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ktkelly 09-19-2012 03:19 PM

Ridge Vent or Gable Vent Fan?
Which do you prefer?

Which so you think will do a better job of bringing attic temps down?

House is out on a North Carolina coastal island. And yes, it does get windy, and also gets quite hot and humid in the summer months. Currently there's a powered vent in the roof, but it has a bad motor, and the roof is going to be done this winter season, so it can go away.

I've also been looking on Amazon at the various solar powered roof/gable vents. Anyone try them?

The downside from my point of view is that electric rates are higher than the typical rates elsewhere (along with crazy high water/sewer rates).

Typical to set AC at 85, turn off water heater, use some timed solar powered LED lights in and out, shut down the water supply, etc, etc, when the house is not occupied.

Have also installed dimmable LED's in all the can lights (there's some 20+ of them to help with the high electric costs) when it is occupied...

retired guy 60 09-19-2012 06:02 PM

A ridge vent combined with soffit vents is my preference.

joecaption 09-19-2012 06:08 PM

Ridge vent by a mile.
No moving parts, works 24/7, cost nothing to run.
But you have to also have soffit vents or any type of venting is useless.

ktkelly 09-19-2012 06:24 PM

That sort of surprises me.

On the main home I have both ridge vents and gable vents, with lots of soffit vents.

The temps in the attic are extreme in hot weather (not that I've sat up there with a thermometer :laughing:..), so I wonder just how effective all that venting really is.

It seems like a solar powered, or electrical, fan system would be better at bringing the temps to the outdoor ambient temps than a passive system due to the ability to move more air

joecaption 09-19-2012 06:31 PM

One reason it's so hot is you did not cover up the gable vents, so now you have the air being sucked in the gable vents and out the ridge vents. Very little air is being sucked in the soffits so it can wash across the rafter bays and out the ridge.

Are you 100% sure the soffits are not blocked up with insulation? Really needed foam baffles to keep them clear.

Windows on Wash 09-20-2012 06:07 AM


You are also going to feel some heat in the attic regardless. Convection is only going to remove so much heat. Much of what people feel in a soffit/ridge vented attic is radiant heat from the roof deck.

That being said, most soffit/ridge vented attics are not vented properly and are blocked up as Joe was referencing.

Attic ventilation is about removing moisture and not controlling heat at the end of the day.

strategery 09-20-2012 08:03 AM

Go with ridge and soffit vents if you can.

I have a solar attic fan and it does not lower the attic temperature very much. And like windows said, attic ventilation is more to do with moisture migration than temperature.

It'd be a good idea to air seal all of the ceiling penetrations and the top plates then add some insulation up there. Then the attic temp won't make much of a difference.

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