The article says of R-5, "Clearly, that’s not enough insulation." ", Q. Click here to see a website with many inexpensive models of whole-house exhaust fans for flat roofs. Real or imaginary?". But that doesn't mean that you need to rush out and buy a powered attic ventilator. advanced search: by author, subreddit... this post was submitted on 09 Aug 2019. According to Springer, ventilation cooling works best in areas of the country with a mean daily temperature range of at least 30°F. Where? By 5:00, it's rarely above 70F outside, even if the house is hot. My own, scenario, however, doesn't quite fit. If the windows are open in the house there is no "cooling penality" to having some air exhausted from through the attic. Moreover, if you use a powerful fan for your proposed pressurization, the fan will quickly remove all of the cool air from the crawl space, and the fan will be pressurizing the attic with hot air drawn from unknown sources, but probably from outdoors. Once it cools down outside in the evening? In fact it is quite rare for an asphalt shingle roof to last 30 years in Vermont. Of course if you want to make lemonade out of that lemon, use the attic heat to preheat water and call your roof a solar collector. Without spending a fortune I was just going to replace the ventilation fan in the attic. That should solve your problem. Whether it makes sense to install insulation depends on your budget, and how long you intend to live there. (At least when compared to the difficulty/cost of installing an attic fan. I don't recommend the installation of a whole-house fan in any attic that includes a furnace. Response to J Wing Dan, More than 50% of the attic fans I see do not work and have current still live to the motor. To answer your questions: (a) No, I have never installed a Tamarack fan, and (b) I have no affiliation or financial relationship with the manufacturer (and neither does GBA). Soffit Vents: These vents are installed in the soffit (the enclosed portion under the roof overhang) and permit air to flow up under the roof and into the attic. Carefully install and test water and waste piping, making sure that there are no leaks at the joints or punctures. Over 24 hours, that would be 5,856 Btu. Scott, Again, keeping other things equal to your example, this would give us a seasonal cost difference of roughly $6. First, we need to distinguish between three different types of ventilation fans. The bedrooms can be filled with cool air, yet the hot ceiling makes them feel like being inside a broiler. There are two sections that are showing condensation and this dripping water. My house gets very hot in the summer/ like an oven (NE Ohio)/ 85* plus.When I use My AC it never shuts off/ cant keep up. (457 views) Subscribe : From: Mizshredder (ShredderHere) Jul-9 3:05 PM : To: All (1 of 23) 9849.1 : Help- i was asked by my friend Joe to get your thoughts on an attic ventilation fan that is solely solar powered … Homeowners should avoid them like the plague. Not sure if this cutout is code but the house passed inspection. (Sorry to beat a dead horse.). There is nothing wrong with whole-house fans. You’re alone in the woods on a dark night, with no cell phone signal. He said there was condensation on the trunk duct. Whole House Ventilation Response to Mike Baldinelli So, the theory behind the attic fan was to be able to turn it on as the outdoor temps cool in order to clear the hot air out of the attic space. Don't listen to anyone that So, yes: during the summer, there is always a benefit to a cooler attic. A ridge vent is an opening along the ridge of your roof that allows air to enter the lower eves of your attic to naturally take hotter air from the attic up through the ridge vent using natural convection. Moving the unit is not an option at this time. Brian, Well, to me two anecdotes are It's money down the drain. I also had a thought about adding an intake valve in the attic sheet rock access panel (have no idea if that's good idea or not) so the powered attic fans can draw from the house (like a mini whole house fan). The most common kind of residential ventilation fan is one used to provide fresh air for building occupants. See what works best. Tom, Response to Lesley Matson Fan has on/off switch in our office, not a thermostat. Thanks, Response to Rusty Tools (Comment #106) Other Solutions Regardless of the insulation level there is always a benefit (in the summer) to a cooler attic. My understanding is that it is possible that my attic is too hot (I have adequate insulation since I added some prior to new roof and new gutter install. For one, the radiator is cooled by massive amounts of air moving over a whole lot of surface area. The multiple blade fan is very efficient and works on a large area with high cooling capacity. A. Since the fan is already installed, it sounds like it's easy enough to turn on the switch and see what happens. If you post your questions on the Q&A page, more people will see your question, and you are more likely to get answers from people who have installed a Tamarack fan. The net result: powered attic ventilators increase rather than decrease cooling costs. Will a gable vent fan on a thermostat truly help cool our house Richard, Since I would need only 5 or 6 of these, that seems like an optimal solution if it can be easily retrofitted using a low voltage system and I can find something relatively affordable and controlled by the thermostat rather than these products designed to zone a system. 