Increase Your Quality of Life with Whole House Fans- Al Whitworth & Howard Wiig discuss the Whole House Fan in use in Hawaii
Think Tech Hawaii: thinktechhawaii.com
Show Source: At Think Tech Hawaii Code Green with Howard Wiig
Host: Howard Wiig, Hawaii Energy
Guest: Al Whitworth, President, Island Cooling
Howard: Good afternoon Howard Wiig ThinkTech Hawaii Code Green gives me great pleasure on this Memorial Day to show people how to be patriotic by consuming less oil to keep their homes cool because oil comes from all over the world including countries that don’t like us so much and much of our military deployment is in the Mideast which is the oil hub of the world. Why don’t we just decrease our need for oil? And we decrease our need for the Mideast, great concept. Gives me huge pleasure to bring to the table Al Whitworth, president of Island Cooling and Island Cooling cools your home with a Whole House Fan, now what in the world is a Whole House Fan? Well I’ve been in the energy business since they place the scene and way back in the dark ages a whole house fan was this great big thing generally up in the attic that made a heck of a lot of noise because way back then all fan type apparati. Number two there was just this one great big fan of the whole house, now say it’s in the middle of the living room how are you going and the fan would exhaust the air from the living space up into the attic drawing in the cool air from the lower segments of the home but I always thought when people try to talk to me about it, what about the fact that this great big fan is say in the living room and we got two bedrooms way over here one bedroom way over here, wont those be not so affected by this central drawing power? Well as you know I love to talk about Moore’s law which has to do with the revolutionary improvement in technology and whole house fans are not moving at quite the improvement speed of computers but by George they are moving forward so what we are going to talk about today is an entirely new quiet dispersed through the house type of Whole House Fan which keeps the occupants nice and nice cool while using a teeny, teeny, teeny fraction of the energy that air conditioning would. So it gives me great pleasure to welcome Al Whithworth, Al welcome to the show.
Al: Thank you so much Howard it’s a pleasure to be on today.
Howard: So maybe we should, oh you want to give a little background as to your company and they we can start going through the slides after that?
Al: Sure so Island Cooling Llc we were founded back in 2008, my brother and I who is my partner, we were looking for technologies for cooling the home that were energy efficient first and foremost and of course the Whole House Fan was one that is very energy efficient very effective in Hawaii but there hasn’t been a whole lot of thinking about it or even considering of it for years and years, so why weren’t people using them more and like you said there are some drawbacks to the original technology they were popular originally invented back in the late forties popular in homes before they were a lot of options and then what happened was of course the event of the AC air conditioning sort of supplanted all of these other alternative forms of cooling. But in all the progress that’s been made with Whole House Fans we felt like this was a good product to bring back to public awareness and so then we started 2008 we sort of went slowly along learning a little bit about how they would work and specifically in Hawaii homes because each Hawaii home is so unique and so different from the next one and then also learning about how they would work in various parts of the island, how folks would use them because as you know a lot of things that work as it is for a certain way in the mainland don’t apply here and when we found that we worked to explain it to people on a way that would be easily understandable and that’s the beginning our business. Now we’re about 2,700 systems have been distributed and installed all over Hawaii and we continually learn more as we do this.
Howard: And how does the fan work or should we start with the slide show?
Al: Sure, sure we can either pull up that first slide, so this is a little bit about Island Cooling and of course the Hawaii members last year we are privileged to win Hawaii’s best 2015 in the cooling section even though we don’t do air conditioning that’s was just for our fans and our fan fans who voted us into that spot okay.
Howard: And let’s and back there was two words Hawaii Energy, what is Hawaii Energy?
Al: Yes Hawaii Energy they have been a great partner with us, giving us a lot of good feedback we worked with them to develop a rebate program for the fans and so they’ve been very encouraging of Whole House Fans because they are energy efficient way to cool down the home.
Howard: And I might mention also in NAHB which might not be a familiar acronym to everybody that is the National Association of Home Builders and I have dealt with them for many, many, many years and they are very, very particular about whom they endorse as partners because they want they are watching the builder’s pennies. Every penny counts so they want to get maximum delivery of productivity for every additional penny that goes into building a home so that’s quite an honour to be partnered (crosstalk-to be partnered) with NAHB.
