Whole house fan in a new home??????
I have a 2000sqft home, 4 bed, 2 bath, single story, in Sacramento CA and I wanted to put in a whole house fan for the morning and evening times. The question I have is with these new homes being so well insulated would I be better of using the money to put some tint on the windows to keep the house cooler during the day. Or better yet is it cost effective to put a whole house fan in a new signle story house.
The second question I have is how well does putting tint up on the windows work, and is it cost effective.
Re: Whole house fan in a new home??????
My understanding of heat transfer in residential homes is that over 80% of the heat radiated into the home comes from the roof surface with the remainder from the walls, windows and doors.
Studies conducted in Florida show that changing the roof surface color to white yields a 15% cooler interior. Regarding the whole house fan, there are two types: roof mounted and gable mounted. Either type can be controlled by a thermostatic switch for automatic operation or by a manual switch for direct control.
If your current electric rate is moderate, the whole house fan can be a good investment to reduce interior temperature. As I'm sure you know, ceiling fans in rooms can be another approach to providing personal comfort from summer heat.
There are 2 other products you may want to consider.
The first is a solar powered attic roof vent fan called Solar Star offered by the SolaTube brand. http://http://www.solatube.com/homeowner/solarstar.php. The benefits are that: there is no operating cost for electricity, it is for all intents & purposes silent (unlike a whole house fan), it can easily be installed in place of an existing roof surface vent, it is warranted for 5 years on the solar panel & motor and 10 years for the rest of it, and installation normally takes less than an hour which keeps labor costs down (if you have it installed by SolaTube).
The second is a radiant conduction barrier on either the roof floor or the underside of the roof rafters or both. http://www.radiantbarrier.com
This is the least costly means to achieve cooler interior temperatures, it's passive so there's nothing to fail and there are no operating costs, and it is easily user installable with out hassle (just roll it out on the attic floor).