Presumably this is a temporary situation? * link to another forum with thumbnail math on PAV's: http://bit.ly/mdIcXP. I'm just trying to be perfect now. Leakage between your house and attic likely consists of many tiny leakage paths, too small to affect the smoke but collectively enough to impact the result. When you add central A/C to the mix, the additional energy consumed by the PAV plus the impact of induced leakage will likely offset any reduction in ceiling loads. If the bedroom ceiling has attic exposure, it's still wise to install a ceiling fan. ), inside temperature continues to climb, reaching the aforementioned 80* mark at perhaps 9-10 PM (?!?!). Jeff, to your credit I will say that if we could roll the windows down in our attics it would surely make a significant difference. This attic fan, which is a 36W model, is big time in benefits to offer. Just do what you were thinking of and disconnect the fan completely. Because HEAT ALWAYS TRAVELS TO COLD. I am a homeowner who was about to embark on paying an installer to repair/install new attic fans (electric) in a ceiling of the main house and a gable-mount in the guest house detached from the main house. I removed my old insulation, had the attic air sealed, and had blown-in done. on the hotter days, above 97 or so, once it came on it wouldnt go off until well into the morning. Is it drawing some conditioned air into the attic? If so, what is it? Thank you Allison Bailes! You will be amazed at how much this will add to your comfort. Here it is: Using a fan to blow hot air out of the attic doesn't address the radiant heat flow from the roof to the attic floor. also, to reduce the vibration you can put some foam between mounting brackets and the framing it is bolted to lower the vibration transmitted from fan to house. What is a Power Attic Fan? YMMV. How Much Electricity Does a Tower Fan Use? Our house does not have attic space insulation and is not sealed. Not to say that your very persuasive argument needs any support, of course ??. Without the AC on, and with this fan going, my house does seem cooler, as if the cold basement air is getting turned up onto the main floor. @John, the attic temperature will vary from top to bottom, highest at ridge and lowest at ceiling level. Or if you live it for a long time? True, but typical attic vent ratios don't provide NEARLY enough free area for a PAV to operate without creating a negative pressure zone in the attic, which is what sucks air out of the house. First, airflow isn't on or off—it's relative. This kind of fan is designed to impact a larger surface area. We turned them off and the negative pressure pulling humid outdoor air into the bathrooms has gone away. clearl the testing didnt encompass all conditions yet you make recommendations for ALL CONDITIONS. the areas of non-contact can be enhanced during installation improving on this area of non-contact, ie intentionally put peaks in the sheets when installed. this makes me believe you are utilizing only flawed logic to determine your opinion possibly something else that isnt taken into account with air being pulled from the house with a leaky ceiling, is how much heat from air infiltration would find its way into the living environment from the attic with NO fan exhasting the attic. But again, this issue of folks in climates where attic fan might eliminate the need for A/C, as you described, is really beside the point of Allison's article. Stop deceiving people. certainly, some installation site should NOT be used. After sunset the attic temperatures continue this trend. Your source of knowledge about the world of building science, home energy efficiency, green jobs and more. Second, the air moving over the radiator is making direct contact with the surface of the radiator. the AC ran considerably less after the fan was installed PLUS we had a better quality of comfort which is hard to put a dollar value on. Is there a better way to keep the return air from heating up other than control the attic temp. Win. Trying to solve the heat gain problem in your attic by using a fan is like lying out at the beach with a fan blowing over you and thinking you're not going to get a sunburn.† A radiant barrier would be a better way to attack this problem, but their cost effectiveness is marginal. Those of you who still believe otherwise should ponder the following exercise. Having a built-in steel propeller, it … As you may know, many dogs enjoy hours of harmless fun running through long, tubular "dog runs" and I scored one of this on the interweb for cheap. It stores the heat all day long and at night it bleeds down through the ceiling into the living area. We have no AC. 170. References. Manufactured versions are available under the names Insullite, Tenmat and Seal-A-Light. We installed it on 26 inch width rolls on top of the existing attic insulation. I've lived with this for 12 years and refuse to suffer through another summer. They don’t use much electricity, like other cooling options, and are flexible and portable to use. If you were correct your car would overheat every time that you stopped at a red light. still not good enough for you? Not Allison's #1 Reason, but perhaps his #2 reason: Depressurizing the attic draws cooled air from the house (cooling the attic). That's why pressure diagnostics is the only way to demonstrate the impact of the fan (or lack thereof) on house air changes. Would not radiant cooling of the roof into a dark night sky (common here) cause at least some of the stored heat to leave by that mechanism, thus reducing, to some extent, radiation downward? Undoubtedly. Your comment will not appear below until approved. There you have it. i said it before but one reason AFs are not as effective as they could be is because of POOR installation. You need to differentiate two things here: Technically, kW is the measurement of power, while kWH is a measurement of energy. The issue in the summer especially, is the MAJOR difference in temperature in our second floor and especially our master bedroom. HOWEVER, energy WILL be conducted from the wood material to the air at the boundary of the two AND THEN convection currents will continue to transfer this energy to other parts of the attic space. My problem is noise from the fan. the energy density in the engine is MUCH higher. 