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adequate ventilation

2937 Views 29 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  robotman2009
Just bought a house last february. As soon as we moved I started having major sinus issues. So in April we had an air quality test done....everything except carbon monoxide came back high...high particles...high co2...high humidity high 50s low 60s..high chemicals etc. So at first I thought I had a tight house and was considering a whole home dehumidifer...then a recent trip through my attic revealed something to me...I dont think I have enough ventilation....I have about 2500 sq ft of attic space...there are soffit vents but they are blocked by the vaulted ceilings at every other rafter...with every other rafter having baffles...ive heard and read the soffit baffles should be at every rafter...the attic right now is about 10-15degrees more than outside...during the summer is probably at least 20-30 degrees hotter...summer is much worse on my sinuses and the dust in the house is worse witb there being an atticy smell...about two thirds of my attic space have the baffles like this or less...also I only have two of those mushroom vent things at the highest part of my roof...but I dont think these are even half of the 900 plus sq in of exhaust I need. I did a caculation and realized that the builder seemed to be using 1/300 ratio for the calculation....I read that newer homes...the house was built in 2007 should use the 1/150 ration to calculate the amount of exhaust/ intake. So it seems I need at least twice as much house has a center section that is like a 4 sided pyramid...with two gable roofs coming off of this section in the front and a gable section in the back for the master I can't use ridge venting in the main part of the house...was thinking of putting three 14 inch turbines at the top of the main section and one turbine for each of the gable sections....this has been a big deal since this whole lack of ventilation thing seems to really be affecting the air quality in the house. Any ideas...ive been wondering why older houses that have similar square footage and two turbines seem to feel better to me. I think I have found an answer.
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Attic ventilation is not designed to dilute indoor pollutants. Attic ventilation is about removing moisture and heat from the attic to prevent condensation and ice damming potential.

Identify the source of the pollutants and abate that first and foremost. Did whomever did the air quality test identify any suspect areas?

Do you have a:

  • connected garage to the home
  • combustion furnace
  • crawlspace
  • chemicals stored in the basement/home
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You do not say what style your house is.
You do not say how old your house is (When it was Built)
You do not say what type of interior appointments you have. (Hard Wood, Wall To Wall Carpet etc)

One thing is for certain. There are more chemicals in the houses built today than there ever were years ago.

We used to use T&G for sub floor. Now we use Plywood or even OSB
Made with Formaldehyde Based resin. Same with Carpet. Cheap carpet has a lot of Formaldehyde in it.

Houses built today are toxic. You need to let makup air in.
Sorry I see you did say your house was built in 2007.
put up some pictures. Wide view of your roof configuration. Maybe we can help you. I just finished re-designing one that sounds like yours.

You should not have an "atticy" smell up there.
We have carpet in pretty much the whole house except for bathrooms and kitchen dining room but the carpet doesnt stink...also when we did the air quality study the particles didnt jump up when we were at know our footfalls knocking up dust. Our home is on a slab. The garage is attached. Last year after the iaq test, I sealed up the gaping holes that were on the sides of the bathroom vents and dryer room vents....this seemed to help...I read somewhere that particles can get pulled in from attic...especially if the air in the house is cool and the air in the attic is hot...the dust resembles the color of the know that brown color. I woukd be happy to bring in some makeup air but thats really expensive...especially when it seems I dont have enough ventilation. I know the attic doesnt ventilate kiving areas but I fear the heat build up in the attic and the humidity build up in the attic isnt what it should be...I read in inspectopedia that this can cause air to be pulled into the house...will post sone pictures soon.
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Also no gas appliances...thank the Lord....connected garage but I have removed all the chemicals that arent sealed up. No sub floor except the slab.
The iaq guy wanted to do a door blower test to check for tightness of house but I have troubke believing the builder didnt do some kind of test to verify the tightness was right.
The co2 kicked up when we get hone and peaks at 6 in the morning..with it being around 1400 on the weekends...thats high but not life threatening. The iaq guy also recommended putting in more returns.
Finally I think the attic would create problems for the air handler inside with the temperature being super hot and humid in the attic...took the hygrometer into the attic the other day..humidity outside was in the lower 30s...the attic was in the lower 50s.
The iaq guy wanted to do a door blower test to check for tightness of house but I have troubke believing the builder didnt do some kind of test to verify the tightness was right.
You would likely be mistaken in this case. Builders don't give a rat's you know what about tightness and were likely not required, by code, in 2007 to do anything.

jagans is also right that the homes are full of VOCs now with all the stuff they are built with.

