Ceiling & Whole house Fans

When you are ready to install a ceiling fan in your home, Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. is your choice to perform the electrical installation. Did you know that a ceiling fan is not just for your bedroom? A ceiling fan can be installed at any high point in your home to improve the efficiency of your heating or cooling system. A ceiling fan circulates air which helps to heat your home in the winter months and cool your home in the summer months.

Ceiling fans can be purchased in a variety of sizes. The size of the ceiling fan is based on the size of the ceiling fan blades. Ceiling fan blades are available in various sizes. The larger the ceiling fan blade, the more the air in your home will circulate. A large ceiling fan may have a ceiling fan blade over 4 feet long. A small ceiling fan may have a ceiling fan blade between 3 and 4 feet long. Some examples of ceiling fan blade sizes are:

  • 60-inch ceiling fan blade (60 ceiling fan/ceiling fan 60) – best for grand entryways, wide-open spaces, and warehouse applications
  • 52-inch ceiling fan blade (52 ceiling fan/ceiling fan 52) – most commonly used in bedrooms and other large rooms
  • 42-inch ceiling fan blade (42 ceiling fan/ceiling fan 42) – also very commonly used in bedrooms and other large rooms
  • 36-inch ceiling fan blade (36 ceiling fan/ceiling fan 36) – works best for limited space areas such and kitchens and small bedrooms. Consider a hugger ceiling fan for this type of room.

Ceiling fans are also available with or without an electrical lighting fixture included with the ceiling fan. Depending on the electrical wiring in your home, an additional electrical circuit breaker probably will not be required. A Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. licensed electrician will perform the electrical installation in a safe, clean, and professional manner.

The ceiling fan and ceiling fan light can be controlled with an electrical switch or an electrical 3 way switch conveniently located for easy access. Additionally, many ceiling fans include an electrical remote control for even easier control of the ceiling fan, the ceiling fan light.

Our licensed electricians can also install a ceiling fan in a location where only an electrical lighting fixture currently exists. Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. residential electricians will install new electrical wiring (if necessary), and a new electrical switch or electrical 3 way switch, depending on your needs.

Pacific Coast Electricians, inc. residential electricians are experts at performing the electrical installation of many different types of ceiling fans. While we have a wide experience in home electrical wiring of various ceiling fan models, homeowners most commonly select from the following ceiling fan manufacturers:

  • Hunter Ceiling Fan (Hunter-Douglas)/Hunter Fan
  • Casablanca Ceiling Fan/Casablanca Fan
  • Emerson Ceiling Fan/Emerson Fan
  • Hampton Ceiling Fan/Bay Ceiling Fan/Hampton Bay Ceiling Fan/Hampton Fan/Bay Fan
  • Monte Carlo Ceiling Fan/Monte Carlo Fan
  • Westinghouse Ceiling Fan
  • Harbor Breeze Ceiling Fan
  • Hugger Ceiling Fan
  • Quorum Ceiling Fan

Whether you would like to have the electrical installation done of a new ceiling fan, a new ceiling fan light, or a ceiling fan replacement, the residential electricians of Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. will be at your service for all your electrical needs.

ATTIC FANS AND WHOLE HOUSE FANS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY ON AIR-CONDITIONING

Efficiency in cooling is the name of the game for homeowners who like to stay cool. One source of added efficiency often overlooked is the attic fan. There are two types of attic fans, one cools only the attic and is properly called an attic fan, the other one is really a whole house fan and cools the whole house using outside air instead of air conditioning. Both fans can be used with satisfying results.

WHOLE HOUSE FANS
Many people use whole house fans as an alternative to air-conditioning. A whole house fan is most effective when outside air temperatures are below 82ºF. It brings a cooling breeze in through the windows of the home and cools more efficiently than an air-conditioner (Click on picture to enlarge).

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Sometimes central air-conditioning is too expensive to install. When a house has been originally built with hot water radiator heat, installing central air-conditioning can be cost prohibitive because there is not any ductwork to distribute air throughout the house. Also, a whole house fan only uses about ¼ of the power that a central air-conditioning system does. Some people just don’t like air conditioning or may want the option of using outside air for cooling and ventilating their homes. Whole house fans draw massive amounts of air through a home. Moving air feels cooler than still air so high volumes of air are usually preferred.

One objection that some people have with whole house fans is the sound that is created when running. There are basically three types of noise created: air noise, motor vibration and shutter rattle. A well-engineered whole house fan will address all of these issues.

Generally speaking the more blades a fan blade has the quieter it will be, (five blades are better that four). Each blade does less work and thereby creates a smoother, even sound as opposed to fewer blades where the sound is choppy and irritating. One strategy for sizing a whole house fan for a house is to get the largest fan that will fit into the ceiling area of a hallway where a fan would typically be installed. Any size fan will be quieter when run at a slower speed; so by getting a large fan that has a low speed you can get less noise and still move a high volume of air because of the large size. Running on low speed also creates less wear and tear on the fan and saves electricity. Better whole house fans will have the whole fan isolated from the homes framing with foam strips or rubber mountings that will not transmit sound into the framing of the house. This keeps the motor hum from resounding through the framing and drywall of the home. It is better to have no direct mechanical connection to the house framing. Heavier fans are better because they rest on foam weather stripping held down only by their own weight.

