What is the best whole house fan brand? There are several quality brands, but the best really depends on what type fan you need.
If you are familiar with the three types of fans and want to jump to the whole house fan brand reviews.
Whole House Fan Types
There are two fan types – Ducted and Non-ducted whole house fans.
Non-ducted are available in belt-drive and direct-drive models. Let’s start there.
Non-ducted Whole House Fans
These fans are installed in the ceiling joists directly overhead. Shutters cover them. They open when the fan is on and close when it is off. Controls include pull-chain, wall switch and remote. Some homeowners integrate them into smart home systems for easier control including voice control.
Belt-drive fans: The motor is not attached to the fan assembly. Instead, the motor turns a belt, and the belt turns the fan. The belt is held by pulleys on the motor and fan.
Pros: These are the quieter than direct drive fans.
Cons: Here’s the downside to belt-driven whole house fans.
- Cost: They cost more than direct-drive non-ducted fans
- Efficiency: There is a small (about 5%) power loss due to the belt, so they are slightly less efficient
- Maintenance: The belt might occasionally wear out, but replacements are available for less than $20 for most models
- Mechanical failure: There are more moving parts, including two more bearings, so the risk of breaking down is higher
Direct-drive fans: A direct-drive motor is attached directly to the fan assembly.
Pros: The opposites of the “cons” above – These fans cost less, are more efficient and have fewer potential maintenance and repair issues.
Cons: There are two issues to consider.
- Noise: Direct-drive fans don’t have the sound-dampening advantage of a synthetic rubber belt between the motor and the fan. They are noisier by about 5 decibels.
- Repair cost: If the motor breaks down, the fan must be disassembled to detach the motor from the fan shaft. Hence, repair or replacement cost is higher.
Ducted Whole House Fans
These fans do not attach directly to your ceiling. Instead, they are hung from the roof rafters with a series of straps.
A duct 6-12 feet long depending on model connects the fan to the shutters. Why? This allows placement of the fan up and away from the ceiling opening, significantly reducing the amount of noise that penetrates into your living space.
Pros: There are two plusses to note.
- Sound: These fans are much quieter, in terms of what you hear in your home, than whole house fans mounted directly overhead
- Lower ongoing cost: Direct-drive motors are used, so they are efficient and have lower repair and maintenance costs
Cons: Cost is two to five times that of traditional whole house fans based on which models you’re comparing.
Best Whole House Fan Brands
See our Whole House Fan Reviews and Complete Guide for the best whole house fans in important categories – Best Overall Fan, Best Belt Drive Fan, Best Direct Drive Fan, Best Affordable Fan and several more. There is an opportunity there to get the best price on these fans and make a quick, easy purchase.
Here are the top whole house fan brands and the highest rated model for each brand.
QuietCool Whole House Fans
This is a top-selling brand of ducted whole house fans.
QuietCool makes two popular DIY lines: Classic and Energy Saver. Two Pro Series with professional installation is also available. See the details below.
The fan and insulated, flexible 6-foot duct is supported by straps attached to the roof trusses. At the ceiling side, the duct is attached to a housing and the grill you see from inside the house. Since the fan isn’t attached to your ceiling, less noise pushes into your home.
It’s not only the distance from your living space that reduces noise: Since the fan isn’t attached to the solid framing of the ceiling, vibration noise is eliminated.
- Classic (CL): This is the original line of QuietCool whole house fans. They’re powered by a PSC (permanent split capacitor) motor. The line costs less but uses more energy. This unit is available in sizes from about 1,500 to 7,000 CFM to serve homes from about 1,000 to 4,500 square feet.
- Energy Saver (ES): Everything is the same except for the motor. The QuietCool Energy Saver whole house fans are equipped with an ECM (electronically commutated) motor that is up to 35% more efficient than a PSC motor. If you plan to use your whole house fan a lot each summer, than the extra cost of an ES unit with an ECM motor will be recouped in just a few years.
DIY installation: If you intend to install the fan yourself or to hire a handyman for the work, then the Classic (CL) and Energy Saver (ES) lines are the right choice.
These models are available from home improvement stores and online retailers.
Pro installation: If you prefer installation by a certified whole house fan contractor, QuietCool makes two “Pro Series” lines.
The QuietCool Trident Pro Series is nearly identical to the Classic Series. The same sizes and a PSC motor are used.
The QuietCool Stealth Pros Series is identical to the Energy Saver Series – same sizes, and an ECM motor.
Best QuietCool Fan: QuietCool Energy Saver Series
You pay a little more for this series compared to the Classic Series. But for your investment, you get a fan that will reduce your energy costs and pay you back in just a few years. This fan is efficient, quiet, durable and has a 10-year warranty.
