I live in an area where I think a whole-house fan would be a big benefit. But my upper floor has a vaulted ceiling. I don't know anything about the construction.

There is a ceiling fan, but it doesn't do anything to introduce cool air into the room.

Are there products out there for this situation, or should I give up hoping that I can get one to work?

  • The fact that your ceiling is vaulted doesn't really change anything, assuming you have access to the space above the ceiling or can vent directly through the roof.
    – isherwood
    Sep 30, 2016 at 15:21
  • There's no access that I've found. I can't tell how much space there is between the ceiling and the roof.
    – BowlOfRed
    Sep 30, 2016 at 15:55
  • Usually vaults are accessed by entering the attic at another area of the house and traversing the attic, sometimes through a firewall portal or hole in the slope of an underlying roof. They generally don't have their own access from the interior of the home.
    – isherwood
    Sep 30, 2016 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


Ceiling fans are not the same as whole-house fans, nor are they designed to 'introduce' any air into the room, they merely circulate it.

A whole-house fan is entirely different from a ceiling fan. A whole-house fan pulls air from the house and exhausts it out through the roof. Cool air comes in through open windows.

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Typically they're installed in an attic, but some simple searching finds units that can be mounted in a vaulted ceiling with no attic space.

So yes, you can install a whole house fan.

By contrast, a ceiling fan is usually installed in high vaulted ceilings to circulate air. Heat rises, so you can get a very big thermal difference between the air the ceiling and floor. It's actually most beneficial in the winter, running in reverse, to push the warm air down out against the walls and down into the room.

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  • 1
    Informative, but not sure it's answering the question. Sep 30, 2016 at 14:52
  • +1 Roof fans could work, but they require open windows to let in fresh air. And it will not affect the lower floors unless there are openings (doorways, halls) connecting the upper and lower. Even then, roof fans are much less powerful than whole house fans (typically 500-1000CFM vs. 4000-7000 CFM), and unlikely to pull much air from the lower floors.
    – bib
    Sep 30, 2016 at 14:57
  • @CarlWitthoft My interpretation of the question was that it confused ceiling fans with whole-house fans, hence the explanation. I did say that it's possible to do it without attic space, but since we don't answer "shop for me" questions here, I did not provide product links. Updated my answer to more explicitly directly answer the question posed.
    – gregmac
    Sep 30, 2016 at 15:51

A whole house fan should not (of course) be placed in a room which could be cut off from the rest of the house by closing a door. That said, if your upper floor has an open area which includes either end wall, you could cut what's effectively a window into the wall and mount the fan there (with a louver, etc). If not, there certainly are exhaust fans designed to be mounted on the roof, so you could cut a hole in the ceiling. It may not be cosmetically acceptable depending on the use of the area and the sensibilities of the users :-) .

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