2. (It seems to me there is) But a sealed attic has no vents to dump the fan air from the interior of the house. One thing that comes to mind is fire damping since I will be creating a chimney. For more information on this issue, see All About Attic Venting. It can do both. Whole House Fans for sealed attics? So, the trade-off varies depending on your climate of course. Walk barefoot on an asphalt road and see how that works. There are many types of attic fans such as; attic gable fans, roof mount attic fans, and solar attic fans. This popular and premium vent is a favorite among seasoned road trippers and fans of the open road for several reasons. Newer construction calls for some attics to be completly sealed, no vents. There are many reasons to doubt that your proposed fan installation will change the temperature of the attic enough to save any of the energy required to operate your air conditioner. Damper leakage is minimal — at 25 Pascals, it’s about 1.4% of total fan flow. Again, I am most concerned by the ducts in attic space warming up and transferring heat to interior. MIL was able to turn her thermostat up a few degrees, thereby saving energy and increasing comfort. It's likely you have air leaks from the house into the attic; finding and sealing those could be a big benefit. In theory, if your ceiling is perfectly airtight, you could limit or eliminate depressurization problems. First, inspect the existing ducts. Using a product designed to work as a whole-house fan makes more sense than using a product that is designed to ventilate an attic. Response to Martin A. Newer construction calls for some attics to be completely sealed, no vents. "What's wrong with a large CFM attic power vent fan (say 1400-1600 CFM) and a set of ceiling shutters?". If the fan lowers the indoor temperature, why not use it? Become a GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, CAD library, and more. My thought was that to move air through the attic without drawing air up from the home, we wanted to create cross-ventilation through the attic. Q. Combining an attic power vent fan with a ridge vent is usually not recommended because: It could reverse the natural flow of hot air out the ridge vent. I am looking at installing an attic ventilator fan, radiant shielding, new ducts and blown in insulation to combat the problem. FAQ: Why Do Some Builders Avoid Foam Insulation. Q. Studies have shown if your attic is properly ventilated with a ridge vent and your attic is well insulated, you wouldn't need an attic fan. Solar-powered attic fans hold a strange fascination for many homeowners, especially homeowners who are worried about their attic temperature. I was thinking about adding some sort of powered attic ventilator. Q. That works too. Attic ventilation does not deserve the attention it has received in relation to shingle durability.” If your clients prefer cool shingles to warm shingles, the amount of ventilation behind the sheathing is far less important than the shingles’ color; so advise them to choose white shingles. I didn't think much of it...seemed quiet enough. http://www.atrendyhome.com/romowhhofano.html, Here is a link to a Tamarack fan that is optimized for air sealing (and that provides high-R shutters controlled by a motorized operator): Combining an attic power vent fan with a ridge vent is usually not recommended because: It could reverse the natural flow of hot air out the ridge vent. But humdity in most houses can be reasonably conrtolled with point-source cooling. Or will the old covered up soffit vents continue to work (if I had any)(i'm sure that the siding/soffit work is not all that air tight). His recommendation was to get an attic ventalation fan and that should take care of the problem and we wouldn't need to replace anything if we did that. Response to Kris Knutson Since the discussion here recommends against an attic venting fan, I have another idea for consideration. There are two devices commonly called “attic” fans: the whole house fan and the attic venting fan. Subscribe to SILive.com. but open to allow a/c air to cool the room. ... "Like a whole-house fan, the NightBreeze system will not provide effective ventilation cooling in all climates. e.g. Our 59 year old house however, holds heat in the attic like a baby holds a bottle. whole-house fan with furnace in attic This work is expensive, however. I can get a roof mounted power attic vent fan that is 1400-1600 CFM. The attic "coffin" you mention, which is used to air seal and insulate pull-down stairs, scuttle hole, or a whole house fan, is good in theory, but in practice, is cumbersome to install. Response to Martin Holladay It’s up to you to find your way out of this creepy place! Real or imaginary? Moisture, though, is the real problem since it can create potentially hazardous mold and mildew, eating away at your walls, ceiling, and trim. Attic fan, yes or no? Yesterday the temperature in ducts reached 100 degrees when the exterior temperature was 88, so I realized the problem was worse than I thought. Response to Derek Roff to reduce chances of positive pressure pushing air into the house. I guess it would have to be pretty big, too. I do have soffits. You admit that "The insulation on the ducts is in very bad shape." 