Study: Whole House Fan Effectiveness in Florida

A recent study conducted by the Florida Solar Energy Center revealed some surprising information about the effectiveness of whole house fans – even in areas as hot as Florida in summer. The judicious use of whole house fans can mean a great deal to your monthly energy bills and more – including the following.

Interior Temperature
The study determined that the interior temperature was three to six degrees cooler after the whole house fan was operated in the evening. Understand that whole house fans are most effective when the exterior temperature is cooler than the internal temperature — as the nature of a whole house fan is to draw fresh, cool air in through open windows while venting hot, stale air outside through attic vents.

Why is this Data Important?
You might be wondering what the big deal about three to six degrees of coolness is. It doesn’t sound like that much at first glance. At least not until you understand the costs of operating the whole house fan which drew in those extra degrees of coolness is about one-tenth the cost of operating an air conditioner.

Once you factor in the cooling costs, these few degrees become much more important as means of conserving energy, cutting costs, and keeping the air inside the home more comfortable while your family sleeps at night.

The study confirmed that energy consumption during hours when the fans were operated varied between 3.2 and 4.2 kWh while previous energy use for the corresponding days the previous summer averaged 36 kWh.

Can You Kick Your AC to the Curb?
Unfortunately, the evidence of the study doesn’t bear that out, but do keep in mind that this study was done in Florida. The study confirms the need to use air conditioning during the hottest, most humid days of summer in this neck of the woods.

It does indicate that alternating use of air conditioning with the judicious use of a whole house fan, homeowners in Florida can reduce energy costs. This is a good thing for cash-strapped families as well as those who are simply interested in living comfortably while doing their part to conserve energy and save the planet.

What About Other Locations?
If whole house fans can help beat the heat in Florida, it is a good bet that it can help families elsewhere as well. In fact, the use of whole house fans in areas that have drier climates and less overall humidity can net even more dramatic cooling power and energy savings.

Beat the heat this summer without breaking the bank. Consider installing a whole house fan for your home and see how big a difference it makes on your comfort and your cooling costs all summer long.

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