There are a few different types of ventilation fans in people's homes. These are generally different and used for a different purpose than fans used for cooling. Ventilation fans are similar to cooling fans as they move air from one area to another. Ventilation fans generally move that air from inside your house to outside.
Bathroom and kitchen fans are important for the jobs that they do expelling odors, moisture, and pollution from your house but you must remember to use them wisely. According to the touchstone energy co-op, running these fans for just one hour can pull out a house full of warmed or cooled air which could cost you hundreds or thousands each year.
Another type of ventilation fan used in houses is the whole house fan. These are mounted in the ceiling between the living space and attic and are used to help cool a house during the warmer times of the year. Whole house fans are designed to draw warm air out of the living space and push it out of the attic while drawing in cooler air from outside. Whole house fans are most effective when the temperature outside drops below the temperature inside the house like in the morning and evening hours.
Besides the whole house fan another type of attic ventilation fan is the gable fan. These are mounted to the gable wall inside the attic and help to cool the house by evacuating the extremely hot attic air that builds up during the hottest weather. Many of these fans can be put on a timer or on a thermostat to turn on during the hottest part of the day and many are even solar powered. Removing the hot air from the attic reduces heat transfer to the rest of the house and the gable fan is a cost effective way to do this.
Knowing what each fan does and using them properly may just make a big fan of fans!