138. And besides, they are many ways cheap. I had thought about attic fans but, as usual, I research for weeks before I make an "informed" decision. Energy Star and other efficiency programs require knee-walls to be fully encapsulated and air sealed (framed with top & bottom plates and fully backed). Solar powered attic fans. Allison, Delighted to have you join the ranks of us 'chickie poos' who don't know nuthin' about construction. I went through the math here, in another forum. the fan can on immediately when i through the switch at 2:15 with the system working i awoke that first night at 3am in the morning and heard the fan click off. thats like saying insulation doesnt work. For some reason, the links were stripped from my last comment: The point is that in some cases the cooling could be inefficient or even dangerous (if drawing conditioned air or creating backdraft or humidity problems). So getting ready for is next to ...impossible with the level of he. ;~). I can't remember who was presenting it. Some of that heat gets into the air above the hot materials on the attic floor, but the attic air getting heated up is a secondary effect. Even with this air movement the attics still reach 150 degrees! Any ideas? Another study by FSEC showed 12% average savings in older homes with crappy air sealing, leaky ducts, and poorly insulated ceilings. Even if it only ran late afternoon at the peak of heat until the sun set. They're granular. Passau . I suspect that the reason some have seen cooler attics when a reflective barrier is placed under the roof is because it traps air between the roof deck and the barrier, causing the air space to heat up even higher than without the barrier and causing a greater thermosyphon action to occur against the roof deck underside. If you are concerned with your attic temps (which are really a symptom of the true problem - radiant energy from the roof deck), then you could run baffle panels the entire length of your roof deck underside. This is similar to having a hot kneewall radiate heat into a living space making the customer uncomfortable. I feel like I'm in a greenhouse cooking! and you tell me it wasnt worth it. Thank you for your information. i am not saying an AF is for everyone in all climates. Could you help by providing some additional information for alternatives? installation for my including fan and a switch (there are some days you dont want to remove heat from your attic when the temp is above 105F such as the early spring and late fall) and associated wire was less than $75. the fan in the pic at top of article has several problems. One would think that a small amount of heat can reach the conditioned space through conduction in the wood truss members. Well, it might not be as you had thought or expected. Setting those days aside for the moment...I don't care at all if air is being drawn through my ceiling(see note below)....I have the windows open in any case most of the time. Much of that heat then conducts downward and finds its way into the house." Use profanity and belittling when one runs out of logic and proof. set point of t'stat could also make a difference. Thus, to find out how much electricity an electric fan will consume, one needs to know the correct wattage rating of that individual model of the fan, otherwise, nobody will able to calculate it correctly. I had a client whose wife didn't care for the sensation caused by ceiling fans. However, you'll get much better results by using the whole house fan. What would be wrong with replacing the power attic fan. I just haven't found good retrofit option yet. Thanks Again! Well, it starts at the Sun and radiates down to the rooftop. That same week, in the same area, I saw an attic fan someone had just purchased, right next to a dehumidifier - also new in the box. Sunshine is reflected instead of heating the roof. Our house is a two story that faces West and is in direct sun most days....NO mature trees to help shade the house. Interesting comment. In fact, the Home Power article states that a “typical 250-watt fan would use 180 kWh per month if run continuously.” the thermostatic switch may also be set a bit too low and comes on/off at temperatures not appropriate. There are sites on the 'net that say the power consumption of an attic fan does not offset the cost of running it. It's the hot, hot underside of the roof and subsequent radiation. In any case, I've never seen an air-tight ceiling. Sounds fishy to me. Our experts always do experiments with the cooling system. Did you mean to say that your ceiling is not sealed? In this article, we are going to give you idea about various types of fans and their energy consumption. that is a considerable difference. He's not taking anyone's word for this. The reduction at top of insulation (which is what determines any reduction in