Best Whole House Fans (2021 Review)

Looking for a whole house fan to supplement (or replace altogether) central air conditioning for your house?

Perfect!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are whole house fans?
  • What are the different types of whole house fans? (which is right for you)
  • How do whole house fans work?
  • What do you look for in the best whole house fans? (don’t sleep on these features!)
  • And much more!
proHVACinfo | Whole House Fans
ImageProduct
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QA Deluxe 5500
  • Premium Engineering
  • 10 Year Motor Warranty
  • Easy Installation
  • Premium Engineering
  • 10 Year Motor Warranty
  • Easy Installation
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QuietCool QC eS-5400
  • Patented Duct System
  • Ultra High Efficiency Motor
  • Moves Huge Volumes of Air
  • Patented Duct System
  • Ultra High Efficiency Motor
  • Moves Huge Volumes of Air
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Cool Attic 2-Speed Whole House Fan
  • Powerful Motor
  • Direct Drive
  • Quiet Operation
  • Powerful Motor
  • Direct Drive
  • Quiet Operation
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QuietCool QC CL-2250
  • High Tech Gravity Dampers
  • Low Noise and Vibration
  • Self-Contained Ducting
  • High Tech Gravity Dampers
  • Low Noise and Vibration
  • Self-Contained Ducting
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Tamarack Technologies HV1000
  • Self-Sealing Insulated Doors
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Vertical or Horizontal Installation
  • Self-Sealing Insulated Doors
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Vertical or Horizontal Installation
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What Are Whole House Fans?

Whole house fans are a great way to supplement your air conditioning in order to save big money on your monthly energy bill.

Whole house fans are specialist appliances that, when properly installed, are able to expel hot air from inside your home, and replace It with cooler, fresh air from outside.

Because they offer air exchange, they are at their most effective when the inside temperature exceeds the outside temperature.

They employ a high power fan that is usually mounted in the space between your home’s interior and your attic.

The simple principle of their operation is that they pull in fresh air from the outside, while venting out the warm air up into the attic and out of the various vents in your roof, soffit, eaves, and gable.

What Are The Different Types Of Whole House Fans?

Whole house fans are available in two different and distinct categories – ducted and ductless.

Keep reading to learn more!

Ducted Whole House Fans

Ducted whole house fans are a more recent invention, and are the most popular type on sale today.

Because they run a section of wide bore ducting, they allow the effects of the fan to reach further into the home, meaning you can keep the fan itself further away, keeping noise out of your living spaces.

Further reducing noise and vibration, ducted fan units are typically suspended from the roof by way of strops.

Ductless Whole House Fans

Non-ducted, or ductless fans are still fairly common, but are seen as old technology by many.

The housing for the fan unit is mounted in your attic on the ceiling joists.

They require that you cut a hole through the interior ceiling and install a grill to cover the fan blades.

Ductless fans are either supplied with direct drive motors, or belt driven motors.

Direct drive motors are more powerful as their torque is applied directly to the fan, but belt driven motors tend to be more inexpensive and often quieter, will less vibration.

How do Whole House Fans Work?

Whole house fans work on the principles of fluid dynamics.

Don’t worry, when we say fluid, that applies to gases, like air, too!

When an area of negative pressure exists, gases from areas of high (or higher) pressure will move to the area of lower pressure in order to create an equilibrium.

In the case of the whole house fan, the act of drawing air out of your home and into the attic by forced ventilation starts to decrease the overall air pressure inside the living space, and increase the pressure in the attic.

Once you open windows or doors within your home, you are then allowing high pressure air from outside to enter in an attempt to equalize the vacuum.

As this is happening, the warm air from your home that was drawn into the attic continues to build in pressure until it is forced out of the ducts and vents in the soffits, gables, and roof ridge.

This movement of air has a net cooling effect, which will be readily apparent throughout your home.

Top tip! In order to work effectively, make sure you leave a sufficient ventilation space around the fan in your attic.

If you cram items around it, it won’t have enough space in order to work properly, and you won’t get optimum performance from your fan.

What Do You Look For In The Best Whole House Fans?

As whole house fans are fairly simple devices, there aren’t a whole lot of fancy features to look out for. Instead, you should look for well-made fans that do the basics well – read on to learn more.

Sturdy Construction

When it comes to overall construction, make sure that all components fit flush, and that there is no play (wobbly parts), and no rattles.

These are high RPM fans, and any kind of extra undesirable movements will cause vibration and noise.

Vibration isn’t only irritating, excess vibration over prolonged periods will cause early and potentially catastrophic failure of your fan.

Remote Control

Having a remote control means you won’t have to go into the attic in order to turn on your whole house fan. Remotes can be wall mounted, wireless, or even app based.

Adjustable Fan Speed

Having control over the fan speed will allow you greater control over the airflow within your home, and this is essential for maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Maximum Cubic Feet per Minute

Look for fans that offer higher cubic feet per minute. They will move more air and provide a greater overall cooling effect. You’ll often see this represented as CFM.

Safety Certification

Look for whole house fans that have BPI (Better Performance Institute), UL certification or similar.

UL, or Underwriter Laboratories is a third party testing and certification company that provides internationally recognized, standardized testing for safety in electrical devices and appliances.

UL certification is a sign that a product has undergone rigorous testing and has been found to be safe.

The Best Whole House Fans Reviewed

Final Thoughts On The Best Whole House Fans

The best way to imagine the operation of a whole house fan is to picture yourself getting into your car on a hot day.

Chances are the first thing you do is to roll down the windows to get fresh air in and the hot air out, right?

Once you’ve done that, then you turn on the air conditioning.

This is exactly how you should use a whole house fan.

By using one of these fans to pre cool your home before turning on air conditioning, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year in energy bills.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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