan is probably the best insulated spot in
the ceiling come winter time ! LOL!
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