Before the development of electric power and the whole house fan, the cooling of a building was done by designing it to draw in cooler air from below and venting it to the top. In the absence of the forced air movement produced by a fan, careful design to promote cooling air flow was required. Thomas Jefferson, US president from 1801 to 1809, was personally involved in the designs of his residences at Monticello and Poplar Forest, and was aware of these techniques. Monticello, a home with much American history, had a large central hall and aligned windows designed to allow a cooling air-current to pass through the house, with an octagonal cupola at the top of the house drawing hot air up and out through natural convection.
House fans were the next method for cooling homes in the early 1900s. Air conditioning was invented by Carrier in 1907 but did not become popular until the 1950s. Traditional whole house fans were created in the 1960s. They did exactly what they claim: move a lot of air, but they have many negatives. Traditional whole house fans are very loud, sound like a helicopter in your home, are very inefficient using cheap motors like a shaded pole, and are very cheaply made. Whole house fans are still ideal for cooling homes when the air outside is cooler than the air inside.
Because advanced whole house fans are so much better than traditional whole house fans, the state of California is giving builders huge credit to put advanced whole house fans in new homes as a standard. Traditional whole house fans aren’t allowed in new construction homes, only advanced whole house fans like QuietCool. QuietCool will soon be as common as a ceiling fan.