Cooling Your Home Using A Whole-House Fan & No Air Conditioner

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Did you know you can cool the house quickly without using an air conditioner? A whole-house attic fan cools your home by pulling cooler air from outside throughout the house.

Likewise it can warm a house quickly by pulling warmer air throughout the house.

So each season can benefit with an eco-friendly whole-house fan instead of relying on an energy-heavy air conditioner.

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

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

Eco-Friendly Home Features

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

Passive Solar Home Shape & Orientation: We had the house built in a rectangular shape with the longest walls oriented to the north & south.

Passive Solar Window Placement: Our larger windows were placed on the south side of the house. Due to the seasonal orientation of the sun they’d receive no summer sun exposure yet they’d receive the most warming sunshine in the cold winter months. Smaller windows were placed on the east side for light, and no windows at all on the west side where the hottest summertime sun would add too much heat inside. 

Solar Screens On East Windows: Because of the seasonal orientation of the sun, the south-facing windows were not hit with the sun during the summer months. All north-facing windows were shaded with a porch overhang. We added no windows at all on the west side of the house. The east windows were the only ones to receive heating of the sun during the summer months. So we made solar screens to go on all east-facing windows. 

Solar screens on sunny windows can significantly reduce heat coming into your home. #TexasHomesteader

Porch Overhang Placement: Since most summertime sun would be on the north side of the house, we had a deep overhanging roof built on the north-facing porch. This shades the windows from that hot summer sun. We also built a porch extension on the northwest side of the porch to help shade those hot-in-the-summer north facing windows.

Porch extension landscape bed with grass barrier, concrete and gravel. #TexasHomesteader

Open Floorplan: We used an open floor plan with fewer walls dividing individual rooms. Our kitchen opens up to a spacious living room with an open dining room off to the side. This offers plenty of light throughout the house.

Energy Features In The Home : There are several energy-saving features we implemented in our new home as well.

Radiant barrier in the attic – Reflects sun’s heat out of the attic.

Ridge vents on the roof – Allows hot air to rise out of the peaks of the roof.

Whole-house fan in the ceiling – Brings desirable temperature from outside through windows & through the home and pushes undesirable temperature air into the attic.

How To Use A Whole House Attic Fan

In the spring just when the weather begins to heat up or early fall when the days can still 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 morning 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 temperatures 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 much less than our air conditioner!)

A whole house fan can cool your home quickly by bringing in cooler outside air and dragging it through the house, taking the hotter air up through the fan and into the attic. #TexasHomesteader

Where To Find An Eco Friendly House Fan

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 also pretty basic 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!


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8 thoughts on “Cooling Your Home Using A Whole-House Fan & No Air Conditioner

  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?

    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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

  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… nights! Didn’t bother us a bit!!! We are looking into putting one into this house. Is it easy to install?
    The Kiessling Family

  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.

  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.


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