View Full Version : Whole house fan, what brand, economics, etc

mark page
09-28-2008, 6:30 PM
I am thinking of putting in a whole house fan. I am in a new construction home and all the wiring, framing, etc, is already in place. I would just need to cut the drywall ceiling, install, and connect. I'm actually enjoying the open windows at night concept right now, but it does get a little warm during the day. I currently have a Lennox heat pump system that is great economically to run. My questions are: Economics, what is the added cost of running one? Am trying to figure if the cost onset will ever be overcome by the cost of operating. (I am an all electric home w/kids, meaning washer and dryer going full time 24/7. I believe my highest electric bill was less than $175.00 a month). What brand is the most reliable? How noisey are these rascals, placement would be in the hallway outside of the kids rooms? Plus any other comments that someone cares to chime in with. I would most likely only be operating one at most 2-3 months out of the year intermittently.

David G Baker
09-28-2008, 7:05 PM
By whole house fan do you mean the type where you cut 24"x24" or larger hole in the center of your house and add a belt driven fan blade that is 24" across or larger? If so Home Depot carried them when I was shopping for one when I lived in California. The cost of operating the fan will be based on the horse power of the motor combined with time the motor is running. This type of fan moves a lot of air providing the attic space is very well vented, it also does a very good job of cooling the house.
There is another system sold on Ebay that uses two 10 inch muffin fans that works okay but not nearly as well the belt driven type.
At the time I was shopping the 24" fan was around $150 complete with grill, switches, etc.
Don't recall brand names.

Chris Padilla
09-29-2008, 1:25 PM

Look up Tamarack. I have that brand in my house. Works well for us.

David G Baker
09-29-2008, 3:07 PM
I had the Tamarack unit in my California house. I paid around $500 for the unit and was impressed by the motor operated shutter that capped the unit when not in use but I was not impressed with the amount of air that the two 10 inch fans moved. It was better than nothing but having friends and family that had 24 inch and 36 inch belt driven fans that moved enough air to almost remove paint from the walls I didn't feel the the unit was worth the $500. I will admit that the Tamarack was a much quieter unit and probably did what the manufacturer stated that it did.
I lived in Antioch where the Summer weather frequently stayed in the very high 90's and low 100's for days so my situation may have been a little different from yours.
The Tamarack unit was the one I mentioned in my earlier post that was listed on Ebay.

Lee Schierer
09-29-2008, 3:46 PM
You may only be looking at part of your costs. If you place a fan in the ceiling of the upper most floor so the air is blown into the attic, you will also need to have a large enough outlet for air out of the attic or the fan won't move air efficiently and will make more noise than it would if he air outlet is properly sized.

mark page
09-29-2008, 6:23 PM
Thanks for the info. It sounds like it would not be a feasible upgrade to the home for cost vs returns.