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Sometimes it may be necessary to determine the output of a given fan under other conditions of speed or density, or to convert the known performance of an air mover of one size to that of another geometrically similar unit of a different size. The fan laws permit this.
Geometrically similar fans can be characterized by the following four equations:
Volumetric Flowrate: G = KqND3
Mass Flow Rate: m· =Km ND3
Pressure: P = KpN2D2
Power: HP = KHPN3D5
K = constant for geometrically and dynamically similar operation
Cabinet Cooling Hints
How Whole-House Fans Work
You can regulate cooling by simply closing windows in the unoccupied areas and opening windows wide in occupied areas. Many people cool the bedrooms at night and the living areas during the daytime. Whole-house fans should provide houses with 30 to 60 air changes per hour (varies with climate, floor plan, etc.check with a professional to determine what is appropriate for your home). The air-change rate you will choose depends on your climate and how much you will depend on the whole-house fan for cooling.
Cooler, shadier areas don't require as much ventilation as warmer, sunnier ones. Houses entirely dependent on whole-house fans require a bigger fan because there is no air conditioning to fall back on.
Sizing a Whole-House Fan
Installing and Using a Whole-House Fan
Attic ventilation must be increased to exhaust the fan's air outdoors. You'll need 2 to 4 times the normal area of attic vents, or about one square foot of net free area for every 750 cfm of fan capacity. The net free area of a vent takes into account the resistance offered by its louvers and insect screens. More vent area is better for optimal whole-house fan performance.
Some fans come with a tight-sealing winter cover (or you can build one). If you switch between air conditioning and cooling with a whole-house fan as the summer weather changes, build a tightly sealed, hinged door for the fan opening that is easy to open and close when switching cooling methods.
Drawbacks of Whole-House Fans
Hot outside air enters the swamp cooler. The air passes over water-saturated pads, and the water evaporates into the air. The energy used removes heat from the air. The 15- to 40-degree-cooler air is then directed into the home, and pushes warmer air out through windows.
Because this process also humidifies the air, swamp coolers are best used in areas with low summertime relative humidity.
Evaporative coolers use less than one-third the energy of air conditioners, and cost about half as much to install. Unlike central air conditioning systems that recirculate the same air, evaporative coolers provide a steady stream of fresh air into the house.
Sizing and Selection
Most people install down-flow evaporative coolers on the roofs of their houses. However, many experts prefer to install ground-mounted horizontal units, which feature easier maintenance and less risk of roof leaks.
Small horizontal-flow coolers are installed in windows to cool a room or section of a home. These portable evaporative coolers work well in moderate climates, but may not be able to cool a room adequately in hot climates. Room evaporative coolers are becoming more popular in areas of the western United States with milder summer weather. They can reduce the temperature in a single room by 5 to 15 degrees.
Control the cooler's air movement through the house by adjusting window openings. Open the windows or vents on the leeward side of the house to provide 1 to 2 square feet of opening for each 1,000 cfm of cooling capacity. Experiment to find the right windows to open and the correct amount to open them. If the windows are open too far, hot air will enter. If the windows are not open far enough, humidity will build up in the home.
You can regulate both temperature and humidity by opening windows in the areas you want to cool, and closing windows in unoccupied areas. Where open windows create a security issue, install up-ducts in the ceiling. Up-ducts open to exhaust warm air as cooler air comes in from the evaporative cooler. Evaporative coolers installed with up-ducts will need additional attic ventilation.
Filters remove most of the dust from incoming airan attractive option for homeowners concerned about allergies. Filters can also reduce the tendency of some coolers to pull water droplets from the pads into the blades of the fan. Most evaporative coolers do not have air filters as original equipment, but they can be fitted to the cooler during or after installation.
Evaporative Cooler Maintenance
The more a cooler runs, the more maintenance it will need. In hot climates where the cooler operates much of the time, look at the pads, filters, reservoir, and pump at least once a month. Replace the pads at least twice during the cooling season, or as often as once a month during continuous operation.
Some paper and synthetic cooler pads can be cleaned with soap and water or a weak acid according to manufacturer's instructions. Filters should be cleaned when the pads are changed or cleaned. Caution: Be sure to disconnect the electricity to the unit before servicing it.
Two-Stage Evaporative Coolers
Drawbacks of Evaporative Coolers
They require maintenance (albeit easy) about once a month. If the cooler is installed on the roof, there is some roof deterioration caused by routine maintenance trips. A sunlit rooftop cooler will be about 1 degree Fahrenheit less effective than a shaded cooler. Rooftop maintenance also requires using a ladder, which may be an inconvenience.
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