Covering Turbine Attic Vent

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Old 02-21-08, 01:15 PM
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Question Covering Turbine Attic Vent

We just bought a new (to us, it's about 60 years old) house. The garage was turned into a family room and there are 2 turbine vents on our roof, one over the middle part of the house and one just for the family room. The family room gets VERY cold and when it's windy the vent gets VERY loud. I've seen covers on some vents around town, should we cover both or one? How do we keep it from making such an awful noise? Thanks!
 
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Old 02-22-08, 04:06 AM
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The passive turbines are doing their job, but in the winter, except for evacuating moisture, they also evacuate any warmth that has been built up in the attic. Both schools of thought will be addressed before long, so hang on. Covering the vents with the appropriate covers will stop them from turning, will eliminate leaks, and will keep the warmth in, but will not evacuate moisture. Do you have ridge vents, or eave vents to help in the absence of the turbines?
 
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Old 02-22-08, 05:00 AM
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This is the 2nd time in a couple of weeks but I agree with chandler.
 
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Old 02-22-08, 07:20 AM
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It sounds like you are talking about the turbine in the garage. I take it the ceiling in the garage/family room has been finished? Then you would have an attic in the garage/familyroom? Does the attic have adequate insulation? Is the turbine the only "venting" in the garage/family room? If so, agree with Chandler, don't cover, but make sure there is adequate insulation.

I have my turbines covered as I have additional vents along the roof eaves. I capture the heat in the attic helping to keep the ducts warmer. I also put a fan in the attic and blow the heat down into the house after it reaches 85 + degrees.
 
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Old 02-22-08, 02:48 PM
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Attention all: the world will probably come to a standstill before the end of the month if Airman and I agree one more time! Hold on!
 
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Old 02-22-08, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rpatzer View Post
It sounds like you are talking about the turbine in the garage. I take it the ceiling in the garage/family room has been finished? Then you would have an attic in the garage/familyroom? Does the attic have adequate insulation? Is the turbine the only "venting" in the garage/family room? If so, agree with Chandler, don't cover, but make sure there is adequate insulation.

I have my turbines covered as I have additional vents along the roof eaves. I capture the heat in the attic helping to keep the ducts warmer. I also put a fan in the attic and blow the heat down into the house after it reaches 85 + degrees.
Yes, I guess I'm really only talking about the one over the family room and the room is completly finished. There is a closet in the room which is where the attic access is the whole attic, it is very well insulated, there's so much it's hard to get up there. So just so I understand, don't cover them up unless we have another ventalation system for the atticc, right? Then another question is how do I get the noisy one to quiet down? Also, you mentiond an attic fan, in our hallway right outside the furnace door there are two vent covers about 1' x 6" on the ceiling, also one right above the furnace door. None of them seem to be connected to anything, returns I mean, does anyone know what these are for? Or what they were for? Thanks Again! Sincerely-First time homeowner, who wants to be a do it yourselfer, but doesn't know anything about fixing houses.
 
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Old 02-23-08, 03:41 AM
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Those vent covers help in balancing your return air, and providing combustible air for your furnace. Quieting down the noisy turbine may not be an option, especially if the bearing is gone. You can note if the turbine turns smoothly or erratically when there is a little wind. If it has an erratic movement, you may as well replace the head, since the spanner bars may be bent or the bearing shot. It is not difficult. Probably held down with 3 screws and a little sealant. You don't have to remove the flange under the shingles to do this. You mention there is no other exit for hot air in your attic. Is that correct?
 
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Old 02-23-08, 08:03 AM
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If you have no other vent in the garage attic, then to take care of the noise, just tie the turbine so it doesn't turn, but it will still vent.

If your noisy one is on the house attic roof, and you have eave vents,(you should for the main attic) then you can cover the turbine, if no additional vents, then just tie it down to stop it. It will still act at a vent, but not turn/make noise. But as mentioned earlier, it probably needs to be replaced because you will want it working in the summer.

I replaced mine because they were the older/heavier ones and it took a Category 5 hurricane to turn them.

My attic fan is mounted in the door in the hall way to get into the attic. The fan is 20"X20". It just fits over the opening and after I see that the temp reaches 85+, I turn it on (I have the extension cord available in the hall way by the furnace.) In the summer I can turn it around and use it has a "small" whole house exhaust fan.

