Q:

How should I use an attic fan to help an air conditioning unit cool the house?

A:

Quick Answer

Using whole-house attic fans helps to reduce the costs of air conditioning when outside temperatures are below the normal thermostat setting inside the house. The most efficient use involves shutting off the fan and closing windows before daytime heating increases outside temperatures.

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Full Answer

In most locations, best use of whole house fans is at night when temperatures drop, with the air conditioning in the off position. Units require opening windows to allow them to draw in cooler outside air and exhaust hot air. While they typically use only 15 percent of the energy of an air conditioner, they do not reduce humidity and do not cool the air they bring inside the home. They are a better solution for the western United States than the humid southeastern states.

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