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Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: earache
Date: May 28, 2009 07:40AM
I'm no longer willing to face my A/C electric bill, so have decided to buy a whole house fan. There are quite a few reputable makers out there: Airscape, Quiet Cool, and Tamarack to name a few. Does anyone have any experience with these makers? My house is 2 story and about 3000sqft. The fan's got to be fairly quiet since it'll be placed near sleeping areas. Thanks for any inputs.



earache
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: Cary
Date: May 28, 2009 08:57AM
I like this type - quiet and efficient.

whole house fan

Make sure you have ample venting in your attic - need some place for the air to go...

Cary
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: iaJim
Date: May 28, 2009 09:08AM
They just installed that Tamarack fan on Ask This Old House. It looked to be a real nice unit that was well thought out. I particularly liked the fact that it has a remote control so you don't have to run wiring through the walls to a control. I don't know much about these, but I'd look up that episode and look at what they did.
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 28, 2009 10:11AM
Quote
Cary
I like this type - quiet and efficient.

whole house fan

Make sure you have ample venting in your attic - need some place for the air to go...

Cary

I saw them install one of those on "Ask This Old House", it was a very
nice and neat install.
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: May 28, 2009 10:19AM
I put a Tamarack in 5 years ago. Working great still smiling smiley



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 28, 2009 10:22AM
A/C and whole house fan serve two different functions.
EDIT: If your outside temps are cool enough, a whole house fan would work great.
My first comment is based on cooling the indoor air in a closed loop. VS Bringing cooler air inside.


Here in SoCal. Some homes have Swamp cooler and A/C unit. My sister is one of them. She uses swamp until it gets humid. Then its full time A/C. Sister has a very low electric bill when swamp cooler is used.

Joe



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2009 10:27AM by Carm.
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: smacks
Date: May 28, 2009 10:46AM
2nd the Tamarack - Have had one for 6 years, easy install, light, quiet, etc., Although it doesn't move air with the palpable feel of louder, larger models, it works nicely on cooler evenings to bring down the air temp in the upper level of our colonial-style house.

Tips - don't lose the remote, and make sure you have adequate attic ventilation, i.e. gable, soffit and ridge vents.
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: Psurfer
Date: May 28, 2009 11:28AM
As a long-time attic fan user, I have 2 words for you: variable speed.
You'll benefit from being able to dial down to a very low speed for running it overnight, or you can get too cold.

Otherwise, you have to control the bedroom's airflow by opening a lot of other room's windows &/or doors, which may or may not be sufficient for comfort.
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: handyj
Date: May 28, 2009 02:27PM
There's a lot of installation issues that can dictate the type of whole house. But the new consumer usually brings to the table that it needs to be quiet and generally opts for one of the tech types you've mentioned. These are relatively low volume fans (1600 CFM) and without knowing the difference you may be forever happy with them. But as smack says "doesn't move air with the palpable feel of louder, larger models". Once you've been in your neighbors house who has a traditional 30" belt driven fan and feel the cool evening air flooding in, you'll probably wish you'd gotten a more powerful model.
Whole house fans are generally placed through the attic floor into the ceiling of a common area (stairway, hallway, etc...). The large fans (4000 CFM range) are louder. If this bothers you, it can be mitigated by placement (gable end mounts off to the side of the house) and by variable speeds. There are even models that draw from the common area with ducting and are gable mounted.
I've never had a customer ask to remove his large volume fan because of the "noise".
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: May 28, 2009 09:47PM
You could always go with their other fan:

[www.tamtech.com]
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: pl8er
Date: May 28, 2009 10:40PM
I honestly feel like you are reading my mind!

I've been on the hunt for a whole house fan for about 3 weeks now. I had it all figured out (Triangle 30" fan with a Dayton shutter) and the location would have been perfect as it is in my main hallway centered in my house.

I went up into my attic (which is only accessible through a small entrance in the hallway closet to find basically the worst situation I would imagine. I'm trying to think how to explain this. I have a split level house and my attic is SMALL! Worse than that at every single joist there is a V connecting to the roof. I can't cut these. So just off of rough estimations, a regular fan will not work. Has anyone encountered and overcome this first off? I can try to explain more if needed, but it would be difficult (i can always send a picture Just imagine 24" joists and at each one a V going to the roof.

The next problem is I have read that 36" of clearance is needed, is this true? I believe I have enough ventilation for a larger fan (my preference) as I have a center vent across my roof. My roof is 44' across and the vent is 2" wide. Which I believe is about 7 sq. feet. Also, there smaller openings as well (the little mushroom looking things).

Ideas would be great, I live in Ohio, if you want to help, that would be great too! grinning smiley
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: earache
Date: May 29, 2009 07:36AM
I'm actually looking at this one: [www.airscapefans.com]

A little oversized for my house which is a good thing. It's quiet, and I can adjust the speed to my liking. I can also get a remote control for it. Pricey, but when you consider that I can spend $200+/mo for AC during the summer, and that barely keeps the house cool, the price isn't so bad.



earache
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Re: Recommendations for a whole house fan?
Posted by: wesleycspears
Date: November 10, 2009 07:12AM
I am also considering not to use AC for summer, I can't pay my high bills anymore for using AC units. I have a friend who uses a misting fans and he said, it is a lot of help to him and very economical to use. It might be an expensive one but in the long run, you will see the benefits.
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