Over the weekend, Shane installed a whole house fan in our home. With it, we can cool our home without A/C, especially in the evenings, but really, anytime that the temperature outside is lower than it is inside the house. Whole house fans are sometimes called attic fans, but the two are not quite the same. Click here to find out how they differ and how using either or both can save money on cooling costs.
We bought ours Saturday morning and Shane had it installed by the same evening. Once he was in the attic, he could see that our home had once had a smaller whole house fan. We believe that it had quit working, then for whatever reason, the void in the ceiling had been drywalled over. But the frame for it was still there, which made that part of his work easier. However, we installed a larger fan than the one that had been here, and the existing frame wouldn't allow the louvers to open correctly. Shane had to build a new frame on the ceiling with 2x4s until the louvers were low enough so they didn't make contact with the old frame in the attic.
It's ugly right now, but we'll tape and mud it, then texture it to match the rest of the ceiling and it should look just fine. The important part is that it works.
Our whole house fan and a few things we needed to install it (a switch, switchplate, etc.) came to just under $300. We expect to save at least that much in cooling costs the first season. Your results mile vary, especially if you pay someone to install it, but it should save money no later than the second season.