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Old 12-28-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Whole house fan glitch

Clients bought a very upscale 7yo house with 20' ceilings in the living area. It really needs the whole house fan that the previous owners thought was 'supposed to turn off' after a short period. Inspector who checked it didn't let it run long enough to notice this quirk. Verdict now is inadequate exaust space in attic causes it to shut down after 5-10 minutes (overheats?). Per the the builder the house has a very limited amount of attic and this hall was the ONLY space available for the fan. Because of the tile roof design a vent isn't really practical (though maybe not impossible). He suggested tapping into the large stove hood vent chimney about 15' from the fan. Or get a different fan motor that circumvents the shut off (which seems might create additional issues?). Any cautions, other ideas or suggestions?

PS. Ironically the home warranty co. says 'fan is installed to code and functions properly'... it's the ATTIC SPACE that's wrong and that's not covered.

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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Whole house fan glitch

ISTM tapping into the range hood would be a Particularly Bad Idea. I always assumed those were to be treated much like a fireplace or wood stove chimney, and for the same reason: Fire hazard.

But I'm just guessing.

Those whole-house fans move a lot of air, do they not? As in an order or several magnitudes more than a comparatively tiny range hood fan? Wouldn't a whole house fan's pressure tend to actually force air back down the range hood?

I would think properly venting the attic area would be the proper thing to do. Homeowner probably doesn't want their pretty tile roof littered with vents, tho...


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Old 12-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #3
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Whole house fan glitch

Thanks for the input, Jim! My thought exactly. That was the contractors idea and maybe he knows more about the stove vent than I do (it IS a huge hood) but common sense says otherwise. I'm thinking a large roof vent dressed to go with mediteranean architechture might be their best bet... Unless there's some kind of specialty WH fan that I don't know about?
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