Tamarack Technologies / TamTech
Tamarack, aka TamTech makes a diverse lineup of whole house fans including insulated models and smart fans that work with voice-activated smart devices.
Insulated HV Series whole house fans: Tamarack Technologies’ most popular fans are standard ceiling-mount whole house fans with heavily insulated doors.
The motor-driven doors open automatically when the fan starts, and close when it stops. When closed, the suction creates a tight vacuum seal. Insulation values are R38 and R50, the values recommended for climates with the harshest cold or heat.
These whole house fans are competitively priced, built with quality components and highly rated.
TamTech makes two other whole house fan types that our readers might be interested in.
Ghost Series: These ceiling-mounted fans are high-end and expensive whole house fans, but you won’t find a more powerful and durable option. They have powerful motors for quick cooling and heavily insulated doors. The Ghost Series fans are designed for heavy use in residences and commercial locations. The fans are rated for continuous use.
For homes without an attic: Think about A-frame homes, bungalows with a slanted upstairs ceiling or the 10 million manufactured homes in the US.
None of these structures have attics. There is insulation between the ceiling and roof, but the space couldn’t be called an attic.
These fans mount to the underside of a roof or an inside wall. The downside is that airflow (CFM) is lower than most whole house fans. They will cool the space, but it will take a little longer.
WiFi / Smart whole house fans: All these series are available in WiFi versions, so you can control them using the app and a smart device including Alexa and Google voice-controlled devices. The upgrade to WiFi is $65-$90 depending on the model.
Best TamTech Fan: Tamarack TTi-HV3400 Ghost HV3400 Ghost R-38 Insulated Whole House Fan
If you’re looking for a real beast to pull hot air out of your home and cool, refreshing air in behind it, this Tamarack Ghost whole house fan is fantastic. It’s insulated too, so it won’t let heat into your home in summer or out of your home in winter. It’s powerful and durable.
These are ducted fans like QuietCool with similar performance at a competitive price. The quality is excellent, and the fans are highly rated by homeowners. The German-engineered motor is backed by a 15-year warranty, which is 5 years longer than QuietCool’s.
CentricAir: This is the name of the Comfort Cool series. These ducted fans are available in sizes for homes from about 1,000 to 2,800 square feet.
These are ducted inline fans with a housing that attaches to roof joists with an opening in the ceiling. The duct and fan are suspended from straps in the attic. This reduces noise by distance and by eliminating vibration.
Options are available when ordering a Comfort Cool CentricAir whole house fan from a certified installer. These include an insulated damper (R10 or R50), remote with timer or a wall switch with timer.
Best ComfortCool Fan: Comfort Cool Fans 3396 CFM 2-Speed Fan
This fan has a lot to like including the powerful fan rated for homes up to about 2,750 square feet, the two-speed fan and the ducted design that is very quiet.
This brand makes direct drive, belt drive and ducted inline whole house fans.
The direct-drive and belt-drive whole house fans are known by the brand name Cool Attic.
Cool Attic direct-drive whole house fans: These two-speed fans are made in 24”, 30” and 36”. The 24” fan will fit between roof joists, if they’re spaced 24” apart. Otherwise, as with the 30” and 36” fans, joists will have to be cut, and a box will have to be framed for the fan. This means extra installation cost.
Cool Attic belt-drive whole house fans: These fans are made in the same sizes with the same installation issues as the direct-drive models. Being belt-driven, with its pros and cons, they are smooth-running and quiet.
The fans include shutters. The shutters are passive. They open when the fan is on, and close when the fan is off. They are not insulated, so many homeowners cover the fan with a piece or two or roll insulation once the fan season is over.
And they’re all very good quality.
WiFi fans: Of particular note is Ventamatic’s WiFi whole house fans in several sizes to fit most homes.
This offers outstanding convenience, whether you’re at home lounging on the deck or couch or away from home. Just use the app and smart device, and start cooling your home with a few taps.
Ducted whole house fans: Ventamatic calls these “modern” whole house fans. There are two sizes available, so you don’t have as many choices as with QuietCool and Comfort Cool brands. In fact, the two sizes are for homes of about 600 and 900 square feet. The smaller size is available in a smart home/WiFi hub model.
Best Ventamatic Fan: Cool Attic CX24BD2SPD Belt Drive 2-Speed Whole House Attic Fan with Shutter
This fan delivers quiet dependability you can rely on for years to come. This is a 24” fan. It’s available in a 24” direct drive that costs a little less. You can also choose 30” belt-drive or direct-drive models.
Click the Amazon price check option for information on all four fans.
Life WiFi? You can upgrade to a smart fan version here.
DIY or Pro Installation?
Some homeowners install their own whole house fan, but it comes with challenges.
If you’d prefer a professional to handle the work, including running a dedicated plug in your attic if needed, then it makes sense to get pro quotes.
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