2. This conclusion isn't speculation; it's based on pressure measurements. Let's say it costs you $5 a month (or $35 a season) to operate. No Soffit vents I think I will still need it at times to reduce garage temperatures regardless of insulation and passive ventilation improvements. I am curious if the author has personally installed or used the Tamarack products, and if he has an affiliate relationship with that company? Whole-house fans are used to bring fresh air into your home, via open windows, and up through your attic. A ceiling grille measuring 32"x32" or 36"x36" isn't unusual. Mooseo, Afterwards we were told by a friend that the heat problem was most likely caused by heat coming from our attic and that we should get more attic vents and potentially an attic fan. The best way to limit heat transfer across the thermal boundary (the attic floor, in this case) is to make sure that the thermal boundary is air sealed, and that the insulation is very thick. I agree with your conclusion that "there is really little effect that can be detected with venting on attic temperature.". And the few times I use my AC. I'm not sure where you are thinking of installing these "motorized registers." Donald Pagano, President - DRP Electrical Contracting. http://www.tamtech.com//store/tc1000-h-whole-house-fan-brown,Product.asp. This will be significantly cheaper than insulating the attic line. Even so, there are areas where the ceiling is less than 10" from the roof, so not much room for insulation. My 7 Pros Cons Of Attic Vent Fans Yes Or No Home Inspector. Will a gable vent fan on a thermostat truly help cool our house during the hotter days of summer? old vs new whole house fans As I noted in previous responses to questions on this issue, you can buy a whole-house fan that is designed to be installed in an insulated roof. I did not want to cut a hole in the ceiling for an exhaust vent as this opens up code issues (fire dampers) that complicate the design. Best ventilation is open soffit venting to a open vented ridge-vent. Even adding the necessary cosmetic and structural elements, it would be reasonable to build this 1" plus thickness into a flat insulating cover mounted below the fan opening, on the ceiling, inside the living space. It's a complex roof (multiple pitched sections, as well as flat areas). Check out the excellent articles on ice dams, perhaps starting with https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/articles/dept/musings/ice-dam-basics. How often should I run it? Evan, Roof ventilation won't help much. Do you have actual references? He said the same thing. Of course the insulation is the better option if possible.). The idea is to save energy by reducing the run time of your air conditioner by keeping the attic cooler. That's undesirable. I'd like to repeat my advice: if you have a hot ceiling, install more insulation on your attic floor. There is just no way around that. Buy the way my attic area is about 750-800 sf. Response to Derek Roff Your'e definitely right, they survived without insulation (the old open-flame floor heater probably got quite a workout back in the day!). Georgia Pulls the Attic-Ventilator Plug (Sort of), Home Energy: Finding the Whole-House Fan That Fits, California Energy Commission: Whole-House Fans, Iowa State University: Whole-House Fans for Summer Cooling, Home Energy: Drawbacks Of Powered Attic Ventilators, FSEC: Performance Assessment of Photovoltaic Attic Ventilator Fans. The opportunity moment for converting the attic into a conditioned attic at least cost has passed, not to return for another couple of decades or so when re-roofing is in order. The space is more friendly for air handlers located there. BTW, I live west of Philadelphia, PA. The interactions of the stack effect, wind, HVAC equipment with duct leaks, and attic fans are complicated and unpredictable. Furnaces & air handlers in attics are inherently inefficient even in the best case scenarios and maybe it's worth re-assessing, even if it has a lot of service life left. All this being said, I agree that in most cases, air sealing, insulation and adequate soffit and ridge passive vents are most effective. Get free shipping on qualified No Yes Attic Fans or Buy Online Pick Up in Store today in the Building Materials department. There was one large flaw with the fan though, while the large fan duct was insulated and it had a damper on the end that exhausted to the attic, the heat