Proper attic ventilation

I own a 70-year-old home with a slate roof which has a very steep pitch. We also have what I believe are called "knee walls" in several locations on the 2nd floor. Currently, we have 2 gable vents facing east and west. On the east one, I have an attic fan which comes on when the temp gets to at least 70. Unfortunately, the fan is much bigger than the vent opening and so does little to evacuate any air.
I am thinking about soffit vents, but I'm worried about the damn knee walls. There's no insulation on them and getting back there is impossible without tearing the wall down. I mainly want to eliminate the ice dams in the winter and the high attic temps in the summer.
TIA m
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Lowes sells a white plastic access door for situations like this. Cut a hole in the wall, and screw it into place. They can be placed so furniture can hide them. There may be various sizes available by asking.
RJ

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If you have an attic fan set to run at 70, it must be running a lot, if you're in a typical environment. I've never seen one set that low and it doesn't make any sense as you're just burning energy for no return. Somewhere over 100 is more normal.
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