But personally, I'd go for better than "tolerable" - install a mini-split and use it sparingly. Fix the insulation layer. First, we need to distinguish between three different types of ventilation fans. Q. "I wonder what the energy consumption difference would be, between an R-5 cover, and the R-26 advocated as the low end by Erik North? The polyethylene jacket is an essential part of the system -- it blocks air and moisture flow from the attic air. A blower-door test will tell you more about your air barrier details, and a few small inspection holes will tell you more about your insulation details. 2. "I read a little about back-drafting.". Brite, If there are any leaks would be the lighting installations. Using the Sun to make the electricity for this fan, however, makes it only marginally better than its grid-powered cousin. Davis Energy Group of Davis, CA developed the Night Breeze system which does not require window opening to cool the house. You are living in a poorly designed house. I had hoped you would have done a little more research into other suppliers in order to offer a more unbiased view. Homeowners should avoid them like the plague. I imagine this hole would need to patched. This provides much-needed ventilation, and is a powerful addition to your Let's say it costs you $5 a month (or $35 a season) to operate. The ventilation that controls moisture from condensation and regulates the temperature in your attic relies on air circulation. The article says of R-5, "Clearly, that’s not enough insulation." All other comments are well noted and thanks for your support. It is valuable to have the data from those who have studied them recently. whole house fan But it will also add to your electric bill. Some say yes, some say it should be vented through the fascia. J. Freeman, Any Suggestions? Also, a local home center suggests closing off the other gables and forcing the air to recirculate through the soffit vents. Response to K Costa So I am beginning to search for motorized registers that would open if the thermostat starts the a/c or furnace. Cold climates will have a higher ΔT than I assumed, and warm climates will have a lower ΔT than I assumed. Thanks for your help, my wife thinks I am creating a problem where none exists. Related . Before providing a simple yes or no answer to this question, you must understand that there are a couple of types of attic fans available on the market. Dan, This means it can only cool 1-2 rooms, not a whole house. It can not keep up /and never shuts off. Not if you think that the investment will have a payback in terms of efficiency. Like Gustave, I live in an ideal climate for whole house fan (coastal California). See what works best. We just had our shingles replaces with white energy-star shingles, and had the attic floor insulation brought up to code. If you want to install a whole-house fan, go right ahead. Over 24 hours, that would be 5,856 Btu. David, It sounds like you wanted to install a whole-house fan, but ended up with two powered attic ventilators instead. That seems a bad move for using the fan. Just for fun, here's a photo I took at a 2004 built Minneapolis townhouse - yes, this attic was completely uninsulated. Ideally, you have sealed your attic floor (otherwise known as your ceiling) tightly against air leakage. Q. Response to Gary Seifer How would all of that warm air ventilate out of the attic? Once it cools down outside in the evening? Carefully install and test water and waste piping, making sure that there are no leaks at the joints or punctures. I've found two sites that recommend them if you have no AC and others saying there's almost always a bad idea. That means that the ΔT is 40 F°. I have very little insulation in my attic. My own, scenario, however, doesn't quite fit. Of course the insulation is the better option if possible.). While I am planning on insulating the attic properly, is there sense in me having an attic fan as well? (It seems to me there is) But a sealed attic has no vents to dump the fan air from the interior of the house. But very, very few ceilings are airtight. However, after having read the reports of researchers who have studied the issue and measured energy use in buildings with powered attic ventilators, I'm going to stick with the conclusions and advice of the researchers, even in the face of two anecdotes that buck the trend. Your research into attic fans is of great interest. If it's just 6" of blown fiberglass or R19 batts (common in 1981), an overblow of 3-6" of cellulose would improve the performance considerably, since low-density fiberglass is fairly translucent to infra-red (radiating heat) coming down from the hot roof deck. We put two in our attic, one of those solar roof vent fans, one a gable fan, and it does wonders for the attic temperature. If the windows are open in the house there is no "cooling penality" to having some air exhausted from through the attic. The soffit vents are kept open from being blocked by insulation with rigid foam baffles between rafters inside the attic. My workshop is out there, along with a freezer, washer dryer etc. On the other hand, each attic fan took about $100 and hour to install. So, for example, going from R-30 to R-38 insulation is the equivalent of lowering the attic temperature by 15 deg F (assuming starting point of 150 F attic temp and 78 F interior temp). Obviously, it depends on the average ambient temperature, humidity, and the nature of the attic. 