Staying cool during the summer months is a major priority. In some places the heat may be misery-inducing, while in others it can be downright dangerous. At my own home near Phoenix, Arizona, the thermometer read a high of 115°F this week. This got me thinking about my family’s dependence on air conditioning, and by extension the functionality of the power grid. The YouTube channel 50 Acres & a Cabin recently posted a video that’s relevant to this topic — it shows one way to build a DIY whole-house fan as an “off-grid alternative to air conditioning.”

The concept of a whole-house fan is not a new one. Hot air rises, and the enclosed space of a building serves as a trap for that hot air to build up. By placing a high-flow fan near the top of the house, the hot air can be sucked out and replaced by cooler air drawn in through ground-floor windows. In the video below, 50 Acres & a Cabin encloses, mounts, and wires a powerful fan into the loft of his off-grid home.

However, this cabin runs on a 24-volt DC electrical system. It has some advantages, but also makes plug-and-play fan options more limited than they would be on a standard 12-volt system. So, the builder got creative and selected a 24-volt truck radiator fan — it’s designed to pull large amounts of air through a radiator to prevent a vehicle from overheating, so it provides more than enough flow for this application. The downside is that it’s extremely loud. The builder commented that he plans to wire in a controller to allow the fan to run at lower speeds, and this sounds like a good idea to us.

While I won’t be taking a sawzall to my attic and slapping on a radiator fan, this video got me thinking about installing a whole-house fan as a backup (or supplement to) my home’s existing A/C system, ideally in conjunction with solar panels and a battery bank.

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from OFFGRID

For years, OFFGRID magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click to Download!

Write A Comment