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  • Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

    My money's on both, but mostly the ridge vent.
    Just my 2-cents, but I feel like the added ridge venting on my lower roof did nothing besides make things quieter for me when they removed the powered fan.

    Partially I think this is due to lack of intake air flow which I plan to try and improve by adding and enlarging my eave vents.

    My upper roof already had ridge venting and the reroof just deleted the powered fan there, so I guess I'm just saving a bit of electricity.

    Unfortunately, my AC system is single zone and the upstairs returns (X3) are all at the floor level so I will likely need to do some modifications to improve the cooling situation.
    https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?userid=67749

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    • Originally posted by NJturtlePower View Post

      Just my 2-cents, but I feel like the added ridge venting on my lower roof did nothing besides make things quieter for me when they removed the powered fan.

      Partially I think this is due to lack of intake air flow which I plan to try and improve by adding and enlarging my eave vents.

      My upper roof already had ridge venting and the reroof just deleted the powered fan there, so I guess I'm just saving a bit of electricity.

      Unfortunately, my AC system is single zone and the upstairs returns (X3) are all at the floor level so I will likely need to do some modifications to improve the cooling situation.
      A common error with venting most any space is not understanding and so not accounting for the idea that a space needs about as much area for air inlet as for air outlet. a good fan w/ a lot of flow or natural vents is often defeated by restricted or non existent inlet(s). You can't exhaust what can't get in.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post
        You can access all that information on the monitoring portal. There is no reason that the installer cant give you access to that now, they need not wait for PTO. You can set up monitoring with ethernet, cellular( GSM) currently with wifi option coming soon.
        Thanks. Is the end user supposed to have access to the inverter via Setapp?

        I think it's their standard operation in stages. The previous visit was for the tech to configure and fire up the system for the very first time for the inspection. He said the next time they come out will be to give me a formal "training session" on operations and monitoring. Perhaps also to make sure I don't turn on the system by "accident"


        Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
        A common error with venting most any space is not understanding and so not accounting for the idea that a space needs about as much area for air inlet as for air outlet. a good fan w/ a lot of flow or natural vents is often defeated by restricted or non existent inlet(s). You can't exhaust what can't get in.
        Our house 14 years old which is not that old. Nearly the entire house is surrounded by soffit intake vents, BUT it was only vented by a single power fan and that was a $400 *option*. I gotta admit we were ignorant about stuff like this back then, but at least common sense told me I need to vent the attic so we opted for the attic fan. Many houses around here don't even have that attic fan. And no, ridge vent is not a thing in this community here. I didn't even know what ridge venting is until we looked into redoing the roof with the solar system. I thought it was a new invention not available 14 years ago (is it?!)

        Knowing what I know now, it's a shame to have wasted power all these years because the builder didn't properly vent the roof to save a few bucks (not that it's a surprise). I mean how much more could it have been for them to put ridge vents on when they literally built hundreds of houses here smh. The attic fan used to stay on all day and it'd still be suffocating upstairs, the fan thermostat was set to 120 IIRC. I can only imagine how toasty the other houses here are where the buyer cheaped out on opting for the $400 attic fan, assuming a single fan can even do anything to draw air in from the soffit intakes. Evidently not much based on how much cooler it is now that we have the ridge vent.
        Last edited by sunpoweredev; 07-12-2019, 08:33 AM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by sunpoweredev View Post
          Our house 14 years old which is not that old. Nearly the entire house is surrounded by soffit intake vents, BUT it was only vented by a single power fan and that was a $400 *option*. I gotta admit we were ignorant about stuff like this back then, but at least common sense told me I need to vent the attic so we opted for the attic fan. Many houses around here don't even have that attic fan. And no, ridge vent is not a thing in this community here. I didn't even know what ridge venting is until we looked into redoing the roof with the solar system. I thought it was a new invention not available 14 years ago (is it?!)

