gable vs. roof exhaust fan, etc.


Old 05-26-08, 10:04 PM
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gable vs. roof exhaust fan, etc.

With summer coming, I want to install a exhaust fan in my attic. It appears there are two types - roof and gable. I looked into solar fans, but since I need to use a northern exposure, I was advised against this.
a) Is one (roof vs. gable) more efficient (better?) than the other?
b) I currently have fan shaped attic gable vents (which don't seem to lend themselves to the square shutter vents required by the gable fans without exterior alteration). Or is it necessary?
c) I have abandoned vents on my roof (from old gas heaters). Can one of these be converted to the roof fan?
d) Do these vents need to be capped in the winter to avoid heat loss?
e) My neighbor has an attic fan which is extremely noisy. How can I tell how quiet one will be before purchase?
e) Who is the best person to install an attic fan? a roofer, an electrician? or?
As you can tell, I am clueless on this sort of thing.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:23 AM
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Welcome to the forums!
a). gable fans seem to move more air, mainly because they are larger on the average.
b). You won't have to alter the shape of your gable vents in order to install a fan. The fan will mount on adjacent framework, and if centered over the vent, will extract air just fine.
c). It depends on how high up on the roof the vent holes are located. Too low, and the hot air at the peak may not be extracted properly.
d). I wouldn't install a power vent in the first place.
e). That is why. The motors fail at a fantastic rate, and are a PITA to replace.
f). Soffit vents and a continuous ridge vent will adequately evacuate the air, and since you have the gables, a gable fan would be a plus. Why cut into a perfectly good, non leaking roof to put a fan that will fail and may not move enough air?
Old 05-27-08, 03:52 AM
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I would have to agree with Chandler. Improving natural air flow will do what you need and costs nothing to operate, and noting to break and need repair. Soffit/ridge vents are the most efficient, but both must be done for it to work. "Whirly Bird" (no cheap substitutes) vents work well, but the higher toward the peak any type vent is mounted, the better it will work.

Never block any attic vent in winter. That contributes to moisture problems in the attic.
Old 05-28-08, 09:53 PM
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Several of my neighbors have the "whirly birds" and have converted to a electric fan with a thermostat and have reported being much happier. Which is why I am considering. Having been up in my attic during the summer, I know it gets extremely hot. The gable vents at either end do not seem to move enough air.

Thanks for the good pointers.
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