Dear Mr. Energy,
My husband and I are in an argument about something. I love my whole house fan! There’s nothing like fresh air circulating through the house on a beautiful spring or fall day. But my husband says he read somewhere that a whole-house fan is a big source of energy loss when its not in use and he wants to board it up. Who is right?
Mr. Energy also enjoys fresh air. He, too, has a whole-house fan in his house and you’re right, the feeling of fresh air on beautiful spring or fall days is wonderful. So he has to agree with you that it’s a wonderful thing…but he also agrees with your husband in that it’s a huge source of air and energy leaks during the winter and summer months. Essentially, unless it has an air-tight cover, it’s a huge whole that leaks air in or out of your house. The bottom line is that you can keep your fan, but you’ll need some way of sealing it when it’s not in use. Mr. Energy went the D.I.Y. route and built a cover for his fan, but you can also buy commercially available fan covers that will serve a similar purpose.