U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado > Denver
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-11-2009, 09:57 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,759,408 times
Reputation: 4502

Advertisements

We bought an older house last year. Right after we moved in, Denver suffered a terrible three-week heat wave. Of course, the old air conditioner went belly-up. We did not wish to put in a new system immediately (and suffered valiantly ), but we did have an electrician friend put in ceiling fans to help us survive the triple-digit temperatures. In the process of doing the work, we discovered that we have severely compacted and missing insulation, which makes the house extremely inefficient. Accordingly, we made plans to re-insulate and purchase a new system come spring.

When we discussed this plan with our friend, he recommended that we consider a whole house/attic fan combination before hiring someone to install an air conditioner. He is convinced that because of the relatively low humidity in this region, the combination fans are nearly as effective as air conditioning. Furthermore, they're less environmentally-taxing, and, best of all, they appear to be dramatically less expensive than air conditioning systems.

Do any of you have experience with this sort of system? What are your opinions?

Last edited by formercalifornian; 01-11-2009 at 10:08 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-11-2009, 10:08 AM
 
4,445 posts, read 7,185,715 times
Reputation: 13340
A house I rented in Atlanta, GA had a whole house fan as part of its original build, and an add-on AC system. The few times a year we could use the fan, it worked very well. And the downsides of the home being in Atlanta would not be an issue for Denver. Get a higher end system that has a programmable timer as well as a thermometer and you'll probably be 80~90% as comfortable. The hard times will be 5pm/evenings when you come home from work, when it's blistering hot outside and there is no relief in drawing hot air from outside to replace the hot air inside.

You normally run whole house fans in the evenings right before bed to draw in the cooler outside air and in the mornings to try and cool off the house for the day. We don't have a whole house AC unit (just a small window unit in the main living area) and accomplish about the same with 3 box-fans in windows. Our AC still runs from noon (when I come home for lunch) till 8~9pm when it's hot out though.

There's no reason that you can't have both though (installed in stages), as a whole house fan will take a lot of the strain off the AC system. So if money is tight, do the whole house fan and try it out then add the AC system as needed, IF needed.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 10:15 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
They're loud!!!!! We call ours "the train" and avoid using it as much as possible. DH talked to some people at Home Depot about the noise issue and they confirmed that the new ones are as noisy as the old.

Brian_M is right; you usually run these things at night when the air is cooler. They won't help during the day, so if you're home during the day, a whole house fan won't help you much.

I disagree strongly with your HVAC friend that fans are nearly as effective as A/C.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 10:20 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,759,408 times
Reputation: 4502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
They're loud!!!!! We call ours "the train" and avoid using it as much as possible. DH talked to some people at Home Depot about the noise issue and they confirmed that the new ones are as noisy as the old.

Brian_M is right; you usually run these things at night when the air is cooler. They won't help during the day, so if you're home during the day, a whole house fan won't help you much.

I disagree strongly with your HVAC friend that fans are nearly as effective as A/C.
When I've visited houses with whole house fans, I've noticed the noise as well. Thanks for the input.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 11:30 AM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,944,799 times
Reputation: 7512
Have you looked into a swamp cooler instead of AC?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
21,873 posts, read 23,136,786 times
Reputation: 37275
We have both. When we first built our house we didn't put A/C in but instead installed a whole house fan on our own. These are great for this area since it generally cools down nicely at night and humidity isn't a problem. We run the fan at night before bed (it is LOUD and I don't like having it on for very long) to cool off the house. Then we sleep with open windows and in the morning shut it all up and close all the blinds to keep things cool. We have since installed A/C which really is nice since the past number of years the summers have been awfully hot.....I just like fresh air...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Denver
965 posts, read 866,067 times
Reputation: 367
I grew up in CO in a house with AC and a whole house fan. The fan was a wonderful supplement to the AC system - it made it so that even in the heat of summer the AC only was on for about 2 hours a days. They are noisy - but it's white noise. I remember as a kid when summer ended it took me about a week to be able to sleep WITHOUT the fan noise.

That said, I'm not really sure why people in Colorado need either. I have an AC, but I never use it. You can comfortably sleep with a window open in CO. During the day, well, it's CO - go outside - or just tough it out when you are indoors. Save the money and the environment.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 01:58 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramanboy33 View Post
I grew up in CO in a house with AC and a whole house fan. The fan was a wonderful supplement to the AC system - it made it so that even in the heat of summer the AC only was on for about 2 hours a days. They are noisy - but it's white noise. I remember as a kid when summer ended it took me about a week to be able to sleep WITHOUT the fan noise.

That said, I'm not really sure why people in Colorado need either. I have an AC, but I never use it. You can comfortably sleep with a window open in CO. During the day, well, it's CO - go outside - or just tough it out when you are indoors. Save the money and the environment.
Well, that depends on what you need to be doing during the day. It's hard to laze around outside when you are taking care of little kids, running a household, etc. Some years we run our room A/C a lot, some years not much at all. I have noticed that when I worked and the kids went to day care, the house stayed more comfortable than when we were home and going in and out all the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Denver
965 posts, read 866,067 times
Reputation: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, that depends on what you need to be doing during the day. It's hard to laze around outside when you are taking care of little kids, running a household, etc. Some years we run our room A/C a lot, some years not much at all. I have noticed that when I worked and the kids went to day care, the house stayed more comfortable than when we were home and going in and out all the time.
When I'm outside I'm usually not lazing. And for the sake of my pocketbook and that of the world in which I live, I'm more than willing to be uncomfortable (although it's really not if you do it all the time) at 80 for a few hours than "comfortable" in a refrigerated room of 68-75. If you have to, run a ceiling or oscillating fan. It makes it feel 5 or 10 degrees cooler at a fraction of the cost.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-11-2009, 02:56 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Well, from your screen name I take it you're a guy; I'd guess you have a full time job in an air-conditioned office to which you repair 5 days a week. It's different staying home full time with little kids.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado > Denver
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top