Although whole house fans are not as well-known as air conditioning units, they have many advantages that are causing them to gain popularity today.

Whole house fans are very simple in concept, yet they can have a significant impact on both the temperature of your home and your energy cost because of the way they are designed and built. Rather than cooling the air in your home, they work by moving cool, fresh air from the outside in.

There are several different types of whole house fans on the market, and deciding which one best suits your needs can be challenging. To help you understand more about whole house fans, we have created a complete guide to the best whole house fans, as well as answers to other commonly asked questions about the product.

Best Whole House Fans

Best Whole House Fans

Below is a list of some of the best whole house fans for your reference. To achieve the best results, choose the brand that addresses your particular needs.

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QuietCool Whole House Fan

Best overall

The QuietCool QC CL-1500 provides whole-house ventilation by delivering cooler outdoor air into your home and attic area, effectively cooling and ventilating both the home and attic. It has a capacity of 1,472 CFM and only uses 117 watts, allowing you to save on your energy bills.

It incorporates an acoustical duct and an R5 damper box. As a result, there is nearly no noise vibration and the operation is almost silent. You can’t even tell it’s turned on, allowing everyone in the home to relax. Plus, the R5 dampers ensure there will be no cooling loss between the home and attic, allowing the house to stay cool even on a hot day. Another benefit is that the fan may be used in conjunction with a smart switch. You can use the auto-on and timer feature to regulate the temperature in your home to your liking.

Because of its energy efficiency, optimum cooling capabilities, and quiet operation, we rated this as the best overall.

Tamarack Whole House Fan

Best for energy efficiency

Based on our experience and testing, the Tamarack Whole House Fan is one of the best energy-efficient fans which can circulate up to 1000 CFM of air per minute and can help save up on heating and cooling costs. Despite its power, it’s surprisingly quiet, making it great for those who are sensitive to noises at night.

Plus, due to its detailed instructions and simple design, this fan is user-friendly and straightforward to install.

AC Infinity AIRTITAN T7

Best for small spaces

Although it is not suitable for larger homes, the AC Infinity AIRTITAN T7 is a great cooling solution for small spaces. It comes with a wall adapter, programmable controller, and LCD display with smart thermostat control and adjustable fan speeds.

Even in spaces with strong odors, AC Infinity AIRTITAN T7 can totally eliminate the musty odor and cool the space shortly after turning on the fan. Additionally, basements can be excessively humid in the summer and too hot in the winter. The AC Infinity AIRTITAN T7’s programmable controller lets you customize the temperature of your basement to your liking.

Cool Attic CX24DDWT Direct Drive 2-Speed Whole House Attic Fan

Best for maximum cooling

The Cool Attic CX24DDWT Direct Drive 2-Speed Whole House Attic Fan has a steel venturi air blower and precision-balanced galvanized steel fan blade assembly for added durability. Because of how this fan is designed and built, we considered this the best for maximum cooling, especially during hot days.

In hot weather, you can cool the interior and attic early in the morning or at night. Due to its power (3,200 CFM on the low setting and 4,600 CFM on the high setting), it’s possible that you won’t need to use the fan after it is turned off for the day. If so, it has a ceiling mount with an automated shutter that closes when not in use, ensuring that no cool air leaks out. This product also includes a wall switch with dual high/low and on/off settings.

Centric Air 3.4(R5) Ultra Quiet & Energy Saving Whole House Fan

Best for low operating costs

We found the Centric Air 3.4(R5) to be one of the most cost-effective fans. Centric Air whole house fans employ a German-engineered fan that has a CFM of 3,242 while being quiet.  It consumes 382 watts of electricity and costs only $0.08 per hour to run.

When compared to utilizing an air conditioner to chill your home, you will undoubtedly save money with Centric Air 3.4(R5). Due to its cost-effectiveness, we consider it a good investment if you’re looking to save.

What Is a Whole House Fan?

What Is a Whole House Fan?

A whole house fan is a cooling system that circulates air throughout a home and offers enough attic ventilation and cooling. Whole house fans are energy efficient, less expensive than air conditioning, and capable of cooling the entire home when needed.

Depending on the design of your house, whole-house fans come in four types that you can choose from:

  • Ceiling-mounted: These types are installed in the ceiling that divides the attic from the living area of the house.
  • Ducted: Ducted fans are distant from the ceiling, such as in the rafters, and are used to remove heat from many different areas of the house.
  • Rooftop-mounted: Whole house fans are put on the roof in homes without an attic.
  • Window-mounted: These fans are placed in a window frame and draw in cold air from outside.

How Does a Whole House Fan Work?

How Does a Whole House Fan Work?

A whole house fan works by producing negative pressure at home. The fan draws air in through open windows, bringing fresh, cold outdoor air into your house. As negative pressure in your home rises, positive pressure rises in the attic. As the pressure in the attic rises, it is relieved by blowing air out through the soffit vents in your eaves or other attic vents. The air is then recirculated via the home’s vents, where you can experience a steady stream of cool air within your home.

A whole house fan cools the home fast and effectively while using less energy, allowing you to avoid operating the air conditioner, which is nearly always more expensive to operate than the fan.

A whole-house fan also has controls that let you set your thermostat and timing according to your preferences.

Read our detailed guide for more information on how whole house fans work.

How To Use a Whole House Fan?

How To Use a Whole House Fan?

Whole house fans function by pulling cooler air in and pushing heated air out through rooflines or vents. Therefore, when the outdoor temperature is significantly greater than the internal temperature, whole house fans won’t be as effective.

