Making a trip to to the local big box hardware store and purchasing a house fan without researching house fans first is the biggest mistake a home owner can make when installing a whole house fan. If you assume that you have the right size whole top Maine architects fan, the best manufacturer, or all of the information you need in order to install the whole house attic fan yourself, chances are you will have to call someone to correct your do-it-yourself mistakes.
Hire a electric services company who has a good reputation for installing whole house fans. Even though the project can be relatively small, there is a lot more to it than just cutting the vent opening and turning the fan on. A good reputable electrician will know: What size fan to use, Whether or not you have adequate attic ventilation, Where to place the intake vent, When is the best time to use the fan to maximize its benefit.
Solution Number Two:
A qualified electrician will always recommend a house fan that comes with built in insulation. In the winter months, it is important that the whole house fan, the whole house attic fan housing, the vent opening, and the attic vents have the correct insulation so that you are not losing money by escaping warming air. Also, a good reputable electrician will know that the whole house attic fan has to be placed in a location that permits maximum airflow starting at the windows and into the attic.
Buying the cheapest fan from the hardware store is definitely a huge mistake. Fans are a cheap investment when compared to HVAC. The cheaper models are not insulated, have generic fan assemblies, and are quite loud. The last thing a home owner needs is to hear what sounds like a rocket taking off inside your house, or a squeaky fan motor each time the fan is turned on.
Purchase a quality whole house attic fan that has good reviews and a good track record. A quick search on several consumer goods review sites will steer you in the right direction. Also, consult with your reputable electrician. They might carry a certain brand of whole house attic fan that they trust and that has a great reputation for being a quality product. Do not buy a brand that has no history of past performance or good reviews by lots of people.
Big Mistake Number Four: (And this one is a biggie!)
Having a whole house fan installed that is too large for the house is one of the biggest mistakes a home owner can make. If there is not proper attic ventilation, a house fan that is too large may draw all of the hot air up from the home and into the attic, and then push that hot air back down into the home through the wall switches, ceiling lights, electrical outlets, HVAC vents. In fact, a whole house attic fan that is too large for the house can make it hotter, not cooler.
Solution Number Four:
Before installing a whole house fan, consult with a qualified electrician and chose the model that is right for the home. If you don‚Äôt have enough attic ventilation, there are some simple steps that can be taken to provide that ventilation. A ridge vent, gable vent, soffit vent, and whirly gig are all inexpensive options for attic ventilation. A good electrical contractor will also work in conjunction with a licensed builder who can usually add the proper attic ventilation in a about a day if there is not any in place.
Usually, a smaller whole house fan will cool a dwelling more efficiently than a larger fan, which is more often than not overkill. The goal with a whole house fan is balanced air flow. With constant movement of air throughout the house, it will stay cooler with less energy needed. Also, a smaller house fan means less installation work, which is always a bonus.
Big Mistake Number Five:
Operating the whole house attic fan with the windows closed is a really dangerous thing. The house fan functions by drawing cooler air in from the exterior of the house through the open windows and pulling the warm air up into the attic where it escapes through the attic vents. If the windows are closed, there is a great chance that air will be pulled from the diverter that is on top of the water heater or boiler. What this means is that poisonous carbon monoxide can be pushed into the living space, causing a hazardous situation.
Solution Number Five:
Make sure to open the windows before switching on the house fan! The fan is not there to re-circulate air throughout the house. Its primary function is to cool the house, and provide a cheaper, eco-friendly cooling solution than HVAC. In fact, a properly installed whole house fan can cool an averaged sized house for a tenth of the cost of air conditioning.