There are a number of options when you are looking at a whole house fan. The one that has been around the longest is the traditional whole house fan.
Tranditional Whole House Fans
Thes products originally became popular in the 1960s. They definately work, but they have a number of disadvantages. These fans are well known for being extremely loud, sounding like a helicopter is about to land in your hallway. They are also rather inefficient, using rather cheap materials and low-efficiency motors. They are typically very cheaply made.
QuietCool Advanced Whole House Fans
QuietCool is the patent holder for ducted whole house fans, otherwise known as advanced whole house fans. QuietCool whole house fans suspend the motorhead 3 to 6 feet away from the ceiling grille with an acoustically lined duct that dampens the sound level.
Fan Blade Material
At times, companies will claim they use blades from a "special material" in an attempt to make their whole house fans quiet. No matter what the material, however, air noise and motor noise will always be present from typical systems. Sound travels in a straight line, so when the motor and fan are right above your head, there is no way to avoid this no matter what material is used. In the QuietCool ducted fan system, the noise has farther to travel and is through a sound-absorbant duct. Even so, QuietCool fans use a computer-balanced, durable aluminum fan blade to ensure minimal vibration noise.
Tranditional house fans do not have any insulating materials with any R-value. This means a lot of heat will be transferred between the home and the attic. In contrast, QuietCool systems include a hidden barometric pressurized damper system that seals at an R5 value that prevents minimal heat and air transfer back into the home.
Many object to the look of traditional whole house fans on the ceiling. Traditional whole house fans are very large, ranging from 24" by 24" to 48" by 48". Most include shutters that rattle very loudly and are just ugly. QuietCool ceiling grilles are much smaller, ranging from 14 inches by 14 inches to 14" by 36" and use attractive white egg-crate style aluminum. They are removable for easy cleaning and are very quiet.
And the winner is...
Because our advanced whole house fans are so much better than traditional whole house fans, the state of California is giving builders huge credit to put them in new homes as a standard. Traditional whole house fans aren’t, only advanced whole house fans like QuietCool. QuietCool will soon be as common as a ceiling fan.
When choosing your whole house fan options, be sure to look at all your options. Remember, while there are other fans that look similar to QuietCool, they are significantly different, and in many cases, inferior.
Remember if it doesn’t say QuietCool, it’s just another fan.