          Knowing what I know now, it's a shame to have wasted power all these years because the builder didn't properly vent the roof to save a few bucks (not that it's a surprise). I mean how much more could it have been for them to put ridge vents on when they literally built hundreds of houses here smh. The attic fan used to stay on all day and it'd still be suffocating upstairs, the fan thermostat was set to 120 IIRC. I can only imagine how toasty the other houses here are where the buyer cheaped out on opting for the $400 attic fan, assuming a single fan can even do anything to draw air in from the soffit intakes. Evidently not much based on how much cooler it is now that we have the ridge vent.
          A common error in sizing ventilation equipment, among other common errors, such as not providing any/adequate inlet venting is not sizing equipment properly. Often, a fan is thrown at an attic venting application with little/no regard for how much air needs to be moved to effect a desired temp. reduction. The fan makes a lot of noise so that makes folks happy and they often think it's meeting its intended purpose. But it may be undersized, and to my experience usually is. That may have happened to you, or inlets may have been blocked along the way somehow, or other things. Now, you have an inlet at the soffits (as before ?) and an outlet at the ridge that replaces (or perhaps acts as an adjunct to) the fan. I'm unaware of your fan size/location, but depending on that fan size and location, when operating, it may well defeat some or all of the effect of the ridge vents by drawing air into the attic through the ridge vents instead of exhausting air through them. Or, if the soffits are blocked or undersized, the fan may be now meeting it's intended duty with inlet venting now supplied by the ridge soffit.

          Comment


          • I have a similar situation here. After moving in and tracing down loads, I discovered
            a thermostat controlled fan under one of the roof vents. However the bearings were
            seized, so it would just come on for a few seconds till the overload tripped out, then
            recover for more cycles some time later. It was a pretty shoddy add on, so I removed
            it all. It is pretty hard to do much up there in summer 135F, so no more progress has
            been made to date.

            Another idea has come to mind. I could put a vent pipe with an inlet or two just under
            the ridge, run it down to the basement, over an air to liquid heat exchanger carrying
            water headed to my water heater, and then outside. I have plenty of variable speed,
            robust fans to move air. Sure the heat exchanger could be in the attic, except the
            idea of a plumbing failure up there is scary. Bruce Roe

            Comment


            • Originally posted by sunpoweredev View Post
              Thanks. Is the end user supposed to have access to the inverter via Setapp?

              I think it's their standard operation in stages. The previous visit was for the tech to configure and fire up the system for the very first time for the inspection. He said the next time they come out will be to give me a formal "training session" on operations and monitoring. Perhaps also to make sure I don't turn on the system by "accident"



              Our house 14 years old which is not that old. Nearly the entire house is surrounded by soffit intake vents, BUT it was only vented by a single power fan and that was a $400 *option*. I gotta admit we were ignorant about stuff like this back then, but at least common sense told me I need to vent the attic so we opted for the attic fan. Many houses around here don't even have that attic fan. And no, ridge vent is not a thing in this community here. I didn't even know what ridge venting is until we looked into redoing the roof with the solar system. I thought it was a new invention not available 14 years ago (is it?!)

              Knowing what I know now, it's a shame to have wasted power all these years because the builder didn't properly vent the roof to save a few bucks (not that it's a surprise). I mean how much more could it have been for them to put ridge vents on when they literally built hundreds of houses here smh. The attic fan used to stay on all day and it'd still be suffocating upstairs, the fan thermostat was set to 120 IIRC. I can only imagine how toasty the other houses here are where the buyer cheaped out on opting for the $400 attic fan, assuming a single fan can even do anything to draw air in from the soffit intakes. Evidently not much based on how much cooler it is now that we have the ridge vent.

