My attic has a gable vent at one end....the other end has no vent. We
have soffits in the house, and I believe they allow plenty of intake
air (when we had the house resided, the soffits were done using
"vertical" vinyl siding, running perpendicular to the
house.........the end channels of the siding are in an aluminum j-
channel, but are not sealed so essentially we are getting air intake
from wherever there is soffit).
The gable vent had a powered motor on it, but I believe its dead (I
flick the switch on even on the hottest summer days and it doesnt kick
on). Ive been advised NOT to replace it with a new one. My issue is
that the gable opening is allowing quite a bit of air *into* the attic
(as evidenced by the very dirty fiberglass insulation below the gable
Is there any louver type setup that can be installed that would
basically open with the heat exiting the attic, and close when there
isnt enough heat flowing out?
Im thinking the correct way to fix it is install a ridge vent and then
just seal off the gable opening. But I was just wondering if there
was a temporary quick fix until I can get a roofer out.
Why are you worried about air exiting the gable vent? That's exactly
what it's supposed
to do. And if you go with a ridge vent, that's sure going to be
bigger and open all the time.
Going with a ridge vent is probably the best solution. Until then,
unless you have some specific
problem that you failed to mention, there is no need to do anything
else. Personally, I would not
bother closing off the gable vent when you install a ridge vent.
IMO, hot air rises and it will likely
go out both the ridge vent and the gable vent.
On Apr 12, 10:37 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Actually the only reason I got to thinking was because we had a blower
door test done on the house, and of course the testers went up into
The duct and chimney chase is not seal in basement or attic, so they
suggested sealing it. They suggested against replacing the motor for
the powered gable vent, and then saw the dirty insulation and summized
(sp?) that air was coming INTO the vent, instead of just out. Now Im
guessing some air coming in might be normal. I wanted to minimize
that amount of air, because I have a feeling its then getting into the
bathroom directly below the gable vent. The bathroom floor and bath
tub are always cold (tile and cast iron usually are cold, but these
are freezing), and Id like to do what I can to remedy that.
Perhaps Id be better off pulling up the insulation in that area of the
attic and seeing if there are any drain/vent openings open to the
On Apr 12, 10:37 am, email@example.com wrote:
Do you have "vented soffits" or just loose soffits? Ventilation is a
very important issue in attics and often overlooked. You really need
air to move from the soffit to the gable vent so you might want to
install some soffit vents which are little one inch aluminum louvered
discs which can be poped in easily, but the ridge vent is the best
answer for the top. You can get lots of good info at the website of
The new (vinyl) soffit material was installed covering the existing
(wood) soffit material. The existing wood soffits had soffit vents
already in them....they werent closely spaced, but they were just
little discs (more like decent size rectangles). The attic doesnt get
overly warm in the summer, nor do the 2nd floor room ceilings, so it
seems the ventilation is working.
I just figured a ridge vent would let less direct air in compared to a
gaping hole at the end of my attic :) and that would help keep the
upstairs a little warmer (assuming cold air is flowing in thru the
gable and making its way past the insulation and then into any
Sure. You might use a few 8"x12" $12 automatic foundation vents that
open their louvers when outdoor air is over 60 F and stay closed in
wintertime to keep the attic warmer and lower heat loss from the house.
A larger opening might have a single passive greenhouse sash vent, eg
a Thermofor or the $19 Harbor Freight equivalent.
You want to let air into the attic, just as you want to let it out. You
want to do that all year long. If the wind blows some air into the gable
end, that's fine. Actually it is good.
They were expressing some issue with the possibility of air coming up
(or down) the gap at the chimney. That may be a totally different problem,
but if anything it would mean you want more not less ventilation in the
attic because that is likely to be warm moist air coming into the attic and
less ventilation would increase the possibility of too much moisture
building up in the attic and causing damage or mold issues.
Thanks for the replies.
Yes they were concerned about the open chases for chimney and ducts.
Ive gotten an estimate for them to seal it all up (as best they can)
and will most likely have them do it (the 2nd floor to our house was
added on, so the chases are kind of a mish-mash......if they were
simple I could probably seal them myself).
I was just up in the attic looking at the area under the gable
vent.....the first layer of insulation is dirty, but there is a second
layer underneath that is fairly clean, albeit a little compacted (Im
assuming its pretty old by now, maybe 20 years?). I might gut the
insulation in that area, check for sealing at the plumbing and heating
vents, and then put new insulation back. If the gable is really
making air get into the house, at least I can minimize it by those
The existing insulation is likely 95% as effective as the day it went
in. Don't dump it. You do want to seal those plumbing and heating accesses
and make sure those heating (and maybe plumbing) parts are very well
insulated. If you seal around them that will take care of the air
infiltration into and out of the home.
Cool, I will do that. The plumbing stuff up there is all ABS, and it
seems to be just the vent for the drain system. Dont think it needs
to be insulated, but the holes where they come up should be (and some
of them are, I went up once before and used foam and caulk to close
some of them).
The ductwork is insulated on the inside, Im currently re-affixing the
flex duct (using mastic to seal it, along with sealing all of the duct
boots to the plenum and adding balancing dampers while Im at it).
Funny how the fairly simple and inexpensive projects get overlooked,
yet they have the potential to provide the best return on investment.
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