The Best Whole House Fans in 2021

It’s so hot, but you don’t want to run your AC because of costs or because it barely works. You’re not alone. The second choice in this situation is a fan. Be it a ceiling fan or a portable fan, these can provide some cooling to your home.

However, they only go so far. You’ll still be sweating all night if it’s the peak of summer and you only have a $20 fan you bought on Amazon. That’s why you should look for a whole house fan.

What is a whole house fan? In most climates, it’s powerful enough to replace your AC, especially if you use it alongside ceiling fans. This is a fan you install in your attic or on your roof. It manages to take air from the open windows and spreads it around the house. You can even modify your AC ducts to use it. If you are building your home from scratch or are looking to renovate your AC, whole house fans can work wonders for you.

But since they are such a big investment, you need to find the best whole house fans money can buy. That’s why this article is here. It can provide you the top 5 best fans to cool your whole house. Let’s begin, shall we?

Table Of Contents

What Should I Look for When Buying Whole House Fans? 

Now then, let’s list some features to look for in whole house fans.

Is It Even Appropriate for Your Home?

Whole house fans can save a lot on cooling costs, even in hotter areas. However, not all buildings allow them. You need to make sure the building codes of your house allow it. Always stay in the legal clear!

Also, these fans can be effective in environments where it’s hot during the day, but cooler during the night, such as a desert. If you live in an area where it’s humid at night, the fan may have to struggle some. However, they can still give you benefits, especially if you use it alongside a traditional AC.

Types of Fan

There are three main types of whole house fans. All of them use less energy than the traditional fan, but one type may work better for your house than another. Let’s look at the three main types of whole house fans to see which works the best for you.

Standard

This is the most affordable whole house fan, with most people being able to find one for under $500. If you live in a warm region, it should work well. However, installing them is trickier. You may need more venting in your attic or have to move a joist so you can have a box for it. This can make the fan cost a lot more.

Also, they are not good for winter, as their open window design lets hot air escape. Because of this, you may need to pay more to put insulation over it when it’s not summer.

Insulated Door Fan

This is a good whole of house fan if you’re in a place where it’s colder overall than warmer. This fan has panels that are insulated and open up when you turn it on. During the summer, this insulation keeps the heat from coming in, but during the cold periods, it keeps heat in. They do have the disadvantage of not moving air as much, but they do tend to be quieter.

These cost a little more than the standard fans, but it may be worth it depending on where you live.

Inline Fan

This fan is good when you want to target a specific room. While it doesn’t move air around as much, it can give a certain room a breeze. It’s also easier for you to install as well. It even comes with insulation if you want to keep the warm air in during winter. These aren’t terribly expensive and you may be able to find one for as much as a standard fan. Check out your home and see if it’s appropriate for you.

Belt Drive or Direct Drive?

Some whole house fans on this list are available as a belt or as a direct drive. You may wonder what the difference is. The belt drive fan uses a pulley, and it tends to be quieter. However, the downside is that it is more difficult to install. It’s not something you may want to do yourself unless you have experience. Another downside is that the belt drive needs more maintenance, as you have to replace the belts every so often. Finally, the belt drive tends to be pricier than the direct drive.

On the other hand, the direct drive is the opposite. While it isn’t as smooth and as quiet, the direct drive whole house fan is easier to install and is cheaper. Of course, newer direct drive fans can manage to be quieter and smoother, though not as much as the belt drive.

Temperature Control

Some whole house fans have a remote or display that makes it easy for you to control the temperature. Fans that can do that can allow your home to be as cool as possible and make it easy for you to get the right temperature every time.

Some fans include a timer as well, meaning that you can get the fans to start working at a certain time of the day. If you live in a desert environment, your fans will probably be timed so that they turn on during the night and off near sunrise. These tend to be found in fans that cost a little more, but you can find budget fans that offer it as well.

Coverage

When it comes to a whole fan, house square feet of coverage is important as well. Knowing how many square feet the fan can cover will make sure that your fan is going to cover your home. Coverage is always important when you buy a fan, as if you buy one that is too low, your home will not feel as cool. Conversely, oversizing your home fan by a little bit may be a smart move.

Contacting a Professional

Finally, you should talk to a local HVAC professional when installing a whole house fan. This is because they are the ones who can help you find the best whole house fan for your situation. Different homes may work better with different house fans, so be sure you have the right fan for your situation.

Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Whole House Fans

We looked at several whole house fans, and we tried to pick a fan for every budget and need. In addition, we looked at the reviews and picked from whole house fans that had positive reviews. With that, let’s look at some fans.

#1: QuietCool QC CL-3100 (Best Value – All-Purpose)

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The best whole house fan on this list is a fan that is mid-ranged and has enough power to make hot air in your home history. This fan fits that criteria quite well. It’s not the cheapest fan, but it’s not the most expensive, either. It also has everything you may need in a fan.

This fan comes with its own duct system, helping to lower the noise and vibration in your home. Another feature this whole house fan has is its gravity dampers, which means there’s no loss in heat or coolness as it goes between your attic and your home.

It’s an energy-efficient fan as well, coming with motors that are designed to be above-average. With 1,570 square feet of coverage, this fan is also great for most homes.