              In almost all homes an attic fan does more harm than good. The fan moves way more air than can come though the soffit vents, the result is air being sucked out of the conditioned space below and out. The ridge vents are a much better solution for properly ventilating the attic.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by malba2366 View Post


                In almost all homes an attic fan does more harm than good. The fan moves way more air than can come though the soffit vents, the result is air being sucked out of the conditioned space below and out. The ridge vents are a much better solution for properly ventilating the attic.
                That's why about half of the ventilation exercise involves inlet sizing considerations. Unfortunately, that's usually the part that's not considered.

                An attic fan can do a lot of good. It's the crappy design process for the entire poor execution of the application that usually causes the problems.
                Last edited by J.P.M.; 07-16-2019, 03:53 PM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
                  A common error in sizing ventilation equipment, among other common errors, such as not providing any/adequate inlet venting is not sizing equipment properly. Often, a fan is thrown at an attic venting application with little/no regard for how much air needs to be moved to effect a desired temp. reduction. The fan makes a lot of noise so that makes folks happy and they often think it's meeting its intended purpose. But it may be undersized, and to my experience usually is. That may have happened to you, or inlets may have been blocked along the way somehow, or other things. Now, you have an inlet at the soffits (as before ?) and an outlet at the ridge that replaces (or perhaps acts as an adjunct to) the fan. I'm unaware of your fan size/location, but depending on that fan size and location, when operating, it may well defeat some or all of the effect of the ridge vents by drawing air into the attic through the ridge vents instead of exhausting air through them. Or, if the soffits are blocked or undersized, the fan may be now meeting it's intended duty with inlet venting now supplied by the ridge soffit.
                  I live in a large subdivision of cookie cutter homes (smallest ~2800 square feet to ~3800 for the largest model), and this developer has other several other developments in the state. You would think that a developer with that kind of experience knows what they're doing, but I guess the reality is what they're good at is saving every nickel wherever possible. The roofer didn't give me a breakdown on the ridge vent since it was all included, but it listed the materials as being $200 per roll, and at my request I paid an extra $300 for the breathable underlayment. I didn't exactly time the roofer when they started putting on the ridge vent, but it was perhaps under an hour. I know when they started cutting the ridges and when the hammering subsided. So, for the $400 the developer charged for that attic fan, surely they could've put on the ridge vent instead. The fan was placed near dead center of the house, and precisely fit in between the rafters. In weather like we're having this week, that fan would be running all day and with the AC running until well into the evening and it'd still be like a toaster upstairs.

                  The soffit intakes (around nearly the entire house) are put on by the original builder. The roofer didn't touch it. Evidently there's plenty of air intake, now that I have sufficient outlet vents for the soffit intakes to actually draw in air, so I guess I should be thankful. The roofer told me the attic fan must be removed since it'll work against the ridge vents.

                  It's funny that you mentioned the attic fan making noise. Yeah I used to think it was doing its thing, that upstairs feeling like a toaster is just part of summer lol. Now that we're well into summer, I can say the ridge vent made a huge difference. My great room and foyer are opened to the second floor 17' up and they also are noticeably cooler than before.

                  Redoing the roof was probably as good as investment as the solar system itself.

                  Originally posted by malba2366 View Post
                  In almost all homes an attic fan does more harm than good. The fan moves way more air than can come though the soffit vents, the result is air being sucked out of the conditioned space below and out. The ridge vents are a much better solution for properly ventilating the attic.
                  Evidently so, now that I have fully experienced the before and after. In the winter it should be less humid upstairs too, but I do wonder if it'll also be colder..

                  Comment


                  • Strange, I was under the impression that ridge vents were part of standard building code requirements for the past 15-20 years. I've not seen new construction in quite a while that didn't have ridge vents.

                    That said, I'm of the impression they don't really work as well as they're intended. My house also has full soffit vents all around (perforated vinyl siding) and when we had the attic re-insulated we were careful to have baffles installed to keep the insulation from blocking the holes. When we re-roofed as part of having solar installed, it seemed like a given that ridge vents were the standard thing (they replaced ours with a new one). I asked about having it removed, but they said it was required.

