Installing a whole house fan.
Installing a whole house fan starts with selecting a properly sized system to fit your homes square footage and the location for the fan itself.
SELECTING YOUR SYSTEM
Fan size is very important to a whole house fan system. If a QuietCool system is not sized properly, the system will not work effectively. We use a general formula of either 2, 2.5, or 3 CFM, or “Cubic Feet per Minute”, per square foot of living space. 2 CFM would provide a good system, 2.5 CFM would provide a better system, and 3 CFM would provide the best system.
To calculate how much CFM you need in your home, simply multiply the square footage by 2, 2.5, and 3. This will give you the amount of CFM needed for a Good, Better, or Best system, respectively.
Example (Good System): 2000 sqft x 2 CFM = 4000 CFM needed. Example (Better System): 2000 sqft x 2.5 CFM = 5000 CFM needed. Example (Best System): 2000 sqft x 3 CFM = 6000 CFM needed.
There are two other considerations that need to be taken into account when sizing a whole house fan system:
Location: If located in a coastal region where the climate is cooler, a good system should work great. If located in a desert region where the climate is very hot during the day, but cooler during the night, a best system would make the most sense.
Ceiling Height: If the ceilings in the home are taller than 8 feet, be sure to size the system a little bit larger to account for the increased air volume inside of the home.
After determining the total amount of airflow needed in the system, it is time to select a system.
We offer these three types of systems: 1. Basic System: Central Cooling with a single QuietCool fan located centrally in the home. The fans can be from either the Trident Pro or Stealth Pro Line. 2. Advanced System: Zoned Cooling with multiple QuietCool Trident Pro fans in the system. 3. Superior System: Zoned Cooling with multiple QuietCool Stealth Pro fans in the system.
We take the homes square footage, room layout, ceiling heights, attic size(s) and room configuration into consideration along with the clients desired air movement. The experience the end user has is just as important as a properly sized and vented fan itself.
We evaluate the homes attic space for installation locations and venting to make sure it’s adequate to handle the selected fans air movement. On rare occasions an attic will not have enough air flow capability so we will need to install more venting in the attic via dormer vents, bird holes or other means.
After evaluating the various details we are able to select the proper size whole house fan system. In some cases with large homes or homes with unusual attic framing we will install multiple fans to properly ventilate the home. Multi zone systems, meaning two or more fans have several benefits. With a dual zone system you can split up your cooling needs into zones. You can cool one area of the home where people are using the home while leaving the other unoccupied zone off.
We then propose one or two whole house fan systems that we believe to be the best fit for each individual home. The two best selling whole house fans are Quiet Cools Trident and Stealth line. The Trident line of fans are easily the most popular whole house fan on the market as they are incredibly efficient and reasonably priced where as the Stealth line is even more efficient and cost a little bit more.
Installing the whole house fan system.
Once we have an attic location picked out we draw power from the nearest available power source that is capable of handling the fan motor. We also figure out the best location for the timer switch that gets installed into the wall below the fan to control speed settings and timer functions.
We inspect the ceiling for visual layout for the whole house fan grill in conjunction with any lights, smoke alarms, walls or other items that we can align with for a aesthetic appearance. Then we transfer that desired location into the attic.
Inside the attic floor we have to make sure the desired location is unobstructed by gas lines, power, HVAC or any framing supports that might prohibit the installation of the grill and ducting along with the fan head that gets hung along some roof framing typically.
Once a location is suitable we take a template specific to our fan model and trace a cut out on the ceiling and probe some small holes into the attic just to confirm clearance one last time. If everything looks good we cut out the drywall opening.
Now that we have our hole we can install the grill making sure to install our screws into studs. Then we connect the ducting and hang the fan head.
Wiring can be pulled from the FAU most of the time but occasionally there will be another suitable power source nearby that can be tapped. Once power is brought to the whole house fan we wire up the junction box and drop power down to the switch and inspect everything one last time.
Power up and clean up.
Enjoying the whole house fan:
Only open 5-6 windows approximately 6-10” to get the maximum effect. If you open all your windows you will not feel much airflow.
Depending on the outside temperature and your schedule you may only want the fan to run 1 hour on low.