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Whole House Fan Troubleshooting Tips In Colorado

troubleshooting tips for whole house fans

Failing whole-house fans are bad news. They have a unique function that air conditioners and other appliances cannot replicate, especially where it concerns energy efficiency and home comfort. Homeowners want nothing more than to hear the blades spinning again right away. Some issues are easy to resolve while others are better left to the professionals. Read on if you are interested in learning a few whole house fan troubleshooting tips.

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What Are Whole House Fans?

Before we try to fix anything, let’s explain what a whole house fan is. A lot of people confuse it with an attic fan but these two are entirely different systems.

Attic fans face outside with installers mounting them on gable vents. Their purpose is to push hot air out from the attic while cool air moves in from the roof vents. Meanwhile, whole-house fans are found on the ceiling directly below the attic. When it runs, it pulls cool air through the windows and pushes this up the attic until it exits through exhaust vents. This cools down the house and the attic simultaneously.

Common Whole House Fan Problems In Fort Collins

The whole home fan makes it bearable to stay indoors during summer. It keeps the home cooler for longer in the mornings, so you don’t have to use the air conditioner too soon. It also reduces the AC’s workload once it is running. This means faster cooling, shorter cycles, and greater energy savings. Get familiar with common problems so that you don’t panic if you ever encounter them. We will discuss their possible causes, as well as some basic troubleshooting tips that are suitable for novices.

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Whole House Fan Blades Are Not Spinning

fort collins whole house fan installation

Sometimes the motor is fine and you can hear it humming, yet the blades are just not spinning. This situation may be due to contact between the blades and the housing. They can’t turn because of the blockage. Consider the possibility that the motor’s bracket was knocked off-center. In this case, you will have to disconnect the power cables, adjust the bracket, and see whether the blades spin again. If not, then you may need to lubricate the bearings. It depends on the model so consult the owner’s manual. Better yet, consult the installer and ask them if they could fix the problem.

Controls Aren’t Working For The Whole House Fan

image of a whole house fan switch

Since the fan is at the ceiling, it would be too high to reach all the time. Controls are located further down with switches to turn it on or off. If you press the switch but nothing happens, then investigate further. Try to bypass the controls by plugging the unit directly into an outlet. If it works, then there is something wrong with the controls. You may need to call a licensed electrician to inspect the wiring and make changes as necessary.

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Whole House Fan Has No Power

If you don’t see blades spinning and you can’t hear the motor humming, then you may be dealing with a no-power issue. For whole-house fans that require an outlet, try to plug it into different sockets. You can also use an outlet tester to see if it’s at the right voltage. Another way to check is to plug in other appliances and see if they work. In case you really don’t seem to have power in this part of the home, then call an electrician to fix the problem. For remote-controlled fans, bypass the controls by taking out the remote receiver and plugging directly into an outlet.

Fan Is Shaking

Whole House Fan
Whole House Fan

Fans naturally vibrate due to the movement of the blades. However, this should be minimal and not distracting. If you notice that your fan is shaking more than usual and making a louder noise than you are used to, then you might want to examine it up close. This is typically caused by fan blade imbalance. One of the blades may also be bent out of shape. You will need to contact the installer to ask for a new blade assembly. Ask them to come by and perform the replacement.

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Whole House Fan Is Squeaking

Fans are meant to run smoothly with as little sound as possible. They should not squeak or make any odd noises. If you start to hear this, then you might want to check for the build-up of debris inside the motors or the bearings. It is possible that too much dust has gotten into the system. A foreign object could have also found its way inside the fan. If you have a compressed air blower, then use that to remove the debris. For rusty motor shafts, lubrication with motor oil is the key to quiet operation.

Fan Doesn’t Run on High

Fans can change speed to match the needs of the house. If you try to make it run on high but nothing happens, then you could be dealing with any of four possible failure points: a damaged switch, a worn bearing, an incorrect belt tension, or a motor failure. You can test by swapping the high and low wires for the switch or adjusting the belt tension. Motors are usually the last component to fail so check the first three before considering motor replacement. Consult a professional for thorough repairs and get reliable results.

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If the whole-house fan stops working, then you will feel it almost immediately. The home will feel warmer and you’ll find yourself relying on the air conditioner more often. However, the AC will be working harder without the fan’s help. It will consume more energy and cost you more money. You can try the troubleshooting tips discussed here but these are far from complete given the complexity of the system. For a fast turn to optimum comfort and energy efficiency, get a professional whole house fan technician to conduct repairs.

Whole House Fan Troubleshooting Fort Collins CO

As you can see, when dealing with a problematic whole house fan in your home, consulting with a professional is the best option. There are a lot of factors to consider that only a trained eye can diagnose properly. Ascend Construction specializes in insulation services, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the neighboring areas.

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Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.

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