Broken Attic Fan
LESLIE: Della in Iowa is on the line with an attic-fan question. How can we help you?
DELLA: My husband and I – our attic fan went out.
DELLA: And we don’t know the first thing about attic fans.
TOM: OK. Do you have central air conditioning, Della?
DELLA: Yes, we do.
TOM: OK. How old is your house?
DELLA: It’s like 35 years old, 40 maybe.
TOM: And what kinds of roof vents do you have?
DELLA: We have a slanted – all one roof. It goes straight down. We just have a little portion of the home that’s attic. We have the – it doesn’t have any attic above the living room and the dining room area.
TOM: Alright. Because generally, we don’t recommend attic fans for homes that have central air conditioning and here’s why: because when the attic fan operates, it depressurizes the attic and then it draws air from inside the house and up into the attic and exhausts it. So what that does is kind of robs some of your air conditioning, because most attic fans are overpowered for the attic spaces that they’re in.
A better approach is just to use passive vents where you have, say, ridge vents that go down the peak of the roof and soffit vents that …
DELLA: We have that.
TOM: You have that.
DELLA: We have huge overhang with the little vents all the way around.
TOM: Then I wouldn’t worry about the attic fan.
DELLA: A guy – one of the guys says that make sure – see, we have three story – it’s not a real story; it’s like 12, 14 to the upper level. Then we have the basement, first floor and then all of our bedrooms and guest rooms are up on the third level. But we thought it would be cooler to get that hot air out of the attic.
TOM: Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think you need another attic fan. It sounds like you’ve got exactly what you need to have right now.
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