Al: Yes so and one of quiet cool products actually won the best in show at the Vegas NAHB it’s a massive home show it was one of the best products in that show this was 2014 I think.
Howard: Quite an honor, quite an honor yeah so we saw by that map that you’ve got location all over the state area.
Al: Pretty much on every Island and every area and the beauty of the Whole House Fan is we’ll talk about little bit more later in detail is that they do work all over Hawaii and so folks can use them to cool their homes whether they’re living in Hilo or Hanalei.
Howard: Or in hot areas you just use to cool.
AL: Or in hot areas.
Howard: Yeah so, what is this newspaper article all about?
Al: So yes this is where some folks may see us were are in a lot of we are features in Star-Advertiser the Hawaii renovation section and we have a lot of customer testimonials in there were folks will write in to tell us how the fans are working for them in specific areas and we like to include those because there’s nothing like hearing someone you know and having hearing it first-hand like that.
Howard: And I don’t see a great big hole in the ceiling.
Al: No actually it’s that little corner of that of that little right hand picture there’s an image it’s really hard to make out because it’s that way by design so yeah really simply, or lets go to the next slide first. This is the new Hawaii home and we credit this with actually raising awareness of the Whole House Fan so this is featured prominently in the news, the local media it’s actually a home that was built by the Building Industry Association of Hawaii of which we are members and they included a lot of greenhouse technology in this home. They included Solo Photo Voltech, water catchment, porous driveway and then last of all they included a Whole House Fan and that was what made folks say, hey wow, this is worth taking another look at it and this is something that works for Hawaii.
Howard: And I believe that this home is close to zero net energy?
Al: Yes that was that was the goal.
Howard: And zero net energy means it consumed so little electricity that just those panels and there may be other panels that we can’t see just those electrical panels will produce an amount of energy equal to or in this case may be almost equal to the amount of energy consumed by the home.
Al: Correct that’s awesome so…
Howard: Next slide.
Al: So this is a question folks always ask us, what is a Whole House Fan? So to put it simply have you ever walked into your house at the end of the day and said I wish there was a way we could suck this hot air out of our house because it’s cool outside on the lanai but it’s hot inside that’s what a Whole House Fan is designed to do so it’s installed in the Attic of the home with an intake at the ceiling level and you’d use a timer to turn it on and off. It sucks the heat out of the living area and then blows the trapped hot air out of the attic as well and that brings in of course fresh cooler air to replace it, because there’s no chillery, there’s no compressor it’s much, much more energy efficient than air conditioning and you’re using natural air ventilation. The key here is that you’re using a lot of air movement so unlike an AC which uses a small amount of cool air this is using natural air but bringing in a lot more of it to cool that home down.
Howard: And I might mention that I was born and raised here and way, way, way back then when I was a little kid we didn’t bother believe it or not to lock our doors and our windows were open crime rate was really, really, really low and that was just the Hawaiian way of living but with population growth and a whole host of other socioeconomic factors we do now definitely need to lock up our homes and when we lock up the homes we don’t allow the trade wind through and the heat just builds up and up and up and the energy codes guide for the state and we convinced the various city council’s that energy codes are needed because the homes were just going up on the ever planes back then were so hot that people would take the TV trays and a TV out into the garage (crosstalk-yes) and eat their dinner out there while they had opened up the whole home to cool it down with the trade winds. And we said the reason that home is so hot is because you don’t insulate dadada and so we got the first code through and so the moral of the story being that a home that is completely sealed up with the Hawaiian heat beating on it all day long when everybody’s gone can get hotter than blazes.