                    That said, I've never felt like the ridge vent does very much. I'm sure there is some convection, but the attic still get really hot >120F in the summer. Powered attic fans are nice, usually you need multiple as their CFM is pretty low (compared to the volume of the attic) and of course you need sufficient inlet venting to accommodate the outgoing CFM. In my case I had one installed when I got new sky lights. But, it's right up by the ridge vent (within 2 or 3 feet) so it's probably just wasting energy recirculating fresh air from outside.

                    You'd do better to have two or more powered gable vents either blowing across the space (one in, one out) or both in if you have a ridge vent to exhaust. If you get really fancy, they have foil lines OSB as well which is excellent for keeping the suns heat out of your attic (though they do have a few challenges). They also have solar shingles with high IR reflectance -- though these are 30-40% more expensive.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                      That's why about half of the ventilation exercise involves inlet sizing considerations. Unfortunately, that's usually the part that's not considered.

                      An attic fan can do a lot of good. It's the crappy design process for the entire poor execution of the application that usually causes the problems.

                      The other problem is that most ceilings are quite leaky...holes for light boxes, recessed lights, bathroom fans, HVAC registers/improperly sealed ducts are all places for significant loss of conditioned air once the fan depressurizes the attic.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by malba2366 View Post


                        The other problem is that most ceilings are quite leaky...holes for light boxes, recessed lights, bathroom fans, HVAC registers/improperly sealed ducts are all places for significant loss of conditioned air once the fan depressurizes the attic.
                        Agreed. But agreeing is not the same as saying sloppy reality is acceptable. I retrofitted my first home built in 1928 and got the air change rate below 0.5 air changes/hr. Interesting blower door techniques that were slightly off std. when done in the late '70's.

                        Besides, with adequate vent inlets for the attic, the delta P is quite small - a couple of velocity heads maybe.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by JSchnee21 View Post
                          Strange, I was under the impression that ridge vents were part of standard building code requirements for the past 15-20 years. I've not seen new construction in quite a while that didn't have ridge vents.

                          That said, I'm of the impression they don't really work as well as they're intended. My house also has full soffit vents all around (perforated vinyl siding) and when we had the attic re-insulated we were careful to have baffles installed to keep the insulation from blocking the holes. When we re-roofed as part of having solar installed, it seemed like a given that ridge vents were the standard thing (they replaced ours with a new one). I asked about having it removed, but they said it was required.

                          That said, I've never felt like the ridge vent does very much. I'm sure there is some convection, but the attic still get really hot >120F in the summer. Powered attic fans are nice, usually you need multiple as their CFM is pretty low (compared to the volume of the attic) and of course you need sufficient inlet venting to accommodate the outgoing CFM. In my case I had one installed when I got new sky lights. But, it's right up by the ridge vent (within 2 or 3 feet) so it's probably just wasting energy recirculating fresh air from outside.

                          You'd do better to have two or more powered gable vents either blowing across the space (one in, one out) or both in if you have a ridge vent to exhaust. If you get really fancy, they have foil lines OSB as well which is excellent for keeping the suns heat out of your attic (though they do have a few challenges). They also have solar shingles with high IR reflectance -- though these are 30-40% more expensive.
                          If installing ridge vents was per code, then the builder here ignored it. I didn't even know about ridge vents until I saw the quote on the new roof. The standard roof venting in this subdivision here is 2 or 3 (depending on the model on the house) of those square vents, and a single powered attic fan was a $400 option. I guess they pray on the ignorant, although this builder was extremely rigid on options, so even had I known about proper attic venting and requested it they would've told me to get lost. If it was not on their menu, it positively cannot be done no matter what you offer to pay. I wanted one extra soap dispenser by the kitchen sink and different wall paint colors. Nope can't do it. This was not our first house, but let's admit it, the average younger home buyer will not bother to learn about attic venting. Live and learn.