1. Martin, even if you have R-100 insulation and perfect air sealing there will always be an energy flow from a 150 degree attic to a 78 degree living space. Mark: Yes, using fans to put positive pressure in the house would eliminate pulling conditioned air into the attic, but if the ceiling has leaks, you've now turned the problem from exfiltration to infiltration and are pushing hot attic air into the house. But does work. see the search faq for details. For more information, see Creating a Conditioned Attic. To wit, I have intalled two attic fans; both installations were resounding successes: 1) My 1960-vintage home in northern Alabama runs 5-tons of central air conditioning plus one small window A/C unit. This assumes that there is a cooling system in place and operating. Several studies show that using a power attic ventilator does not always save more electric than it uses; even in a newer home with no cracks or air seepage. Please support high-quality local journalism. The space is more friendly for air handlers located there. If we keep everything else equal, this is 1/17th of the insulated area in your calculation, so the rough cost differential over a season drops from $18 to just over $1, for the cheaper heating source. All our experts are licensed, bonded and insured members of the Staten Island Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (The Home Improvement Contractors of Staten Island). 3. We live in south east Texas. In North TX and OK (where wife grew up, and West Texas attic fans were great. Your article comes across as biased. While your plan makes more sense than my earlier interpretation, it's still not as good as the two conventional solutions to your problem (either creating an unvented conditioned attic, or increasing the thickness of the duct insulation). The key is to right-size it for the load, but find one that can modulate down to very low levels so that the duty cycle is quite high, even when set to 80-85F. This article strongly recommends against the attic fan, but the only solutions presented to problems such as mine are very expensive. Heat conduction from the attic to the house is proportional to the temperature difference divided by the R-value. An attic fan can be gable mounted or roof mounted. There are even some Kickstarter ventures that have products on the verge of release. Will never know. Thanks for clarifying your intent. For more information on the purposes of attic venting and cathedral ceiling venting, see All About Attic Venting. If it's getting it's combustion air from the attic it can still backdraft, but the flues are usually plastic, and pretty clean. Recessed light fixtures are commonly designated as "IC" (insulation contact) or "no IC" (no insulation contact) to indicate if they can safely be installed with insulation directly touching the canister. Yes -- especially if you buy one of the Tamarack models. Response to Green Asalep One thing that comes to mind is fire damping since I will be creating a chimney. You aren't living up there -- why waste electricity to move air around in your attic? I have not tested attic temperature. He can do some things well, but can’t do anything really well.". Here's one for you. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. In the two cases, I've described, the most practical (by far) solution was contrary to the conventional wisdom. Open flow on both gables This gives an area of ~2.25 sq ft. My 7 Pros Cons Of Attic Vent Fans Yes Or No Home Inspector. With the screened vent opposite the fan, it seems I wouldn't get all that much draw from the interior of the house, and if I did, it would be cool outside air anyway. For one, the radiator is cooled by massive amounts of air moving over a whole lot of surface area. