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Control Your Whole House Fan with Your Smartphone

Updated on January 12, 2017
Whole house fan air flow -- image credit:
Whole house fan air flow -- image credit:

Whole house fans save money on air conditioning

If you have a whole house fan in your home, you are familiar with its cooling effect in the summertime. It moves cool evening air into and through your house as it draws the hot air up into the attic and then to the outside through attic vents.

People who have installed whole house fans have reduced their air conditioning bills substantially.

Control whole house fan manually

Let's say it is summertime and it's hot.  You've been away from home for several days.  Before you left home you turned off the air conditioner system to save money.  You left a few windows open a bit on the cool north side of your house.

Because of summertime heat, you know it will be uncomfortably warm in your house when you return home in the evening – so the first thing you do when you get home is  turn on your whole house fan and start cooling the house.

Now Your can Control Your Whole House Fan with Your Smartphone. Here's how.

If you're interested in stepping into the new world of home automation, consider an Insteon Starter Kit -- light dimming which includes an Insteon Hub and two plug-in lamp dimming modules. You will also need an Insteon On/Off Plug-In Module for your fan. Use this off/on module for fans and other appliances rated up to 15 amps/1800 watts.

INSTEON home automation is easy to use, easy to install, and affordable. INSTEON has become the favorite home automation technology of do-it-yourselfers.

Plug the Hub into a wall outlet near your internet router. Then connect the router to the Hub with an Ethernet cable. Now plug the light control modules into wall outlets near the lamps you want to control. Detailed installation instructions are provided for each component in the starter kit.

If you are home handyperson who can read, understand and follow step-be-step instructions, you can install the starter kit and the plug-in on/off switch and set up your system yourself.

Maybe you would rather have a hardwired wall INSTEON switch to control your fan..If you are knowledgeable about and comfortable with electrical circuitry, you could do it yourself. If you're not comfortable with this you should have a qualified electrician install the proper INSTEON SwitchLinc hard-wired switch for you.

Control whole house fan via Internet

When you leave home, be sure you leave windows open sufficiently to allow cool air inflow when you turn your whole house fan on -- not only for efficient cooling, but to assure safe combustion of any fuel burning equipment in your house.

As you head home, grab your Smartphone.. With a few keystrokes, turn on your whole house fan. You can also turn on your lamps controlled by the INSTEON lamp dimmer modules . Your home will be cooler and safer when you arrive home.

INSTEON home automation technology

Thanks to INSTEON home automation technology, home automation has become more robust, reliable, affordable and user friendly. It has become the choice of home automation do-it-yourselfers.

INSTEON sends powerline signals over your existing house wiring and radio frequency signals on a designated RF channel. These signals control your lights, heating and cooling, and many more functions around your home.

And you can now control your INSTEON home automation system via Internet from anywhere using your Smartphone or PC to connect to your home automation Hub through your existing high speed internet service and router.

Welcome to the safety, convenience and fun of home automation.

INSTEON SwitchLinc Relay (Non-dimming), White -- image credit: SmartHome
INSTEON SwitchLinc Relay (Non-dimming), White -- image credit: SmartHome

Whole house fan load requirements

Carefully check the power requirements for your whole house fan with your electrician. Depending on size, its electrical load could be substantial.

Be sure your INSTEON home automation appliance switch has a large enough load rating.

Whole house fans

Here are several different types of whole house fans. Some are belt-driven, others are driven by propellers mounted on the motor shaft. Most are two-speed. Their airflow ratings vary up to nearly 5,700 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Some come with wall switches. Generally, the larger your house, the more airflow you need for efficient operation.

By working with your electrician and SmartHome, you can add the appropriate INSTEON off/on switch and control it remotely.

Make sure you prepare your whole house fan for winter with adequate insulation. Otherwise it will allow significant heat loss into the attic -- even with shutters.

Tamarack Technologies

This model from Tamarack Technoloties features insulated and sealed doors that raise to allow airflow. The insulation value of the doors is R-38.

1150 CFM (cubic feet per minute). 70 watts

Cool Attic

Cool Attic offers a direct-drive-type fan with 1/3 hp motor, shutter, and a 2-speed wall switch. It draws 6.9 amps and 4.0 amp loads at high and low speeds.

up to 4600 CFM

Attic Aire

This model from Air Vent features a 1/3 hp motor and belt drive, automatic shutter, and 2-speed wall switch.

5700 CFM

We live in an older home that doesn't have central air conditioning. We do have a whole house fan. It is located in the upstairs hallway and draws air up into the attic when turned on. Our fan has automatic metal flaps that drop into place when the fan is off. This more or less seals the attic off from the rest of the house, preventing heat loss in the wintertime.

What lifestyle functions would you like to automate?

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