As summer quickly approaches I wanted to share an archived post about whole house fans and gable attic fans. This post was written to help a reader decide which type of attic fan was best for her home.
Marrisa wrote to me and wants to know about whole house fans vs attic fans.
I’ve been considering installing an attic fan in my house, and wondered what your thoughts were. First, is an attic fan the same thing as a “whole house fan?” I’ve seen sites apparently use the phrases interchangeably, though I don’t know if that’s correct. Second, do these fans save a significant amount of energy versus central air?
There is a huge difference between Gable Attic Fan and a Whole House Fan. A gable attic fan is mounted to one of the gable walls in the attic. The fan is used to remove hot air from the attic space in order to limit heat transfer to the living space below. A whole house fan is mounted in the ceiling between the living space and that attic. It is used to suck warm air out of the living space up into the attic. The pressure created by the suction forces that warm air out of the venting of the roof and it helps draw cooler outside air in through open windows in the house.
Gable Attic Fans - are mounted to the gable wall inside the attic behind a decorative louver. The gable attic fan is connected to a proper power supply and a timer. The timer allows the fan to run during the hottest portion of the day. The gable attic fan helps reduce the attic temperature to help prevent heat transfer down through the insulation and into the living space. Gable attic fans are typically much cheaper than whole house fans and also easier to install.
Whole House Fans - are mounted in the ceiling between the living space and attic. They are typically located in a central hallway to help evenly remove warm air from the living space. When a whole house fan is turned on it helps draw warm air out of the living space while drawing in cooler outside air from open windows.
This system is most effective when the temperature outside drops below the temperature inside the house. Whole house fans can be very effective in cooling down a house in the morning and evening hours. In some parts of the country they can be a very inexpensive alternative to central air.
Whole house fans typically have some type of louver and/or insulated door that closes when the fan is shut off. This helps keep warm and cold air out of the living space when the unit is not being used.
The other part of Marissa’s question was about installing these units herself. I’d rate the installation of a whole house fan as a difficult / advance home improvement project. I’m not sure I would recommend this project to most DIY folks. Having said that, if you’re really comfortable with electrical work, framing and cutting drywall then you can probably tackle the job. You can probably cut in the unit and get it ready then hire an electrician to wire it up.
They were very responsive in taking care of my request.
Pricing is something that yet has to be determined due to the circumstances on the first call, but there was only a $59.00 service call charge which was more than fair for the trip.
But overall, S.O.S maintenance will use them again.
We wanted to thank you for the great job you and your crew did on our living room lighting project. You responded quickly, gave us excellent design advice, provided an estimate the same day, and then worked with us to make the timing fit our needs. We could not believe how you were able to fit us so promptly into your busy schedule. The quality of the work was great and your crew, led by Juice, was professional, courteous, and highly skilled. We would happily recommend you to anyone.
David and Miriam
I needed help with my kitchen lights. These guys came out and provided me with options. They provide great service so I understand if they are a little more expensive than others. Its worth the time and money. I highly recommend them and I will be using them again!
I contacted HO for fan repair, as they are the only authorized ********** repair facility in the area. Even though this isn't the main stream of their business, they treated me very well, even offering to make delivery of the repaired fan - to a relatively remote area of the South Shore - after their business hours.
Reliable, Creative, and Up-front
They always showed up exactly when they said they would and they came up with creative solutions when the existing wiring made it difficult to implement what we wanted. They charge exactly what they say they will charge, although sometimes you need to pay them to do enough work to figure out how much the total will cost.
Excellent services, details of job explained clearly up front. Would recommend using this companny.
Lighting problem was quickly resolved, All of my questions were answered and options were presented to me. A very professional company. Highly recommend to others.
Just a quick and long overdue thanks and note of appreciation for a job well done.
Your crew installed a 220v line extension from the service panel over to a new washing machine installation a few months back. Everything went smoothly, without a hitch, and on schedule. I appreciate how easy it was doing business with you. And the online PDF billing was a piece of cake, too.
