Winter and Your Whole House Fan

When it is the winter time, you don’t expect to have your fans and air conditioner turned on. But there are still benefits to using the whole house fan, particularly if you live in a mild climate.

A whole house fan can provide benefits nearly every day of the year. Not only does it help remove hot air from your home, but it can provide air circulation and improve the overall air quality in every room of your home. Here are some things to know about using the whole house fan in the winter.

Why You Need it During the Winter

You are probably already aware of how to use it in the summer, but what about the winter? You But there are advantages to using it in the winter as well. Here are some things to know about using the fan in the winter:

  • You can prevent ice damming. Ice damming occurs when snow melts on your roof, causing the water to drop down onto the edge of your roof and creating dams of ice. They can be damaging to your roof and cause blockages in your gutters. With the whole house fan, you prevent this from happening altogether, saving your roof from extra maintenance.
  • You get better circulation of air. Ventilation achieved through a whole house fan helps to remove stale indoor air and bring some fresh air into your home, instead of breathing in only recycled indoor air.
  • You can improve indoor air quality. Ventilation through a whole house fan is helpful in reducing indoor air pollutants, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
  • You can reduce moisture build up indoors. This is especially important because indoor moisture can lead to mold growth.
  • You can vent odors. A whole house fan can change the air in the house and vent odors quickly. When you’re are cooking foods that cause odors and expecting company at any minute, removing these odors with your whole house fan is especially beneficial. It is also helpful in venting pet odors.

The Importance of Proper Insulation

Make sure your home is insulated properly. If you live in a cold-weather climate it’s recommended to insulate your whole house fan by sealing it. Otherwise, cold air from the attic has the potential to leak down into your living area — while also allowing warm air to escape. Of course, this can increase your energy bills.

What’s possibly worse, infiltration of warm moist air into your attic can cause water damage through condensation and may create ice and ice damming.

Sealing Your Whole House Fan

If you live in a cold climate, particularly if you get below-freezing temperatures during the winter, it is imperative that the whole house fan is sealed properly. If the fan comes with a motorized and insulated door, this will automatically close when it is turned off. Otherwise, you need to be be sure it is sealed. If it isn’t, you’re going to get a lot of drafty, cold air in your home, which makes it more difficult to warm up when your heat is on.

If it isn’t sealed, not only will cold air get in, but this cold air can cause moisture and condensation. As this condensation drips on the insulation, mold can grow. You now have a much more serious issue on your hands to contend with.

In summary, whole house fans don’t only offer benefits in the summer. They can be beneficial in shoulder seasons, and in the winter.