Last July I ordered a whole house fan. The day it showed up, it was over 100° and I wasn’t up to crawling in the attic. Then it sat in the garage until a couple of weeks ago, when I realized that the weather was heating up.

This house has had two major additions, and the contractors were… creative. The additions happened before I bought it, and I checked to see that there were permits and inspections and all that, but the creativity lingers. Doing anything with the house, especially the electrical, is an adventure.

When I cut the hole for the fan, I discovered that an electrical wire was stretched tightly across the opening I’d made. Good thing I was careful when sawing! I discovered that the wire came from a ceiling fixture that has hot wires from two different circuits, so just turning off the breaker that fed the lamp didn’t render the box safe. I had to cut off power to the whole house (leaving the server farm on backup power) while I re-routed the wiring.

I also discovered some odd criss-crossing trusses. I thought there was enough clearance, and I was able to get the fan in place, but one of the weird struts interfered with rotation of the fan. Sigh. I had to move the fan a few inches and re-rough the opening.

Now it’s in, wired, and working, though both the ceiling opening and the switchbox need some trim and finish. It’s 80° out right now, so when the temp drops a couple more degrees I’ll be able to fire it up. In this area, it usually cools off quite a bit at night so the fan should keep the house a lot more comfortable without running the air conditioning.