Are Whole House Fans Good in Climates with Low Humidity?

Whole house fans are great to help you keep your home cool and rely on air conditioning less. However, many people wonder how effective they are in areas where the humidity is on the low side. The good news is that they are most effective in low humidity climates. And, lots of states are fortunate to have lower humidity, like Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and even California.

Here’s what you need to know.

Whole House Fans Work Best in Low Humidity
Air conditioners work by drawing water or humidity out of the air and cooling the air that remains. According to Angie’s List, the best temperatures and humidity levels for using whole house fans are temperatures below 80 degrees with humidity levels lower than 75 percent.

How Do Whole House Fans Work?
Whole house fans work by drawing fresh, cool air into your home and pushing hot warm hair out of your home through attic vents. In order to operate effectively, the air outside must be cooler than the air inside your home and the humidity level needs to be low to moderate. Of course, there are other factors which will determine how effectively whole house fans cool your home, such as choosing the right size fan for your home and using your whole house fan at the right time of day to maximize cooling efficiency.

In higher humidity areas, it is important to check out humidity levels at the time you wish to use your whole house fan to determine if you’d be better served by using your air conditioner instead. However, in low humidity areas, whole house fans are ideal for using overnight and in the early morning hours to supplement air conditioning you may use at other times during the day.

Why are Whole House Fans Bad Ideas for High Humidity Areas?
Because whole house fans work by bringing fresh air into the home, they would also draw moisture into your home. If you live in areas that get abundant rain, are located near water, or otherwise have high humidity levels, you’re just bringing additional moisture into the home, moisture that can cause the following:

  • Warped furniture, flooring, and woodwork in your home.
  • Chips and other problems in wallpaper and paint.
  • Foul odors throughout your home.
  • Mold and mildew.
  • Respiratory illnesses related to these factors and more.
  • Overall feeling of “stickiness” inside the home.

Ideally, you want to keep the humidity level inside your home between 35 and 50 percent. Drawing additional moisture into your home can be problematic.

Contact Whole House Fan today to learn more about whole house fans and if your home might be a great choice for one of these energy saving cooling solutions.