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Thread: House Fan

  1. #1

    Default House Fan

    We bought a 1897 house located in the northeast. It's about 4500 sq feet. The area around the house gets very humid in the summer, so it also gets very humid inside. In fact, the house was very moldy when we moved in and we hired pros to get rid of the mold.

    The third floor has a house fan (see pics). The former owner did not use it and stuffed the fan with foam to insulate from the outside. I turned it on and it runs. I understand it's used to cool off and dehumidify a house, which this house certainly needs. I understand they work really well.

    But, the fact is, it is old technology and I wonder if it would be better to just rip it out and somehow fill up the space it took (I guess by adding another window).

    Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,622

    Default Re: House Fan

    An air conditioner cools and dehumidifies.
    A whole house fan can be used to cool in moderate weather it dose not dehumidify unless the outside air that is being drawn in is dry. The best use of a whole house fan is to open the windows on the lower floor and run the fan at night when the outside temp is lowest then turn off the fan and close the windows in the morning. For the system to be beneficial it is necessary to have the house fairly well sealed and insulated.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 04-26-2008 at 03:01 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
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    459

    Default Re: House Fan

    If you live in a humid climate , that fan WILL NOT reduce the humidity in your home . Like Jack said , the air outside would have to be drier than the inside . An air conditioner and or a dehumidifier would be best route to go .

    BTW , when I was a kid , we had one of those fans .The noise would lull you to sleep , and in the morning you woke up feeling damp .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: House Fan

    I have a whole house fan that I use when the temperature is fairly moderate to very warm. It's nice to me able to draw in some fresh air to keep things comfortable. I don't use it at night because it requires to many windows to be open. I can imagine things would get a bit damp if run all night.
    When it gets really hot the a/c goes on, but the fan works pretty well at times. I cover it in the winter to keep out the cold.
    One thing not to do- once I lit a fire & forgot to open the damper, so after opening the damper & a window, I got the brilliant idea to turn on the fan to clear the smoke. The fan sucked out the smoke from the room as well as all the smoke from the fireplace & into the house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: House Fan

    Yep, and if it's a really powerful one and the fireplace doors are open and you forgot to clean out the ashes, it'll pull them, too!

    The house I have now doesn't have an attic or whole house fan, but my previous one did, and I loved it. Not for humidity, for sure, but it would cool the house off beautifully on low-humidity days or nights, but if it got humid, waking up damp was a regular and uncomfortably normal occurrence.

    If it works for you, you might as well leave it and use it to help pull the heat out of your house, but use the air conditioning when't it's humid. That'll keep the mold down, too - humidity is your enemy as far as mold goes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,616

    Default Re: House Fan

    One thing that I'm surprised no one has mentioned is that the pictured fan is mounted in a wall with no protective shroud. Don't get me wrong, I personally don't care what someone does in their own environment, however with something of this nature, it lends itself to removing body parts pretty quickly if one should have a lapse in presence of mind. On a similar note, I've installed attic fans through the wall of living space, however they've been well above where someone - regardless of state of mind - could reach and injure themselves. Additionally, a "cabinet door" was placed over the fan to cover the hideousness of it when not in use.

    As to a better technology, a dehumidifier or an A/C unit for the house would be a better means of cooling/dehumidifying the house than the fan when you don't have natural cooling in the evening (breezes, temperature drops, etc that naturally occur at night ). When humidity isn't a factor and you do have temperature drops at night, an whole house fan is the cheaper, better means of cooling your interior environment.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: House Fan

    Good point about the non-shouded fan in what appears to be a living space. Mine vents to the attic & has vanes that open when the fan is on & close automatically. It's in the ceiling too. Besides being safe the vanes limit any air escaping when the fan isn't running.

  8. #8

    Default Re: House Fan

    Thank you very much the responses! Maybe we'll use it to build an airboat for the Florida everglades.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,616

    Default Re: House Fan

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Year Project View Post
    Thank you very much the responses! Maybe we'll use it to build an airboat for the Florida everglades.
    Now there's a plan!
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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