What do you need to know about whole house attic fans?
Many older homes featured whole house attic fans as an efficient means of cooling the home on cool evenings. In addition, they provided the home with fresh air. These fans can still be found in homes today and many are still in working condition. New models are still marketed today and can be a great addition to a home’s HVAC system. However, there are some very important things that need to be taken into consideration before using a whole house attic fan.
It’s not a DIY Project
Installation of new units should be performed by an HVAC professional. This is not a DIY project. If you own a home with a whole house attic fan or are looking to purchase a home with one, make certain the fan is evaluated by an HVAC professional prior to use.
A whole house attic fan has specific requirements for air space in the home and ventilation in the attic. Windows must be opened during operation and there must be an adequate number of windows. Whole house attic fans require much more attic ventilation than your standard attic vents. There must be pathways for the large volume of air the fan is moving.
The Fan Itself
Belts and motors should be inspected prior to use each season. The louvers should open and close freely with the operation of the fan. Screens are a smart addition over the louvers to prevent attic debris and pests from entering the living space. Make certain children cannot gain easy access to the fan blades. During hot and cold weather, it is a good idea to have a thermal screen to place over the fan to eliminate AC and heat loss through the space.
One of the greatest safety threats with a whole house attic fan relates to the home’s gas appliances. If ventilation in the home is not sufficient for the fan, waste gases from gas appliances can be pulled back into the living space. The fan could possibly be pulling carbon monoxide back into the home.
In any case, always have an HVAC professional evaluate the whole house attic fan prior to use!
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If you are buying a home, make certain you get a quality home inspection. Contact Ferguson Home Inspections to schedule an inspection today! Our website link is below!