While in the process of some extensive home remodeling, I thought I would add a whole-house attic exhaust fan. We enjoy a couple of months on the either side of summer where opening the windows and drawing air into our home is very comfortable.
The attic fan pulls in outside air and exhausts house air into the attic, which, in turn, helps to cool the attic. There is a louver assembly that uses gravity to keep the louvers closed, and when the fan is on, the airflow opens them. It saves energy over having to use the HVAC central system.
I picked up a three-speed fan at a local discount outlet for about $100. Installation was easy, and everything looked great. The fan was in place, the louvers were hung, and we were ready to test it. I pulled the cord, and the fan started, the louvers opened, and the air flowed. I walked out of the room to seek praise for my efforts when I heard a noise behind me. Running back down the hall, I found the fan had shut itself off. Then I noticed the pull cord, which had hung down from one side of the fan and through a hole in the louver surround. It had been sucked up through the louvers.
I pulled the louvers down and discovered the fan blades had caught the pull cord and cut the end off, thus shutting off the fan. I had turned the fan on to the lowest speed. It was pull once for high, pull again for medium speed, pull once more for low, and then one more tug to turn it off. It pulled the cord and the little weight at the end of it right up into the blades! Who designed this? Who tested it?
My solution was to completely remove the control switch and run wires down to a wall-mounted three-way rotary switch located out of harm's way. After this experience, I decided against putting one of these in the bathroom.
This entry was submitted by Bradley Miller and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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