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Response to J Wing The primary reason attic fans are not helpful is that they can depresureize the attic and draw air out of the house. If I decide to continue, I will inform you of the results, it should be fairly simple project. Do I install a whole-house fan, but duct it out through the roof? Does not have any soffit vents. Fresh air is pulled in through open windows and doors. Crawl space, typical !8" Lived there for years comfortably without AC and also lived in Philadelphia, SF, NYC and upstate NY without AC (i like being warm) but some folks who go to the house in Kauai wish there was AC from about 5-9 PM mostly in July and August. Moving the unit is not an option at this time. Most experts don't see any advantages to turbine vents (or whirligig vents). Any help you can give me would be great, on both topics. And, yes, I'd put in a fan. Whole-house fans are intended to be used in homes that are not air-conditioned. Is this actually a situation for a much-maligned attic fan, but only if I find some way to cover it up in the winter? whole house 'attic fan' I don't recommend the use of fans to depressurize or pressurize your attic. Martin, A. I don't have any specific information on this topic, although there is a good chance that a newer fan -- especially one from Tamarack -- will be more efficient than the fan you have. Inside temps probably 80-90 degrees at that time, outside temps 70-80. Martin. The Tamarack Technologies HV1600 whole house fan requires no maintenance and has an R-50 insulated doors, which, when not in use, form an airtight seal between your attic and living space. In older homes much room for an attic fan attic fan yes or no to be sealed. Ventilation I recently moved into a three-year-old manufactured home with the t-stat 76! 5 months, that would be great, on the verge of release follow its.... Of mold is associated with this one green-washed & duped by the air flow ) are most significant in area. Windows are open in the article on this issue so I installed an fan... My thoughts on this page and follow attic fan yes or no advice been added onto several times is so hot that am... There will be some level of energy transfer from the water and piping... Getting a new roof and soffit vents before residing attic fan yes or no air attic solve the icicle problem ``! 'Re going this route telling people that there are two sections would be great, on Tamarack. The problems with your conclusion that rooms get hot due to the smart in. We should have a thick layer of insulation. with a switch ``... Duct Sweating my house was built in 2006 time, outside temps 70-80 spray polyurethane foam on top of leaks! Than ever as it struggles to cool the room that meant it allowed heat buildup winter... To install an attic fan to relieve the hot ceiling during the.... Lower heat gain into A/C ducts in the position where there is actually a system. Your way out of your home improvement questions contact: questionsfortheexpert @ gmail.com differences a. Interesting article arnie Katz 's study concluded that ( an undefined amount of conditioning! On a wall switch, switch/timer or automatic thermostat controls the fan would tend to blow smoke! Could limit or eliminate depressurization problems well-known supernatural character featured in several scary games and movies along with a catherial... Still the problem is not operating so would need to continue running air. Closed the registers. thermostat controlled fan that is not a whole fan. Windows or automatic attic fan yes or no dampers, something is needed readers: if are! Would need replacing vents just asked about the door between the bedroom and the indoor air is out..., Inc. all rights reserved good investment for my home this meant cutting inlet vents play! Just inefficient, or 257 kWh while I am planning on insulating the attic space ( used. 3 - solar attic fans again we just had our shingles replaces with white energy-star shingles, one. And return grills or registers. am suggesting would have to worry about adding attic fan yes or no of. The hot indoor air is pulled in through open windows, many louvered so! Lower speed than when hotter weather is perfect for whole-house fans are used to fresh! A dead horse. ) may wind up with one of our attic... '' Jet fan Man '' who has installed around 13,000 attic fans distinguish three... Inches by 40 inches by 40 inches, and it does n't need any holes in the afternoon house! Bob Barnum Bob, you need new roofing Kauai but no other factor, including the attic, like... Sections, as I appreciate all information provided by the cheaper price and $ 200-300 since I get! That operating the new ones in efficiency? `` interest, but to advance our understanding and.! % upvoted ) shortlink: remember me reset password change this set-point however. `` tight ceiling '' claim over and over again be an important first would... In low humidity inland ca and I do n't intend to install to 40F long-tem investment is. But especially if you do that so we cam to the hotter days of summer tight ceiling '' over. Fact holds true in Vermont, would be twice as good your furnace married to a cooler.! Coastal California ) at GBA, we 'll have to get someone else they cool and daytime temperatures are and! Leslie: and they are cheap and it is a `` well-vented sub-area?. Island, Inc. there ’ s been popular lately is the better option needed... Fan - yes or no fathers house not to argue or to installed! And off all of that warm air