Whole house fan

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fortysixandtwo
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Whole house fan

Post by fortysixandtwo »

Hey there,

Anyone had any experience with a Centric Air "Comfort Cool" attic fan? I know "Quiet Cool" fans are pretty popular, but from videos I've seen it looks like the "Comfort Cool" has a better warranty and is quieter.
bloom2708
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by bloom2708 »

If you search, there are a few useful threads on "whole house fan" from the past.

Our thermostat (ecobee3) allows me to set the fan to run X minutes of each hour. I set it to 50 minutes. So, even if there is no call for heat or cool the stage 1 fan (silent) is running and mixing air from around the house.

Running fan only keeps cold and warm air from pooling. I don't have any direct experience with a whole house fan. I assume the concept is similar. I think you would want it to run a low speed.

A typical fan will be blowing quite vigorously and I do not think you will get that through your duct system. You might just end up kicking up a lot of dust. Do you want to feel/hear air moving? What is your use case for wanting a whole house fan?
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BolderBoy
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by BolderBoy »

fortysixandtwo wrote: Mon May 07, 2018 12:42 pmAnyone had any experience with a Centric Air "Comfort Cool" attic fan? I know "Quiet Cool" fans are pretty popular, but from videos I've seen it looks like the "Comfort Cool" has a better warranty and is quieter.
Just to be sure we are talking about the same thing, a "whole house fan" is different than an "attic fan". The latter is usually mounted inside the attic blowing hot attic air out a vent. The former is usually mounted in the ceiling of the living space proper, pulling air upwards from the inside of the house.

I don't have experience with the brand you mentioned. Mine is made by Triangle Engineering (google it), is a real beast and has been in place for 10 years now without issues and gets used almost daily from early May thru September/October. It is running right now, matter of fact. Outside temp this morning was 55 when I turned it on 30 minutes ago; inside temp was 70...now falling.

Best house improvement I've ever made.
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Easy Rhino
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by Easy Rhino »

Had one installed by a contractor about 3 years ago along with insulation work and stuff. I believe the fan is a panasonic. It has a high and low switch and is quite brawny. The fan is a bit removed from the ceiling via a large duct so it's a bit quieter.

It's really nice when the outside is at least 10 degrees cooler than the inside (preferably more). So good in spring/fall.

Biggest problem is my wife liking to turn it on if we make our kitchen stinky during the winter, which cools off the house way too fast.
JoinToday
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by JoinToday »

BolderBoy wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 8:48 am ..... Mine is made by Triangle Engineering (google it), is a real beast and has been in place for 10 years now without issues and gets used almost daily from early May thru September/October. It is running right now, matter of fact. Outside temp this morning was 55 when I turned it on 30 minutes ago; inside temp was 70...now falling.

Best house improvement I've ever made.
I agree 100%. Mine is also from Triangle Engineering. The only thing you need to be careful of is attic ventilation to the outside. If there is not enough venting area, the limiting factor for air blowing will not be the fan size.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by BolderBoy »

JoinToday wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 8:19 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 8:48 am ..... Mine is made by Triangle Engineering (google it), is a real beast and has been in place for 10 years now without issues and gets used almost daily from early May thru September/October. It is running right now, matter of fact. Outside temp this morning was 55 when I turned it on 30 minutes ago; inside temp was 70...now falling.

Best house improvement I've ever made.
I agree 100%. Mine is also from Triangle Engineering. The only thing you need to be careful of is attic ventilation to the outside. If there is not enough venting area, the limiting factor for air blowing will not be the fan size.
Absolutely. First thing they did to my house was add 5 more large, attic vents.
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tyrion
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by tyrion »

I had a Quietcool fan installed last night. I had one in my previous house as well, that I installed myself and it was a bit undersized.

This one was installed by 'the quiet cool guys' who apparently cover all of southern California.

The previous install was a real challenge. The attic space was small and even worse, low. There was loose insulation everywhere. I had to disassemble the fan just to get it in to the attic, and reassemble it while lying flat on my stomach. Had to install an electrical outlet myself.

Quiet cool has 4 series of fans. Classic and Energy Saver are sold to the public, Trident and Stealth Pro are only sold through installers. Classic and Trident appear to be almost identical with a few variations on which models get multiple speeds. Same for the Energy Saver and Stealth. The one I was interested in (Stealth Pro 4.8) has a 3 speed controller where the equivalent model (Energy Saver 4700) only has 2 speeds (high and low).

I made a nice spreadsheet to compare speed, efficiency, price, etc. The end result is the Stealth Pro costs $330 more than the equivalent Energy Saver model. For that, I get:
15 year warranty on fan (vs 10) and 1 year on labor and controls (vs none)
Installation - While I know I'm capable of doing it, I think repetition matters - guys who do this every day do a better job.
3 speeds vs 2. While I think 'medium' speed will be used the least, it's still nice to have.

