My Friend, The Whole House Fan

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By Kierra Barraza

Whole House Fans are exhaust systems that are installed in the homes attic to circulate air. This particular fan pulls air from your living areas and exerts the air into the attic by pulling fresh, cooler air from outside. This system uses 90 % less energy than your typical air conditioning unit. If an air conditioning system already exists in the home, a Whole House Fan can eliminate the use of an A/C at night.

Note that a Whole House Fan is NOT an Attic Fan. The two fans are often confused with one another. While both fans circulate air in the attic, the Whole House Fan replaces the air inside the home with fresh air from outside while the Attic Fan only circulates the air in the attic.

There are four types of House Fans:

1) Window Mounted – Mounted from the window frames

2) Ducted – An intake duct is installed in the attic typically from the rafters, away from the living space and is transferred between the grilles in the room to the fan so the air can be vented directly out of the house, rather than through attic vents.

3) Ceiling Mounted – Most common and are capable of moving large amounts of air. These fans are installed in the attic between the living space and ceiling

4) Rooftop Mounted – Used if there is no attic space in the home

Pros of a Whole House Fan

  • During the colder months, the Whole House Fan increases Ventilation. By doing so, the Whole House Fan can help reduce the risk of ice dams. These occur when snow melts off the roof into the gutter where it refreezes, causing clogs.
  • A Whole House Fan will pull air from the outside so the stale air in your home is replaced. This will get rid of pollutions, contaminants and lingering odors.
  • Reduces moisture buildup in the attic space that causes mold/mildew. The Whole House Fan draws the moisture outside and replaces the inside air with fresh, cool air.

Maintenance of a Whole House Fan

A whole House Fan does not require a lot of maintenance. Simply use a damp cloth to remove any particles. Maintaining your Whole House Fan should be done once a year, but it is recommended to clean it multiple times throughout the year if the fan is used year round.


  • Do not run the Whole House Fan if the fireplace is running. Since the fan is pulling air inside, the flames could be sucked into the house.
  • Turn Off the central air conditioning
  • Open multiple windows and doors to the house. The fan may cause gas-burning appliances, such as your furnace or water heater, to backdraft exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide into your home.

The Home Ventilating Institute recommends an air-exchange of 2-3 minutes. The Department of Energy suggest the Whole House Fan should provide your home with 30-60 air temperature degree changes an hour. To choose which Whole House Fan best suits your home; you can multiply the gross square footage of your home (including closet space etc.) and multiply it by 2. For example if you have a 2,000 sq. ft. home, you will need a Whole House Fan with 4,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute).

Ideal Home Energy is a top rated Tamarack Brand Whole House Fan Installer that provides 100% free, no obligation in home estimates. Fill out our contact form at IdealHomeEnergy.com or give us a call at (303) 305-3808 to speak with a Whole House Fan expert.

For more information on Tamarack Whole House Fans, visit https://www.tamtech.com 

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