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After YEARS of thinking about it I finally purchased one! So what did I buy. I really wanted the the between the truss system by Century Homestead.  But I had a few problems with that system. First was cost. After tax and shipping, it was going to cost close to $1100. That is a lot of bling! Second, I am the only one that is going to install this. No one is going to help me. The thought of man handling a 78 lbs fan through a very small opening did not sound like my idea of a good time. Next, installation. I am sure I could have handled it fine but for that kind of money I could have something installed by someone else. (That thought still sounds great but I do like the DIY thing, just not as much as I used to.) Having to frame and seal everything is just too involved. Last, this is a big one, free venting area inside the attic. I have tried to calculate my free vent area and I can not be sure I have enough for the 30″ or 36″ fans. I have a ridge vent and soffit vent system. I can easily get the ridge vent number, it is 5 sq. ft. But the soffit vents, that is harder. Common sense tells me double the ridge vent number. That would mean a balanced system but I can not be 100%. This means I have just enought vents (10 Sq. ft.)  to run the 30″ 1/3HP fan. While not bad, it would still cost about $950 and not be equal to the 36″ 1/2HP fan.

So, I decided on the QC 2250. Cost was $550, shipped and it comes with a wireless remote. It moves 2285 CFM of air as compared to 7600 CFM from the 30″ 1/3HP traditional whole house fan. One person reported 3000 CFM, so we will see. The grille size is much smaller, 16″x20″. The other grille 24″ x 38″ The unit should be as quite or quieter then the traditional whole house fan route. Installation should be easier and quicker. The really nice thing is, if I like the unit and I think adding another would cool the house even faster I can just buy another . I would place that one in the hallway between the kids room.

Now, I will have to modify how I use the fan since it is smaller. The plan as I see it now, is to cool the two kids room first by only opening those windows. Then after they are asleep, close them up and open the master bedroom windows. After the master is cooled then open the basement window and let the basement, first floor and second floor cool all night long. Shut the house up in the morning and do it again the next evening. I will post my thoughts and feelings after I get it installed.

But this does have me thinking about a solar attic fan. I think that will have to wait until I replace the furnace with a heat pump. Then the furnace chimney will come down and the solar attic fan can fill the hole in the roof. This will then at least another foot of venting free air. (after the sun sets anyway.)

Really thinking about it. This morning is a great example. The current temperature is not cool by any stretch but 65 degrees is still very nice when you expect a high today of 88 degrees. I am thinking of purchasing a single speed belt drive fan from Triangle Fan. Now comes the crazy part. I am going to replace the single speed motor with a three phase motor off of eBay and then drive that motor with a variable frequency drive, also from eBay. All that costs only a few dollars more then purchasing a two speed fan model. Yes, I am that crazy.

I am also looking at installing everything between the roof trusses. That means I have to angle the fan but I can live with that. It will mean a smaller hole in the ceiling. Since I have decided to place the fan in the upstairs laundry room, the smaller ceiling opening means I don’t have to move the light and I still have enough space to mount cabinets. (I have had that project for almost ten years now.)

If I can just get these sales people to get back with me! I want to buy your stuff. Take my money. If they ever get back with me, I will post a nice how to, no installing a whole house fan.

I still think about a whole house fan every week or so. It is a double bonus, cool air brought into the house thru the windows and the hot air is pushed out of the attic. I know I can not get one that cuts a huge hole in the ceiling. They move a ton of air but a 36″ x 36″ hole is just too big! They are also too noisy from what I have gathered. My mother has a direct drive unit that is very loud on high. (You can not have a conversation under it, for sure.) There are many options to choose from but I keep coming back to a ducted unit by Quite Cool. If fits between the joists. Because it is ducted, it is very quite. I bet if I opened the window in the basement and pulled the cold air (basement is always below 70 degrees) I may not need to run the air until it gets over 85 outside.

I am still thinking about some crazy garage mounted unit. If I sleep on that one then maybe I can figure it out.

For a few years I have wanted a whole house fan. They are cheap to operate, bring in fresh air and are relatively easy to install. One very important thing to note. If you have a gas water heater that does not have a power vent then you have to make sure you open enough windows or you will back draft and bring toxic fumes into your house. I have a gas water heater. I plan one replacing it soon so I won’t have to worry about it.

How they work? Whole house fans suck hot air out of your house. They bring in cooler outside air in though open windows.  The added benefit is the air expelled from the fan is exhausted into the attic. This cools down the attic and that will cool your house down too.

Who makes them?

Air Vent, Inc.

Triangle Engineering of Arkansas, Inc.

Tamarack Technologies, Inc.

Installation? This is a straight forward process. Cut a hole in the ceiling. Block off trusses to make a box. Install shutter and fan. Supply electricity Sounds easy! Hints that I have found out. They (Triangle) makes shutters that enable one to install the fan without cutting the truss (joist). The joist will interfere very little with the operation of the fan. During the winter months I plan on making a insulation blanket to cover the unit. This will cut down on the heat loss thru the big whole in my ceiling. Installing a timer switch will allow the unit to shut off in the middle of the night so you don’t have to mess with it.

Temperatures in my area don’t often go above 90 degrees. At night, temps almost always go below 70 if not usually 60 during the summer. This is a great operating range for my whole house fan. I can run it at night and then close up the house during the day. This should save me tons of money this summer. I figure the unit may pay for itself in one season. Lowes sells the Air Vent unit. I do plan on purchasing the no-cut-joist shutter from the internet. I have though about angling the unit just like century homestead did. I will at least find out how much their unit cost. It may save me time and effort. One thing I do know, now is a good time the invest in a whole house fan.