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JT65 07-17-2013 10:58 AM

Whole House Fan in Skylight
Hi - first post new to the forum. Hopefully this is the right place to post this question.

I bought a whole house fan Air King 9166 to cool our house down and cut down on AC and save a little money on electricity while also getting fresh air.

Well, the best place for it is in our 2nd story skylight because it is the highest point in the house and all the hot air rises to it. The fan fits inside great - we don't really benefit from the light there anyway.

Problem is that the window above it hinges outward to the roof. Ideally I would like to start the fan exhausting air OUT for 5 min then this fan reverses and can pull fresh cool air INTO the house. I don't want to fling the window open or suck it in and break the window either.

It naturally props open 5 inches so pulling air in would be easy and not as likely to break the window (I hope) from pulling air in too fast. But pushing air OUT could easily push the window too far open and break it. I could attach something like a spring or rope or something to keep it from flinging all the way over. Not sure how to tackle this. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Here's a picture that looks like our skylight window:

nealtw 07-17-2013 07:04 PM

Welcome to the site. If you have vaulted ceiling in that room I think I would look at installing it in a gable end before I used that window.
In dorder to suck air out or pump air in you will have to have a window open. I found that window screens restrict the air to much and I closed and opened windows to suck air from the shady area.

JT65 07-18-2013 12:39 AM

I unfortunately don't have vaulted ceilings - our skylight is the only opening that goes up. This skylight window has no screen so couldn't I open it up to let air out or in?

nealtw 07-18-2013 06:13 AM

You might be able to rig that up but if it dosn't fill the whole hole you will have to block the rest of the hole or the air will just go around in circles right there. You will have to open other windows to allow air in, that's where screens may slow the air flow.

JT65 07-18-2013 01:24 PM

I see what you mean now, the window opening is much bigger than the fan and those holes create a problem. Got it. For me there is a LONG 10 foot opening leading up to the window. That opening is much much smaller - the fan will just fit in fact so there won't be any gaps there. I'll plan to open some windows throughout the house. I'm just still trying to figure out if the fan will be so strong as to blow the hinged skylight window wide open and shatter it on top of the roof. I also need to devise a way to open and close the window now that the fan is blocking it I can't get the 18' pole up to open/close the skylight window.

nealtw 07-18-2013 06:41 PM

I am sure you could rig it with an electric opener with a remote control but I still think you are asking for trouble. I would sooner help you explore putting it high in a wall in that room.
What are the dementions of the fan? Do you have an outside wall with a gable end above it?

JT65 07-19-2013 09:58 PM

Fan is adjustable to close out openings but starts size 19x27 expands to 26x37. I have gables but none have access to outside AND inside the house as they are only in attic space. I'd like fresh air to the house not the attic and cutting a big hole in my roof and also my ceiling seems harder for me. There are 4 rooms off the upstairs hallway but the skylight is central to all of them which is why I'd like it there.

How big of an opening would I need for the skylight? 6-10 inches enough? (The skylight gets longer at the top and is 27x36 so an opening of 8" opens all along the window sides too (triangular area) unlike a normal window if you get what I mean.

nealtw 07-21-2013 09:22 PM

At 10 inches open you would be close to the size of the fan. The reason I asked about the gable end is often you can cut a hole in the wall without to much worry about structure but I do understand we you may not want to take on that job.

Fireguy5674 07-23-2013 07:47 AM

As far as drawing air into the house through the skylight, you are trying to reverse the natural flow. Heat rises, so trying to draw air in through that opening goes against the laws of nature and means you will have to work harder.
If your attic is vented well you can install the fan in the ceiling of the upstairs and push the air out through the attic. This will pull outside air into the house and push cooler air through the attic to reduce the temperature there as well, reducing the heat load against your insulation. I have owned a two different homes with whole house fans installed like that and they do a wonderful job, especially in the evening when outside temps are dropping. They obviously don't help the humidity levels. Add a set of louvers to the opening in the ceiling and seal the opening against cold before winter. I built a box around the fan opening in the attic and put an insulated cover on it in the winter.

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