A whole house fan draws outside air in through your screened windows and doors and blows it out through your attic. The result is a mild cooling breeze that can lower skin temperature by 2 to 8 degrees. Whole house fans are pratical and affordable and provide natural air-conditioning. Whole house fans work well when outside temperature is below 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If you already have air-conditioning, a whole house fan can be used to throughly ventilate the house before the air-conditiong is turned on. This reduces air-conditioning operating time and costs. Whole house fans are centrally located usually in a hallway. The fan itself is concealed by a ceiling grill that opens and closes automiatically.
This is the fan that David S. gave me @ work for free! I just had to rebuild the frame because the old one was particle board. It is a 36 inch fan with a 1/3 hp motor. Most of the fan is wood and you can buy them for $125- $150 @ Home Depot or Lowes. SCE also offers a rebate on them , It is $50.
Fan Rebate Link
This is the hole I cut in my ceiling!!! The shutter kit has a template , I stapled it to the ceiling and cut it with a sheet rock saw.
Most folks would shy away from making a big hole in their ceiling, I installed one of these in a friends house in Moreno Valley a few years back, they were having $300 + electric bills and read that they could save with a whole house fan. I was scared, wow, brand new $300k house and me cutting a hole in it !! I got it done and wanted one for my house. Now the hunt was on.
This is the notch that I had to cut in the ceiling because I had a 24" shutter kit and a 36" fan !!
This is the fan installed above the rafters with my work light in the attic. Now I have to install the shutters and patch my notch. I had to bust a truss to get the fan in the attic, I called my cousin Jeff who is a builder and he told me how to repair a truss if it is broken, you scab a new 2X4 on the side of the truss that is busted and nail it every 5 inches alternating the nails high and low . The ends of your repair 2X4 have to go to the bottom and top of your truss with 5 nails on each end. My air palm nailer came in handy for the tight area I had to work in.
This is the shutter kit ( $7 @ Goodwill NIB !!)
This is my 2 speed pull switch (5 Amp) around $6 at Ace Hardware.
You will notice the white caulk in the corners of the "BOX", you need a good seal below the fan so I had a few tubes of white caulk and burned them up on this project.
We have started to use the fan in the evening and morning, its quite loud and works like a champion, pulls the air from all open windows through the house. We live @ 2700 ft. elevation so we cool down @ night, I have seen 100+ in the day and 50 at night so the fan is good for our area.
A great fan site
Wikipedia whole house fan