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Attic ventilation, turbines, soffit vents

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Keith says:
March 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

When i was up in our attic i noticed that all but about 10 rafters were open to the soffit’s, and only had 10 vents to the outside. This is for a house with 1200sf in the winter here in Minnesota the house feels cold . Could it be that the two turbines on the roof are pulling the heat out of the house. I think i need help .
asked in Attic Area by darekrudy (21,730 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Keith,

If the attic floor / house ceiling is properly insulated, there are no gaps in the attic access (and the access is also insulated), and around any of the attic floor penetrations, the roof turbines will have no impact on the temperature inside your house.

Their purpose is to help remove hot / warm / moist air from the attic. The attic floor acts as a separation between the two environments, but some infiltration usually happens – proper insulation keeps it at a minimum.

If, however, there are ways, gaps in the ceiling / attic floor that allow larger amounts of conditioned air to be transferred into the attic, and if there is not enough open / active vents in the soffits, those turbines (you didn’t specify if they are motorized or not) could create a suction / vacuum effect and increase that conditioned air transfer. I doubt such effect would be caused by a wind powered roof turbine…

The winter is almost over, but if you’re still experiencing temperatures below 32F (the colder the better), see if you notice any condensation, unusual residue on the decking / rafter surface in your attic. If everything looks clean, you should be OK as far as the ventilation issue. Technically, to find out if you have a sufficient area of the ventilation ports, check this attic ventilation post / Attic Ventilation | How Many Attic Vents Your Roof Needs.

Everything about the attic floor and insulation issues is in the “Attic” category on my website – just go through the articles. If there’s something that would need more explanation – please, let me know.

answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)