Attic fan

I need better attic ventilation - right now I just have gable vents in a 1930's colonial. Are solar-powered fans a good solution? I'd rather not have to run electric up there...I've also seen estimates of $10 -$20 electric per month to run an electric fan, so the solar fan should pay for itself in a couple of years.
TIA,
Frank
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Frank R wrote:

No. What is a good solution is a good passive (no fans) vent system. In most homes built in the 30's the venting is under sized and poorly designed. It depends on the design of your home, but in general sofit vents and high gable or through the roof vents or better yet a continuous ridge vent is the best design.
Properly designed and sized they use the heat itself to move the air, they require no maintained or electricity. Best time to take care of this is when re-roofing.

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Frank R wrote:

Skip the solar fan, it is much simpler and reliable to just install a bunch of soffit vents. Make sure the insulation isn't hanging into the soffit area and blocking them. Use the chutes if you need to. Next time you do the roof have them add ridge vents.
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On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 01:46:14 GMT, tomcas

What good will soffit vents do without a ridge vent? You mean that air is going to go into the soffit, in the middle of the roofline, and go all the way to the gable vents? Without a ridge vent, soffit vents are basically useless.
I just installed an attic fan because I have the exact same setup -- no soffit vents or ridge vents. Although these are on my list of things to do, this list is long and the roof is in good shape. The attic fan is absolutely amazing! My house has been cool the last two days (installed the attic fan on Sunday), and it typically would be 5+ degrees hotter inside the house. I would get home from work and immediately be hit by hot air; the last two days, it's been very comfortable when I get home.
I vote for the attic fan. When I installed the attic fan on Sunday and turned it on, it took the attic temperature from 95 at the time to 90. If it can keep the attic to between 90-100 degrees, it'll cut 10-20 or even more degrees off the temperature in the attic. It was over 110 in the attic when I was installing the attic fan. That's a 20 degree drop, especially because it's not even 80 degrees outside.
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Bob in CT
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Any house that instals an attic fan needs to be sure there is extra static venting that can supply the needs of the fan, or the negative pressure will suck out Air Conditioned air from your house. A blower door test is a must to find and seal leaks to the attic, these include but are not limited to Ceiling Lights, Wall outlets, switches, Trim of windows , doors , wood trim, Window frames, Interior and exterior walls , fireplaces. Bob you should do an experiment before you are so extatic, turn off the fan run ac and monitor time run, then with yur fan on. You may signifactly be loading yor AC and pulling out conditioned air. Also fan size is important, smaller is usualy better. Get a blower door test.
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Bob in CT wrote:

It really depends on the location of the gable vents. Each situation is different. In my case the gable vents are located high and they work well with the soffit vents. However when I had my roof replaced, compliments of a hail storm, I had a ridge vent added.
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Ridge vents are not necessary with soffit vents , enough roof vents are all thats needed. Ridge vents are relatively new , houses have been around alot longer and are still doing fine.
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Bob in CT wrote:

Without a ridge vent, soffit vents are

maybe not a much as a ridge vent ( which is why I mentioned them) but don't forget the huge area difference between a ridge vents and gable vents. Ridge vents have been popular for the last 15 or 20 years. It is amazing how home attics have been ventilated all these years with useless soffit vents and gable vents. I guess no one told them they don't work.

your attic. You missed my whole point.

ventilation. I'm glad I don't have your electric bill.

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I disagree , and have proven that an attic fan in the roof is beneficial for reducing attic temperature buildup . It doesnt matter if you put alot of static vents in the roof ... your attic temp will still be considerably higher than the outside temp. The attic air needs to be 'forced out' ... not by natural air currents within the attic. An attic fan will also make your cooling system run less often and your roof deck will last longer by reducing the temperature on it. It doesnt cost alot to operate and will shut off at night time if it has a thermostat set at 90-95 f.
If you want to test an attic with loads of static vents in them, see if you can find a neighbor who will let you measure the attic temp. on a 90 f day. Youll get my point.
Dave
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False. Whatever you can do with a fan, you can do with vents.
Nick
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HVAC fella wrote:

Well you are welcome to your personal opinion, but building codes, and the opinions of most experts in the field as well as the manufacturers of all building products involved all agree you are wrong.

As far as you go, you are right. A properly located fan will reduce the temperature. However the reduction of the deck compared to the temperature of a deck with a proper non-powered system is going to be very slight, and I would guess the roof life may be extended a matter of days not years.
The savings in cooling will also be very little, again assuming proper insulation and a properly designed static system.

However I believe in most situations the cost of running it and the cost of installing it is going to be greater than any savings.

And mine (assuming both systems are properly designed).

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The heat doesn't care whether it's being carried away by 1000 cfm of forced airflow or 1000 cfm of natural airflow. OTOH, an attic with 2000 cfm of natural airflow will have half the temperature rise of one with a 1000 cfm fan...
Nick
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Your Point Davie Boi is wrong as usual, Testing and the Science of ventilation prove you wrong again. So where is your Horses ass proof that VS DC dont have a payback . Post your lisence yet ?
You dont have any, you are an unlisenced Hack. A con. that promotes the cheapest product because you are not a dealer of Name brands.
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HVAC fella wrote:

said a fan won't work, obviously it will work. What I said was natural ventilation was better because it is more energy efficient and more reliable, nothing less and nothing more. It doesnt matter if you put

and the living space. What you want to do is keep it as cool as reasonable possible in the summer to reduce your heat load, cold in the winter (to prevent ice damming, and circulating all year round to prevent moisture accumulation. The attic air needs to be

not by natural air currents within the attic. An

It doesnt

very expensive.

Youll get my point. Sorry, I respect your opinion but fail to see your point.

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This is Turtle.
Hey Davey, The thermostat on the Attic fan has the lowest temperature setting of 100F. You got me here. How do you get them to go down to 90F ?
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

Which is of course because there is so little to gain by setting it lower than 100F and the additional energy use by a fan will almost always be higher than any savings few if any manufacturers off the option of setting it that low.

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Maybe my "Conservation" on my site will be helpful.
Don't tell me what I can understand, tell me what I can't mis-understand (Gen. Douglas McArthur)! No matter what you do you are a problem solver....what do you do? Arthur, Website: www.arthurhewett.com Email: snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net

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