All in all, a very satisfying experience. And a great whole house fan. On low, it's 2x the CFM of our last house. 3x on medium, almost 4x on high. 74 watts low / 225 medium / 408 high, so it's really most efficient to run it on low at night or early in the morning to draw in cool air.
ne2ca28
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by ne2ca28 »

We installed a QuietCool fan in our house in West Los Angeles. Its great and gets us through 90% of summer without needing an air conditioner. I can hardly hear it when its on and I believe the motors have a 10 year warranty.
jasper
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by jasper »

Resurrecting old thread to see if any new info.

Looking at quotes. Prices are similar, but I’m not sure they should be

Triangle fan - seems like an old school product that will last a long time. Easy to repair. But loud. Very loud per online

Quietcool - it’s quieter. Maybe better insulation for the fall/winter. Doesn’t seem to move as much air for equivalent size jobs. More expensive. Design seems to make sense - put the fan further away so it is quieter

Anybody look at this recently?

What I want (in order of consideration) - works well. Then noise. Then price.
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tyrion
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by tyrion »

jasper wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:28 pm Resurrecting old thread to see if any new info.

Looking at quotes. Prices are similar, but I’m not sure they should be

Triangle fan - seems like an old school product that will last a long time. Easy to repair. But loud. Very loud per online

Quietcool - it’s quieter. Maybe better insulation for the fall/winter. Doesn’t seem to move as much air for equivalent size jobs. More expensive. Design seems to make sense - put the fan further away so it is quieter

Anybody look at this recently?

What I want (in order of consideration) - works well. Then noise. Then price.
You can see my initial answer a few posts above, but it just so happens that I turned on the Quietcool fan a few minutes ago. After a 97 degree day in San Diego the temperature has dropped into the 70s and the fan is pulling in some nice cool air from outside to cool off all the upstairs bedrooms.

We mostly run it on low where it sounds like a moderate bathroom fan. Medium and high pull in a lot more air but are also louder. We have used them but it's usually overkill. Low for 1, 2, or 4 hours tends to do the trick.
jasper
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by jasper »

Thanks. Seems like a great product.

Any maintenance?

In CA you may not notice, but in winter does it seem to leak cold air coming down? (I’m in Colorado so this could be an issue for me, dunno) I see they have some DIY insulation things you can Velcro over it if need be
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tyrion
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by tyrion »

No maintenance at all in the 3 years I've had this unit. Same for the one in the previous house.

I believe the R value is 5 for the doors and you can buy a winter insert that turns it into R-45.
hightechburrito
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by hightechburrito »

I've had Quiet Cool house fans in two different houses and been very happy with both. Looking at the website for the Triangle fans, it appears they all mount directly to the ceiling, so they could be much louder than the Quiet Cool fans, where the fan is suspended from the roof and connected to the ceiling with a duct.

The climate you're in is also somewhat important. They work best in places where it cools down significantly at night (obviously) but also where the humidity is low. You don't want to have to run your AC extra during the day to remove a bunch of humidity brought in by the fan at night.
bryanm
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by bryanm »

Chiming in here to add my experience: we went with an Airscape fan. Very similar to quiet cool, in that it’s suspended. Insulated door that doesn’t cause issues, at least in the mild Pacific NW winters. I ended up with Airscape due to ease of installation: I liked that the control unit was just a cat 5 drop. Very happy with the purchase. They do seem to be a smaller outfit than QuietCool.
duke33
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Re: Whole house fan ?MOLD ISSUES?

Post by duke33 »

I am also looking into this but live in the northeast (Hot and Humid during the day and does not always cool down significantly at night). My main concern is there's been a few reports online of increasing MOLD issues in the attic when you pull in hot/humid air from the house and through the attic and then that hot humid air stays in the attic with humidity which increases the risk of mold. Does anyone have any experience with this and have you heard if this is true or if there's anything that can be done to avoid this?

I am also debating a whole house fan versus just adding an attic fan to get the heat out of the attic but I'm not sure how significant or useful that would be for the pros and cons of each?

I also heard that the best brands are either the quiet cool or the centric air, not sure if anyone has specific experience with the centric versus the quiet cool?
nickoli
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by nickoli »

You could do both attic fan and whole house fan?

I recently added gable end attic fan and did notice a difference on the inside temps. I think it helps keep the attic at slightly negative pressure so not much hot air leaking down into the house, in addition to keeping the attic itself cooler (but still bloody hot, in CA). It's not gonna replace AC or whole house fan when the temps outside are 90+, but it helps.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Whole house fan

Post by tennisplyr »

My brother and I installed a whole house fan 40 years ago...we lived in the house for 35 years and it still works. Don’t remember the brand. In retrospect glad we didn’t burn down the house.
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