Here are things you need to consider in using a whole house fan:

  • Use your whole house fan only when the outside air is colder than the air inside your home.
  • To allow the fan to work properly, two or more windows should be opened halfway or wider. If you have many windows, you may be able to crack them open a few inches. Either way, this will allow the fan to pull air from outside.
  • Since the purpose is to cool the entire house, not just the air, run the whole house fan all night. By ventilation throughout the night, the house is cool the next day, eliminating the need for air conditioning.
  • Keep in mind that there is always a risk while the whole house fan is running if you have a gas-burning appliance, such as a water heater, kitchen oven, furnace, or boiler. That’s why it is very important to make sure a sufficient number of windows are open while the whole fan is turned on.
  • When the entire house fan is switched on, always close the fireplace dampers. Most fireplaces and flues are clogged with dirt, ashes, and debris, which should not be blasted into your home by the whole house fan.

How Much Does a Whole House Fan Cost?

How Much Does a Whole House Fan Cost?

According to Costimates, a whole house fan can cost anywhere between $600 to $1,200, depending on the quality of the unit, location, and add-ons. The cost of installing a whole house fan also varies based on whether it is a direct or indirect mount, the size of the fan unit, and whether or not permits and inspections are necessary for your location.

How Much to Install a Whole House Fan

Installing a whole house fan on your own with a wall switch can cost roughly $350 for a simple fan and shutters. However, if you hire a handyman or professional electrician, it will cost between $850 and $1,100 for whole house fan installation.

What Size Whole House Fan Do I Need?

What Size Whole House Fan Do I Need?

It is advised that you install a whole house fan with a CFM rating of 2 to 3 times the square footage of your home. CFM stands for cubic feet of air per minute of operation and is used to describe the output rate of an air compressor. So, for example, if your home is 2,000 square feet, you’ll need a whole house fan with a CFM rating of 4,000 to 6,000.

According to specialists at the Department of Energy, the number of air changes necessary in a residence is used to calculate whole house fan size. A whole house fan should produce 3 to 6 air changes every hour. One air change means completely replacing the air within the residence with fresh air. That is, in essence, the volume of the house’s living spaces. So, if your house is 2,000 square feet and you have an average height of 8 feet, the total volume of air that has to be changed is 16,000 cubic feet.

Whole House Fan vs Attic Fans

While both a whole house fan and an attic fan assist to ventilate and cool a house, there is one significant difference: the areas they address. A whole-house fan pulls air from every room in the home and moves it through the attic vents. An attic fan extracts air from the attic and exhausts it outside. If the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature within your home, whole house fans are more effective at cooling your home than attic fans since they move air throughout the house.

Attic fans, on the other hand, are easier to install compared to whole house fans. If you have a power supply in the attic, attic fans can easily be installed.

Whole House Fans Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Lower usage of energy: In comparison to air conditioning, whole-house fans consume less energy. This results in lower energy expenditures, which is especially beneficial during the summer.
  • Fast and effective: Whole house fans can cool homes within a few hours (or even less in small homes) by releasing heated air and pulling in cool air.
  • Affordable and cost-effective: When compared to air conditioning, whole house fans are cheaper to install. Whole-house fans also require less maintenance and are inexpensive to operate.
  • Replaces stale air: Since whole house fans push air from the outside in, the fresh air will replace stale indoor air.
  • Easy to install: Most whole-house fans come with complete and detailed instructions for DIY installation.

Cons:

  • They can be noisy: Some whole house fans, especially older ones, can be loud.
  • Requires open windows: This can be a disadvantage for some, particularly in locations where insects and allergens can easily enter the house through windows.
  • Not suitable when the outdoor air quality is low: If the outdoor air quality is low, a whole house fan will push that into your home, which may cause health problems.
  • Not effective for all climates: Whole house fans are perfect if the outside temperature is cooler than the inside of the house. In really hot locations, they will not save as much energy and will not be practical to use. In humid weather, it may wind up bringing the humidity into the house.

Summary

Whole house fans, without a doubt, provide several advantages. You don’t have to have your air conditioner running all the time because of the speedy cooling of a whole house fan. The cost of the installation and full operation of a whole house fan is very affordable, and it provides several advantages. Finally, because of the way a whole house fan operates, your home will be healthier, as it will replace stale, polluted indoor air with fresh, outdoor air.

You have all this additional storage space above your home. Make sure you can access it with ease! Whether you’re purchasing replacement attic stairs or buying an attic ladder for newly created attic access, you want to find the one that’s best for your home.

Finding which attic access ladder is the best will depend on what you’re looking for. Do you need the pull-down attic stairs that are the easiest to use? Does your attic staircase need to be the sturdiest for frequent access? Or do you just need simple?

Whatever you need, we have personally tested and analyzed 7 best pull-down attic stairs for you to check out. We know that one of these will be a great fit for your home. And, we have all the information you need to decide which attic ladder it will be!

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Best Attic Ladders

Z6 Metal Retractable Folding Step Ladder for Loft Attic

Best overall

Best Attic Stairs - Metal Retractable Ladder

Beautiful attic stairs with a unique folding method, this item is lightweight and easy to use. It’s hard to go wrong with this metal retractable ladder.

Based on our experience, this item by Z6 is probably one of the most comfortable to use pull-down attic stairs. With the handrails, large step depth, and lightweight design, you’ll be looking for a reason to go to your storage space.

The attic access ladder is customizable to fit your ceiling’s height. So, if you have a ceiling that runs on the short or tall side of average, this attic staircase can fit like a glove. It’s suitable for holes 4.59 × 2.62 feet and has a height of 9.84 feet with a hinge of 5-11 feet.

Pros:

  • The titanium-magnesium alloy material makes it both durable and lightweight
  • Handrails and step depth make for a safer climb
  • Customizable sizing

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other attic stairs
  • Can be difficult to install, so have an installation partner handy!

Verdict:

While this may be one of the top picks, the old saying is true: you get what you pay for. So it makes sense that this is one of the priciest stairs to your storage you can buy.

LWW Aluminum Ladder for Loft

Best multi-purpose ladder

Best Attic Stairs - LWW Ladder

If you don’t go in your attic that much the LWW Aluminum Ladder is a good option to consider. Why invest in attic stairs that mostly sit unused between spring-cleaning and winter holidays? You can instead invest in a great ladder that can be used for any job in addition to functioning as an c access ladder.