Al: Yes absolutely so if for many homes the most the thing that consumes the most energy other than the electric water heater and it is that air conditioner and a lot of times folks will say but I like it it’s nice outside wish we could just get more of that air in here and so for example there is a gentleman that lives in Makakilo where elevation there 3000 feet elevation air temperature goes down 3 ½ degrees he was actually sometimes he’ll said I’m frustrated Al because outside is nice and cool it might be 65 degrees outside but it’s not 65 degrees inside it’ll be 80 and so he was running his air conditioner to bring down the indoor air temperature to what it was outside and pretty frustrated at that. We installed a couple of Whole House Fans for him a big house we turned it on I called him later to check on he said Al it’s finally cold in my house. And I’m thinking it’s cold he doesn’t like that I said feel free to turn it off if it ever gets too cold, he said actually I like it it’s free cold air coming in to the house. Our system of course is grid tied it’s that way so you can run it in the evening and obviously Photo Voltech if you’ve got Photo Voltesch it’s running from there too so we’ve opted to have it grid tied so you can use it with the home’s energy even in the evenings when you come home from work after the sun’s gone down.(crosstalk-absolutely) and so the main reason for that is bringing that cooler afternoon and evening air and I pointed out to him that his system was using approximately $0.08 to $0.14 cents an hour depending on how many of them he was running and he said Al my central AC uses about 2 bucks an hour so compared to that it was almost free.
Howard: So let’s get a ratio here (crosstalk-sure) 2 bucks to what did you say?
Al: $0.14 cents an hour.
Howard: $0.14 cents an hour, that sounds like a ratio of about 15 to 1, something like that for every 15 watts of air conditioning energy you’re using 1 watt.
Al: A big part of that is because we are taking advantage of the natural environment that surrounds us.
Howard: Absolutely so let me digress slightly here about running the AC all the time. We worked with the branches of the military when they were renovating the homes up in Schofield and other bases and they are also building new homes and we gave them all kinds of tips and they decided to build to leed very, very, very energy efficient. So the families moved into these homes and they started studying the electric bills and electric bills were the consumption was between 800 and 1200 kilowatt hours per month where a comparable size civilian home was around 600 kilowatt hours a month. So the military said wait a minute we built to the highest specifications what’s going on here? Answer, these are military folks they don’t understand about opening up windows and letting the trades come through, they’re used to air conditioning all the time they weren’t paying for it so they would have the lanai door open or whatever and the AC going like on mad so if you do and we did find a solution to that namely they had to pay for a bit and then they were educated. But the point being that the air conditioning can just consume a tremendous amount of energy. Now corollary what if somebody wants to run a Whole House Fan all day long while they and the kids are gone, what going to happen then?
Al: Sure well because it’s very energy efficient and depending on everyone’s a little bit different and we work with a lot of homeowners we’re directly working with the homeowner as they put these systems in some folks will run those systems during the day so let’s say you got jalousie windows surrounding your home so they don’t quite close a 100% you want to keep that fan going to avoid that heat build-up in your home because whole house fans work with open windows and jalousie etc you can keep that air moving through your home so you don’t get that hot house feeling. Some cases it’s actually more energy efficient to keep it on a lower setting to continuously circulate that air than to try to cool it down when you come home. Now that kinda depend on the individual some folks they like to come in and turn it on suck all the heat out real fast and then go about their life that way, when other folks prefer to keep it running on a lower setting throughout the day so you have both options.
Howard: So we will discuss that more but right now we have to take a break Howard Wiggs think-tech Hawaii Code Green back in literally 1 minute.
Howard: Good afternoon again Howard Wiig ThinkTech Hawaii Code Green my honourable guests today is Al Whitworth president of Island Cooling Whole House Fans and we’re extolling the virtues of whole house fans and from my standpoint from its energy efficiency and from your standpoint the comfort of the occupants and as we’re talking about the house heating up in the middle of the day when everybody is gone, what about pets in the house?
Al: Yes, yes probably one of the big sad stories of using air conditioning as an exclusive way to cool the home is when you leave you have to leave that air conditioner on running for the home and pets and stuff they can’t get hot you gotta but unlike humans they don’t feel a lot of air chill through their (crosstalk-fur) fur exactly so for that reason actual circulation of air can be beneficial to them. Not only does it run at a lower cost but to keep that air movement going through the house and help to keep them comfortable.
Howard: Yeah, absolutely. Any of us who are pet owners think that’s very, very important.
Howard: So do we have anymore slides?
Al: Yes, yes so this is the US Department of Energy from their website energysavers.gov of course they say that provided excellent ventilation to achieve lower indoor temperatures pretty straightforward there. Next one this one actually goes specifically to your point Howard is there a slide, thank you so the EPA and their Pacific Southwest and their campaign they were very strongly promoting indoor ventilation they want that ventilation to reduce the indoor air pollution sometimes folks will come home from a long day of work they’ll come to their house has been closed all day especially some of the newer homes and they’ll say uhm my home smells funny, what is all of that? And as you know there are a lot of materials in that new home and some of them even off gases these different chemicals and that’s part of the natural process of the home.