Reviews of this fan have been quite positive, with most people saying that it’s one of the most powerful whole house fans money can buy. People love its cooling power and how efficient it is.

Of course, there were some people who had negative reviews. From lemons to people who ordered the wrong size, a minority of people were not satisfied. However, almost all the negative reviews had a response from the company, and it wasn’t a stock answer, either. The comments gave advice and encouraged people to call them. That’s quite respectable, we must say.


#2: QA-Deluxe 5500(R2T) (Best Fan)

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If you are serious in investing in a whole house fan and you have a bigger budget, this is the best whole house fan to go with. While the price tag is a bit hefty, it may be worth the investment.

This is a powerful fan, no doubt about it. It manages to cool your entire home with ease, and one feature it has is a timer and temperature control. This means that you can easily get the home to your ideal temperature without having to struggle.

This is an energy-efficient fan as well. It claims to operate for just pennies every hour, which is a lot better than some air conditioners. Not to mention, since it cools your attic, you don’t have to deal with the losing battle that is your hot attic during the summertime.

This fan is also engineered to be easy to install, to be mounted with ease, and to last a long time. If you are unsure, this company does appear to stand by their product, offering a 10-year warranty on the fan and a 3-year warranty for other parts.

But don’t take just our word for it. Let’s look at the reviews. Most people say that this is the best whole house fan money can buy, operating at a whisper-quiet volume level, being so easy to install, and keeping the house cool. There are honestly no truly negative reviews (as of this writing), with the lowest-rated being a 3-star review that loved the fan itself, but had problems with the remote.


#3: QuietCool QC ES-3100 (Best Energy Saving Fan)

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This is from the same lineup as the #1 product on this list, and it has a lot of similarities. It’s mid-ranged and has a self-contained duct, allowing the fan to be cool and quiet. It includes the damper system as well and can cover about 1,500 square feet.

The biggest difference in this product when compared to others on this list is the fact that it comes with an even more energy-efficient motor. It comes with AC/DC brushless motors, which manage to be quiet and powerful, saving you lots of energy in the process.

The whole house fan is, in general, a greener and cheaper way to cool down your house. However, buying a whole house fan specifically marketed around how energy-efficient it is can save you even more on your electric bill.

Reviewers agree. Most people say it’s one of the most powerful and quietest whole house fan if you’re looking for something mid-range in price. A few reviewers did get some duds, but they were in the minority.


#4: Cool Attic CX24DDWT (Best Low Cost)

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The attraction of whole house fans is that they use less energy, and therefore, they can save money. But the investment can be intimidating. If you’re on a tight budget, this fan may be a good move.

The fan is available as a belt drive or as a direct drive, and it’s available as a 24-inch or a 30-inch. We will be looking at the cheapest fan, which is the 24-inch direct drive.

This is a two-speed fan that has everything you are looking for in a whole house fan. It manages to cool your house and is resistant to weather changes. It’s your traditional whole house fan, pulling air from the attic and spreading it around the house.

One good aspect of the direct drive version is that it manages to be quiet thanks to its bracing system. It gives a smoother, quieter experience without your needing to upgrade to the belt drive if you don’t want to.

Reviews were positive overall, albeit a tad more mixed than other fans on this list. There are plenty of positive reviews that say this fan managed to cool the house and it operates smoothly – two praises that you want to see in a whole house fan. However, there were some people who had negative experiences. These reviews tended to involve lemons, which can happen with any fan. However, these negative reviewers had a hard time contacting the company or getting them to honor the warranty.


#5: AC Infinity CLOUDRAY T10 (Best Value Fan with a Temperature Controller)

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Having a smart temperature controller on your whole house fan is a convenience, yet it tends to be reserved for whole house fans that are pricier. However, this whole house fan doesn’t cost too much and does come with a smart controller. It tells you the temperature and humidity, along with controlling the fan speed, setting up alarms, and setting up timers as well.

Of course, you may wonder if the fan itself is any good. It does have a quiet, energy-efficient motor and two shutters that stop the air from the attic coming in should the fan not be in use. The fan itself uses a mixed-flow design, which means that the fan keeps performing at its best even if you’re in an environment with too much static pressure.

This fan is easy to install, too. It comes with everything you need and is plug and play, which allows you to put it together with a minimum of hassle.

This product has received positive reviews. While the average score is a bit lower than some fans, there isn’t a review under 3 stars as of this posting. Many people say it’s a powerful, solid fan that improved the quality of life in the house. However, some people were confused by the installation instructions or had trouble with the remote.


Budget Options:

When it comes to whole house fans, you can buy some cheapies if you want to get a fan that uses open windows to get the air. These are good for a single room, or for an RV, so check them out.

#1 Budget: Air Vent 5430

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If you are looking for a cheapie attic fan, this whole house fan is direct drive and is quite cheap. It should be able to cool most homes up to 1,500 square feet. While some may want to spend a little more, this is good if you need a traditional whole house fan and you don’t have too much money.


#2 Budget: Air King 9166

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This is a window whole house fan, making it great for a single room that has too much hot air. It’s a permanently lubricated fan that doesn’t cost too much and delivers on the power. It’s also positively reviewed. If you want a cheap fan, long live the Air King.


