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  • Importance of Whole House Fans

    May 18, 2017

    While winters in Edmonton are always a struggle, we’re paid back by mild summers with highs that peak in the mid 70’s. Because of our pleasant summer temperatures, some homes forego elaborate air conditioning systems or window A/C units. But even in the best conditions, a warm, humid day can create an uncomfortable atmosphere in a home. Open windows on a still summer day offer little relief to a home without some form of dependable ventilation. A whole house fan is an ideal way to cool off a home that does not have air conditioning. It is also a great way to save money if you own a central air system, as it allows a homeowner to use it less in the summer.

    It works by using a powerful suction to pull the warm air out of a home through open windows. By redistributing the warm air trapped inside, a cooling circulation is created by replacing it with cooler air from the outside. Always Plumbing & Heating is a big proponent of healthy indoor air quality, which includes ventilation throughout the summer. Whether you are considering adding one to cool your home, or simply compliment your HVAC system, our professional technicians have compiled some facts about the benefits of installing a whole house fan.

    Whole House Fan Benefits

    There are several benefits to installing a whole house fan. These are just a few of the reasons Edmonton residents have embraced this simple, effective technology.

    • They can help lower you’re A/C bill in the summer – or provide an inexpensive alternative to refrigerated air altogether.
    • Quieter than a central air cooling system
    • Compatible with programmable thermostats and temperature controls.
    • Certain models can be installed in homes with no attics.
    • Installation for many designs is quick and noninvasive.
    • They can cut energy bills from 50 – 90%.
    • A variety of whole house designs and sizes are available for several different home layouts.
    • Zoned cooling options are available.
    • Energy rebates are available in certain situations.
    • Affordable and widely available.

    Design Options

    There are essentially three different types of whole house fans, each a slight variation on the same concept. These types are offered in a range of sizes and configurations to accommodate the needs of different home designs.

    Insulated Door Fan  

    This type of fan works best for our cold Edmonton winters. The design allows a home to hold in the heat when it’s not in use. A door fan design comes with insulated panels that only open when the unit is turned on. This ensures that both your heating and cooling systems are not compromised by leakage from the outside. This type of fan doesn’t move as much air as the standard models, but they are much quieter so they can run throughout the night. Insulated door fans are more expensive up-front, but their installation is much cheaper than the more common designs.

    Standard Fan  

    This is the most common type of whole house fan as they are both affordable – and available in most home improvement stores. The design presents a huge disadvantage for Edmonton homes though, as the vented opening in the roof basically works like an open window. These large diameter fans will need an insulated box to cover the opening during the winter to prevent heat loss. Additionally, moving a joist to install the fan or adding venting might cost more than the unit itself, depending on the layout of your home.

    Inline Fan (also referred to as Ducted Fans)

    These designs are very versatile and can be used in bedrooms with the doors closed. It can also be remote mounted anywhere in the attic, which can be installed to duct directly outside bypassing roof venting altogether. Quiet operation and optional off-season grille inserts (to keep out the cold) make it an attractive option for Edmonton homes. An inline unit doesn’t move as much air as the standard options, but because they can be installed in separate rooms you can focus on the areas that you want to cool most.

    If you are thinking about installing a whole house fan in your home or are concerned about ventilation and poor indoor quality – contact the technicians at Always Plumbing & Heating. We help you assess your household needs and discuss options best for your home and family. Call us today at 780-489-8118 to schedule an appointment today!


    Always Plumbing & Heating provides great service 24/7 and our qualified technicians have been nationally certified to wear the Technician Seal of Safety.

    Photo courtesy of Giles Douglas