The acronym HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In most homes the equipment used to condition the air in a home is limited to a furnace, an AC unit, and sometimes ceiling fans. In order to save money on your cooling costs, you should consider using a whole house fan to reduce the load on your AC system.
A House Fan Is not a Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan gets is name from the fact that it hands from the ceiling and is typically used to move air around a room. While such a fan can help to keep a room cool, it will not have a big impact on the rest of the house. A house fan, by way of contrast, is designed to vent hot air out of a house through the attic and thus can be used to cool an entire house. While a house fan cannot replace an AC unit for cooling a home, it still brings several energy-saving benefits to the table.
What Are the Advantages of Using a House Fan?
A house fan cannot cool a home during the hottest part of a day (you will see why in a second), but it can be used during the evening and nighttime hours to reduce your cooling costs in two main ways:
1) An AC system can only cool your home by 15 to 20 degrees at a time. Thus, if your home heats up to 95 degrees, your AC system must lower the temperature to 80 degrees before it will have a chance of lowering your home to a desired temperature of 73 degrees. If your AC system has to contend with heat gain, it might struggle just to keep your home from heating up. By way of contrast, a house fan does not cool the air in your home. Instead, it vents hot air out of your home, and when you open your windows it will pull cool air in. A properly sized house fan can replace all of the air in your with fresh outside air up to 60 times in an hour, so as long as the outside air is cooler than the air in your home, a house fan can cool your home in a matter of minutes.
2) A second benefit of a house fan is that it uses just 10% of the electricity that an AC unit will use. Thus, if you run your house fan through the evening and nighttime hours, you will significantly reduce your cooling costs. You will, however, want to use your AC unit to keep your home cool through the hottest parts of the day.
As long as the outside temperatures in your area drop significantly once the sun starts to fall, you can benefit greatly from adding a house fan to your home's HVAC system. Thus, you should at least ask a local HVAC expert if a house fan would make sense in your home.