Are whole house fans dangerous?
Whole house fans are one of the best appliances to add to your home, but often homeowners will ask if they’re dangerous, especially when the homeowner has a gas pilot furnace.
The short answer is absolutely not, as long as you run a whole house fan with open windows. There has been millions of whole house fans installed the past 5 decades and there has only been one case that has caused a fatality. The reason this happened was because a group of teenagers were smoking marijuana and turned on the whole house fan for a long period of time without opening any windows, which resulted in carbon monoxide poisoning.
When running a whole house fan if you don’t open windows it makes a loud suction noise to make it very obvious that there aren't windows opened.
Make sure to follow these important tips safety tips when using a whole house fan:
Make sure you have the 2-4 windows open 4-8 inches. The number of windows opened should be equal to the amount of Net Free Venting area that each fan requires. If you do not open the proper amount of windows, you will increase the chances of back-drafting. Back-drafting happens when outside air is pulled into the home through vent pipes. As a result, polluted air could be entering your home. Your installer will be able to tell you how many windows need to be opened while running your whole house fan.
Never run your air conditioner system while you are running a whole house fan. Since, windows need to be open to safely use this appliance, and windows need to be closed to run an air conditioner, the two appliances should not be used simultaneously. This is also a very expensive way to cool your home.
Never use your fireplace while using a whole house fan, as it could blow ashes out of the fireplace and into the house. Also, make sure that the fireplace damper is closed while the fan is in use to prevent ashes from blowing out.
When installing a whole house fan in an attic that houses a gas heater or a gas furnace with a standing pilot make sure to have a carbon monoxide monitor installed. Make sure you always have open windows and never run you’re a/c when the furnace or a/c system is running