RE: your cold room. When they finished it, did they insulate the walls? With adequate heat source and insulation, that room shouldn't be any colder than the rest of the house.
 

Last edited by rpatzer; 02-23-08 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-23-08, 05:54 PM
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The entrance to the attic is in a small closet in the old garage. Could it have been in our hallway before and they just put a couple of vent covers up there? Would that be the place to put an attic fan? Also, wouldn't the fan blow insulation down from the attic into the house?

The turbine that is noisy is over the old garage, and it does blow erratically. Should I nail a string to the roof or is there something on the turbine to tie the string to, to keep it from turning this winter? If I replace it how heavy is the turbine, does it just lift off when the screws are removed?
Thanks!
 
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Old 02-23-08, 09:25 PM
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I take it your entrance to your attic is not through the main house? It doesn't matter where the attic opening is, but whether you can "blow" it through the rest of the house. It will not disturb the insulation.
What area in the country do you live? Does it get real cold in the winter so there won't be much heat in the attic? We live in S. Cal. You will need to see temps of around 85 in the attic to warrant blowing it down into the house.
It doesn't take much to replace the turbine. I would do that since it will make noise every time you use it. It also sounds like an older/heavier turbine. They are not that heavy and it is easy to replace by following the instructions that come with the new one.
 
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Old 02-25-08, 04:27 PM
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The attic entrance is in the finished family room, which used to be the garage. I found out we do have eve vents all around the house. How can we find out if the ones around the family room are vented correctly, since it used to be a garage and they installed an extra turbine fan for that room? Also I was looking at the roof and there is a pipe that I think is for the water heater, but right next to it is a larger vent that looks like one of those solar walkway lights, but metal. What are all these for? Can we just cover up the turbines since there seems to be so much insulation? Thanks again for all your help, I'm really learning a lot. I don't actually do what you tell me to, but I supervise and give instructions, so whatever your steps are that's excatly what my husband has to do. Thanks Again, Greatly Appreciated.
 
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Old 02-25-08, 05:24 PM
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You have to have ventilation! Do not cover the vents unless you would like to be doing mold remediation.
 
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Old 02-25-08, 05:49 PM
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But we have eave vents all around the house
 
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Old 02-25-08, 09:27 PM
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Make sure you have vents in the garage. Those eaves should also be in your garage roof, otherwise you don't have adequate ventilation. BUT- if you do have adequate insulation it shouldn't matter whether the turbine turns or not. The cold temp is not going to come through the ceiling if you have adequate insulation. The noise is something else. I would replace it.

That turbine on the garage roof might have been installed before they converted it into a family room. As a garage it probably did get too hot, thus the turbine. If you have those eavs around the garage roof, then you can stop/cover the turbine. Otherwise Airman is correct, you will get mold.

Your original question was about the cold family room and the noisy turbine. Is there a way you can see if you have insulation in your family room walls? What part of the country do you live in?

When they finished the garage ceiling, did they lower it or is it an A-frame finish?
 

Last edited by rpatzer; 02-26-08 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 02-26-08, 10:30 AM
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I don't know how to tell if there is insulation in the walls. We live in the midwest where it gets really cold then the next day really hot. The celing to the family room is the same height as the rest of the house, so I guess it is a lowered ceiling, and yes there is alot of insulation in the attic over the family room and the rest of the house. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-26-08, 10:35 AM
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Other than lack of insulation in the walls, I don't see why that room should be colder than the rest of the house.
 
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Old 02-26-08, 01:07 PM
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Wink

How much vent do you need in the attic. 1 Sq ft for every 150sq ft of attic. That is 1/2 in at the overhang and 1/2 out at or near the ridge. A lot of places code's now do not allow the turbine at all. They can let water in as also the ridge vent. The wind can blow the water up the roof and into it .
For a attic vent fan . Attac sq ft X 0.7== the CFM of the fan
 
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Old 02-28-08, 06:21 AM
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what does that mean, we should remove the turbine? I don't know how much vent I need, that's why I'm asking you. Please tell me. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-03-08, 09:51 AM
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Teresa-Wanna be do-it-yourselfer - you don't know enough about this topic to do anything yourself. You need to hire a local person, tell him what your problem/question is and let him take care of it.
 
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