The LWW ladder is a straight ladder with many heights available to choose from. What we like about the LWW ladder is that you can purchase it anywhere from 6.5 feet to 13.45 feet! And, any height easily compacts for portability and storage between uses.

No installation is required since it’s a straight ladder that leans. However, it can still bear up to 331 pounds, which makes it great for moving storage items.

Pros:

  • A ladder that can be used anywhere, not just as attic stairs
  • The easiest installation for an attic ladder
  • A sturdy yet lightweight straight ladder
  • Six height options available between 6.5 feet to 13.45 feet

Cons:

  • As an attic access ladder, will not always be easily accessible if it is being used elsewhere.

Verdict:

This ladder is perfect for people who rarely use pull-down attic stairs and could use another portable ladder. As it is portable, it is not always ready as an attic stair. That means retrieving the ladder could be an extra step. If you frequently visit your storage, you may want a more traditional attic staircase. If your attic is hard to get to or you don’t have a lot of physical strength, you may want to consider a more traditionaldrop-down attic ladder.

Louisville Ladder AA2210 Elite For Attic

Best budget option

Best Attic Stairs - Louisville Ladder AA2210

The Louisville Ladder AA2210 is a popular choice of attics stairs. The pull-down attic stairs are an affordable choice when compared to some more top-of-the-line products, but it still includes great features.

A simple pull-down attic stairs design, the steps are about 3.25 inches deep, making it a safe climb for anyone. It also features an opening that is larger than many other attic staircase options. With such a large opening, you can easily move just about anything up to storage!

The only downside is that the low price is reflected in the materials. The wood for the opening is not the strongest or sturdiest of the options available.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Large opening
  • Comfortably large, slip-resistant steps
  • Folds easily and quietly

Cons:

  • Wooden materials are cheaper than high-end products, and they may be a bit less sturdy than more expensive ladders.

Verdict:

If you plan on using your stairs often, you may want something a little sturdier. But for a few times a year, it’s an excellent choice!

Louisville Attic Wooden Ladder

Best wooden option

Best Attic Stairs - Louisville Wood Ladder

Have extra tall ceilings, but don’t want to spend an extra-large fortune trying to reach them? Then the Louisville Ladder L224P pull-down attic stairs could be a perfect choice.

In line with the Louisville brand, this also provides a larger ceiling opening. So when using the attic stairs, you can transport bulkier items upstairs easily. The attic access ladder also reaches ceilings of up to 10 feet. However, it also comes in a smaller size (7-8.75 feet) if you want this product, but you lack the extra height.

Pros:

  • A wooden ladder that makes for less noise and clanging than metal
  • Choose the size that best fits your home with multiple options
  • Extra tall length available for ceilings of up to 10 feet

Cons:

  • This Louisville product only holds up to 250 lbs. This could be a problem when carrying heavier items up the attic staircase.

Verdict:

With extra-wide steps and slip-resistant cross treads, you can use the attic access ladder with confidence while enjoying the affordable price tag.

FAKRO LST 860432 Insulated Steel Scissor Attic Ladder

Best for small spaces

Best Attic Stairs - FAKRO LST 860432

Extremely compact, sturdy, and safe, this may just be one of the all-time top picks for attic stairs.

The FAKRO LST 860432 is an adjustable attic access ladder that ranges from 7 feet, 2 inches to 9 feet, 6 inches. Made to handle up to 300 pounds and includes a 2-year warranty, these pull-down attic stairs can last a long time.

These stairs have some of the best Amazon ratings. Users highlight how easy it is to install and use this attic staircase. Extremely compact and lightweight, it is easy to pull down whenever you need it. And it’s just as easy to return to its original position.

Moreover, the handrails provide a modern look, but it’s not just about aesthetics! They also make it safe and stable for users when ascending or descending the attic staircase.

Pros:

  • Handrails for safe use
  • Compact design, perfect for small spaces
  • A well-insulated door means attic air stays out of the living spaces

Cons:

  • Expensive stairs, but well worth the price for the design and materials

Verdict:

These are on the expensive side, so not the right choice for those who need bare-bones stairs. It is, however, the perfect choice for anyone who struggles with bulkier, heavier attic stairs and wants something easy and compact.

FAKRO LMS 66866 Insulated Steel Attic Ladder

Best for long-term use


These stairs were meant to last forever! Made of tough steel, you will feel extra safe using these stairs to go up to your storage and back down again.

The stair is made entirely of steel, but the opening is made of wood. With multiple sizes to choose from, you can easily find the size that will fit your existing ceiling access hole.

This is another well-insulated staircase from FAKRO. So if the other FAKRO design wasn’t right for you, this may be the right choice!

The door is designed to be perfectly balanced, so there are no surprises when you go to open your stairs. The steps also feature no-slip grips. Safety is key.

Pros:

  • Some of the best insulation for attic access stairs.
  • More affordable stairs, especially when compared to other FAKRO products
  • These stairs will last for many years to come!

Cons:

  • While the steel makes for durable and safe climbing, it also makes for heavier stairs.

Verdict:

While the steel makes for durable stairs and a safe climb, they are not lightweight. This is just about as strong as stairs get. Perfect for those who are looking for simple, reliable, and will last for many years to come.

Werner Ladder for Attic AA1510 AA1510B 

Best for strength and tight spaces

Best Attic Stairs - Werner Ladder

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Werner ladder. The design is one of the most compact. Anyone looking to install and use these stairs in smaller spaces will love this option!

For one of the more affordable options, these attic stairs come with many thoughtful features that make using them a better experience. Featuring a handrail at the top of the pull-down attic stairs for safer use, you can look forward to going up to your storage space. It also includes a plastic assist pole which makes opening and closing easier.

The ladder also extends for ceilings from 7 feet to 9 feet, 10 inches. So you don’t need to worry about getting the right size unless you have abnormally short or tall ceilings.

