Simple Home Cooling Methods to Save Money

Home cooling doesn't necessarily require air conditioning. Energy-efficient ceiling, attic fans, and whole-house fans can get the job done and save money.

| August/September 2009

  • Solar attic fan
    A solar-powered attic fan assists with home cooling by pulling hot air out of the attic, either through a roof vent or a gable vent. A photovoltaic panel saves money by generating electricity for the fan.
    ILLUSTRATION: KEITH WARD

  • Solar attic fan

Fans of various type are one of the simplest ways to achieve home cooling during the summer. In addition to promoting air flow, which makes us feel cooler, properly located fans can purge heat from a house and draw in cool outside air. Moreover, fans use less energy than central air conditioners and evaporative coolers, and are less expensive to install. By reducing or eliminating the need to use air conditioning, fans save money through dramatically lower utility bills.

Follow these links for information on specific fan types:
Use a Ceiling Fan for Simple, Efficient Cooling
Cooling Your Home With a Solar Attic Fan
Whole-house Fans: Easy, Low-cost Cooling 

What Will You Save?

A regular attic fan uses electricity, but saves about 10 percent on air conditioning costs by keeping your attic (and, as a result, the living space below it) cooler. Solar-powered attic fans have a higher initial cost.

A ceiling or portable floor fan will cut your energy costs if you have central air conditioning — if you raise the thermostat setting. For every degree you turn it up, you will cut 7 to 10 percent from your cooling costs.



Using a whole-house fan — instead of air conditioning — when the temperature cools off in the evening and early morning hours can save significantly on energy costs. Not only does a whole-house fan cost less to run than air conditioning, but it can cool a house down in just a few minutes, after the outside air temperature has decreased.

What Will it Cost?

Ceiling and Attic Fans
Cost Estimate: Installation of two ceiling fans and two solar attic fans, controls and wiring.

bookshifter
6/21/2013 5:57:08 PM

Word of caution. Attic fans can create a negative air pressure in an attic that can draw cool conditioned air out of the house. Also remember fans cool people not rooms so turn th fan off when the room is unoccupied. In the hot and humid south whole house fans draw moist air into a house that loads the central air conditioning system when it is turned on the next day not to mention it can make you feel sticky and clammy.


Manfred Addleman
8/5/2011 8:41:44 AM

I think Price is high if you do your self most of MHN surcribes will probley do it ther self


Karl U
7/15/2009 5:12:09 AM

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