You need complete separation from the garage and whether or not the lids are closed on chemicals doesn't matter. If you part cars in there, they are off gassing.

If you cannot identify an acute source of the VOC and chemicals, it is time to install a bath fan on a time to create some ventilation to outside or an ERV/HRV to start cycling the air.

Finally I think the attic would create problems for the air handler inside with the temperature being super hot and humid in the attic...took the hygrometer into the attic the other day..humidity outside was in the lower 30s...the attic was in the lower 50s.
That is way to high for the attic. That attic ventilation is not working correctly and you have way to much humidity making it into the attic.

Where is the home located again?

Do you know if you have Chinese Drywall?
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Have you checked for mold buildup under your carpet? If you are on a slab, and they did not put in a good vapor barrier below the slab moisture will travel up through the concrete and condense right where you may have adhesive (food source) for mold. Check this out. Peel back the carpet in a closet. Green Mold tears me up bad. Maybe you too.
No cars in the garage. The house is located in fort worth tx. No chinese firewall that I can detect...ive checked the labels on several of the roof sheetrock from above no suspicious labels....more importantly the wires in the walls dont have the black coating...also no sulphury smells.
So shoukd the vents be lowered? I thought the point was ti get them above the roof line to get them spinning. I was thinking of putting in more vents over the garage...over the front bedroom...over the back bedroom and add another one in the main well as change them all to turbines. Also I was going to add soffit baffles to very rafter rather than every one. I was thinking this would help with any off gassing given that offgassung usually happens with higher humidities which is happening in the attic. Im nit sold on the ventilator stuff seems to me that the house shouldnt need it unless something is wrong...two or three ac guys have told me that.
One ac guy did ask me about off gassing but I havent found evidence of chinese question is why are people being allowed ti buikd houses like seems like we dont have enough of them and not enough people to enforce them and then not real consequences for trying to squrak by.
I dont see any continuous ridge ventilation, and you dont show your soffits. Do you have vaulted ceilings? Do you have eaves to ridge ventilation? Who built this house???? Plans?? Pictures???

Squark By???? Yup there are more Squarkers than Squeekers nowadays, and Squeekers were bad enough!
I have also checked the electrical box no oxidation or whatever it is called to indicate chinese firewall. This really sucks...believe it or not this is the only thing my wife and I have arguments over. She thinks it is all in my head...ive been tested for allergies three times both foodborne and airborne allergies. This really really sucks. Whats funny is I start feeling better whenever I leave the house.
No ridge ventilation...I heard its bad to mix different types of ventilation so since I cant put ridge ventilation on the main pyramid part of the house it seems better to just go with turbines. Soffits are on every side of the house....however it is semi blocked by vaulted ceilings in the these places there are soffit baffles on every other or every third rafter. Once again it seems the builder followed the 1/300 for the ventilation. I think this is the company that built the house.
Here is a screenshot of a rough drawing.

The red represents where there are soffit vents

Green represents the vaulted ceilings

Purple represents where the soffits are blocked.

Keep in mind I only have about 400 square inches of exhaust space for about 2500 square feet of attic....not to mention at least half of the soffit venting in the purple areas is blocked.

The reason im pushing this ventilation thing iss because my dads older house...actually has holes where you can actually see in the attic but I never have issues at his house....he has two unblocked gable vents and two turbines and I can actually breathe when I go to his house.

Last summer I sealed up the house from the attic on the sides of the ac supply vents..had a lot of issues breathing so after a few months I opened them back up...the first night I did this I slept like a baby felt like I could breathe etc...after a few days it started feeling dusty in the house etc....chest tightness..etc.

This may be one of thos issues that isnt solved by one solution.


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