If you are feeling thrifty and are particularly handy, you might want to contemplate installing a whole house fan on your own. No matter who is doing the installation, be sure that your fan is well insulated so that you don’t have attic air (hot in the summer and cold in the winter, obviously) seeping into your house and consider installing a removable cover over the fan during the off season. While putting in your fan, you might want to think about using a timer in place of an on/off switch, which gives you the ability to cool off your house without having to turn it off – a great idea if you want to use your fan either at bedtime or before Shabbos.
Whole house fans are sized in CFMs (Cubic Feet of air per Minute). To determine the right size fan for your house, either check with the retailer, your installer or consider using this formula: multiply square footage of your house by the height of your ceilings (typically eight feet) and multiply that number by 0.5. Make sure to have adequate ventilation in your attic for the air to be discharged to the outside, allowing one square foot of screen-free vent area per 750 CFM of fan airflow. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 on up for a whole house fan, but even allowing for the cost of professional installation, given that the cost of operating a whole house fan is approximately one tenth that of running the air conditioning, buying one is a move that will pay back big dividends for many years to come.
Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full scale productions. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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