Whole house fans typically cost significantly less to run than traditional air conditioners. Below are some estimates:
• A whole house fan costs around 10 to 25 cents per hour to run, based on the average cost of electricity. This is because whole house fans use a relatively low amount of electricity, around 500 to 1,500 watts.
• Central air conditioners come in a range of sizes from small to large. For example a medium sized 30,000 BTU system based on only .15 (kWh) might consume around $1.50-$2 per hour depending on its size and efficiency. Central air conditioners use much more electricity, around 2,500 to 5,000 watts.
• Over the course of a cooling season (3-4 months), a whole house fan could cost as little as $30-$100 to run, while a central air conditioner could cost $150-$400 or more.
The cost savings come from two main factors:
1) Electricity usage: Whole house fans use significantly less electricity than air conditioners, as noted above. This is because they circulate existing cool air, rather than having to cool the air themselves.
2) Run time: Whole house fans typically only need to run for a few hours in the evening to effectively cool a home for the night.
Whole house fans can offer considerable savings on energy costs for cooling compared to traditional air conditioners, while providing a similar level of comfort for the home. The exact savings will vary based on fan size, runtime, and electricity rates. Ca is currently around .25 cents per (kWh).
But in general, whole house fans are seen as a more affordable cooling alternative.