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Old 03-23-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
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Should I replace my attic fan?


A squirrel has been getting into my attic through a roof vent. I took the top of the vent off and I see that there is a fan in there. Not sure yet but I think this answers the 7 year question about what that switch on the dinning room wall is for

The fan is very hard to turn. I haven't checked voltage to it or anything yet. My questions are...what exactly is the purpose of a roof vent attic fan and should I get it working again or just forget it?

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Remove it, patch the hole in the roof and add a ridge vent.

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
A squirrel has been getting into my attic through a roof vent. I took the top of the vent off and I see that there is a fan in there. Not sure yet but I think this answers the 7 year question about what that switch on the dinning room wall is for

The fan is very hard to turn. I haven't checked voltage to it or anything yet. My questions are...what exactly is the purpose of a roof vent attic fan and should I get it working again or just forget it?
If this is an older house that does not have vents under the eaves and has other means of replacement air getting into the attic area, then you should stick with the attic vent fan. Certainly is your cheapest option even if it needs replacement. To directly answer your question, a roof vent fan removes heat and moisture from your attic space which would otherwise build up.

Just to be clear, is this similar to what you're looking at on your house?



Most attic vent fans run on a thermostat that is wired inline to the power line. They have a screw that you can adjust the trigger temperature to). It should run automatically and turn on at around 110 deg. F or so. If it's hard to turn by hand, then it's probably old and shot and you need a new one.

Last edited by Ironlight; 03-23-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Apparently I hit the wrong button. Attic vents tend to depressurize the attic, encouraging conditioned air to leak up there. Bad. Heat lost, and moisture introduced. Get natural venting, as mentioned, esp in the soffits if at all possible. Greenbuildingadvisor.com just had a blerb about this.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:26 PM   #5
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Yes, your picture shows what is on my roof which contains the fan.
I also see that my roof ridge shingles seem to be laid over a plastic lattice looking contraption. A web search shows that it is probably a ridge vent or baffle? Does this accomplish the same purpose as the fan or does it serve a different function?
I have included a picture that is similar.
Also, my soffits have about every 4th panel perforated. Is that for ventilation also?
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Should I replace my attic fan?-ridge_vent_1.jpg  
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Assuming there is a hole under that contraption, that sure looks like ridge vent. That is probably fine, but the FAN may be a bad idea. You really need soffit venting to get air moving through the attic. Otherwise, you have a bottle cap taken off, but no good way to get the air in the bottle up the neck and out; poor analogy, perhaps, but maybe effective?
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:06 AM   #7
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Should I replace my attic fan?


You don't want both an attic vent fan AND a ridge vent, and as stated if you already have the ridge vent then you should delete the powered fan. They will work at cross purposes most of the time.

That said, ridge vents are designed to work with soffit vents at the eaves and evacuate warm air and moisture through convection.

However, if you have gable vents instead of soffit vents you might want to keep the powered fan and set it to a higher temperature, like 125 degrees, so that on the hottest days it kicks in to help venting, as gable vents are not as efficient as soffit vents.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:05 PM   #8
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Yes I already have the ridge vent. And as stated above my soffits are ventilated as far as I know. Every 4th panel of the soffit is perforated. I assume that these are ventilation. Correct?
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:37 PM   #9
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Should I replace my attic fan?


Yes, but they don't sound near enough: http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/pro...it-specs.shtml

Post a picture of your soffit area from about 6’ away. How deep are they- 18”, 24”?

The previous owner must have needed the powered exhaust for a reason. It appears your roof is lower than the trees nearby, possibly in a low wind zone.

Ridge/soffit venting is optimum but with no wind, it may require powered venting (careful with roof location). The stack effect alone may not drive enough ventilation because of the convective loops constantly occurring there to stratify the air.http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/vi...ventilation%22 Perhaps it was over-worked…. Lol. You need to check in the attic for air-sealing the wiring/plumbing holes, etc. to make sure the conditioned air from below is not supplying the make-up air instead of outside soffit air, before using the powered fan. http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021105092.pdf


http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...s/Step-By-Step


Gary

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