Pros:

  • The all-aluminum material makes for a lightweight ladder
  • Non-marring feet protect your floors
  • Compact stairs and opening means it’s perfect for tight spaces like closets
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Users report that instructions can be hard to follow. Be prepared to spend a little more time installing to get it right.

Verdict:

Simple, affordable, and easy to use, we think this is a great option for anyone looking for an attic staircase.

How to Choose an Attic Ladder

How to Choose an Attic Ladder

Attic ladders are an important part of any home. They provide easy access to the attic, which can be useful for storage or accessing insulation and other roof components. With several different types and brands of ladders on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?

When choosing an attic ladder, there are a few factors to consider. It’s not as easy as selecting the one that appears to be the most attractive. You need to ensure you get the right size and style for your needs and that it’s properly installed and it’s safe to use. Let’s take a look at how to choose an attic ladder for your home.

Weight Capacity

An attic ladder needs to support the weight of whoever is using it, plus any items you might store in the attic. Most ladders have a weight capacity of around 250 pounds, but some can handle more. If you plan on storing heavy items in the attic, or if you’re particularly tall or heavy, look for a ladder with a higher weight capacity.

Style

When choosing an attic ladder, you need to decide what style is right for you. There are three main types: folding, telescoping, and sliding. Folding ladders fold up against the wall when not in use, making them a good choice if you have limited storage space. Telescoping ladders telescope (or extend) to different lengths, so you can choose how long you need it to be. Sliding ladders slide along a rail, making them easy to open and close.

Height

An attic ladder should be the right height for your needs. If it’s too short, you’ll have to bend over or climb up on a box to use it, which can be difficult and dangerous. If it’s too tall, you might not be able to reach the attic easily. Most ladders are adjustable, so you can make sure it’s the right height for you. Your ceiling height will also affect how long your ladder needs to be. For more information, read our guide on how to determine what size attic ladder you need.

Material

The material of your ladder is also important. Ladders can be made from wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Wooden ladders are the heaviest but also the most affordable option. Aluminum ladders are lighter and more durable than wood, but they’re also more expensive. (Read our detailed guide on wood vs aluminum attic ladders).

Fiberglass ladders are lightweight and strong, making them a good choice if you often need to move your ladder around. You should also consider how the material will affect the ladder’s weight capacity.

Attachment Type

There are two main types of attic ladders: permanent and temporary. Permanent ladders are attached to the ceiling joists with screws, making them more stable. Temporary ladders are usually held in place with straps or hooks to be removed when not in use. You should also consider how easy it is to remove and reattach the ladder if you need to use it for other purposes.

Installation

An attic ladder needs to be installed correctly to be safe. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. Ensure that the ladder is level and secure before using it. This is especially important if you have young children in the home. With the right ladder, you can safely and easily access your attic. It can be a good location to store extra holiday decorations or furniture or get to your roof for repairs.

Attic Ladder Installation

If you’re fairly handy, and have all of the tools, installing an attic ladder can be a relatively easy DIY project. But in some cases, it can require a lot of time, especially if you don’t have an existing ladder, or if an attic access needs to be constructed.

Get help installing an attic ladder with pros on Home Advisor.

For these types of situations, we recommend contacting a qualified home improvement contractor. To find a local professional near you, we recommend using Home Advisor. To get help installing your new attic ladder, visit their website and enter in a few pieces of information about your project. From there, Home Advisor will use their ProFinder Technology and send you up to four pre-screened, local home improvement pros. This will help you get your project done faster and for the best possible price.

To prepare yourself for getting estimates, make sure your read our detailed post on attic ladder installation costs. We share average costs for attic ladders and labor. This way you can budget accordingly before speaking with contractors.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Weight Can an Attic Ladder Hold?

Attic ladders come in all shapes and sizes. When looking at attic ladder weight capacity, be sure to review the specifications of each product. As a general rule of thumb, a quality attic ladder can hold between 200-400 lbs comfortably. Aluminum ladders are typically stronger than wooden ladders, but they may cost more.

Take into consideration how frequently you’ll be using your attic ladder and whether you need to use your attic for storage. If you need to carry heavy objects up your attic ladder frequently, you may need to opt for a product that can support more weight.

How Long Do Attic Stairs Last?

The average life expectancy of a pull-down attic ladder is usually 40 years, although these mechanisms can last up to 60.

Like any piece of equipment, attic stairs require maintenance to reach their maximum usability. If you want to make the most out of your attic stairs, clean the steps, trapdoor, hinges, locks, and draught excluders regularly with a cloth soaked in soapy water.

Either way, other factors can affect the 40-60 year time frame, such as heavy usage, prolonged exposure to excessive weight, and product modifications.

Attic stairs don’t usually offer warranties, but FAKRO typically offers two-year limited warranties on its products.

Is an Attic Ladder Necessary?

Depending on how you use your attic, an attic ladder may or may not be necessary.

In general, if you need to gain access to your attic because you use it as a living space, or for storage, then having a set of quality attic stairs is essential. 

Depending on where you live, there may also be certain building codes or requirements that you need to follow. Check with your local municipality and homeowners’ association where applicable to be sure.

Read our post, “Is an Attic Ladder Worth It?” for more information to weigh attic ladder benefits agains the cost investment to install.

Conclusion

Your attic holds so many of your precious belongings. Make sure you don’t dread going up to retrieve your own items! Having the right attic staircase could make you enjoy going up to your storage space.

You must have durable, reliable stairs for accessing your attic. We think all of these products are great in their own way.

But as each home is different, finding the right staircase will depend on your space, budget, and preferences. Before you purchase, make sure you measure out your space (ceiling height, hatch dimensions), pick the material you want, and decide the style you want.

No matter which of these you choose, we think you’ll love your new ladder! Buy your new attic ladder on Amazon and see what a difference it can make.

Solar generators are devices that are designed to provide users with a source of backup power for various requirements. They can be used both outdoors and indoors depending on the needs of the individual.

