Whole-house fans have gained notoriety in recent years because of their ability to save you money and energy versus an HVAC system.
Is a whole-house fan right for you?
It might be. And it might not be.
Learn the pros and cons so you can make the right decision for yourself:
1. Pro: Save Energy at an Affordable Cost
You get great bang for your buck with a whole-house fan. They cost just a few hundred bucks and use about 10% of the energy as your HVAC system.
That means they don’t take years and years to pay for themselves.
And you can probably afford one almost right away.
2. Cons: Inconveniences
Whole-house fans really aren’t the most convenient solution. For starters, you’ll have to wait until the outdoor temperature drops below 70 degrees to run one.
When you do run it, you’ll hear some noise. And then you must have good attic insulation and keep your windows closed during the day to keep your home cool.
You can get around the noise factor a little bit by buying a multi-speed (versus single-speed) fan.
3. Pro: Increase Your Home’s Resale Value
Whole-house fans really do their best work when paired with an HVAC system. Your HVAC system handles the days with intense heat and humidity more effectively.
Your whole-house fan, on the other hand, would handle the warmer days with lower humidity better.
Anyway, if you know you’re going to sell your home eventually, showing the buyers you have a whole-house fan in place to save a lot of energy can raise the price you can command.
4. Con: Whole-House Fans Don’t Filter Air
Do you have a family member with respiratory conditions? Or, are you the type who needs to have your home’s air as pure as possible?
Whole-house fans don’t filter the air as it comes in, unlike your air conditioner.
So, this may be a show-stopper for you if you have pollen allergies, for example.
5. Pro: Installation Isn’t a Huge Deal or Costly
Installing a whole-house fan isn’t a big deal for a contractor. It may take 2-5 hours, or so.
So, labor costs won’t run that high.
However, you must have your whole-house fan installed correctly for your home. Otherwise, it can possibly encourage mold growth.
Whole-house fans do make sense for some homeowners. So, you have to decide if you’re just such a homeowner.
And now you have the facts so you can make the right decision for your situation.