Howard: And the ventilation materials if you will of the material in the furniture and a lot of them are what VOCS volatile organic compound are not good.
Al: And what they found was that in almost all cases the air quality inside the house was not as good as the air quality outside and that just amplified it of course if you have pets you want to keep that air ventilation going you want to keep that and that’s where the Whole House Fan can play a role as well. Cat dander can remain in the air for up to 10 hours, so gotta get that sucked out.
Howard: And in Hawaii we like to think and we actually know have some of the cleanest air in the entire world. Why coop the house up with the pollutants volatile organic compounds and whatever why not exhausted that and bring that nice beautiful Hawaiian air in.
Al: Next slide so of course when we first started out one of the main reasons for promoting and working on the education of Whole House Fans was because of its energy efficiency everyone knows we have the highest rates in electricity which have come down recently but still at $0.24 per kilowatt hour that’s about $0.14 more than the mainland more than double what they are on the mainland and of course Whole House Fans are very, very energy efficient and both Hawaii Energy and Echo they all talk about the benefits to cooling the home with fans and natural ventilation rather than air conditioning.
Howard: And we mentioned Hawaii Energy previously can you give any numbers there?
Al: Sure can we go to the next slide there so the good folks at Hawaii energy has given us a $75 Hawaii energy rebate for fans and so if you’re getting more than one fan of course that’s multiple rebates they have been a great partner to work with and they help us to promote this product as well with their energy allies program Hawaii Energy Allies program.
Howard: I should mention that if you look on the back of your electricity bill you’ll find a whole bunch of little charges and one of them i thinks it’s generally about $1. 25 or $1.50 per bill I think it goes to the public benefit fund or something like that. That money goes to the PUC Public Utilities Commission which in turns funnels it to Hawaii Energy and they’re charged to use that money as efficiently as possible and cost efficient as possible to incentivize people to reduce their energy bills be at the large commercial level or the individual house hold level.
Al: Yes absolutely so the next few slides are going to talk specifically about what they do for Hawaii. This is the home we now own its the CW Dickey home of course what we’re using to illustrate this home is how important sort of natural ventilation in the environment and using sustainable materials was to home builders in the past. In the past before the event of air conditioning and insulation things you either built your home to take advantage of the cold wind the trade winds or you built a pretty hot house. So they have features like high raised ceilings, wood shingle roofs that provides some insulation from the solar heat, they had lots of natural ventilation throughout the home. Dickey was famous for recommending that no interior walls and doors leaving the interior space open and using larger elation in the house and so that’s kind of the way it was in the old days when we grew up. And sometimes we’ll hear from someone saying oh this house wasn’t nearly as hot when I was growing up as it is now, what happened? And we’ll ask him a little bit and kind of take a peak up in the attic. We usually see the tell-tale signs of some shingles up in the attic and we’ll say did you change your roof from wood shake to asphalt shingle? And they’ll say yes and they’ve blocked up the bird holes of the ventilation because the birds were getting in and then all the sudden you lose all your ventilation and so of course he home is warmer than it used to be. So of course one of the beautiful things about Hawaii is that it is actually the, back one slide is that is often thank you. Our climate is moderated by the temperature of the surrounding oceans unless you got a lot of hot people and cooking and what not most of our heat is coming from the sun we are fortunately than not like Arizona we don’t get a lot of heat from the surrounding land we are surrounded by the ocean keeps the temperature relatively cool and comfortable we get a couple days of course work it’s up a little bit close to 90 degrees but generally it’s in that comfort range that folks can…
Howard: What’s the red line and what’s the…?
