Are Whole House Fans Less Expensive to Run Than Air Conditioning?

July 4th, 2023 was the hottest day ever recorded. So this summer, even more than previous ones, you’re probably looking for some relief at home.

It’s hard to enjoy your summer when you come back to a hot and humid home. That’s why so many people turn to air conditioning to get relief from the summer heat.

But as you know, running your AC throughout the summer isn’t cheap — and the hotter it gets outside the more your AC has to work to keep your home cool. The result is high utility bills that can seriously eat into your budget.

Luckily, many people supplement their AC with a whole house fan. It’s great for ventilating your home and cooling it down at night, but does it actually save you money? Is it cheaper than running your AC?

How Whole House Fans Work
If you’re not already familiar, a whole house fan works by ventilating your entire home. Unlike window fans that struggle to ventilate a single room, whole house fans suck in fresh outdoor air and exhaust the hot indoor air.

Whole house fans remove indoor air pollution and heat. On cool nights, evenings, and mornings, you can turn off your AC and run your whole house fan to maximize the benefits of the whole house fan. They work extremely efficiently by quickly ventilating the whole home and creating a cooling draft.

They’re powerful alright, but how do they stack up against the energy usage of AC?

AC vs Whole House Fan
Although a whole house fan ventilates the entire home, they still use less electricity and are therefore less expensive, than air conditioning.

In addition to running a fan to pump out cool air into your home, air conditioners require power to run compressors and other components.

The exact cost savings a whole house fan provides depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The cubic space of your home
  • Your current air conditioner
  • The type of whole house fan you purchase

There are many types of air conditioners and whole house fans, each of which requires a certain amount of wattage to run. For example, while whole house fans generally do save you on electricity, choosing an energy-efficient whole house fan will be less expensive to power than a traditional whole house fan. While the upfront costs of an energy-saving whole house fan may be higher, they’ll save you more money in the long run.

Generally, replacing or supplementing your AC with a whole house fan can save homeowners between 50% - 90% on cooling costs. So yes, whole house fans are definitely less expensive!