Airing Things Out

Montana summer is near, and we love enjoying the warm weather outside.  And we want that warmth to stay outside.  In our first house, keeping it cool wan’t too difficult.  Ben super insulated the walls and we had a functioning geothermal to cool.  Well, the mountain house has neither and we’ve got loads of large windows and southern exposure.  It heats up in here.  Luckily, our nights cool off nicely this time of year. Ben came up with a genius idea to tide us over during these in between months; a whole house fan.

After some discussion and weighing our options, we decided to remove the ugly fluorescent light in my office to make room for the fan.

The electric from the light made install easier.  Removing the light was easy enough, then Ben located the roof rafters using a stud finder.

Typical install involves cutting the rafter to make room for the fan.  Not cool with us.  Something about tearing out part of a structural element seems wrong.  Instead, Ben used the fan template and cut the sheet rock around the beam.

Here’s the big guy now.  The fan, not Ben.  🙂

Ben used 2 by 4s to build a brace around the outside of the opening, then put the fan in place.

I’d love to give you a detailed tutorial of everything he did, but I wasn’t in the attic.  However, I can give you this shot of how it looks from afar when on.

The fan sucks warm air from the house and puts it in the attic, which also pulls the louvers up.  The beam across the middle blocks the center louver from moving, so Ben cut it loose from the rest.

When off, the louvers kind of look like a vinyl fence.  Still, it is a far better look than the huge oak encased light of yore.

Even better, when on, the fan does a great job pulling the cold outside air through the open windows.  If we close everything early enough, the house stays cool throughout the day.  What a smart man I have.