Al: So the red line there is the high temperature the average high temperature you can see it peaks September, August and August, September a couple weeks in October and that’s usually when we get our high, high temperatures but generally speaking it’s in that low 80’s range. We don’t get the temperature that is over 100 degrees that they do in the mainland. And how that applies to us, is that we can really use Whole House Fans all year long, we’re not limited to just the winter months or just the summer months, they can be used all year long pretty much every afternoon, every evening. And so as I mentioned before some folks will run them throughout the day. Next slide, so this folks asked often times, now why is their home so hot? Here’s a couple thermal camera photos and you can see in this case the sun on the left hand side those are uninsulated attics and so that heat during the day the sun heats that roof warms the attic air and then that heat radiates down into the living space and so you can often times touch that ceiling and feel the temperature pretty close to a 100 degrees in some warmer areas that’s then radiating down and that makes the home a lot hotter in the evening than it should be otherwise. Everyone remembers physics of hot air, hot air rises as it expanded it actually tends to it can’t go up and out it comes back down in the living area and it fills our living space up. Sometimes you know folks will put a box fan or something in the windows and try to blow cold air in and won’t come in because hot air actually want to flow out so putting something up at the ceiling level the highest point of the home where it naturally wants to go and then blowing that heat out through the attic is all part of the efficiency of the program in the system and it helps it to work really quickly as well. So next slide, your mass cooling so this is one of the reasons why the Whole House Fans and quiet cool specifically is very affected if you ever got into your car and your steering wheel and the upholstery everything is warm the fastest way to cool that down you can obviously crank your AC, but if you roll down those windows and start driving getting that air in that air is more effective that’s cooling the mass everything that’s absorbs the heat and lowers that air temperature that’s kinda taking away that heat and as the air exchange with the outside air is faster than the AC it cools the mass not just the air.
Howard: The mass meaning all the heat that has been stored up in the seats, the steering wheel, the dashboard, and the metal everything.
Al: Exactly yes. Next slide, Whole House Fans actually cools all the mass in homes using 15 to 20 air exchanges per hour and as that cooler air comes in and replaces the hot air it acts very effectively. What we see often times is that it works very well especially the hotter the house is it works even more effectively because if there’s a lot of heat in there it’s taking that hot air out or you could just continuously circulate that air so as to not build up the heat in the first place.
Howard: Now you talked about air exchanges (crosstalk-yes) let’s say that you have a 2000 square foot home… (No sound 29:01)?
Al: Sure well we do the calculation here.
Howard: I can do it in my head if you want?
Al: Okay, let’s take our cal I usually work this out for folks in their homes so we take say, did you say 20000 feet? (crosstalk-yep) okay so let’s take a 2000 foot home and lets multiply that by the 10 foot high ceiling, you’ve got 20000 cubic feet of air what we are looking to do is remove that air every three minutes or less actually I’m going to go with 3 minutes so we’re looking for a system that moves in this case about 6600 cubic feet of air per minute and as you mentioned there’s different ways we can do that system in the old days you were limited to one large fan in the middle of your home which worked great if the house was square but if you had a long narrow home for example…
Howard: Or some strange configuration.
Al: Exactly an L-shaped or T-shaped home so in that case what we’ll do is we’ll use multiple units to make that 7000 CFM by putting smaller units may be in the bedrooms or home office area one larger one in the living area. We’ll also move it over towards the hot side of the home so we are trying to grab that hottest air out of the home first and that goes specifically to Hawaii homes.
Howard: Where we do and on that cheery note we need to take a break but hold that thought we’ll be right back with ThinkTech Hawaii Code Green back…
Howard: Good afternoon yet one more time Howard Wiig Code Green Hawaii have as my honoured guest Al Whitworth president of Hawaii Cooling Whole House Fans and we’re getting some fascinating material numbers I happen to love numbers and we left off with cubic feet we decided we had a 2000 square foot home which is a typical size home 10 foot high ceilings just to make the math easy so we have a 20000 cubic feet and we’re going to be moving to keep the occupants cool. We’re going to be moving 7000 feet per minute. That’s a heck of a lot of cubic feet it sounds like it anyway.
Al: yes it is, and if it’s in one lactation through one fan that’s a very, very high amount of air flow. You asked earlier about the wind chill factor and that’s definitely something that is a part of the Whole House Fans but the thing about what we found is that because Hawaii homes is often times you do have jalousie windows you can you can get that air flow if it’s coming through one window it’s a very effective wind chill if it’s coming through multiple windows it’s dividing that air by each location and what folks can do is they can open specific windows to channel that air through the home to the point of the fan and cooler their home that way. So for example on one side if you’ve got say a road or busy area on this side but the back side of the home goes up against a green space you can open the windows on the back side draw that air down the hallway to the fan and bring in the cooler air so you’ve got that flexibility.