#3 Budget: J&D ES

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 This is a fan that comes with a shutter, allowing you to control the air. Despite its cheap price, it has positive reviews, so check it out if your budget is stretched thin.


Are Whole House Fans Worth the Money?

In many situations, a whole house fan is worth the money. These fans tend to be cheaper, and you may be able to install it without paying a pro. The biggest allure of a whole house fan is that it can cool your house without the costs of an air conditioner.

Obviously, there are several factors that can make a whole house fan worth the money. Let’s look at some of them.

Correct Installation and Maintenance

You need to install the fan correctly and maintain it. Depending on the type of fan you get, installing and maintaining it can be different. Make sure to read the manual and consult customer service should you have any questions. Improperly installed whole house fans may end up being underpowered. Also, make sure the fan covers enough square feet, too.

Live in the Right Environment

A whole house fan is ideal for desert climates, or for environments where it’s hot during the day but cooler during the night. The main reason for this is that whole house fans can pull air from the windows and rooftop, and when it’s cooler outside, it can cool your house and allow you to get some relief at night.

With that said, a whole house fan may still have benefits even if you live in a humid environment. A powerful whole house fan can still cool the house, and it can improve the quality of your air. Also, as long as the outdoors are cooler overall than the indoors, you can benefit from a whole house fan.

Think about it. Have you ever tried to open up the windows at night because it was cooler outside, but the cool air simply wasn’t enough? It can definitely be frustrating, to say the least. A whole house fan can speed up the process, cooling your home with the air from outside.

Get a Good Fan

The right type of whole house fan can also determine if it’s worth the money. Obviously, you need to make sure it covers the right amount of square feet, but you should also buy a fan that is quiet, energy-efficient, and can deliver cool, fresh air to your home.

You may want to talk to a professional in order to see if a whole house fan can be good for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Whole House Fans Really Work?

The idea of a whole house fan sounds too good to be true. The idea that you can replace your AC, which can cost money and energy, with something that’s cheaper and efficient, does sound a little bit suspect. If you’ve ever had AC issues, you may have tried a fan in your room, and while it can bring some relief, you were probably still sweating and struggling to sleep at night during the peak of summer.

A whole house fan works excellently if it’s cooler outdoors than it is indoors. This especially applies to those who live in a desert environment. It can be hard to get the air outside into your house, even if you crack open all the windows. One reason for this is because the hot air can stay in your attic, and trying to cool down your home while your attic is hot can be a tall order.

That’s why the whole house fan is so helpful. It does work, especially if you live in the right environment and can install it correctly.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Quiet, Cool Whole House Fan?

One of the biggest challenges of a whole house fan is installation. Whole house fans can vary in prices, but installation is always up in the air. Some whole house fans make it easier to do it yourself, but if you have a belt whole house fan or you just want to make sure it’s installed right, you may consult a professional.

According to Homeadvisor.com, the cost of hiring a pro ranges from $369 – $876. This may be more or less depending on where you live and how much the contractors charge. Obviously, installing a fan may cost just as much, if not more, than the fan itself, so it may be a little intimidating to pay a pro. Sometimes, you can install it yourself, but if installation looks complicated, you may need to bite the bullet and pay someone. If you mess up, it can cost even more.

Also, make sure to choose a contractor who is licensed and has good reviews. That way, you can have more peace of mind.

Are Quiet Cool Fans Worth it?

Yes! Two of the fans on this list are Quiet Cool. They are whole house fans that are priced in the mid-range and are available in several sizes and types. These are highly-reviewed fans, and we included a regular model along with a more energy-efficient house fan.

Of course, these aren’t the definitive fans for every situation. You may want to look for whole house fans that can do a little more, or you may want to buy one that costs less. Quiet Cool Fans are awesome as a starting point, though.

Verdict: Your Best Whole House Fans

There we have it. These are the top five whole house fans that money can buy. In case you were too busy trying to keep the house cool to read this article, here are the top five whole house fans again.

First, we have the QuietCool QC CL-3100. This is a great little mid-ranged fan that comes with several quality features, including its own duct. For people who need a whole house fan, this is one that you should consider.

Second, QA-Deluxe 5500(R2T). This fan is pricy, but it’s one of those whole-house fans that’s worth it. For one thing, it comes with its own timer. For another, it’s whisper-quiet. This fan allows you to control the temperature with ease and it’s one of the toughest whole-house fans around.

Third, we have the QuietCool QC ES-3100. This whole house fan is similar to the first on our list, but it has more energy saving potential to top the first’s already efficient design.

Fourth, the Cool Attic CX24DDWT. This is a cheaper whole house fan, bit it’s quite powerful and comes with everything you need when you’re looking for whole house fans.

And finally, the AC Infinity CLOUDRAY T10. This whole house fan is cheaper, but it does come with a remote and a timer, something you tend to find in more advanced fans.

And there you have it – five whole house fans that should work well for most people. When you’re looking for fans, choosing the best one can ensure that you have a cool home with clean air. We hope you find the best whole house fan for your situation. Good luck.

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