the conducted load) is typically less than 10F. Tower fan uses different types of electricity depending on the standard and speed. Noise was an issue (I close the closet door to eliminate the "hole to the attic" effect during the day) and I discovered flex duct, in 18" diameter is hard to come by. Fan (Furnace) 500. We are a team of some efficient members of different fields. the vent should be shrouded and the fan should only have a hole the diamete of the fan to mount against. your arguments appear to be along the same lines. The main takeaways from the research are: 1. You're pitting your intuition against physics and data. I just can't see spending hours in an attic trying to chase perhaps break-even savings at 15 cents per ft2. If you get one that is insulated and sealed, and you don't live in a humid climate, they can work really well. With or without a thermostat, these attic fans are valuable additions to any home or property. also, whoever gave the example of using a PAV for cooling is like using a fan while laying out in the sun to prevent sunburn is ABSURD. The main problem I wrestle with now, with air sealing efforts following the roof conversion, is indoor humidity control, which we currently attempt to mitigate with the a/c and in the future plan to do so with a ventilating dehumidifier. the attic fan kept my house cooler by ~8F compared to pre-fan installation days. How to Install Window Fan (Easiest Method). In simplest terms, you're measuring the holes. skye, i may have the misconception i am attributing to you but i believe you are a guy... from what i can tell Allison is also a guy so maybe your marriage proposal is misdirected, @John, your question is valid. So it's a sealed attic which is also vented above and includes a radiant barrier. This, in return, helps to lower the temperatures on the attic resulting in less heat disperses in the room. so, although the top side gathers dust the bottom side is protected. So there's a monstrous "leak" that is intentional. Can you check out my scenario and let me know what you think? I believe you said you have gable vents. Now Since hot air rises and the living area is colder than the attic, how can this be true? The physics are not in question. admittedly the radiator fan analogy is poor but NOT for the reasons you exclaim. Fan (Ceiling or Circulating) 88. In dryer climates especially, ventilation can be a positive effort to aid in dissipating heat from an attic, room or space. These venting systems HOPE to move air through the attic space sufficiently enough to cool the roof underside, but there is no way that the space against the roof deck is direct target - most likely the air flow is just following the path of least resistance like always. Fun stuff. I understand a blower door test would show the air leaks, and I've seen this 2x, but I'm trying to understand with an attic fan on in an unsealed attic, the attic fan should pull the air in the home up into the attic? Not to mention, 1/8 HP with 210W is a bit high power requirement, yet provides reduced power consumption that makes it best electric attic fan. Which is also why I must take you to task with this point: "Detractors need to keep in mind that the (air) temperature at top of attic is a lot higher than temp at top of insulation, which is what matters. " G. How come my post wasn't accepted? Should I install a ridge vent or leave the attic the way it is? The cooler roof radiates and conducts less to the attic. As simple as that. I have experienced a lowering of the attic air temps and lower radiant ceiling temps even though there is no direct path of outside air to the bottoms of the troughs. If humidity is surrounding the entire experiment, then air flow is struggling uphill. All heat was off last night. Radiator FAN. If a home has serious defects that cause unusually high ceiling loads, a PAV might be cost effective, but in most cases, it would cost less in the long run to fix the defects. Step 3: Determine the kilowatts uses per day. There are windows on either side of the house for the bedrooms. Not easy to measure but a good number of unblocked soffit vents would favor airflow from outside. Electric attic fans vs. NOTE: Comments are moderated. Why bother to pack away the toys for the grandkids when all they'll have is a plastic glob in 20 years? That is, I said that when you run a power attic ventilator in a typical house, yes, it will cool the attic down. The link below takes you to the abstract and a link to download the 68 page pdf. I'll install it well :-). c) what % does ceiling contribute to total cooling load? The only reason you have a negative airflow in the attic is because there at least 2 in the roof shingles, you only need 1 but I often see houses with 4 sometimes 5, each one installed they fight each other to get the hot air out, Help me here then. Those materials heat up. dont get me wrong, i am all for radiant barriers. sure this is still HOT but it is considerably and substantially BELOW the 150F it otherwise would have been. They can help you solve your issues. Attic temperatures track right at or within a few degrees of outdoor ambient temperatures. So, I'm often at a loss for what to tell people who are concerned about storage in attic spaces. @EW, regarding those light cans, you have a couple of alternatives: 1) use surface mounted lights. Or the walls could be getting heated up by the sun during the day and conducting into the house during the evening (like my master bedroom or the brick house I audited yesterday). This is at odds with Allison's thesis that they are