Compared to other power generators, a solar-powered unit is portable and lightweight. This means that people can use it to charge a variety of devices through the energy provided by the sun.

Furthermore, solar generators are seen by many as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional generators that require you to use non-renewable resources.

It appears that these sun-powered units have all the benefits going for them. But how do they work exactly? And what are their limitations?

Let’s take a closer look by answering some of the most common questions today concerning solar generators.

How Do Solar Generators Work?

How Solar Generators Work

A solar generator operates just like a home solar panel system in that it gathers energy from the sun using its panels. It then stores this captured energy within its built-in solar battery.

Through an inverter, the solar generator can convert this energy into useable alternating current (AC) so that it can be used to power appliances.

Solar generators are meant as an environmentally-friendly solution when it comes to power generation. In most cases, it can be a highly effective choice compared to other types of fuel generators.

How Solar Generators Don’t Work

The main purpose of a solar generator is to provide people with a portable power solution to power small appliances.

Since these units usually don’t have a large battery, they aren’t designed to work with large energy consumers, nor are they designed to power the entire house. Think of solar generators as more of a backup power source.

Pros and Cons of Solar Generators

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of solar generators:

Pros

  • You get to generate and consume clean, renewable energy for your needs
  • No fuel is necessary to get a solar generator to produce power
  • Solar generators are typically quiet and require minimal maintenance

Cons

  • The initial upfront cost of purchasing a solar generator can be high
  • It has a significantly lower power supply compared to a home solar panel system
  • A solar generator can take a while to fully recharge especially during cloudy conditions

How Much Power Can a Solar Generator Produce?

How Much Power Can a Solar Generator Produce?

Small solar generators can produce as little as 10 up to 250 watts of power. Once activated, these compact units can provide power for smartphones, laptops, and TVs alike.

The medium-sized solar generators are capable of generating between 250 to 1,000 watts of power. This type of generator is ideal if you’re looking for a unit that’s more versatile, as it can provide electricity for a wider range of items.

As for the large solar generators, you can expect these units to reach as high as 10,000 watts of power. These are great for powering large appliances and can operate for an extended period.

Can a Solar-Powered Generator Power a House?

Can a Solar-Powered Generator Power a House

The majority of solar generators today aren’t powerful enough to provide electricity for an entire house. However, units with high wattage are capable of powering as much as 85% of the appliances in the home.

One solar generator isn’t sufficient for the house but it’s possible to link several generators together to do achieve the same goal, However, there are a few areas to consider before doing so.

These include:

  • Knowing your energy usage: The average home consumes about 877 kWh every month, which is equivalent to about 29 kWh daily. It’s important to know if your solar generators can generate the same amount of electricity to cover your entire home.
  • Size of solar panels: Since solar generators have their own solar panels, these devices should be big enough to compensate for recharging their batteries. Additionally, it can take several hours for batteries to fully recharge. This also depends on the amount of sunlight during the day.
  • Sunlight availability: Homeowners who live in less sunny climates can’t expect to get a lot from their solar generators. That’s why these units are often purchased in places where it’s constantly sunny during the day to make the most of sunlight availability.

What Can You Run on a Solar Generator?

What Can You Run on a Solar Generator

A solar generator can power almost all standard appliances in the home, including things such as microwaves, laptops, mobile devices, lights, ceiling fans, and more.

Solar generators work as ideal alternatives in case of power outages or when solar energy from the grid is currently unavailable.

There are portable solar generators that are great for camping especially since they are easy to bring around whenever needed. These units can provide people with some of the comforts from their home even when they are outdoors.

You can also find solar generators that can provide power higher than their indicated watt capacity. Such a feat is possible by leveraging next-generation charge controllers.

These devices are designed to let you push a unit to reach an output higher than 1,000 watts, allowing you to use it for emergency purposes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this will quickly consume the charge of the generator used.

Can You Use a Solar Generator Every Day?

Can You Use a Solar Generator Every Day

You can use a solar generator any time. Since the energy provided by your unit comes from the sun, you don’t need to worry about buying fuel to keep it charged.

The only caveat is that you need to put it out in the sun ever so often to recharge it. If you don’t recharge a solar generator, then you won’t be able to use it the next day. Careful consideration of when you charge it and when you use it is necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

With the main questions regarding solar generators answered, let’s take a look at the other inquiries people often ask about these products.

Do Solar Generators Work on Cloudy Days?

Do Solar Generators Work on Cloudy Days?

Solar panels allow you to take advantage of the clean and renewable energy provided by the sun.

But do these solar generators work even on cloudy days? The short answer is yes, they do.

The photovoltaic (PV) cells in their solar panels are capable of using direct and indirect sunlight in order to generate power. This allows them to continue charging even with minimal sunlight.

Keep in mind that solar panels will continue to remain functional even if clouds are obstructing sunlight but they will produce energy at a diminished rate. You can expect the panels of your units to generate anywhere from 10 to 25% of their regular power output during cloudy days.

Do Solar Generators Work at Night?

Do Solar Generators Work at Night?

Solar generators obtain their energy from the sun and provide people with sustainable solutions for their electrical needs. If you’re wondering whether or not these units can still be used to power devices at night, then yes, they still do.

The charged batteries of your solar generators will let you operate them to provide you with electricity. How long your power will last from your units is highly dependent on their overall capacity, and how much you charged it during the day.

If you want to know if your solar generators will continue producing energy even at night time, then the answer is no, they don’t. The PV cells present in your unit’s solar panels need the light from the sun to generate electricity. It’s not like a phone where you can charge it overnight and have it ready to go the next day – you need to charge it during the day.

Do Solar Generators Work in Winter?

Do Solar Generators Work in Winter

Yes, solar generators can continue working in winter so long as there is sunlight available. In fact, some experts say that cold weather conditions can improve the performance of these units.

