Solar attic fan, whole house fan or both???

Old 08-02-16, 08:28 AM
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Solar attic fan, whole house fan or both???

I have a 2 story colonial. Aprox 2000 square feet. My upstairs won't cool. The hot air is trapped. I was thinking of getting a whole house fan. I realize dependent upon my current attic ventilation I may need either more ventilation in my attic and/or an attic fan. I've been making some calls and just spoke with a company that assures me that just putting in their Solar star 1600 attic fan through my roof that it will move the hot air out of my second floor. I trust that it will but I'm not sure it's enough. I've been in homes with the whole house fan and as long as it's cooler outside the whole house fan seems to suck the hot air out extremely fast and gets the air moving.

I'm looking for opinions or advice....does anyone have this particular fan or just an attic fan?

Last night for instance it was 72 outside but in my bedroom it was 84. We have window fans but it just takes a very long time to move the air. Also I will add that I'm not a fan of AC..especially when it's cool enough outside to be comfortable and not super humid.

Thanks in advance.
Old 08-02-16, 10:40 AM
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I'd look first at whether the attic has adequate ventilation and, if not, fix that.

When you say window fans, do you have them set up with at least one bringing air in while another exhausts to the outside? I would think even a couple small ones set up that way would refresh the air pretty quickly.
Old 08-02-16, 12:28 PM
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Is there enough soffit vents that are not all blocked with insulation?
No form of roof vent will work of there's not enough make up air.
How much insulation is in the attic?
Old leaky windows or single paned?
Old 08-02-16, 12:40 PM
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Hi Gia,
As ss says, you need good ventilation in the attic for either a whole house fan or an attic fan to work. What we are looking for are soffit vents, gable vents, a ridge vent, or roof vents anywhere up there. Then we can go through the guidelines to determine how much is enough.

I have a large window fan similar to this, although don't recall that price: Air King 9166
Air King Fans and Circulators -

I can find it and get the make and model if needed. But it sure would cool the upstairs in a hurry when it was cool outside.

I have seen many whole house fans and if there is enough venting for them they also do well. IMO, the solar powered fans are trendy and overpriced. And there can be times when you want the fan running but the sun isn't shining. No info on longevity as yet but I suspect they won't last as long as a regular powered fan.

The real problem is not attic ventilation, it is air sealing the house from the attic and lots of insulation up there. BUT, lacking a source of cool air, even a well insulated room will get warm and stay that way far too long.


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