Redneck Attic Ventilation System

Discussion in 'Science And Technology' started by Duck, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    It's hot as hell upstairs in this 97 yr old house.

    No central air.

    I opened the attic access thingy the other day, and opened both windows in an unused bedroom & went up in the attic & opened the window up there too. The idea was heat rising would pull air in through those bedroom windows and up into the attic and out that attic window. But it didn't work. It just made it hot as hell at the top of the stairs. It's hotter upstairs than it is outside because of the black roof.

    So I measured the removable attic access cover thingy & made a replacement for it with a box fan attached. The fan is through-bolted to the plywood so it won't fall off. The fan hangs down into the hallway so I can reach up and turn the switch knob.

    I stood there watching cigarette smoke get sucked into the attic & felt a draft from that bedroom. It cooled down that area at the top of the stairs in about a minute or two. Gonna wait til tomorrow when it's a hundred million degrees outside & see how much of a difference it makes.

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  2. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    Very Cool! So to
  3. GAnthony

    GAnthony Well-Known Member

    your house is ONLY 97 years old..??

    i got a Victorian/Greek Revival that was built in 1860. (152 years old).

    i think i got you beat.

    I have not registered as of yet, (as a historic house) as i do not like thier way of "ordering me" to do any type of outside remodeling unless it conforms to THEIR SPECS..!!!

    my roof, when it was done about 20 years ago, we had light colored shingles (light gray) put on it, to reflect "some" of the summers heat.

    it may be (a better thought), to actually install a heavy duty fan in the window of the attic. this way, that hot air drawn up there goes directly out the window, and doesn't circulate with-in the attic space first. which in turn, may cause moisture to build up.
  4. AlexGramm

    AlexGramm Well-Known Member


    It's a good idea. But to me it does not help. Summer is hotter every year. I hope this helps you. House-oven is not a better place.
  5. DubbleD

    DubbleD Color Commentator

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Racer X 69

    Racer X 69 Member

    Excellent idea.

    Many jurisdictions require fan ventilation for attic spaces on new construction now.
  7. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    I just noticed it's currently colder outside than it was inside. So I opened the downstairs kitchen window & one on the front porch, & stood on my tippy-toes & turned that fan to "high". It started pulling in cooler air & dropped the temp in the house by probably 10 degrees in the time it takes for my Keurig machine to make a 14 oz glass of coffee.

    The house I grew up in had fan in the hallway ceiling. It was a one-story ranch house. The fan, which my dad installed back in the stone age before I was born, was permanently installed & was belt driven by a 1/4 or 1/2 HP motor. It would suck air in through all the open windows, blow it into the attic, then the air would escape the attic either through the small vents in the roof, or out the attic access panel which was located in the utility room in the back corner of the house, and we'd keep the back door open to let that infernal heat go out the back door. The door between the utility room & the rest of the house was kept closed.

    That fan greatly extended the range of outside air temperatures in which we did not need to use the air conditioner. Even though it used as much electricity as the furnace fan, it kept the electric bill down.

    So I already knew this fan thing would help cool the house. It would be a lot better if it was a more powerful fan though. This is just a plain old ordinary fan with plastic blades that you can get at Walmart for $30. Since it's up on the ceiling & out of the way, I removed both of the grilles so they won't restrict the airflow.
  8. Tim

    Tim U.S.Constitution Supporter

    Is the heat getting to you?
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    • Like Like x 1
  9. Tim

    Tim U.S.Constitution Supporter

  10. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    The house already has attic vents. Not the spinny kind but whatever.

    What I did with the fan took about 30 minutes & cost nothing cuz I already had the fan & the plywood. And it can be removed in 30 seconds when it starts getting cold outside.

    The idea wasn't to cool the attic though. I wanted to cool the upstairs area. I don't care if it's 140 degrees in the attic because there's nothing up there except an old UHF/VHF TV antenna and some ghosts.
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    • Like Like x 1
  11. DubbleD

    DubbleD Color Commentator

    LMAO..............ghosts............. LOL
  12. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    The stairs creak.

    Sometimes I hear someone going up or down the stairs & we're both in the bedroom & I grab my .45 to go kill the intruder but nobody's in the house. Gotta be ghosts.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Tim

    Tim U.S.Constitution Supporter

    Well hell's bell's man!
    Dont you want your ghosts comfy while there watching reruns of I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners?
    • Like Like x 3
  14. GAnthony

    GAnthony Well-Known Member

    even though "heat rises and cooler air sinks", by venting out the attic the proper way like via directly through a window, instead of the way you are currently doing it, you will not allow the air hot air to start coming down into the walls, or staying just above the ceilings of the rooms below, thusly, keeping those lower rooms cooler. the air flow as of right now, is being circulated in the attic, and taking it's "sweet time" to exit out of any window(s).

    just saying.

    i live on the 3rd floor of my house, and we have no attic. i do have a "skylight window" which i can keep open 24/7 in the summer. i have a fan installed in that skylight which pulls the air out of my apartment. if i did not have that, the heat would creep into the walls, via closet spaces i do have, and go into the roof area, as well as the second floor apartment below me. the walls and ceilings in the second floor apartment, will indeed be warm to the touch, if i do not have that fan running.

    as for ghosts, we do not have any. i charge too much rent, so they packed up, and got outta Dodge..!!

    (not to be confused with, they got INTO a Dodge and drove away..!!)

    (we have Toyota's and a chevy...!!!)
  15. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    There really ain't much difference between having the fan at the attic entry vs. having it in that window. The entryway fan pressurizes the attic, which COULD lead to hot air going down into the walls, except for the fact that 97 years ago, people had something called "pride in workmanship". The tops of the walls are capped off; you can walk on them. The ceilings are lath & plaster. They're over an inch thick & you'd break your hand if you tried to punch through one.

    There are other vents in the roof though. Two little vents. By blowing air into the attic from below, some of that air escapes through those vents, and the rest out the window. If the fan was in the window, it would create suction in the attic and pull air IN through those roof vents.

    So I think it's moving more air the way it is. And I like being able to reach up to control the fan speed instead of having to monkey up into the attic to do it.
  16. Road Dust

    Road Dust Takes a little sunshine

    You are a genious, Rubber Duck! I will have to remember that one for just in case of one of these days.

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