Air Circulator Fans

What did you do in the time before air conditioning? Chances are you and your family found several innovative ways to keep cool. Perhaps this involved sitting under a shady tree and fanning yourself with a hand fan. Or perhaps you used box fans or ceiling fans inside your home in order to circulate air around and keep you cool? Or maybe you had an air circulator fan (sometimes called a “whole house fan”) installed in your home. Air circulator fans were very common before the advent of air conditioners and presented a way for home owners to install a cooling system that would keep their whole house cooler than the outdoors by taking a holistic approach to cooling.

Air circulator fans were commonly installed in houses before the time that air conditioning systems became readily available. Air circulator fans have a very unique design. They are designed to suck hot air out of buildings. Because of this, they are sometimes confused with attic fans, but even though you will read about their many similarities, air circulator fans and attic fans are by no means the same entity.  The difference is that attic fans are used to regulate temperature in a building’s attic while an air circulator fan is uses a process involving the attic to regulate the temperature in the whole house. As you can see, it is easy to become confused about the functionalities of those two separate types of fans.

An air circulator fan sucks hot air out of a building and forces it into the attic. From there, the very hot air that was formerly in the house is now stored in the attic. But no one wants a very hot attic. That helps the entire house warm up (not something wanted in the middle of a hot summer!) and it can even become a fire hazard in attics that feature lots of excess insulation and other old, flammable materials.

So the next step in the air circulation fan’s work is to force the excess hot air out of the attic through a gable-end or some soffit vents. Back down in the house, if the home owner has the windows or doors open to the outside, the air circulator fan works to draw cooler air back into the building. This replaces the hot air that has been forced out through the attic. It also creates a cool breeze while fulfilling its purpose, hence the fact that air circulator fans were previously used in order to fulfill the function that air conditioning now fulfills.

This is also different from the attic fan because it actually cools the house. While air circulator fans cool, attic fans do not provide any type of direct cooling effect to the living space in the home. So if someone you know says that they want to turn on the attic fan in order to cool off the house, you can bet that what they actually have installed in their home is an air circulator fan.

The great thing about air circulator fans is that they can significantly lower the temperature in a building very quickly.  They are also much less expensive to operate than air conditioners. People who wish to “go green” with their homes have rapidly been using them to replace air conditioners because they are extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly.  Also, as technology has advanced, air circulator fans have become much smaller and quieter than their old fashioned counterparts. Today air circulator fans are actually a viable option to expensive, power wasting and hard to repair air conditioning systems!

This Air Circulator Fans Review is Written/Updated on Nov 15th, 2009 and filed under Home Improvement. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Air Circulator Fans”

  1. Sam Logan says:

    Interesting article, I have tried recommending air circulator fans to a few clients, the majority of which look at me like I’m mad.

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