Pleasure doing business. We'll certainly be back again.
H.O. replaced my panel and upgraded it to a 200 amp service. Since we live in a 213 year old house he also did some wiring of old nob a tube in the attic.
I had heard about H O from my next door neighbor had Howard do his electrical panel and was happy with his work. Howard was very professional and took the time to explain what he was doing. After taking the time to do a house inspection he showed me the old knob and tube in the attic, and recommended that it be replaced.
Howard cleaned up after the job and reviewed all the work with me that they had completed. I was quite impressed with Howard and his staff. I have recommended him to others.
Top Notch Professionals!!!!
I have a Casablanca ceiling fan that wasn't working properly. I called H.O. Electric and was very thankful I did. Will (Mike) was very professional, knowledgeable, pleasant, and customer friendly. For a house call they were very reasonably priced and timely. I highly recommend their service to all. Casablanca is a top notch fan and H.O. Electric is a top notch company! I will definitely use them again.
I was fully satisfied with my experience with the HQ electrians.
The cable tv works great
When I needed cable tv in my house, I called the cable co. but they said I needed an electrician. I did not know who to call but read great reviews about H.O. Electric. I gave them a try and was glad that I did. My experience was perfect. Nice guys showed up in uniform and charged me exactly what they quoted.
Very responsive, neat, and friendly
I had H.O. Electric out to my house on a saterday evening because I had lost power to part of my house. I called around to other electricians, but did not get through to any one. I found H.O. and called, and to my surprise a REAL person answered.
I explained my issue and the woman explained how they operated. She an electrician would be sent out immediatly. He arrived at my house about 45 minutes later. I was amazed at how fast he got there on a saterday night. He was very friendly, and put on some booties when he came into my house. He listened to my problem and ask me to show him around. After looking at what was not working, he showed me his price book and explained what he planned on doing to resolve my issues. I had him go ahead and do it. He was very focused and worked very quickly until he had got my power back on. I was very impressed. He walked me through what he had done and what the problem was,and I was very surprised to see what actually went into what I thought would be basically turning my lights back on. He cleaned up and took a credit card payment. From the time I called on a saterday night until the time he left was only about 2 1/2 hours. I'm very impressed, as I'm used to waiting days or even a week just to hear back from an electrician. I would definately recommend them to my neighbors.
Great work!! Exactly what we were looking for.
Thanks for salvaging that old bathroom fan also. Will get the check out ASAP.
- ST, Boston
H.O. does electrical,plumbing and heating.Would recommend to everybody
H.O. came out tuned up my generator,they did a great job. H.O. does Electrical, plumbing and heating. They are the company to service all your needs.
Howard, thanks for your help.
Juice did a great job.
We have a couple of other electrical jobs in mind, and we'll go to the web site when we have everything ready to go.
All the best.
Based on list recommendations, I called Howard Oven and he was here in 2 days, fixed one overhead light, replaced a wall fixture with a much more appropriate light (and beautiful to boot!), plus fixed the basement overhead and a wall outlet. All in about four hours! They were careful with our indoor cat, very clean and very easy to have around while they were working. Plus, when Howard went out for a part and the store did not have it like they said they did when he called ahead, he called me to let me know what the delay was and when I could expect him back.
We will definitely be using H.O.Electric for our electrical needs in future. Their web site is http://hoelectric.com
Howard came the day I called and was very helpful explaining the situation and quick in fixing the problem so we could turn our fuse back on. He was also helpful with questions I had about improvements I would like in the future - pointing out the most cost-effective solutions and recommending some website to look at fixtures. I am planning to ask him to come by again soon to do more work.
Great electrical company
The guys came out to my house this past monday to fix my heating system. They explained the issue and went right to work. I like how they give me the price up front. No surprises. I will definitely be using these guys again.
