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Friday, May 16, 2008

My $20 whole house fan !!!!

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 a nice picture of a fan installed that looks like mine in an attic that is gigantic !!!!!!

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


Snafam said...

Very nice! And BTW, Happy Birthday!

Calorchard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mark.micallef.photography said...

Nice write up on your whole house fan, I've been wanting to install one. I also live in Southern CA and believe it would be very beneficial.


Mark from Chino

calorchard said...

Thank you Mark

Our AC conked out tonite so we are using the fan !!! They realy are not that hard to put in.