This is probably because the photovoltaic technology within the solar panels is able to convert sunlight to electricity more efficiently when cold. There’s also a good chance that snow reflects extra sunlight to the panels of solar generators, thereby improving their ability to draw in energy.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that solar generators won’t work when their panels are covered in snow. You’ll need to wipe away the snow every now and then to ensure that your units can continue acquiring energy from the sun. You’ll also want to make sure your unit is sufficiently waterproofed before leaving it outside. Typically the panels are waterproof, but the battery is likely not.

Do Solar Generators Produce Carbon Monoxide?

The batteries of solar generators operate by consuming clean and renewable power. Compared to standard fuel generators, they don’t emit harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide.

Do Solar Generators Make Noise?

A solar generator doesn’t produce noise during operation. They aren’t the same as conventional fuel-powered units that have multiple moving parts that can cause them to emit disturbing noises.

Perhaps the only noise you can expect to hear from the generator comes from its inverter. Even if there’s noise, though, it’s going to be extremely minimal and can be easily ignored by most people.

Can I Use a Solar Generator Even While It’s Charging?

The ability to use a solar generator even as it recharges will highly depend on its charge controller. Powerful controllers can let people use various devices and appliances at the same time generators are charging.

However, you should note that doing so will slow down its charging process. This means that you won’t be able to fully top up your batteries at the time you expect them.

Although there’s no danger to using a charging solar generator, you simply can’t keep it running for a long time. This is especially true when the devices and appliances you have connected consume a high rate of electricity.

How Long Will a Solar Generator’s Batteries Last?

The type of batteries of your solar generator plays a huge factor in how long they will last. Typically, you can expect standard lead-acid batteries to last about 3 to 5 years.

Conclusion

Solar generators can work in various conditions thanks to the modern technology we have nowadays. It’s possible to get them to charge even during cloudy days or winter conditions.

However, the panels of your units will draw energy the most when it’s sunny outside. High-quality solar generators are capable of operating a wide range of devices and can last for a long time.

It’s important to consider what size and type of solar generator you need before deciding to purchase.

The Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat offers features like mobile app control and climate scheduling, in addition to advanced features like geofencing (shutting down or adjusting the heating or cooling when you are not at home).

This thermostat also integrates with a lot of home ecosystems. It is an improvement over the older Lyric T3 model and is one of the best Nest alternatives.

One advantage of the Honeywell T5 thermostat is its low price. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features it offers so you can decide whether it would be a good choice for your home.

Honeywell Lyric T5 Review

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Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat Advantages

  • Cheap price compared to similar models
  • Flexible scheduling options
  • Easy installation and setup
  • Nice mobile app
  • Works with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa
  • Smart alerts
  • Geofencing features including multiuser support

Honeywell Lyric T5 Smart Thermostat Disadvantages

  • Needs a C-wire
  • No motion or humidity sensors
  • No energy usage reporting
  • Design maybe seem dull-looking to some

Key Features

Geofencing

This thermostat uses the GPS location on your mobile device to see if you are at home or not. You will have to connect the Lyric T5 to the Honeywell Lyric mobile app to use this feature.

After setting it up, the energy consumption will be reduced if you are not at home and ensure the perfect temperature when you get back.

It is possible to set this feature up for more than one person, with each user creating a Lyric app account and adding it to their smartphone.

If more than one person is using the app, the last person to leave the house will trigger the away setting and the first one back will switch it back to the comfort setting.

Scheduling

There are various ways you can control your home climate using the Lyric T5 thermostat:

  • Location-based: The thermostat uses the location of your mobile device to determine whether you are home or not. When you are out, it switches over to the energy-saving mode.

When you are on the way home, it will switch on the cooling or heating system to ensure the climate is at your chosen comfort temperature.

You also have the option of manually switching between the home and away modes on the mobile app or thermostat.

  • Time-based: You can choose to set the week’s climate schedule. Pick from 3 different options to set the timing, either Monday to Sunday, Monday to Friday and the weekend, or each day individually.
  • Smart: This is a combination of location-based and time-based scheduling. The thermostat works according to the schedule you set but if the machine senses you are still at home while the program is set to away, it overrides the location-based setting to maintain the comfort level in your home.
  • None: If you prefer a full manual mode, it is possible to adjust the climate manually using either the smartphone app or the thermostat itself.

Excellent Display

The display on the Lyric T5 smart thermostat is big, bright, touch-enabled, and motion-activated, making it a substantial improvement over the previous Honeywell Lyric T3 model.

The display on the Lyric T5 includes plenty of data such as time, set temperature point, current indoor temperature, primary menu options menu, and mode and fan options.

You can use the display to control the thermostat, although it is simpler to set features such as geofencing and schedules using the Lyric mobile app.

In order to set up the mobile app, just connect the thermostat to your home’s Wi-Fi network and install the iOS or Android app to set up an account.

Smart Climate Control

There is a Smart Response feature on the Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat which means it can begin the cooling or heating system slightly earlier when changing to comfort mode from the energy-saving mode. This ensures the temperature is at the chosen point at a scheduled time.

This intelligent comfort control feature allows the Lyric T5 thermostat to recognize whether the house should be cooled or heated to offer reach the set indoor temperature and achieve the best comfort.

Smart Alerts

Smart alerts are a nice feature to have on a thermostat. These send you a reminder when it is time to maintain your cooling and heating system, such as when it’s time to change your HVAC system filter.

The thermostat will also alert you if it recognizes unusual conditions such as an unusually high temperature indoors.

You can choose to receive these reminders and alerts to your smartphone or email as push notifications, so you are notified immediately. You will also see these warnings on the thermostat display as one of the default options.

Smart Home Ecosystem Integration

This thermostat is compatible with a variety of popular smart home ecosystems such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and Google Home. This will allow you to control the thermostat along with your other home devices.

For even more integration, you can pair your Lyric T5 with IFTTT. This is a home automation language which many other popular systems and devices use.

This will let you connect several devices and have them communicate with one another. For example, when someone is at your front door it will switch on the smart lights.

