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  1. #1
    Jennifer Peterson's Avatar
    Jennifer Peterson Guest

    Default Attic Ventilation

    Just an FYI...I realize there have been a lot of attic ventilation posts. Before I decided to post, however, I did my best to search previous posts to make sure I wasn't double posting. I didn't exactly find my answer, so here goes.

    I live in a 1056 square foot house in Texas with only 2 gable vents on either end of the house. The house was built in '56, I believe. We have had an extreme summer thus far.

    I have decided that more attic ventilation would help keep my energy bills a little lower and stop my A/C from running as much as it has been.

    Based on my current budget, I can't afford to have a ridge vent and soffit vents installed. So, I have decided on soffit vents and a few roof turbines.

    My question is, for this setup to work properly, do I need to close both gable vents off? I have attached the best picture I seem to have handy showing one of the gable vents. There is an identical gable vent on the opposite end of the house.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    You should not close off any vents. When the wind blows, it will start the turbine spinning, which will pull air from the attic, essentially dropping the air pressure in the attic. You want as much airflow as possible, or else you will start pulling cooled air out of your house through all of the little cracks and voids in the ceilings and walls. One note about turbine vents. The bearings will wear-out over time and the turbine will cease to turn. When this happens, wind-driven rain can blow in through the openings. It is important to maintain and lubricate the bearings.

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  3. #3
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    I wouldnt put any "turbines" on it. It doesnt cost that much to install a ridge vent on a house of that size. Soffit vents good, just make sure to move insulation away from the soffits and install baffles in the attic. With a ridge vent, you do want to close off the gable vents.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    I wouldnt put any "turbines" on it. It doesnt cost that much to install a ridge vent on a house of that size. Soffit vents good, just make sure to move insulation away from the soffits and install baffles in the attic. With a ridge vent, you do want to close off the gable vents.
    I have to go with Gunner on this one. In my opinion the ideal attic would look much like a gas station canopy, with unrestricted air movement in all directions. The more holes the better.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  5. #5
    Jennifer Peterson's Avatar
    Jennifer Peterson Guest

    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    Thanks for the replies so far. If it helps, I received bids today from a company and have another one coming tomorrow. To put a ridge vent in and 16 soffit vents was bid at ~$1200 while a few turbines and 16 soffit vents was bid at ~$500. I'm also having an irrigation system put in, hence the budget concern. If turbines and soffits would be an improvement over what I have now (which I feel is essentially nothing), then would I be making a sound decision?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    Go with the ridge! Be sure they use a rigid plastic or metal design. There is, or was, a ridge vent sold that was fiber mesh, much like the cut to fit air filter material, it was sold in a roll with no support over the cut in the ridge.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    The responses are on the money…A ridge vent is the best way to go…if it costs a little more now it will save later. However, as John pointed out the key for the system to work are the soffit vents (and 16 may or may not be enough) what is critical is that they allow for air travel up over the top plate of the wall (baffles are needed) and still have insulation covering the plate and ceiling area. Workmanship is important and if you can be physically on site during this work to ensure it is done correctly…be there. Contractors, trades people and even inspectors may all have good intentions but execution is the key.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  8. #8
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: Attic Ventilation

    Jennifer,

    You need to talk a qualified and honest energy expert! I did some math (made up square footage of attic and insulation in ceiling!) and your energy savings and return on investment will be very small. It could easily take more than 10 years to earn enough from energy savings to pay for a ridge vent. The house really needs a comprehensive energy study done on it. It is the only way you can accurately determine what is needed and what the benefits could be. The only problem is it is difficult to find a highly qualified energy expert who will not rip you off!!


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