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Hoping someone can advise me on cooling down the attic.

Hoping someone can advise me on cooling down the attic.

Old 09-09-2013, 10:16 PM
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Default Hoping someone can advise me on cooling down the attic.

I know we have quilters from all over the world here and I'm sure there are plenty of quilters living in high temps during the summer so hopefully I can get some advice. Our summers here in the bay area are fairly mild with an ocassional heat wave. The problem is that even a mild day of 85 degrees is too much for me. We will not get central A/C because we feel we would run up a steep utility bill. Instead we have a couple of window a/c units in the bedrooms.

We know that we need more ventilation in the attic because that's where most of the heat is stored but I'm not sure if a solar attic fan will do any better than a turbine ventilator. We have two turbine ventilators but I'm wondering if adding two or three more would help. The solar attic fans are pretty pricey and I haven't heard first hand how they work.

Would love to hear from anyone who has either one and if they work well for you. Thanks so much.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:46 AM
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Here they now recommend ridge roof vents. They replace the vents at the cable ends. They run alonthe peak of the roof. Suppose to make the heat go out without any help. I don't have an attic so I don't know about the fans.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:12 AM
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Here in steamy NJ, we have 1) ridge roof vent as Jingle mentions; 2) windows in both gable ends of the house; 3) traditional 'attic' fan but stuck in one of the windows. We open the drop-down stairs a bit and turn on the attic fan on those days when the humidity level is not too horrid. It is also required code to have an 'energy box' in the attic to cover the drop down opening. For us that is the 3" thick rigid insulation duct-taped to form an open-sided box that we slid over the opening as needed. Does help with keeping the cold winter wind in the attic or the excessively hot air in the summer when we do have the AC on.

Sorry, no help with the solar fans.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:42 AM
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Down here in TX, we often have summer temps above 100 degrees. While we do have A/C (a MUST for here), we also have good insulation. That insulation makes all the difference! Another help is to have several layers, over the windows (mini-blinds, drape liners, drapes - the more layers, the cooler those windows will be). Also check around windows and door, for weather stripping deterioration.

If you don't already have ceiling fans, GET SOME!
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:57 PM
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We have a fan at one end of the attic outlets (vent with screen), and plug it into an outlet when we want to run it. Also, when our AC wasn't working, I would put a quilt over the drapery rods to cover the hottest windows during the summer. We did have mini blinds on the windows, but the quilts dimmed the windows and cut down on the heat coming in. And at night, when the air outside gets cooler, I put a fan in the hall, and if you have it in the right spot, with the bedroom windows open, it will pull the cool air in. Cheaper than running the air all night.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:47 AM
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We have an attic fan and it is connected to a thermostat set to turn on when it gets to a preset temperature. Makes a big difference in how hot it is upstairs!
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:29 AM
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While living in ETexas with no air conditioning for several years, I learned to cool down the house in the morning by opening all the windows, turning on the attic fan and then turning off the fan closing them mid morning. I also had good curtains to draw together to keep the hot sun out. I kept opening and closing the outside door to a minimum also. I just realized that this does not answer your question. Sorry.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Iraxy View Post
While living in ETexas with no air conditioning for several years, I learned to cool down the house in the morning by opening all the windows, turning on the attic fan and then turning off the fan closing them mid morning. I also had good curtains to draw together to keep the hot sun out. I kept opening and closing the outside door to a minimum also. I just realized that this does not answer your question. Sorry.
I think you answered her question great...I've heard wonderful things about attic fans, and keeping the house closed up after you have it cooled down is how I operate too. It really will stay cooler if you keep it dark.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:24 AM
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I live up in Oregon and we have a similar climate. My 100 year old house was built by someone who really knew what they were doing. My attic gets hot in the summer even though the ambient temp outside is moderate. I have two windows, one at either gable end. When both are opened a nice breeze flows through and keeps it all cool. This is important as I sleep up there. If you can have gable end vents/windows and can create a nice breeze it should work. I hope this helps.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:26 AM
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WE have roof vents. but have an automatic attic fan come on at when attic to temp. Ours is plug in, solar sounds good . We also have a whole house fan we use occasionally (would be a must if we had no AC. It was all we had growing up in the HOT south )
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