What is Not So Good?

Considering this is a budget thermostat when compared to others on the market, it does not have every feature you might want.

These are some of the things we did not like so much:

  • Not the Most Exciting Display: The rather conservative look of the thermostat design might make it unappealing to some users, especially when compared to Ecobee or Nest smart thermostats. Unless you’re hoping to make a special statement with your thermostat, this should not be too much of an issue.
  • No Energy Consumption Reports: You will not be able to follow how your cooling and heating system’s performance. There is no web portal access to review the thermostat status and settings or to control it.
  • No Motion or Humidity Sensors: The Lyric T5 thermostat cannot connect to remote sensors like the ecobee thermostat can. In addition, geofencing is used rather than motion sensors so it can recognize whether or not you are at home. Considering the T5 is a budget thermostat, this should not be a surprise.
  • Requires C-Wire: You need C-Wire for the Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat which means you should have one before purchasing the thermostat. If you do not have one, you will either have to return the T5 thermostat or install C-Wire which might be expensive since you need an electrician to install it. This thermostat does not support 120-240V electric baseboard heating units either.

Ease of T5 Thermostat Installation

The Lyric T5 is not Honeywell’s first thermostat, since they have been producing them for a while. This experience has allowed them to streamline the installation process.

Even if you are not experienced at installing or setting up devices, you should find the installation simple.

You do need to have C-Wire installed to power up the Lyric T5 though and there are no alternatives for this. If you don’t have C-Wire then the T5 might not be the best choice for your home.

Overall, most users report that the Honeywell installation instructions are simple to follow.

Cooling and Heating System Compatibility

There are some possible compatibility issues with the Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat. It works well with most 24-volt air conditioning, heating and heat pump systems.

The Lyric T5 does need C-Wire (24 VAC power) to work and there are no workaround options for this.

The T5 thermometer will not work with 120-240V electric baseboard heating units. In addition, it will not work with multi-volt cooling and heating systems.

Summary

If you are looking for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat which isn’t going to cost the Earth, the Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat might fit the bill perfectly. It costs nearly half of what you would have to pay for a Nest or ecobee budget version.

The T5 thermostat offers a geofencing feature as well as flexible options for temperature scheduling to ensure the perfect home climate is reached when you are home and energy savings are enabled when you are away from home.

The smart response feature makes sure the temperature is at the set point when someone returns to the house or at a scheduled time.

This thermostat may also be integrated with a variety of smart home ecosystems including Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa.

This thermostat offers a nice balance between smart features and price point and is a good option if you want to upgrade a conventional thermostat.

Before buying and installing the Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat, ensure you have a C-Wire already installed, else you might have to pay an electrician to install C-Wire.

Contemporary air conditioners are designed to stay quiet. These high-efficiency units use 2-stage variable heat compressor technology, as well as sound reduction, in order to keep noise levels under 55 decibels. If you own such a unit, you likely seldom think about its noise levels. That is until the unit begins to sound louder than normal. If this starts occurring, chances are that you will notice, and might wonder if something is going wrong with your unit.

If you begin hearing odd, uncharacteristic noises out of a normally quiet unit, it’s best not to ignore them. The problem could be something that can be addressed by a very basic tune-up, or it could call for major repairs. Sometimes, the repairs would be more costly than replacing the unit altogether. In either case, ignoring unusual noises is not likely to lead to anywhere good in terms of your air conditioner. The longer you let the loud noises continue without addressing them, the higher your risk of costly repairs becomes. To that end, it’s best to address these AC issues without wasting a lot of time.

The sounds you might hear from your air conditioner unit may vary. Here are some common noises that your air conditioner may make and their likely causes.

Air Conditioner Making [Fill in the Blank] Noise

Banging

If you begin to hear banging from inside your unit, it is most likely due to a broken or detached part. It might be a piston pin, a crankshaft, a connecting rod, or any number of other internal components that make up the internal compressor that has snapped or disconnected, or there is a poorly balanced internal blower in play. If a component of a compressor has broken, it is almost certain that the compressor will need to be replaced.

Buzzing

One of the toughest noises to diagnose is when the AC unit begins to buzz. This could be due to a relatively minor and simple repair including changing an air filter to something much more serious. Sometimes buzzing is caused by loose parts inside the unit or the copper lines that run from the outside to the inside of the unit touching something and vibrating off of that surface. It could also mean that there is a debris blockage on the outside or inside of the unit, or the condenser coil requires maintenance or cleaning.

More seriously, it could mean that the internal fan blades are not balanced correctly, the unit has loose parts, the blower is imbalanced or failing, or there is a refrigerant leak. The latter is especially evident if the unit seems to be working but not actually blowing cold air. If the refrigerant has leaked out, it will need to be refilled and the source of the leak needs to be patched.

Clanking

If you hear clanking in your AC unit, chances are there is a part that is not balanced or is loose. This sometimes happens because a particular internal component of the compressor breaks, usually causing the necessity for repair and replacement. If parts are loose, such as the internal fans, it could mean that the out-of-place parts are hitting other internal units. The longer this is permitted to persist, the worse the problems get. Not only will the loose part incur more damage, but it will also likely send the parts it’s hitting into disrepair.

Clicking

When the unit starts up or stops, it is normal to hear clicking sounds, but it is atypical to hear them throughout the unit’s standard operation. If the clicking is frequent or perpetual once the unit is turned on, it could be a sign of a failing thermostat or a defective control. These are typically caused by electrical issues. These can lead to far more costly, and even dangerous problems, so it is important to stay on top of addressing clicking noises if they persist.

Humming

Normal humming is not indicative of a serious issue in AC units. The humming noise could potentially be the result of vibrations due to loose refrigerant piping or other parts, which, if not attended to, can exacerbate into greater problems. Humming is also sometimes due to electrical issues like loose wiring or a malfunctioning compressor.