Howard: Now you mention the noise in this case from traffic (crosstalk-sure) but the Whole House Fans and the bad old days and that great big thing it was metal and noisy (crosstalk-yes) I gather that these new fans are much smaller and are not noisy.
Al: Yes so the biggest probably changed to this is that they decided about 2003 they said we can do this better and they took that large fan they shrunk it down to the end of acoustic duct and insulated duct like that (crosstalk- show that to the camera). I’ve got a slide coming up here but since we got this on here and by moving that fan away from the opening it made it quieter for Hawaii and also made it a lot easier to install by strapping and hanging the fan rather than framing it on the ceiling. We’ve moved any vibration and isolating them as well so that’s a lot quieter operation.
Howard: And again on the ceiling all you are seeing is this vent and you probably have a variety of colours for the vents so you can kind of blend in with the ceiling.
Al: They come in any colour you want as long as it’s white (crosstalk-okay) we do get homeowners who adapt them from time to time but actually most folks say it’s a good fit for their homes. ?So one of the things with whole house fans, of course the slide here is that and this slide is actually the important one to us when we were starting out, we did a lot of research on natural ventilation and cooling and one of the biggest studies we found was this one from debet, which was.
Howard: Which is the home of the Hawaii energy office and actually my colleagues and myself may have had a hand in writing that.
Al: Yes and this one was really encouraging to us because this is of course for commercial buildings but there was a lot of information in there about how people and naturally ventilated buildings are comfortable at higher in door temperatures because one of the questions we always get is, well 84 degrees outside and as related to chill there at 84 degrees, that doesn’t sound so cool to me but what we all learn is that through the study is that we’re actually, we’ve evolved to take advantage of a wider range of natural air temperatures, so while 78 degrees in a air conditioned room can seem hot, 78 degrees outside is nice and cool or, while 74 degrees in an air condition room, you’re freezing cold and you’re putting on a sweater, again and throughout the day it’s not that bad and one of the reasons doctor Zap said is, and he was on here, I guess a guest, a little while back. He talked about thermal bordom, how we can get kind of complacent with, our bodies can get complacent with just one air temperature and that’s continuous and not changing.
Howard: And he talked about adoptive cooling also, where we human been, I like to say that, we and the cockroaches are the two most adoptive species on the planet and one way we can adopt is to different climates. We’ve got eschemo’s way up there. We’ve got nomads in the Saharan desert and we all survived.
Al: Next slide please. So here are a couple results from using Whole House Fans and of course one of the things you can do is you can use it in the evening to cool the mass of the home and that way your home is not reheating. One of the things that folks like to run, sometimes they are hasi at night to give them a nice quite kind of cool air temperature. What the whole house fan does but you’ll notice that what the AC does is it has the cycle on and off all night has that temperature continues to re heat from the mass and the whole house fan by bringing in that cooler air temperature, keeps that air from getting stagnant, from getting stale. Sometimes folks will say they’ll turn on a fan at night and they’ll sleep underneath that and they’ll get cold as the air temperature drops, so they cover up and of course maybe shut off the fan and they get warm again, so they are uncovering and kind of doing that all night. If you keep the air circulating, even if it’s not blowing directly on your skin, that can be more uncomfortable as well.
Howard: Do you want to explain what the colors?
