Your Home’s Lungs

May 10, 2017
Your Home’s Lungs Feature Image

What’s the purpose of my attic fan?
How often should I run it?
Do I need a bigger fan?
Can I install one myself?

These are all normal concerns homeowners may have, but to answer these questions, it’s important to first understand how a whole-house fan works. Metro Electric is here to help put your questioning mind at ease.

Whole-house fans are sometimes confused with ventilation fans that provide fresh air. Unlike a ventilation fan, a whole-house fan — an attic-mounted fan that exhausts air from a home at night — is designed to cool a house.

Once you’ve got your attic fan installed and ready to go, you might ask yourself when is the best time to turn on the whole-house fan — but the answer depends on your climate and your comfort range. The outdoor temperature should certainly be below 80°F — or, better yet, below 70°F. Turn on the whole-house fan when the air outdoors is cool and dry, particularly during the evening hours when temperatures have cooled.

The main advantage of using a whole-house fan instead of an air conditioner is to save energy. A whole-house fan usually draws between 200 and 700 watts — about 10-15 percent of the power drawn by a central air conditioner (2,000 to 5,000 watts). Talk about a money-saver!

Be cautious when operating these large exhaust fans. Open windows throughout the house to prevent a powerful and concentrated suction in one location. If enough ventilation isn’t provided, the fans can cause a backdraft in your furnace, water heater or gas-fired dryer, pulling combustion products such as carbon monoxide into your living space. Be sure to close any fireplace dampers before turning on the fan to avoid pulling soot into a room. Never operate the fan at the same time you are using the fireplace.
To learn more, or if a whole-house attic fan is right for your home, call 586.336.9121 to talk to a customer service representative!

Sources: Green Building Advisor &