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Old 11-09-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
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A roofing ventilation question - Fans and Ridges?


Hi All-

I have a question about attic ventiliation.

Currently I have a cape cod style 1 1/2 story home, with a large very highly peaked roof/attic.
I've been told repeatedly the attic was poorly vented, and temps in there would skyrocket over the hottest summer months. It does have soffits and small roof vents near the peak, but apparently, not enough.
Last year I finally installed a large thermostat controlled attic fan from Menards, as close to the peak as possible. It kicks off by temp and also humidity. It made a big difference in my humble DIY opinion. It is much cooler up there now, relatively.

Now---- this summer my roof started to leak. Because of the high pitch of the roof (dangerous) I've opted to hire out the work completely and not try anything myself. I'm going for reshingling the whole roof.
But- The roofer I've settled on immediately told me he wants to install ridge vents all along the roof peaks when they reshingle. He obviously likes ridge vents and I know they are a going thing these days.

My question is--- are the ridge vents going to completely defeat the attic fan I just installed, and how much? It is quite powerful and I can even tell it pulls a bit of air from the lower floor if I don't open the windows upstairs. I know, its too strong. But I've heard ridge vents and attic fans dont mix.
If the ridge vents will ruin the attic fans usefulness....which I do not want to remove since its new and was expensive......what would be the better venting course? Nothing? More vents elsewhere?
Thanks for advice and opinions......

jeffpas

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Last edited by jeffpas; 11-09-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:01 PM   #2
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A roofing ventilation question - Fans and Ridges?


This is the exact reason I don't like attic fans. Firstly they cost money to purchase and run, and secondly they pull conditioned air out of the house.

You are looking at this in an odd way... The ridge vent is a better method of ventilation, so yes I suppose the ridge vent will defeat the "usefulness" of the attic fan. Ideally you have continuous soffit vents and a continuous ridge vent, which is a setup that does the job adequately and doesn't require money/power to run.

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Old 11-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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A roofing ventilation question - Fans and Ridges?


I've been reading posts all over the web and everyone loves to beat up on attic fans....it is a favorite venting topic. But despite all the bad press they keep getting bought, keep getting installed and refuse to die out.
So either the public is collectively nuts (possible).... or theres some truth to the madness (also possible). Mine certainly cools off my attic. I also like opening the windows in the house on a cool evening after a hot day and running the fan, beats the air condition by a long shot and probably healthier too. I think its more effective than say, a ceiling fan which just moves the same hot air around the house.

I just watched this Youtube clip where a contractor talked about many of the old homes that originally came with the fans, and his take was, leave them in. Ridge vents are good if youre starting from scratch, but why throw out an option you already have?

Anyway I can't see paying the roofer to take out a fan I just spent a chunk of change on, and charging me for it to boot. Its really nice to have. And currently, the attic just doesn't get raging hot anymore.
And as far as leaving it in.....I just don't know if paying to have ridge vents put in at this point would be counterproductive, make the effective fan ineffective......turning it truly into a boob purchase and costing more besides. Sounds like it might.
Maybe going for more soffits is the answer? Or gable vents if more ventiliation is really needed? Seems to make sense to go with what you've already got instead of ripping out, patching, working backwards.
? ? ?

Last edited by jeffpas; 11-09-2012 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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A roofing ventilation question - Fans and Ridges?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpas View Post
I've been reading posts all over the web and everyone loves to beat up on attic fans....it is a favorite venting topic. But despite all the bad press they keep getting bought, keep getting installed and refuse to die out.
So either the public is collectively nuts (possible).... or theres some truth to the madness (also possible). Mine certainly cools off my attic. I also like opening the windows in the house on a cool evening after a hot day and running the fan, beats the air condition by a long shot and probably healthier too. I think its more effective than say, a ceiling fan which just moves the same hot air around the house.

I just watched this Youtube clip where a contractor talked about many of the old homes that originally came with the fans, and his take was, leave them in. Ridge vents are good if youre starting from scratch, but why throw out an option you already have?

Anyway I can't see paying the roofer to take out a fan I just spent a chunk of change on, and charging me for it to boot. Its really nice to have. And currently, the attic just doesn't get raging hot anymore.
And as far as leaving it in.....I just don't know if paying to have ridge vents put in at this point would be counterproductive, make the effective fan ineffective......turning it truly into a boob purchase and costing more besides. Sounds like it might.
Maybe going for more soffits is the answer? Or gable vents if more ventiliation is really needed? Seems to make sense to go with what you've already got instead of ripping out, patching, working backwards.
? ? ?
Partical board subflooring, louan underlaymant, plastic dryer vent house are also still sold, does not make it a good idea.
A ridge vent, vents the whole roof, no air gets traped in the rafter bays, cost 0 to run.
Having a gable vent, turbin vent or powered roof vent and a ridge vent makes 0 since. The hot moist air needs to be drawn out and exhosted. Have both stye vent will short circut the flow. Instead of drawing make up air through the soffit drawing through the rafter bays and out the roof it just gets it's air from the nearest vent. So none of the moist air gets exhosted.

The fan your talking about you say you saw on You Tube where whole house fans, there mounted to the ceiling not the roof. Yes there great but without proper venting in the attic the air being drawn in has no place to go.
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