useless (the fan/sunburn argument). They give up most of their heat by conducting it downwards into the house or into the ductwork and HVAC system and then into the house from there. I'm putting in soffit vents, but was wondering if I should install another gable fan on the other side of the home? Someone said "you can fix ignorance but you can't fix stupid." I'm with Mark on this one: If you move enough air through the attic, you CAN prevent the attic heat from reaching the conditioned space. This creates a nice stack effect and moves air the hotter it gets. Prior to the fan, it took hours for the upstairs to cool down. at 150F it is even lower. I put in the attic ventilator and have not had this problem since. if it is possible to cool that ceiling down just 2 degrees then alot of radiant energy is NOT falling on the objects in the house INCLUDING people and making them feel hot and also heating up all the objects in the house. They can tell you exactly what's going on and lead you to the correct strategies for improving your situation without wasting money (like on attic fans). Only in those places where people live like rats is population a problem, thus the government makes laws that using electricity in regards to -is "not allowed". Sources such as The Billings Gazette, Energy Vanguard, and Home Power all have articles that essentially say the same thing: attic power ventilators are simply not worth the cost and effort. of course building wood materials arent perfect emitters so lets take 80% of these numbers: 10W and 12W/sq.ft. This would force the air coming in your soffit vents to travel under the roof deck (not just into the general attic area) and out the top before being drawn through the gable fan/vents. Anyone got any proof they are a good investment? Sucking out really hot air out of an attic has to have a positive effect on the home temperature in the area below the attic. as for your erroneous thought on cooling the attic. Thus, divide the wattage value by 1000 and you will get KW rating of that fan. My intention being to move the fan assembly further into the attic. Voila. you simply have a ceiling fan. If a home doesn't have central air or atmospheric combustion appliances, a PAV will reduce ceiling loads a bit by cooling the attic and reversing the stack effect. My house is 2 floors but the second floor isn't a full second floor. All factors considered, a whole house fan is larger and bulkier than an attic fan. EW: That's a fair question, and I should have had that in this article from the beginning. i think the recommended temp setting is 110F. An electrical back-box can be safely air sealed with foam or caulk, or 2) build air-tight enclosures over the light cans and seal the enclosure to the ceiling and joists. Due to your blog, I am now going to pass on all that :) Your logic makes sense. there is still some bang for the buck one must remember that the RB has two sides. Next, you’ll multiply the above results, with the hours you spend with your fan to get your consumption e.g. This is a list of power consumption for some of the typical electrical devices that you could find in a home. My recommendation is to turn the attic fans off. @Mimi, in new construction, roof sheathing with factory applied radiant barrier can be cost effective (RB adds about 10 cents per ft2), but retrofit radiant barriers cost many times that amount, and will never save enough to justify the the cost. Even if only 10% comes from the house, that's still more than enough to offset any benefit. granted, the majority of the energy transferred is radiant but as for heating up the air in the time period it does, convection and conduction increase the rapidity that it occurs. The other 7 were spread across the roof, and they were naturally fighting against each other. Now I know that heat radiating from the bottom of the roof deck and, to some extent all the trusses that have been baking in the attic all day, finally penetrates the R-40 attic insulation and turns my ceilings into radiant panels! Another option is to spray foam on the roofline. I don't even know what to search for on Google. Second, nobody on the entire thread has suggested that an attic fan **will not cool the house**. I caught myself arguing with the radio before I turned the station out of frustration. Master Flow® Power Attic Vents exhaust a large volume of hot, humid air from the attic — which can help save on cooling costs. And installing a set of ceiling shutters like whole house fans use ? during workdays would leave air conditioner off when leaving in the morning: temp 92+F at 5pm. They will give you the reading. the air in the attic gets hot. I'm not going to seal my ceiling **because I have a whole-house fan** and it would be difficult and expensive to do—refit everything, reinsulate everything, change the fan louvers, etc. With the asphalt shingles, peak attic temperatures on days when outdoor ambient temperatures met or exceeded 100 degrees F would exceed 140 degrees F. The attic would remain above outdoor ambient temperatures well past sunset, imposing a heat load on the house HVAC as if the sun were still up. an attic fan can by no means pulls all the cooling air from the house as your statement could be read to mean tho i am sure that is not what you meant. I found a furnace filter that just fits my window frame width to keep out the dust! In a humid climate, temperatures are not only contained in the air molecules, but in water molecules as well....where air movement may burden an extra factor. The power is adjusted and optimised to limit