Fresh Thinking about Summer Cooling
While winter weather wracks some areas of the U.S., other regions are dealing with record high temperatures, so there's no better time to think about saving money while cooling your home.
Tom Colasanto, CEO of Tamarack Technologies, offers some insights into staying cool this summer.
1. Why is cooling a home so expensive and are there any options? Most people buy air conditioning units for cooling without factoring in dramatic increases in their monthly electric bills. One less expensive option is a whole house fan, which costs only pennies a day to operate.
2. What does a whole house fan do? A whole house fan pulls in cool outside air and pushes out hot, stale air through your attic vents.
3. Do the manufacturer's CFM airflow ratings matter? Yes. There is a direct relationship between a fan's ability to move air, the size of a house, and the openings which allow air to exhaust. If airflow is too powerful – measured in CFMs – it can be counter-productive without sufficient 'net free openings.'
4. What are 'net free openings'? Why are they important? Most homes are built with openings in the roof or sides that allow a house to 'breathe.' Examples are: soffits, gables and ridgeline vents. These 'net free openings' allow hot, stale air to exhaust and the fan to run efficiently. If they're undersized, superheated air from the attic can be pushed back into the house.
5. What's the difference between ducted and non-ducted whole house fans? Most ducted fans have airflow ratings far greater than they can actually deliver. Twists and bends in ductwork around impediments and incorrect duct size can negatively impact airflow. A ducted fan may only deliver enough CFMs to cool one room with multiple units needed for the entire house. To determine if ducted fans meet your needs, go here.
Read more about home heating and cooling.