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Old 09-15-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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Attic Ventilation Question…


I purchased my home one year ago. The house was built with gable vents in the attic. There is also a fan on one end to help with ventilation. The year before we bought the house the previous owner replaced the roof and installed a ridge vent, but did not install soffit vents. It is my understanding that the ridge vent won't work without the soffit vents, but also that the two systems do not work properly together. Do I spend money to have the soffit vents installed and close off the gable vents or close off the ridge to allow the gable vents to work efficiently.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Old 09-16-2008, 07:44 AM   #2
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Attic Ventilation Question…


Basically, air holds moisture. Warm air holds more than cold air. In the evening or during a period when the outside air temperature drops to below dew point, attic ventilation allows the warm moist air inside the roof to vent and be replaced with cool air so that the inside of the roof assembly cools to the same temperature as the outside. That prevents moisture from condensing on the underside of the roof as it cools. The Ridge vent and the gable vents can easily co-exist, but neither are really effective without a source of fresh air. The fan is no longer effective, since it will pull air from the nearest source. Most likely that will be to pull air in through the ridge vent. In order for either vent system to be totally effective, air should be allowed to enter from the eaves. Soffit vents will greatly improve the ventilation since they will allow air to move across the entire underside of the roof and not just in the area of the peak.

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Old 09-16-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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Attic Ventilation Question…


Thanks -

It sounds like I should install the soffit vents and disable the vent fan to have optimal ventilation.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:22 AM   #4
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Attic Ventilation Question…


Quote:
Originally Posted by champy2008 View Post
Thanks -

It sounds like I should install the soffit vents and disable the vent fan to have optimal ventilation.
You should definitely install soffit vents. Ridge vents are useless without them.

But, I wouldn't necessarily remove the vent fan.

Soffit vents/ridge vents are always working.

Vent fan is usually set to kick in at a certain temperature.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:03 PM   #5
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Attic Ventilation Question…


very good information and opine above.

Unfortunately it is still called theory. If you believe that cooler air falls then soffit vents will aid your passive convection air currents by providing a place for this air to go. Your ridge or off ridge vent provides egress for the warmer air (which can hold more RH as it is less dense than cooler air). Now consider the radiant energy transferred through the roof and corresponding conduction through the various materials in the attic area.

Take an aspirin... add the soffit vents...and keep the fan.

the passive system will be working when the mechanical system is not.

Last edited by Big Bob; 09-16-2008 at 07:20 PM.
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