How Many Windows Need to Be Open for a Whole-House Fan to Work?

Whole house fans have become an increasingly mainstream alternative to using air conditioning. During hot summer days, many homeowners turn to their air conditioning units or central air for relief from the heat, but in the face of climate change and saving electricity, many have turned to whole house fans as a money-saving and greener solution to summer heat.

Using whole house fans together with ceiling fans and circulating fans allows for proper temperature and moisture circulation within the house that can provide much-needed comfort during hot days. The technology became popular around the 1950’s and 1960’s, so there are some common questions regarding whole-house fans. 

Benefits of Whole-House Fans
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest benefits to whole-house fans is that they are cost-effective. They are much cheaper than air conditioning and are much greener too. Another benefit is that whole-house fans do not need to be operational all day like air conditioning. Plus the effects of the fans can be noticed almost immediately, whereas air conditioning can often take a long time to effectively cool a house.

How Do They Work?
Whole house fans work by replacing cooler air outside the house with hot air trapped inside. Therefore, they work best when it is hotter inside the house. For example, hot air usually gets trapped in the attic. If you open the attic vents to allow the hot air to pass out, while opening windows (away from the fan) to let cool air in, you can quickly lower the temperature inside your house. The windows and doors need to be properly open for the whole-house fan to be effective.

How Many Windows Need to Be Open for a Whole-House Fan to Work?
Generally, at least one window should be open while using your whole house fan so that the cooler outside air can replace the hotter inside air. Opening two or more windows partway is usually preferable to just opening one window.

Also, when choosing which windows to open, select windows away from the fan so that it will have an easier time circulating air to the rest of the house. You can also select which rooms you’d like to cool down the most or the fastest by opening windows in those rooms. When getting a whole house fan installed, it is best to ask the installer how many windows to open, and which ones are best.

Finally, if you have any questions about whole house fans, give us a call at 1.888-229-5757.