Sometimes it’s important that things suck at home.
I am the proud owner of the best house sucker ever invented. Yes I am speaking of the whole house fan. Not just any whole house fan but a four bladed, thirty inch, three quarter house power, mighty suck-o-matic of a whole house fan. Lucky for me my wife has short hair otherwise she would have to crawl past my powerful ceiling mounted bug Cuisinart just to get to the bedroom. When the fan is running on high speed, conversation is impossible. It pressurizes the attic space so much that hot air literally shoots out of the eve vents like the hot breath of a winded fiberglass troll.
I am sure that there are a few people who do not have any experience with this type of fan. Whole house fans perform two jobs. First, the fan sucks the air out of the house, hence the name. Open all the windows, particularly the ones on the north side of the house while watering the yard. Cool breeze man, cool breeze. Next the fan forces the hot air out of the attic. This is all done in an attempt to cool the house. In Colorado we are lucky enough to have large temperature variations between day and night. So it is not uncommon during the summer months to have highs near one hundred degrees, and then have the evening temps drop down into the 60s. It’s easy to cool off a hot house with out turning on the ac. Just suck in the cool air from outside and its easy sleeping, if you don’t mind the noise that is.
I have noticed that there is always side uses for powerful things that suck.
Forget the little wimpy fan in the range hood. That pathetic little sucker can’t get rid of the smoke from a truly well burnt pizza. But turn on the whole house fan and it will silence the irritating bleating of the smoke detectors in seconds.
The neighbors always know when we burn dinner:
Beep… Beep… Beep… Beep….
-”I got it”
Smoke shoots from the eaves, it smells like pizza.
A whole house fan also works well as a giant fart fan. Just stand under the fan and let it go. Nothing is more liberating that letting rip right next to the family with out a care in the world, no smell, no sound, it’s the perfect fart; satisfying with out all the added embarrassment.
Bugs and cats.
We have three cats that firmly believe that it is their duty to share in their bug catching adventures. I am sure it would come as a total surprise to cats if they were made to understand that what we are showing is not a positive reaction when they bring in a Cicada, cricket, locust, or humming bird moth. Cats can’t read our emotions well, but they understand and respect displays of force, to some extent anyway. Normally cats play a form of fetch with bugs. They bring them in, and I take the bug away and toss it outside. The cats go around the house and catch the same bug again. It maybe fun for the cat, but I feel like I am being used. If I wanted to play fetch I would own a dog. However, if you take the bug from the cat and let them watch as you casually flick the bug into the air under the whole house fan, respect is what you will see in the cats face.
Wing, ling, ping, Wirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
A satisfying sound as well, and the cat stands in awe.
Purr purr purr
There are only a few drawbacks to owning and using a whole house fan.
Turning it on is no problem, it’s hot in the house so pull the chain and off it goes. Turning it off is an entirely different matter. Currently the only way to turn off the fan is to get out of bed and go into the hallway and pull the little chain. In the dark. While half asleep. So my next little project is to run a wire from the thermostat to a relay on the fan. Then it will turn itself off at nigh when it cools the house down.
Local flavor is another issue. We live about fifteen miles from a stockyard to the east and ten miles from a sheep ranch to the north. If the temperature gradient and wind are just right the smell of nature is the atmospheric treat to the senses. When we first moved here from the big city this was a major issue, now we have relaxed to the whole thing and make remarks like, “whoooooeeee it’s a little wiff today.” Or “is it shearing time again?” It is not the time to turn on the mighty whole house sucker and pull in the aroma-de-la-cowass.
Whole house fans are perfect for providing that late evening whole house suck to let in the evening cool air. The house that sucks is a happy house.