Reasonable price with excellent service
I had two outlets that had stopped working- a simple thing but it can be difficult to get someone in, especially for a smaller job. The great thing about HO is that it's a company with a team of people behind it, so you can always get someone on the phone. I had called a few independent electricians and got calls back from them 2 days later.. I called into HO elecrtic and got someone on the phone right away who took all of my information, and booked an appointment right away. The electricians then showed up on time, and walked me through what they were doing. Price was the set price in their book. Within half on hour they were on their way.
Thanks Howard -
You guys were impressive. That was like a swat team - in / out / job finished.
As I told you, it was a little more of a job than I was initially prepared for; I appreciate your patience with my situation - and thanks for not wasting my resources on a band aid, but instead bringing us a step forward toward our kitchen rehab.
Impressive billing system too!
Excellent work, but they really push the service plans.
I recently used H.O. Electric for the first time. They replaced the exhaust fan in my attic, as well as installed a screen, which is something they normally don't do. The workers did very well addressing my concerns, and were helpful. It went quickly, too. The work itself was totally fine.
There were a few negatives in the peripherals, however. All the promotional stuff--get these savings if you sign up for this plan--took away from the experience. They try to sell you on certain plans and tell you what the work will cost with each, and I thought if should be just one price for the thing. Though the work was great, I have to detract points for this part of the experience.
Great job to both your son and company on the flagpole.
We were very impressed with the presentation H.O. Electric gave. They were extremely professional and efficient. Everything went great with them and I'd definitely use them again.
Got their number off their trucks. Wow. Lightning bolts. neat, professional, and courteous people. Arrived inside scheduled window. Answered all my questions and offered info about problem and solutions. got a choice of level of service and they did the work right then. Paid with a cc and they swiped it and emailed my receipt right there. Going to get more info from them soon.
Thanks Howard. Heat in my office works great!
I'll make sure to pass along your name to anyone
looking for an electrician with lots to offer at reasonable prices.
Everything up front and explained in detail.
I like that they explain in detail and you know how much everything is going to be. They are very upfront. They also stated that there was a problem with some wiring that was previously done. I appreciate this, as safty is very very important. I like that they are not afraid to tell you this. I asked them also to look at a future job and they did so without any problem. They were not rushed. While they are there on a job, you are their only concern at the time. Very much apprecitated. I would recommend them to family and friends without a second thought.
Thank You, Howard
The fan looks and works great.
Great service once again!
I had some small electrical projects for the guys and once again what wonderful service. The guys came out and agian were very professional. They explained everything to me once again so I could remember how they work. I agreed once again and in the end another great job by H.O. Electric! I will continue to call H.O. Electric for all my electrical needs.
Very knowledgeable and professional.
I was very pleased with the work done at my house. I would deffinetly call them again for electrical or plumbing work.
Comments: They are excellent. Very thorough. Howard does a great job explaining everything from start to finish. He's prompt as well. I was thrilled with the experience.
Outstanding, first-rate company.
I first started using H.O. Electric several years ago when I had to have some electrical work done. I saw their large ad in the Yellow Pages and noticed that they were a family business in the Cambridge area. Given their longevity, I thought that they must be a good company, and they were.
I have used them 3 or 4 times now for everything from installing TV's to sub pumps. They are a nice group of guys to work with and they will immediately correct any glitch without charge or dispute.
I also have recommended H.O. Electric to many other people. They are an outstanding, first-rate company.
Any recommendations for reliable and fair pricedelectrician? (I know there is no such thing as aninexpensive electrician.)
I've had a good experience with H.O. Services. They showed up on time anddid a neat and professional job. www.hoelectric.com (844) 435-5646
I second that recommendation. Howard just did a great job on some lightingin my husband's office. He is a really nice guy, takes the time to explain,listen, and offer opinions.
I'm Happy With The Job
I called them, they showed up on time, gave me a price, and did the job the same day. They installed circuits, 200 amp electrical service, lights, and repaired broken switches / dimmers. I would recommend.