For people looking to eschew the traditional expenses of heating and air, or for those who want to supplement it in smart ways, whole-house fans (also called attic fans) are a great alternative. At Whipple Plumbing, we offer top quality products here to keep your family cool with properly circulated air.

Whole-house fans do come with a few particulars, including ventilation guidelines and a couple very simple maintenance areas to keep track of. Here are the basics you need to know.

Operation Guidelines

Operation of a whole-house fan is very easy. Open several windows, particularly on the lowest level of the house to help ventilate both lower and upper levels. Be sure to open windows before turning on the fan – going in the opposite order can stress the fan motor or create a backdraft situation you don’t want.

Once this is done, turn your fan on via the dial. Some fans will have automatic timers, and others will require you to time them. Some also have thermostats that can be built to kick in at a certain temperature – again, just remember to keep windows open.

Ventilation Requirements

All whole-house fans require that the attic has sufficient ventilation outlets for the fan’s highest cubic feet per minute rating – this is something our experts can help you figure out. This is so that the proper balance of intake and exhaust air is maintained. Standard exhaust vents include gable vents, ridge vents and roof vents.


For most whole-house fans, annual maintenance isn’t really much of a need. Whole-house fans that have oil ports to help the motor run will need basic lubrication every few years, but little more. An attic exhaust fan, which is designed only to cool the attic space, almost never requires any maintenance. It’s good to clean the fan shutters that open to release hot air, and washing the fan blades every so often helps ensure optimal functionality.

To learn more about whole-house fans, or to find out about any of our other HVAC repair or plumbing services, speak to the pros at Whipple Plumbing today.

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