Part of the EcoGeek home-improvement guide from A. Siegel.
Bit by bit, I'm EcoGeeking out my 1950s home. First the SEER16+ HVAC, then the light tubes into my laundry room, and now, the AirScape Whole House Fan (WHF).
Since I bought my home a decade ago, I'd been plagued by my old-style whole house fan (WHF). However old it might have been, this vertical fan sort of moved air (well, if I closed all but one or two windows), was an eyesore coming down stairs (a large dusty grid facing me), and was quite annoying when it came to changing weather (climbing into the attic to move the cumbersome homemade insulation into place). The fan was there and often used (we really wanted to cut our energy use) but certainly wasn't the favorite part of the house.
Well, along comes the energy audit and, even with that insulating system in place, the house fan ranked up there in terms of leaks out of the house. Another strike against this aging fan. Up to four strikes? Okay, time to finally get it out.
While we now have that SEER16+ air conditioning system, the preference is to turn it on as little as possible. Thus, with opportunity in front of me, the search was on for a new WHF that would meet my efforts to foster an Energy Smart house. After a long search, I became convinced that the AirScape was the best option and ordered one. Well, I didn't have a chance to see one before ordering and didn't have a friend with one, so this was done with some trepidation. The results, almost three months in, suggest that concerns were unfounded.
Installation was extremely straightforward, one of the easiest DIY projects that I've encountered, probably manageable even without the instructions. The look is a major improvement. No longer is there a dusty large grill in my face every time I descend the stairs. Instead, there is a (smaller) grill overhead.
Noise levels have definitely fallen. The AirScape has four high-efficiency fans, rather than that old fan.
Cooling power is great. I can have low power to cool through the night or power up stronger when starting up.
But what is my real EcoGeek favorite element of the AirScape? What do I make sure to show visitors to the house? Actually, to make them listen to?
The whine at fan start-up and stop.
What, the whine? Why is that matter?
The AirScape comes with automatic insulating doors, with actuator-driven system for both opening and closing. Thus, the whine. No longer do I need to climb in and out of the attic just for fan insulation issues. (YEAH!!!) And the seal is tight enough to eliminate that air leak issue.
The only problem: I live in the DC area (read: HUMID!!). A WHF is a wonderful thing for helping a home feel more comfortable but does nothing about that humidity. Even so, since having the AirScape, the household air conditioning hours have fallen easily by 75%. That is an energy savings that I'm glad to be taking to the bank.
written by JP, October 31, 2007
written by A Siegel ., October 31, 2007
written by A Siegel ., November 01, 2007
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