                          The attic fan's thermostat was set to 120 degrees. In weather like this week's, the fan would be on all day long and the upstairs AC (set to 82 during the day) will run pretty much non stop by early afternoon and it will not be able to keep up, rising to like 85 upstairs. With the new roof, the upstairs AC finally kicked on around 5pm when it was 92 degrees out.

                          lux1.JPGlux2.JPGlux3.JPG

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by sunpoweredev View Post
                            If installing ridge vents was per code, then the builder here ignored it. I didn't even know about ridge vents until I saw the quote on the new roof. The standard roof venting in this subdivision here is 2 or 3 (depending on the model on the house) of those square vents, and a single powered attic fan was a $400 option. I guess they pray on the ignorant, although this builder was extremely rigid on options, so even had I known about proper attic venting and requested it they would've told me to get lost. If it was not on their menu, it positively cannot be done no matter what you offer to pay. I wanted one extra soap dispenser by the kitchen sink and different wall paint colors. Nope can't do it. This was not our first house, but let's admit it, the average younger home buyer will not bother to learn about attic venting. Live and learn.

                            The attic fan's thermostat was set to 120 degrees. In weather like this week's, the fan would be on all day long and the upstairs AC (set to 82 during the day) will run pretty much non stop by early afternoon and it will not be able to keep up, rising to like 85 upstairs. With the new roof, the upstairs AC finally kicked on around 5pm when it was 92 degrees out.

                            lux1.JPGlux2.JPGlux3.JPG
                            among other things, the vent system, including vents and fans may be undersized and/or conditions may be beyond the design conditions.

                            Comment


                            • Just thought of something here. Perhaps 6-8 years ago, there were two houses here within the next two blocks had a complete teardown of the old roof and new one put on. At the time these houses were only about 5-7 years old, and I've always wondered why. No they don't have a solar system on the roof. Both of these houses are owned by "more mature" couples.

                              Knowing how inefficient this house was (probably still is), I do wonder if I get the attic re-insulated if it'll further improve things, knowing that the insulation up there right now is probably crap. To you guys who have re-insulated your attic, what was the cost so that I'll have a rough idea and decide whether to look into it?

                              OP, I'm sorry I keep clogging up your thread.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by sunpoweredev View Post
                                Just thought of something here. Perhaps 6-8 years ago, there were two houses here within the next two blocks had a complete teardown of the old roof and new one put on. At the time these houses were only about 5-7 years old, and I've always wondered why. No they don't have a solar system on the roof. Both of these houses are owned by "more mature" couples.

                                Knowing how inefficient this house was (probably still is), I do wonder if I get the attic re-insulated if it'll further improve things, knowing that the insulation up there right now is probably crap. To you guys who have re-insulated your attic, what was the cost so that I'll have a rough idea and decide whether to look into it?

                                OP, I'm sorry I keep clogging up your thread.
                                My house is ~ 30 years old. I had an energy audit done this spring through the NJ Clean Energy program. I think I paid $300 for the audit and if I had gone forward with the same company for the insulation work, they would've credited it to me. The NJ Clean Energy program also had rebates/low interest loans to help.

                                I ended up going with North Pole Insulation. I had the rim joists spray foamed in the basement ($1,000) and had an additional layer of R30 fiber glass insulation in the attic on top of the 6" that the builder put on ($1,640). I'm not sure the square footage of the attic but the house is 3,800 sq ft. These prices were less than half of what the energy audit company wanted (even after the NJ Clean Energy rebates). It would've been cheaper if I had gone with blown in insulation but I had that on my last house and hated it, it got in everywhere and if I ever needed to go to the attic, it was a hassle.

                                I can certainly feel the difference. In the basement, my dehumidifier actually cycles on and off which it never did. On the second floor, it is much cooler (only have a 1 zone hvac system). I also have a FLIR thermal camera and I no longer see hot spots when pointing it to the ceiling on the second floor. Definitely a good investment.
                                https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?userid=59404

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