Pulsating

Another noise that is not always indicative of a problem is when the unit pulsates. In fact, most units have some minor type of pulse emanating from it, which is entirely normal. However, this pulsing should be barely audible unless you are really listening for it. If an outdoor unit begins to make noises that you can hear inside, some parts are likely loose and some part inside the unit needs to be repaired or replaced. These parts can include anything as benign as a panel on the unit coming loose, to loose motor or fan blades, which is a significantly more serious problem.

Rattling

Rattling inside of your unit can sometimes be caused by outdoor debris like leaves and branches being caught in your system, causing a clogging issue. However, it can also be a sign of electrical contractor issues or loosening parts inside the compressor. Loose fans also rattle the more detached and imbalanced they get. If you begin to hear chattering or rattling noises in your unit, your first troubleshooting actions should include checking to make sure that all of the bolts and screws in the unit are tight and snug. You should also consider changing your air filter and cleaning your condenser coil.

Squealing

When indoor blower motors and outdoor fan motors begin to degrade in terms of efficiency, they exhibit the tell-tale sign of squealing as the noises travel through the duct systems. Squealing can also be indicative of malfunctioning or damaged housing or blower wheels. Because certain units may squeal inherently to some degree, it’s important to pay attention to the nature of these squeals in order to distinguish between those that are normal and those that are irregular.

Screaming

The one noise that calls for an immediate ceasing of the use of your AC unit is if you begin to hear a “screaming” or high-pitched whistling noise. At this point, a professional needs to come and inspect the unit and it should not be utilized until the problem is addressed. One of the most common reasons for this problem is a refrigerant leak, which, aside from being highly detrimental to your AC unit, can also harm the health of the residents of your home. Another dangerous reason for the screaming sound is the over-pressurization of the internal compressor. In some situations with this type of problem, the AC unit is equipped with a sensor that will shut the unit off. If this happens, don’t worry. This is a failsafe mechanism included for your safety.

Whirring

A whirring sound, reminiscent of the type of noise expected when a helicopter flies overhead, is an indication of several potential problems with the outdoor unit or the indoor blower. Usually, a whirring sound is indicative of bad bearings around the indoor blower, or a bad fan on either the external or internal AC. While it could also be caused by a torn or ripped belt, the usual cause for whirring noises are displaced or loosened fan blades. The helicopter-like noise occurs when the blades are spinning at an angle, out of place, or hitting what they should not be. But faulty parts are not always to blame. Sometimes, the whirring noise can be due to a piece of debris being stuck in the outdoor fan or the indoor blower. As it gets caught up in the blades, it simulates a helicopter sound as well.

What To Do About a Loud Air Conditioner

What To Do About a Loud Air Conditioner

You do not always need to worry about calling a professional for AC unit repairs. When there is a new noise that you are not accustomed to hearing, you should investigate the unit yourself as many problems have DIY solutions. A lot of the time the solution is quite simple. Various debris, including tree branches, twigs, leaves, and seed pods are well known to clog up conditioning coils, resulting in buzzing or pulsing sounds.

You can remove the top of your air conditioning unit with just a screwdriver in most cases, and closely inspect the fans. Loose parts, especially when in motion are usually easy to spot. You can also change the filter on your unit, as well as clean an outdoor one from all the nature dumps on it with a spray from a hose.

If the noises begin to be concerning, before inspecting a unit with the cover off, it is always advisable to power it down. You should do this regardless of whether a professional is coming over to take a look at it or you are checking it out yourself. This is a very basic precautionary measure. If the air conditioner unit is broken, keeping it running could only expedite the damage and prove to be more costly than if you had just stopped it after the initial problem was noted. To stay on top of potential looming issues, it is always a good idea to schedule an annual tune-up where professionals will check the status of all of the important parts involved and hopefully give your AC a clean bill of health.

Make Air Conditioner Quieter

Make Air Conditioner Quieter

If there is nothing wrong with your unit, but you still feel that it is far too loud, there are a couple of options to make it quieter. A sound blanket is one option. Since most of the noise from an AC unit is sourced from its compressor, a sound blanket can be installed over it in order to muffle the compressor’s sounds.

A sound-dampening fence around the unit is another common option for homeowners. Not only does it obstruct the often unaesthetic unit from sight, but it also helps to quiet the noise from the unit as it is obstructed by the fence. This type of fence is best installed by using fencing with overlapping boards, though it’s important to permit a space of at least three feet between the fence and the unit to allow the AC the ability to exercise proper airflow.

Another method that homeowners enjoy for sound-dampening their AC units is to plant shrubs around the air conditioner. Of course, these will need to be at a bit of distance and will need to consistently be pruned back in order to not grow into or obstruct the optimal operation of the unit.

Additionally, many homeowners also place plants against the windows inside the home, specifically those that are near the AC unit. Larger houseplants against the AC adjacent wall typically help to block the noise more. On top of that, if the AC unit is outside of a bedroom, it’s a good idea to install noise-smothering curtains in order to keep the noise level down for sensitive sleepers.

When Is It Time To Replace A Noisy Air Conditioner?

When Is It Time To Replace A Noisy Air Conditioner

Older units that begin to be noisy are usually best if they are discarded and replaced. While repairs are still possible, some problems are just too expensive to address. For instance, older units used R22 refrigerant, which has since been replaced by R410-A in newer units. However, the two are not interchangeable, so older units require their type of refrigerant. The problem is since it’s far less common these days, it gets more challenging to find services that still stock and carry R22, and its acquisition ends up being more costly.

As the main functional component of an air conditioning unit, when the compressor becomes deficient it will likely cost more to replace it than to just invest in a new unit. The newer unit will carry the benefits of being quieter, as well as more energy efficient. You might find that your electric bill drops substantially with a new unit, meaning that over its life, the savings will have the unit pay for itself.

If your air conditioner needs replacement, look into a company that can provide a strong warranty. This could save you substantial money on costs or the unit and its installation. This will also help you rest assured that you are operating a newer, quieter, and more reliable AC unit.