I live in the southern part of the country, where air conditioning is a part of everyday life.
There is rarely a day of the year when I can shut down the cooling system, open the windows and welcome in a fresh breeze.
Despite investing a great deal of money into a top-of-the-line central air conditioner, I was not overly happy with the cost of my monthly electric bills. I took precautions to eliminate energy waste, including caulking around windows, weatherstripping the doors and adding more insulation to the attic. While I significantly tightened up the house, I caused some problems with indoor air quality. I prevented natural ventilation, making sure that contaminants became trapped inside. Any pet dander, dust, odors, bacteria or other allergens were simply circulated over and over again by the cooling system. Looking for a way to improve the health, comfort and efficiency of the home, I contacted a local HVAC contractor for a recommendation. He suggested the installation of a whole-house fan. This type of system is ideal when the outdoor air is cooler than indoor air, which is often the case at night. We open up windows and the fan pulls in the cooler outdoor air and circulates it. It pushes the warmer, stale air up to the attic, where it is expelled by way of vents. I’m able to shut down the air conditioner without sacrificing comfort. In fact, the house is way cooler in the mornings and I’ve cut my electric bill in half. The air exchange provided by the fan has also made a huge improvement in indoor air quality. The house is much cleaner and smells better.