Pros & Cons of Whole House Fans

living room of house with a whole house fan system
July 20, 2023

California is known for its sunny summers and mild winters, and while many homes throughout Sacramento are equipped with air conditioners, they aren't necessary for most of the year. Whole house fans offer an effective way to keep your home cool without having to worry about expensive energy bills.

However, installing a whole house fan without sacrificing energy efficiency leaves little room for error, and professional help is recommended. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of getting a whole house fan installed in your home.

What Is a Whole House Fan?

A whole house fan is usually installed between your home’s attic and living spaces to provide affordable and efficient cooling. Whole house fans work by circulating warm air from inside your home into your attic to allow fresh air from a few open windows to come in and create a comfortable breeze. Commonly mistaken for attic fans, whole house fans circulate fresh air throughout your entire home and provide immediate relief from stuffy indoor air.

Pros of Whole House Fan Installation

There are numerous benefits of whole house fan installation for your Sacramento-area home, including:

Instant comfort - Whole house fans start cooling your home down as soon as they're turned on and you’ll feel the difference immediately.

  • Low operating costs - Whole house fans use 90% less energy than a traditional air conditioner, drastically reducing your summer cooling costs.
  • Better indoor air quality - Whole house fans improve your home’s ventilation and keep odors from lingering in your home from pets, cooking, and other pollutants.
  • Longer lifespan for your AC - By switching a portion of your cooling to using a whole house fan, you’ll be using your air conditioner less and extend its lifespan with less wear and tear.
  • Environmentally friendly - Since whole house fans utilize the outdoor air and use less energy to keep your home cool, they reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Quiet operation - While older whole house fans were noisy, that’s not the case with today’s high-efficiency models—you’ll most likely not even notice it running!

Cons of Whole House Fan Installation

In order to get all the benefits from a whole house fan that we mentioned above, it’s important to have the system installed properly—otherwise, you risk causing significant air leakage in your home. Installing a whole house fan system involves putting a large hole in your attic, and without a tight seal around it, you’ll end up losing energy through the gaps it creates.

Since whole house fans work by bringing in the outside air, they can bring outdoor air pollutants into your home—potentially increasing allergy or asthma symptoms. Additionally, in times when there is poor outdoor air quality—like in the event of a wildfire—whole house fans can increase contaminants in your home.

Whole house fans can also present a security risk since they require at least one window to be open to operate. Depending on where you live, you may not want to use them at night because of this.

At Brower, we recommend making sure your attic has proper insulation and ventilation to ensure that your whole house fan can operate efficiently.

Stay Cool This Summer With Brower Mechanical

With over 40 years of experience, you can trust our team to properly install a whole house fan in your Sacramento-area home. We ensure every whole house fan is installed with minimal disturbance to the ceiling and the attic space around it. Using a building science approach, our team also considers your home’s thermal envelope to ensure that air leaks won’t cause energy loss after the installation process is complete.

Ready to get started with a whole house fan in your home? Call 916-624-0808 or contact us online.

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