Al: Sure so what we have here is a warm home that’s absorbed a lot of heat from been in the sun all day and afterwards, after running the whole house fan, getting that mass cool down, we see a cooler home down there below and that’s reflected in the lower air temperatures of the lower surface temperatures as well. Moving on to the next one. This is probably the biggest reason why folks chose to do whole house fans and what we’ve found is that it fits with our lifestyle. When we come home at the end of the day one of the things we want to do is open up our house and kind of go indoor, outdoors and be able to enjoy that, that’s the fan upon the ceiling there and you’ll notice it’s located up high on the ceiling, so again it’s sucking that hotter air. Folks will say that vaulted rooms like this, they do tend to stay warm a little bit longer on those warm days. Next slide please and by keeping the air moving to the home, you can actually, these are compatible with open windows and because they are compatible with open windows you have that option to leave your windows open. Some people say you have a choice now, your choices are air conditioning and suffering. Where with the whole house fan, it’s only a third choice in there. Next slide, so here is another couple of homes, this is home in Kiloo, again up there on the top to take the hottest air out of the house, bringing in fresh air. And the next slide. This is a lead platinum, 39:39 [unclear] home and again up here at altitude it was pretty nice cool air. But the ability to get the heat out of the home, bring that fresh air in when a long way towards the comfort and also contributed some lead points as well.
Howard: I used to have a friend in that neighborhood and her house was not air conditioned and somebody convinced her to put a new roof on and I think she spent, somebody with a few dollars in her pocket, I think she spent $80 000 on that new roof and it barely cooled her down at all because apparently the existing roof had been pretty well air conditioned, pretty well insulated, whereas had she been circulating the air, it might have been a whole different side.
Al: Exactly, I think one of the things we see in house a lot is folks will kind of know what they need to do and they want to get the heat off the roof, they are looking for ways to do that, they are looking to bring in more fresh air, it’s just a question of making it work for that Hawaii home. If we go to the next slide here, this one. This will show you, this is what it looks like in the attic. So you can see the fan is actually strapped and hang and with the sealing locks, that’s that silver book that sits right there at the ceiling level. There is actually little lovers, little damper doors that are built inside there and they suck open and then they gravity close and that’s important because should it get cold in your house, you have the option to turn it off those lovers close and that prevents any continued ventilation and also prevents any hot air from coming back down from your attic or if you choose to run an air conditioner, it is compatible as they see, it’s not going to suck the cold air out of your attic, our of your house and into your attic and then you use the timer control to turn it on, there was a picture of the ceiling intake as well but pretty simple and because it’s duckted, this is a large attic but if it was a smaller attic as we get in a lot of Hawaii homes, we go down to as little as 24 inches in some attics and 212 pitch. So it allows you to install that even if you’ve got a smaller area to put it in.
Howard: What are those button type things on the left?
Al: So on the left hand side you have a count down timer, we call it our digital our glass. So you set it for the number of hours you want it to run, super simple, you can even do it in the night, just one button turns it on, counts down and shuts off and on the right hand side you have your high low settings. So most of the fans have at least 2 speeds and so you can run it on the high when you’re active, coming home, cooking whatever and then switch it down a little low when you want to watch a quite movie or eat dinner or just generally relax.
Howard: Do all the fans in the house, you say there is multiple, do they work on one control panel?
Al: We usually encourage and that’s one of the things that’s different from Hawaii. In the main land they all put them into one location. We find that folks like the ability to turn them on and off as they enter and leave the room, that’s more energy efficient that way and so you have multiple controls. Each one will be individually controlled.
Howard: Because very often the case is that the family is down in the living room, the kitchen area, the TV room and then they exist and go to the bedroom. Shot off when they re enter and 43:04 [unclear].
Al: And so if you’ve got a two story home for example, folks will say that the upstairs is the hottest air. They have to wait for certain periods before they can go up there to sleep and then their sheets feel like they just came out of the drier. With the whole house fan, you could turn on before you get upstairs and cool that area down and then go in in that way.
Howard: We’ve got less than a minute, so quickly.
Al: So this is some of the benefits 15 to 20 air exchange, as we usually try to recommend higher air exchanges because Hawaii and also 43:39 [unclear] air and pet odors and it does blow the heat out through the attic exhaust, that’s probably our biggest challenge is making sure that the home has enough exhausters, like I mentioned earlier some folks will block those vents up overtime and of course we use them throughout the Islands, we had folks during the heat wave last year who told us they were perfect for their homes.
Howard: It would have been a blessing. I certainly could have used it myself even though I live in a very cool home and on that very very cherry note we must bring this episode to a close. Al Whitworth, president 44:16 [unclear]. Cooling whole house fans, this is a major way of our achieving HCEI Hawaii clean energy initiative, 100% clean energy for electricity by the year 2045, thank you.
Al: Thank you so much for having me, really appreciate it.