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Old 06-27-2010, 10:56 PM   #16
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Turbine vent pumping fresh air to basement!


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Originally Posted by toofart View Post
That's funny, because I'm in Gatineau... Since I posted that (last October), I simply blocked off the vents into the house so that attic air does not come in. But like you, I'll fix it before winter. I'm normally a DIY guy but I think I'll just get some roofing experts in to remove that thing and install proper (modern) vents.
In fact, I'm in Gatineau too :-) On what street are you ? Maybe our houses were built by the same contractor.

What experts have you found ? None of the ones I brought over had even seen a thing like this old venmar device.

If I get it properly, you're planing on having the old turbine removed and replaced by an ATTIC vent ? Or an air exchanger ? I'm asking because I already have modern attic vents (two of them, the Maximum type). So if I get this thing removed, I'm not quite certain I should replace it with anything...

And there's still this question : what if that thing DOES help ? Obviously it throws out warm air in the winter which isn't great, but it might take out humidity too (which makes the house easier to heat AND more healthy). I'm kindda puzzled because no one can tell me if that thing is of any use and I don't feel like spending money to remove/replace it if it's only to save 20$ a year.

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Old 06-28-2010, 11:55 AM   #17
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Turbine vent pumping fresh air to basement!


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Originally Posted by mlachance View Post
In fact, I'm in Gatineau too :-) On what street are you ? Maybe our houses were built by the same contractor.
I'm on Dumais street, in Templeton. Where are you?

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Originally Posted by mlachance View Post
What experts have you found ? None of the ones I brought over had even seen a thing like this old venmar device.
I haven't searched yet, but my plan is to have one or two maximums installed. From what I read, the turbine vents are very effective for attic ventilation -- they are simply prone to making noise. It may be easier to simply replace the existing turbine with a new one, properly installed without all the Venmar crud.

When the Venmar was connected and working, I had zero attic ventilation other than from the soffit. Pretty lame.


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Originally Posted by mlachance View Post
And there's still this question : what if that thing DOES help ? Obviously it throws out warm air in the winter which isn't great, but it might take out humidity too (which makes the house easier to heat AND more healthy). I'm kindda puzzled because no one can tell me if that thing is of any use and I don't feel like spending money to remove/replace it if it's only to save 20$ a year.
I thought of this, and concluded that for it to effectively remove humidity, it would need to pull basement air from close to the floor (where the humidity is) -- not from the ceiling on every floor. Also, in the winter, most often cold air would flow down through the vent when there is no wind.

Since no one makes a similar product today, I have to conclude that it's not all that effective. Last October, when I had this device completely plugged, I had an expert over to analyze the quality of the air. The lab results showed nothing of interest -- all normal. She did suggest using this device, instead of a dehumidifier:

http://www.ezbreathe.com/

That seems like nothing more than a fan to exhaust basement floor air (humid air) to the outside. Sounds good, but when I asked her where the fresh air would come from, her answer was 'the natural gaps and holes in windows, doors, etc'. I wasn't convinced.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:56 AM   #18
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Turbine vent pumping fresh air to basement!


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Originally Posted by toofart View Post
I'm on Dumais street, in Templeton. Where are you?
I'm on Bazin street, in du Barry. Around 10 km west from you. Probably no link in the construction, especially 3 years apart.

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I haven't searched yet, but my plan is to have one or two maximums installed. From what I read, the turbine vents are very effective for attic ventilation -- they are simply prone to making noise. It may be easier to simply replace the existing turbine with a new one, properly installed without all the Venmar crud.
If you have no attic vent at all, a maximum is a good idea and it's quite cheap. Good attic ventilation is important. Temperature in the attic should be about the same as outside at all times.

BTW, I just contacted a Venmar representative this morning who knows about this old product. He told me that they stopped making it back in 1995 and discontinued the parts for it in 2008 and that equipment played the role of an air exchanger, before air exchangers were invented.


Quote:
When the Venmar was connected and working, I had zero attic ventilation other than from the soffit. Pretty lame.
Wasn't there a hole in the Venmar ? Mine had 3 holes for pipes runing to each floor + 1 hole for the attic. Of course, it's not much.


Quote:
I thought of this, and concluded that for it to effectively remove humidity, it would need to pull basement air from close to the floor (where the humidity is) -- not from the ceiling on every floor. Also, in the winter, most often cold air would flow down through the vent when there is no wind.
Good point about the humidity near the floor... Humm... I'm still puzzled about why the previous owner didn't remove it when he had the roof redone in 2007, even though he had 2 maximums installed.

I'm not sure cold air would flow down through this system : the turbine pumps the air up but if it stops turning it doesn't push any air down. Of course, cold air is heavier but it definitly wouldn't create as much pressure difference. It takes a lot of energy to pull air through a pipe several feet long.


Quote:
Since no one makes a similar product today, I have to conclude that it's not all that effective.
I discussed that at lenght with the venmar rep this morning and he told me :
1) modern air exchangers are definitly more efficient than this thing (at circulating air), but they cost more, both at purchase and to run. I'm not sure it's worth a replacement.
2) the old device we both have only pumps air OUT and relies on cracks and door openings to get so air IN. Now that used to work pretty fine three decades ago but now that insulation technology and minimal standards for insultation in new houses have changed, it makes this device less efficicent. That's why they stopped making it.
3) Unless the insulation in our houses have been replaced, that device should still work pretty fine.


Quote:
Last October, when I had this device completely plugged, I had an expert over to analyze the quality of the air. The lab results showed nothing of interest -- all normal. She did suggest using this device, instead of a dehumidifier:
What expert did you call ? I should have a similar test done...

What I'll probably do is to block the turbine for this winter, see how it goes and have the air tested too. Then i'll see if i need to change anything. If there's not enough fresh air getting in, then i'll hesitate about fixing this old venmar vs buying and air exchanger.

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