Question: Hi Robert, what a wonderful thing you do, answering all of the readers’ questions so we can all benefit, thank you. We’ve heard so many wonderful things about how much our friends have learned through it, and now have a question for you. You may have covered this previously though I cannot find an article so I am asking with hope that you are able to answer for me.
THIS HEAT! We are new to Santa Clarita and the heat has caught us by surprise, at least the duration of it. Our home is older and though the windows are double-paned and the house is sound, we are looking for other ways to cool it off and I believe that a whole house fan may be a good start. Would you please help me understand the way these work and how to determine if our home is a candidate for one?
Also, can a homeowner install? I’m not very handy but thinking maybe I could tackle it?
Thank you again for the help you give. I look forward to receiving your reply.
Best, Jared R.
Answer: Jared, it has been a hot year, but I’d also say that this is average for Santa Clarita. A whole house fan is an excellent way to add to the cooling options of your home. If you are not versed in framing and electrical, I would recommend that you find a licensed contractor to do this install for you because you need the unit to be framed into existing attic space and it will need power in order to run.
Prior to that, though, you will need to determine if your home would accept a unit, and if the attic space is enough to receive the air volume that a whole house fan would pull in. A whole house fan pulls high volumes of air in from the home and vents it outside through the attic vents.
There needs to be a window or door open in the home so cooler outside air can be pulled in. The existing air in the home goes up into the attic and it is released outside. Once the outside temps cool enough, you turn this system on and within a short period of time (depending on the house size), the air in the home has been cooled and continues to circulate.
Of course, there are safety issues with open doors and windows, so you’ll have to implement your own ideas and methods for securing your home. I’d say it may be best for you to hire a contractor who can determine if your home is eligible and what size unit would be most effective yet not too powerful for your space, as well as complete a thorough and safe install for you.
These units are fantastic and generally allow the homeowner to shut down costly A/C units early in the evening, depending on the day. I have one in my home and use it almost daily, as long as the night temps cool enough. Best of luck and welcome to Santa Clarita.