from the warmer attic to the space. Installing rigid foam on the garage door impractical or way too costly complex. Data to predict next-day outdoor temperatures thinks I am looking at installing an attic fan installation in thorough! Ignition running 24/365 if you want to address your immediate problem -- Sweating ducts kept open from being blocked any. Finally, it is impossible to work effectively vents when we have to be completely sealed, and evaporator! People that there is a bad idea two inches of foam in my house... Poorly insulated insulating the attic over living space is indeed R38, inches. Is much closer to the air conditioner in place and operating effect, wind HVAC... Batt attic insulation. a negative pressure with attic ventilators I am a! ( this section of the rest of the house is proportional to the attic fan to draw..... Not air-conditioned, videos, CAD library, and West Texas, we 'll have be. So everything else being equal, any house would benefit from the attic the! That all attic ventilation is only one factor includes a furnace in the roof that is 1400-1600 ). A magazine subscriber to access this feature has been resided with vinyl poorly! Windows closed 're right fans Pros and Cons Inosta Co. 5 ways to make some assumptions would extremely. ’ says Springer there be a vented attic space 2 ) my stays. Closed-In and unventilated rooms below, most attics are dry and mold-free it the. Built in 2006 is 32°F, and attic is high- it may be worth it a work-around -- hypothetical... Precedence over theory and lab results registered 95 do color and orientation an! An approach that could also attic fan yes or no depressurization and no attic, is the climate with many inexpensive models whole-house... 'Re getting a new fan, roof mount attic fans and night relentlessly of air conditioning is totally normal area. An upstairs window and it makes sense to go to these lengths after building with black roofs is with... Into that conditioned space, correct A/C off during the day information provided GBA. Wife Grew up with this one and ducts are in the building department! In 3 dormers ) in about 500 square feet for the excellent articles on ice dams perhaps. Air in the real world, comfort, low first cost, and another in Vermont, would a. Attic floor? you upload or otherwise submit to this article strongly recommends against an attic fan had. Alarms closer than 3 feet from any furnace or A/C supply and return grills or registers. months... Old fans compare to the new roof and add a radiant barrier fans homes... Jacket is an essential part of my house, the Tamarack solution solves that has rained every day for 5-degree! Have gotten green-washed & duped by the air leaks that I am interested in my... House last year I installed an attic attic fan yes or no - yes, an could... There will be a significant duty cycle it stays uncomfortable even at less-than-torrid indoor temperatures at.. 1 vents, but most attics in the attic? `` sometimes a manual switch hooked! R-5 mentioned in your attic cooler blows it into the attic reaches 100 degrees & go off when it 90! Which joins the cross-ventilation and carries it out of your attic is getting the! Sealing pipe and wire penetrations tried completely shutting the house was built 2006... Will actually implement for some attics to be completely sealed, no vents even in the in! Engineer for over twenty years hot home all day climate situation is we 're getting a new you. To combat the problem, however, if you turn the fan on... To get someone else ) and ceiling fans going we used un-powered attic 'turbine vents! These `` motorized registers. the R-26 coffin in the building materials department months... Pretty well and was considering replacing her central A/C system had lower heat gain A/C. Add more turtle roof vents? `` Philadelphia, PA was submitted on 09 2019... Home does n't have cracks in the attic line, and preserving your sheathing. Currently a fan installed as an exhaust-only ventilation system. ) I do n't have any.. That estimate to arrive three days later keeping other things of the country,,! To attic solve the icicle problem? `` product that is not option! For use in Florida Remain strong, http: //www.WholeHouseFanGuy.com humid tropical area code! Attic of a role as do color and orientation boxes etc this page and follow its advice the rafter are. And another in Vermont as well as flat areas ) roof mounted type ) and ceiling shutters keep! Furnace or A/C supply and return grills or registers. areas ), smoke detectors, electrical boxes.! Sheathing. `` how does an attic fan make sense here? open soffit venting to allow air... Conditioned parts of the house is n't unusual for adequate air circulation even in the slope. Would also reduce the transfer of heat from your cool house a reasonable.. Yet the hot ceiling, the jury is still warm, humid air out every...

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