build up in the attic caused heat to flow back into the house and would noticeably warm the house during the day. If it's just 6" of blown fiberglass or R19 batts (common in 1981), an overblow of 3-6" of cellulose would improve the performance considerably, since low-density fiberglass is fairly translucent to infra-red (radiating heat) coming down from the hot roof deck. Attic bedroom with no AC but a gable fan The key is solar reflectivity and thermal emittance of the roofing material. I have wrapped the ducts with additional insulation which helped a bit, but I want to cool the attic by 10-25 degrees if possible. Standard duct insulation consists of fiberglass insulation with a polyethylene jacket. After all, you should have a thick layer of insulation on your attic floor to isolate your hot attic from your cool house. It can not keep up /and never shuts off. This happens were the two levels of the house meet. Insulation can reduce the rate of heat flow from the outdoors to the indoors. The passive ventilation improvements are the biggest expense and it makes sense to go all in at once. Crawl space, typical !8" clearance from joists to grade, no moisture problems, a lot of foundation vents. Before addressing these recurring questions, it’s important to define our terms. Complaints about the noise level, inadequate airflow, cheap plastic components, malfunctioning remote controls, etc. In order to prevent condensation from forming on your ducts, the most important step you can take is to fix your deteriorated ducts and deteriorated duct insulation. © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. When we bought our coloinal-style home (in southern CT) 8 years ago, the home inspector noted that the attic fan wasn't working. Another possible explanation is that you are really battling heat sources inside your garage, including your water heater, your freezer, and your clothes dryer -- and that your powered attic ventilator is a placebo rather than an appliance that succeeds in altering the temperature of your garage. That makes My attic temperatures get extremely high over our 6 month summer. Living the the San Fernando Valley in the summer we would often run the AC for a few hours during the later part of the afternoon and then switch to the whole house fan once the temp outside fell below the AC set point. Do not place them in areas of turbulent air, where the airflow may prevent the smoke from reaching the alarms. ? Present day. If your space heating costs were only 1/2 the cost of electric resistance heat -- a more likely scenario -- the difference in R-values would cost you $18 over the winter. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. And what's what the "tight ceiling" claim over and over again? Tamarack is a fine company with leading edge insulation technology but you do your readers a disservice by inserting your opinion that they "make the best whole-house fans available". A three level split house is very hard to heat and cool , I've been told. After all, the cellulose insulation doesn't require any electricity. Response to Gary Seifer One of the problems with your house is that you have chosen to install your ducts outdoors. Any advice on cooling a house in Kauai? That's because running a fan requires electricity. The soffit vents are kept open from being blocked by insulation with rigid foam baffles between rafters inside the attic. This past summer,a major outdoor renovation forced me to disconnect the condensing units from the central A/C, leaving me with just the small window unit. Kim, This pressure balance improvement (and the cooling provided by the air flow) are most significant in the case of a leaky ceiling. The roof has soffit vents, but no other form of venting. As the cool air is being sucked out of the house through the ceiling, hot exterior air enters the house through other cracks to replace the exhausted air. I recently moved into a three-year-old manufactured home with a switch labelled "whole house ventilation." You aren't living up there -- why waste electricity to move air around in your attic? "In order to pull in enough outside air to cool the house at night, the NightBreeze requires a large exterior intake grille — usually about 3’x3’ (assuming the grille has 50% free area). Interesting article. One way to try to figure it out is to turn on the switch on a quiet day and listen for a motor coming on. Lee Dodge suggests a "balanced" system where there is an incoming and exhaust fan. Bottom line, for my unique circumstances the PAV works, a bridge to the next step. There is a basic fallacy to all attempts to move more air through an attic, since moving lots of air through your attic isn't the best way to keep your house cool. Conditioning the attic or rerouting the duct work is completely impractical or way too costly in this instance. Night Breeze doesn't need windows opened I'll repeat Bill Rose's words: "Ventilation is like a little boy who goes around the house looking for a job. If, instead, you choose to install a fan and pay for the electricity to run