Absolutely. Think of a car with its windows rolled up tight and how hot it
gets v. one with the windows wide open. That huge amount of hot air in your
attic needs to be vented, and fan venting (with a pull/push arrangement)
will cool things down tremendously.
As I understand it you made the attic into a living space so my advise
is forget the attic fans. In fact close off the holes from them and
insulate the heck out of the whole attic. Dont leave any place
between the attic and the outside that is not very well insulated,
turn on you A/C and enjoy.
Don't think so. The more the attic space can be ventilated, the better. Most
homes have ridge vents or whirly-gig thingamajigs. A significant number have
attic exhaust fans.
Whichever scheme you use (and you can use more than one - I have both ridge
vents and whirling dervishes) remember Axiom I of attic ventilation: You
can't have too many soffit vents.
One pundit advised COVERS for the soffit vents to be put in place during
hurricanes, much like storm windows, so that giant wind gusts won't blow off
the roof. Sounds reasonable. (During Hurricane Yikes, I did have one whirlie
gizmo blow off.)
Speaking of ridge vents mine have had to be cleaned of some fluffy
seed material that floats around here in June. Every ten years or
so, but it's like a blanket by that time. Maybe earlier would be
My neighbor who relies on convection to vent her attic doesnt' seem to
have any of this stuff on her vent screening, and afaik, they haven't
bee cleaned in 30 years.
Sounds like cottonwood trees. When there is a layer of it not close to
anything you want to keep, try lighting the stuff. If it hasn't been
rained or dewed on it burns as if you spilled a line of gunpowder and
lit it. A real bitch for cars with open windows, the stuff gets
everywhere, and when you drive off, the stuff swirls around you like you
are in a snow globe.
You have power vents and ridge vents? If the power vent is sucking air into the
ridge vents, something is wrong, and the ridge vents are "short-circuiting" the
air ventilation. My understanding is that the advantage of ridge vents is that
they inprove circulation by exhausting at the highest point of the roof. They
probably don't make a lot of sense with power vents. Increasing the soffit vent
area could decrease the cotton buildup.
I appreciate the suggestions.
It's the screening on the full-width soffit vents that gets covered in
this fluffy stuff. So that means I'm sucking more air, a lot more
air, in the soffitt vents than my neighbor is. I also have a
full-width ridge vent and yes, I'm surely sucking air in with that
when the fan is on, at least near the fan, but that in itself isn't
bad if the air in the attic is changed. When the fan is not on, the
ridge vent works as designed.
The cottonwood stuff is only on the screen in the back of the house,
but there is no cottonwood stuff in the front of the house at all, not
by the car like for Tony.
I could have removed the ridge vent when the shingles were replaced,
but then if the fan motor broke for a while, there would be very
little outlet venting
The eaves themselves could have been made a lot bigger, but given the
size of the eaves, I don't think the soffit vents can be bigger.
They're the entire width of the house, on the front and back of the
house, about 6 inches wide or a little more. The other 3 inches are
wood that the screen is stapled to.
Where I come from, attic fans mean fans between the attic and the
floor below. And are only turned on after it gets cooler outside.
Fans in the roof are called somehting I forget that I consider
ambiguous. I call them roof fans. I think if that's what you meant
that would be far less consufins.
I'm had one for 27 years. Someimes the motor lasts 8 or 10 years,
one as little as two. That's the way the first two were and they both
came from the fan manufacturer. I haven't tried to oil or repair
them. Can they be oiled? Now I buy motors locally at Eledric Motor
Repair. The current fan is maybe 8 years old,
Maybe, just maybe if I had more insultatoin in the floor of my attic,
I wouldn't benefit from my roof fan, but when the fan is broken, it's
much hoter on the second floor, as you can see yourself
Fixed, not necessarily replaced. A new motor is one heck of a lot cheaper
than a complete new install.
If you do replace the units read your new warranty carefully. A lot of the
fan makers will provide a new motor for a failed one for as long as you own
the house. And yes, I have collected on that warranty at least twice.
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
With the US governemnt, they appear to love disasters, and people
depending on government for welfare. Using that perspective and world
view, you should leave your fans broken. You should then go take a
fire axe, and chop up your outdoor units. Do not allow anyone to
repair them, in violation of the Jones act. Apply for federal aid, and
On the other hand. A working American like my self would ask if you're
out of your mind to delay, even a day, the repairs. Get with it! Aunt
Bee; call the man! (Andy Griffith.)
Fix the fans so that the conditions are the same as when you installed
the upstairs AC unit for the former attic space, OR upgrade your AC
unit for the affected space to a new one which more accurately
the actual cooling load it needs to be able to keep up with without
the attic vent fans helping...
Your AC unit can not keep up because it is undersized for the current
cooling load it is having to deal with and it was selected to be used
WITH the fans working... If you replace both of the attic fans you
find the AC up in the former attic space works better than it has been
for the past year...
When you finished your attic into living space how much insulation
did you put in the walls/rafter areas ? If you filled the entire
compartment with insulation batting your roof becomes a MASSIVE
HEAT SINK and will absorb and store large amounts of heat during
warm days because the underside of the roof is no longer vented to
allow a barrier of moving air to carry the excess heat out -- this is
soffit and ridge vents are installed, to promote a ventilation path on
underside of the roof to allow air to circulate... If you have
that airflow too much or closed it off, you will have cooling issues
in the living area that used to be attic...
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