Higher quality shutters will be heavier and have connecting rods connecting vanes of the shutter so they act together. This prevents one or more vanes from oscillating and possibly clapping shut and re-opening. Also, a better shutter will have an adjustable spring that will assist in opening the shutter as the fan sucks it open and cushion and slow the closing when the fan is shut off. This prevents the shutters from creating a loud thump when shutting when the fan is turned off. Some shutters even have a felt strip at the edge of each vane to seal in air when the fan is off and to silence the shutter when it closes.

Having a timer is also a good idea. A timer will let the fan run a pre set length of time so that you can set it before going to bed and have it shut off automatically when you feel it may get too cold at night. Thermostats are not a good idea because they could turn the fan on when no one is home and preparation hasn’t been made for it to come on. Windows must be opened first. Also, a fire in the fireplace could trigger it to come on unexpectedly with danger of sucking flames in from the fireplace. Obviously, some caution must be used when operating a whole house fan.  The drill is really pretty simple: turn off heating and air-conditioning, open windows, no fires in fireplace and then turn the whole house fan on. Without opening windows first, some air could also be drawn down other vents or chimneys for heating and water heat, possibly blowing out pilot lights.

The amount of work required to install a whole house fan varies from house to house, but can generally be retrofitted into an existing house by a professional in about 8 to 16 man-hours. One major variable is the venting, if you plan on running the fan on high speed, (most people do) you need to make sure that there is at least enough exhaust venting for high speed setting. Fans are rated by cubic feet of air per minute or cfm. A good rule of thumb is to provide one square foot of net free venting area for every 750 cfm. Net free venting is the area after subtracting for louvers and screens. Generally the vents are roof vents, louvered wall vents or eave vents. Some roof vents and some eave vents have their respective net free venting areas stamped right on them. Ridge vents, depending on type, are not as good for providing the bulk of vent area needed although they do help slightly.

One strategy is to get an attic fan with a whole house fan. Special timer switches (DPST) are available and when installed they will turn on both fans to help expel some of the air being pushed into the attic. It is important to use only this type of switch for this application, because with a normal switch the attic fan thermostat would back feed and run the whole house fans even when the homeowner has not selected the on position for the whole house fan switch.

Better whole house fans have a welded frame. Effectively they are one-piece construction using heavy gauge steel for the venturi and motor and fan supports. This type of construction is better because it will never loosen up or begin to squeak. The only problem might occur if the installer was trying to fit the fan into a very small attic space; it may not fit through the opening when turned up on end before hitting the roof. Fans that can be disassembled can be fit through and then reassembled in the attic. One strategy for installing a welded frame fan into a smaller attic is to use a larger shutter than is required so the fan could be lifted into the attic in a horizontal or flat position and then supported by ledger strips around inside of opening. The larger shutter would then fill the larger opening that was made in order to lift the fan through in flat position.

ATTIC FANS – SOLAR & ELECTRIC
When the temperature climbs above 82ºF and you decide to use air conditioning, you can shut the windows and crank up the air knowing that the attic fan will save up to 30% on cooling costs by getting rid of trapped super hot air that tends to collect in attics and cause heat to back up into the home. (Click on picture to enlarge)

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Attic temperatures can get up to 150ºF without an attic fan. Attic fans create a positive air-flow through your attic that does not rely on wind or require excessive passive venting. Excessive passive venting can cause excessive moisture infiltration in the form of snow or rain. The attic fan is normally mounted up on the roof of the home toward the back about two feet down from the peak. It goes on and off automatically with a thermostat, so it only runs when it is beneficial. The attic fan has a flashing that fits in with the shingles and is water-proof. Attic fans use less than 300 Watts, and offer these important advantages:

1. Lowers upstairs room temperatures by 10º.
2. Lengthens roof life by keeping shingles cooler.
3. With an optional humidistat, keep attics dry during winter months.
4. Saves up to 30% on air-conditioning costs.

The exact savings obtained depends on several factors like: the color of your roof, if the home is shaded, the amount of insulation you have, and the efficiency of your cooling system. Ideally, an attic fan installation will pay for itself within 3 years. A high quality attic fan is recommended. A heavy screen is required to stop pests. All metal construction is preferred as plastic fans do not hold up as well and over time will crack. A quality thermostat is also essential to save from climbing up into the attic for resetting. A firestat, which shuts the attic fan off for extremely high temperatures, is needed in case of a home fire. A permanently lubricated motor insures quiet, maintenance-free operation.

There are 2 types of attic fans: roof top, and gable-end. Attic fans can be electrical or solar powered.

For more information on how you can obtain an Attic Fan or Whole House Fan for your home or for customers’ homes, please Call

cool3 Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. 408-212-0230