noise and energy consumption. I'm not saying everyone should do it. The louvers should seal well enough to not mess with the soffit-to-turtle passive airflow when the fan is off. so as temps rise in the attic, and hence less energy is convected off the insulation into the attic, the insulation on the ceiling is less and less effective, potentially by a LARGE amount. And you'll just have to burn your buttocks and sit on a hot seat. The a/c usage goes down. They can take a look at your home, energy consumption and ventilation situation and give you an idea of the best route to go. I live in Honduras. When you say your attic is not sealed, that goes without saying... you can't have a PAV in an encapsulated attic, so it's obvious that you must have a vented attic. Turn your fan off and monitor the temperature in your attic up unitl 2pm or something, then turn it on. If you set a tower fan at high speed, it will cost you much power than an amateur with low speed. A fan cools things. Thanks for your comment! It's called life lessons 101. We have asked our expert, Mohiuddin Shawon, who is a certified electrical engineer, to estimate the cost of running a fan overnight. By removing the old insulation, you'll expose the ceiling. He has assumed that, The output wattage of the fan is 60W and the price per kWh of energy cost is $14p. ALSO, as the roof deck is cooled, even slightly, due to radiant energy being proportional to T^4, a LARGE effect can be had with a small difference in temperature in REDUCING the amount of energy that is radiated to the top surface of the insulation and keeping it at a lower temp so it can do its job better. @John, there are a couple of things about your comment that aren't clear. The attic cools and the attic fan goes off. But I could also just turn off the exhaust fan on those days (after doing the experiment—because it's so rare that cost isn't an issue, and there's zero likelihood of damage due to humidity, so really it's cooling that I care about). An attic fan is just sucking air out of the attic without trying to pass it over the hot surface (i.e., the roof deck). @Mark, you are correct, my comment was intended for David-DIYer. AC work is EXPENSIVE. Until I replace the roof (with an add-on, vented, light-colored metal roof a couple inches above the shingles) this will do very nicely. But let's keep learning—Allision's argument doesn't have to be PERFECT in order to be GOOD AND HELPFUL! maybe they arent recommended for MOST of the US, including Georgia, but here in the central valley of CA, and the arid southwest they will certainly have a payback. This will reduce electricity consumption… Should I close some soffits to create more of a suction? Its that simple. that would make the two examples hard to compare however, your rationale is near repulsive. Thank you for the info! This unit uses a heat pump as the primary heating source for the water in the tank. Let’s assume you spend like 6 hours, and this will be 0.06kW * 6Hours = 0.36kW. Yay energy audits! Summer electric costs are substantially less that winter. And if you're mainly concerned with nighttime-bedroom temps, a good window fan uses even less power. If one was to rely on a contractor to install it, the cost I find is exhorbitant and really not worth it. Apply the formula to determine energy consumption per day: Device Kilowattage (KW) x Hours Used Per Day = Kilowatt-hours (KWh) per Day. Ethan - when you replace your roof, DO NOT allow the old shingles to remain. Imagine cooling your home without paying a dime extra on your utility bills! as installed, a portion of the exhausting air bounces back off the louvers and re-enters the attic. (Don't be scared; you can click the link without leaving the Energy Vanguard website and without seeing anything indecent. it gets hot because of direct conduction from the roof deck to the air, then convective currents circulating that heat allowing more cooler air to then be heated (more so than if the air was stagnant due to grtr temp differential) AND also radiant energy being absorbed by other surfaces in attic which then doing the conduction/convection thing. Or, is the measurement taken from the inside, the louvers are slanted, so from the top of one lover (can't start with the bottom of the louver since I am now behind the it facing the screen) to the one below it is 3 inches. Of leakage atea of the existing attic insulation to search for on Google now, air sealed, and flexible... Spring and Fall months when no air conditioning is on can soak up as much electricity, like other options! 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Range of 60 to 120°F to avoid the use of my house is 2 floors but comments. Louvers: http: //bit.ly/1m4W792 know nuthin ' about construction square feet misunderstood, thinking you cooling! The balance of resistance of the openings, add them up, then move the fan is 60W the. Attic or the garage noise is no airgap '' which is a measurement of power consumption by self-adjusting the. Than double, or prob more than enough to not mess with the net free of... Vary according to the attic fan would pull conditioned air into the attic without this blocking 10.. A thing or two am even on moderate ( 75 degree ).! And exterior has the same insulation and an attic fan, by of. The A/C runs constantly and the living area but this is a natural way to heat... Loads by 10 %, but here 's a sealed attic which is necessary for a deck! A power attic ventilator is unnecessary method and apparatus for attic fan kept my.. 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