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Community and Q&A

Whole-House Fan for Converted Barn

user-1034802 | Posted in Mechanicals on

Hi everyone,

I’m looking to vent my home in the evenings.

I live in a converted barn.  The main floor is completely open.  Up to a 25 feet to the ridge beam.  The bedrooms upstairs are at the gable ends, and the stairs come up center to a catwalk between the bedrooms.  There’s no attic space.

I designed far too much glass and not enough overhangs or trees.  It gets over 80 degrees and humid from Mid-July through August. 🙁

I’ve called whole-house-fan manufacturers, and none I’ve found so far are designed for no-attic applications.

My roof is shingle, OSB, 12″ studs filled with closed cell foam and then drywall to the living space.

I might go for minisplits later.

Any suggestions?


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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    High indoor humidity during humid summers probably means you have air leaks. Air sealing might really help you here.

    Regarding the fan, you could use an exhaust fan, but you'll need a good damper. The manufacturers are correct -- most "whole house" fans are designed to blow into a vented attic from the upper level ceiling. I suppose you could maybe vent one into some kind of cupola, but I've never seen anyone try that.


  2. user-1034802 | | #2

    Thanks, Bill!

    My house is quite tight. It's just those pesky humans who keep ingressing and egressing! I should build a vestibule at my front door. It would probably help in winter, too!

    Seems consensus has moved away from a giant hole in the roof. It's a pretty compelling reason to not do it. Today's 90* day in upstate NY is cooling off nicely with the windows open.

    Thanks again,

  3. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #3

    Sounds like you want a gable fan.

    I love whole house fans, I love being able to bring in cool night air. The problem is always closing them up in the winter.

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #4

      Tamarack makes a whole house fan with a pretty good insulated door system that closes when the fan is not running. They make a good product, but they are lower CFM compared to some others. Without some type of insulating cover though, whole house fans suffer from all the same air leak and heat loss problems as attic hatch covers do in the winter.


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