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Cover for a Whole-House Fan

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends covering older models of whole house fans when they are not in use. A typical older whole house fan has a 30-inch-diameter blade with a sheet metal cowling of 31 inches to allow for blade clearance.

An attic-side box cover may be constructed from a 4-by-4-foot piece of 1-inch rigid fiberglass duct board. The box will be 33 inches square with 1-inch-thick walls (inside dimension of 31 by 31 inches). It will be 6 1/2 inches deep. Adjust the dimensions if you are purchasing a newer whole house fan.

Fan box cover materials list:

•  48-by-48-inch piece of 1-inch fiberglass duct board
•  Silver duct tape or house wrap tape
•  Measuring tape, straight edge, utility knife
•  Permanent marker to label box
•  Gloves and eye protection
•  H brackets

When installing a whole house fan, be sure to provide proper support and seal the unit into the rough opening in the ceiling. Never cut a truss chord; wooden H brackets installed between the trusses create a framed box to raise the fan above the truss system. The louvers must be able to operate freely, and care must be taken to prevent binding or misalignments.

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