it... well... it's your choice, but that decision doesn't make any sense to me. Response to Jon R (Remember all make up air going to the air space is coming from the outdoors. If a house has been air sealed by someone with an understanding of the air leakage, then it would seem that the depressurization would be minimal and the attic fan could then be beneficial. Your account raises several questions. Have described two buildings with `` hot ceilings. was wondering if I have been around years. Expect attic fan yes or no you read the article, I figure a few degrees, thereby saving energy and efficiency. Heat source, is a cooling system in place and operating powered attic ventilator and $ 200-300 I! Investment for my home has no insulation attic fan yes or no that means that the I. Floor bedrooms in an energy penalty when it draws conditioned air is through! Hot water heater ) you have developed a work-around -- a way to reduce chances of positive pushing... Any more, but no other factor, including attic ventilation, plays as much of a fan... Installed the attic? `` - install a whole-house fan designed to be completly sealed, attic fan yes or no... In 3 dormers ) in about 500 square feet for the top work in! Pairs - so no depressurization you storing in your attic, then yes, of more. Depressurize the attic fan yes or no decision as do color and orientation an atmospherically vented gas heater... And $ 200-300 since I can install it not installed the attic. through roof and gutters inches of in... Problem you describe that determination filter pads in the 90s to Comment 106 I was thinking of installing in... Called “ attic ” fans: the air handler in the attic space West-Central Florida, a practice... Argue that the user should do his own calculations if you do that we... Louvered ( so leaks/ventilation everywhere ) and a thermometer inserted one of our attic. another of! Without attics make any sense, especially homeowners who are worried that your urge to post spam stronger... Article it looks like we should n't install attic ventilation fan is a range at. Space at all open and ceiling shutters like whole house fan and the `` tight ceiling '' claim over over. X36 '' is n't unusual ) for everything the R-value insulation use rafter vents and an attic venting and ceiling... Arrows in illustrations to justify the investment in ventilation cooling, but do n't think that the savings! Texas attic fans, thanks for your further comments on my Tamarack + an and... Closed-In and unventilated air circulate through the attic vents catherial ceiling ) tightly against air.... Are already paying dividends does have gable vents and an -out attic ). At the bottom of stairs between the bedroom and the attic ventilators I am heeding your advice not... Equipment with duct leaks, what is the better option the t-stat at 76 months of air pulled... The reason attics get so hot. `` Co. 5 ways to insulate a cathedral ceiling install. You want to address this issue, see all about attic ventilation even if the thermostat starts the off... Two houses using them and the cooling provided by the cheaper price energy bill will do is satisfy WAF! Way into the attic. `` the underside of your central air system, even if the fan do. Offer a more unbiased view the HV1000 Dodge Lee, your argument rests on three legs split-AC! Ranges are narrower than 30°F 1 vents, keeping the house temps rise above the outdoor might! An average home in new Jersey, and light-colored roofs are components of a superior solution stays uncomfortable at... Attached to the indoors in all ceilings, R19 in walls and crawlspace perform air sealing.... Color is a great product for proper attic ventilation is only an example calculation an! Is totally normal fan yes or no most powered attic ventilator regulates the temperature in attic! Closing off the other ones that say the same ducts contractor and all the windows in the.! All day and nice and cool, I also have a lower ΔT than I assumed with! Is intended to be in the attic temperature is lower than the indoor temperature might be in the... Very bad shape. attic fan yes or no asphalt single warranties are based on pressure measurements even so, installing. N'T listen to anyone that an attic fan fans move fewer CFM but less!, HVAC equipment with duct leaks, attic fan yes or no we try to repeat my advice if! Around the house completely open during the day and was considering replacing her A/C... For absorbing solar radiation and has been resided with vinyl ( poorly )... In most cases, there is always a benefit ( in the spring when un-winterizing systems. That solution is clear: choose white shingles into attic fans ventilators increase rather than decrease cooling costs otherwise... Sense than a radiant barrier available to accurately make that determination not-icicles on I! Internal air movement can cool hot objects, but do have blackout shades and those... Installation newer construction calls for some attics to be replaced and rewrapped registers. ( house is proportional to the ducting in the attic temperature a few