Environmentally-Friendly Cooling: Whole-House Fan

by Texas Homesteader
*This post contains an affiliate link

When we built our home we wanted to keep our monthly utility bills low. So we were sure to apply as many passive-solar features as we could.

We built the house in a rectangular shape with the longest walls oriented to the north & south. And our larger windows were on the south side of the house.  Of course we had a deep overhanging roof on the north-facing porch.  We used an open floor plan to have plenty of light throughout the house. Plus we have no windows at all on the hottest west side of our house.

But we implemented other energy-saving features as well. Features such as radiant barrier in the attic & ridge vents on the roof. And one of my favorites – our whole-house fan in the ceiling.

Our whole-house fan in the attic cools the house quickly w/o using an expensive air conditioner by pulling cooler air from outside throughout the house #TexasHomesteader

In the spring when the weather begins to heat up or during the fall when the days can be overly warm, the mornings & evenings are often refreshingly cool. On those days we take advantage.  We simply open a few windows during those cooler times and turn on our whole-house attic fan.

The fan draws the cooler outside air through the house and then up through the fan and into attic.  It can drop the temps in the house to a more comfortable cooler temperature pretty quickly!

Then when the temps outside become close to the temps inside we turn off the fan and close up the windows.  We’ve just cooled our house virtually for free since the electricity used to run this fan is minimal and certainly less than our air conditioner!

Here’s the good news:  You don’t have to be building a new home to take advantage of these beauties to help keep your own home cooler as well.  I found these *whole-house attic fans on Amazon.  So inexpensive and not very hard to install.

If you’re looking for more environmentally friendly and inexpensive ways to keep your home cool consider a whole-house attic fan – we love ours!

~TxH~

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17 thoughts on “Environmentally-Friendly Cooling: Whole-House Fan

  1. Nick

    We live in the North Phoenix area where temperatures can reach 120 degrees ÷ and our electric bills can be in the 300 to 400 dollar range. We cannot afford solar so I am wondering if this system would possibly benefit us?

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      WOW Nick! I can’t wrap my brain around those temps (or that electric bill). But I’m assuming in N. Phoenix the humidity is super low, and the temps at night drop dramatically. When we use our whole-house fan here in NE Texas, we open our windows when it’s cooler outside than inside and the fan draws that cooler air throughout our home, exhausting the warmer air out of our home through the attic. When our internal temps have cooled to our satisfaction (or when we feel too much humidity being drawn in) we turn off the fan and close the windows, trapping that cooler air inside. The heavy insulation we installed in our home keeps the temperature comfortable for hours without the need for HVAC assistance. If your home is well insulated and you have periods of time with cooler outside temps with low humidity I have no reason to believe the same results wouldn’t be possible where you live.

      Reply
  2. Angi

    Our home was built in 1964 and has an attic fan. I had never seen one until we bought our home 2 years ago. I absolutely love it. I live along the Texas Gulf Coast (very humid) and we haven’t noticed any mold but I’ll keep an eye out.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Me too Angi, and I know lots of folks open their windows to let the cool air in during the spring & fall. The fan does draw in that cool air, but I don’t see much difference in the two procedures. But like you I’ll watch for it and just enjoy it IMMENSELY in the meantime! LOL

      Reply
  3. Roxie

    We live in central Texas. In our other home we had a whole house fan installed. We loved it and it did work well. Then we sold the house and moved into our new home. When we moved we found black mold under every picture and behind some curtains and in some of the closets. We spent a lot of money having the black mold removes. When we did have it removed, (required by our buyers so they could get a mortgage) the company who cleaned the mold told us it was caused by the humidity the fan brought in.
    Just be aware it can happen. Black mold is nothing to mess with. We had been sick in our old house and never knew why till we moved. Honest, I am a good house keeper. The mold was there and I just kept cleaning it up thinking it was dirt.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Interesting Roxie. I’d never heard of those issues and obviously we’ve never experienced it ourselves. I’ll keep a watch out for it, but in the meantime aaaaahhhhhh – that’s good! LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. Roxie

        My oldest son was a geography buff at the time. Had a HUGE map of the world hung on his wall with tacks. When we removed that map it was black as black can be on a wall. The sheet rock behind the wall was damaged too. Behind pictures in the living room the same thing, black mold. Just be aware and check for it often.

        Reply
  4. Janet Kiessling

    We too used to have a whole house fan in a house that we used to live in. The house that we currently live in- does not have one nor does it have AC all over the house – just a window AC…..:). We sure do miss our “monster” – as the kiddos called it! And we used to run it all night long sometimes – back in California…..hot nights! Didn’t bother us a bit!!! We are looking into putting one into this house. Is it easy to install?
    The Kiessling Family

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Janet – It was super-duper easy for us to install because we made sure to include it when we were building the house. I’d think it would be just as easy installing into an existing house – you’d need to measure & cut the ceiling, frame it to existing studs and install. You’d need a power source as well. I’m not a builder but watching ours go in it looked super easy! ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Melody

    Those fans are wonderful. My Mom and Dad purchased a home in the early 70’s that had been custom built in the 50-60’s and it has one of those fans. One of my in-laws just purchased their first home in the 90’s and again it was a 1960’s ranch and it too had one of those. Here in Ohio those whole house fans have been used for years.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Melody, I had never even seen one until my grandmother moved into a house that had one. I was amazed and we decided right then that we’d have one in our home as well! So glad we did, I love it. ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Khadija

    I had one of these in a house I used to live in. It was absolutely amazing! I totally recommend these and can’t understand why all houses don’t have them. I didn’t know they were so cheap on Amazon.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      OMGoodness Khadija – we get spoiled QUICK with this thing! LOL It cools the house so quickly and it’s so energy efficient. Like you, I don’t understand why all houses don’t have them! ~TMR~

      Reply

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