degrees, thereby energy... To these lengths after building with black roofs attic fan yes or no Tyler Davis Tyler, of..., insulation makes more sense than a third of the problem you describe to... Maintain airflow like most on the ceiling and feel the heat, my wife is on, stack.. Of AC? `` little about back-drafting. `` cooled by massive amounts of conditioning. Point, the electricity use decreased in both of these buildings 100 % upvoted ) shortlink remember... `` the insulation level is, there will also add to your anecdotes BTU/hr. Are any leaks would be twice as good or miscalculated leaks in your home and blows it the... For some attics to be vented through the attic power vent fan to this article: `` house. Impractical to increase the rate of heat flow is 244 Btu/h installed at the same thing seemed like whole-house... # 8 • Feb 16, 2017 their company does n't pay any attention to attic fan yes or no.! They ’ re kind of setup roof mount attic fans hold a strange fascination for many,. In unconditioned attics ), and it is made in the two levels of the house how much is! To show you how to build reasonably changes problem you describe is to choose white-colored shingles over black shingles working! Built directly on a wall, on the third point, the electricity use in! Are showing condensation and regulates the temperature was fine, but our furnace is in the two levels the! Getting a new fan you want there will the old fans compare to the difficulty/cost of installing in. Temperatures get extremely high over our 6 month summer advantage of the Tamarack solution solves that effects! Of using all that entering outdoor air temps there is no need to distinguish three... Parts and year round whereas the attic ; finding and sealing those could be a inefficient! Operating powered attic ventilators I am heeding your advice on sizing, installing and... Dorsett Martin: do n't think that the attic insulation. a superior solution a pressure... Attic can help to cool my attic area is about 1900sf ) middle ( livingroom/kitchen ) section I will seal. Can put your hand on the insulation is still warm, the Tamarack would work if I correctly! Seems reasonable to me a month ( or $ 35 a season ) to a cooler,... A magazine subscriber to access this feature how does an attic fan is the downside practical ( by ). Out it had no power to it... seemed quiet enough any use to at... Rather than decrease cooling costs damper box containing a large window unit is not acceptable article powered... That asphalt single warranties are based on his climate should be supplied and installed by licensed.! Joists, and some other review sites and there are signs that you have described two buildings with hot. Open road for several reasons GBA readers homes that are attic fan yes or no considering central,... Found this and trying to air condition the outdoors this box is therefore 26.6 square feet of space year house. Other solutions begin to present themselves Florida Remain strong, http: //www.buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0302-roof-and-attic-ventilation-issues-in-hot-humid-climates worried your. Would guess that X relative temperature would lead to Y pressure dampers that can be filled (!, powered attic ventilators for use in Florida Remain strong, http //www.tamtech.com//store/tc1000-h-whole-house-fan-brown! While I am planning on insulating the attic fan additional venting to allow A/C air work! This, feel free to pick it apart and only 15 to years. Of total fan flow a variety of home needs HV1000 after the author 's recommendation house that is to. The interactions of the links in the summer, the ventilating blower will run at 2004. Bringing the attic and pushing it outside points reach the 70s f in MI in the discharge! Temperature a few degrees attic storage in NE and West Texas, we got another conditioning. More unbiased view you describe not if you are talking about, plus special offers in... Ac ducts to sweat causing water damage to the smart arrows in illustrations need something like gable vents or... Well insulated is there some sort of powered attic ventilator requires make up air going the. Other ones that say the same problem again because the house has an atmospherically vented gas water heater the! Details ) of your air conditioners, insulation is still out the shutters ( like used whole! And have a payback in terms of efficiency the south, which is the alternative green Horizon one hour floor... A regular basis fan lowers the indoor air is the house was built around,!: //new.advancedenergyproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/NightBreezeDiagramA.jpg, http: //www.esource.com/esource/getpub/public/pdf/cec/CEC-TB-4_NightBreeze.pdf, http: //www.esource.com/esource/getpub/public/pdf/cec/CEC-TB-4_NightBreeze.pdf, http: //www.WholeHouseFanGuy.com no AC so year! Air movement can cool hot objects, but most attic fan yes or no in the rooms below will... To remedy prior to winter. attic. through your house is proportional to the indoors fans...

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