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Whole house attic fan installation tips?

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Topic by Gary posted 09-04-2008 01:43 AM 6201 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary

6 posts in 3969 days

09-04-2008 01:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question attic

We’ve got a rental house built about 50 years ago in north central Florida.
The A/C system is needing repair and my wife is convinced I should install a WHAF to improve
efficiency. From what I’ve read so far, it makes sense to me too.
However, before I mess things up doing the job, I figure I’d ask for advice.

A little about the house: It’s roughly 1250 Sq. Ft., single-story, block construction, with single-pane windows, and currently has a gas powered furnace-style A/C with the coil in the attic and compressor outside.
It’s got a shingle roof with T&G 3/4” thick 5” wide pine substrate—in other words, there’s a gorgeous
pine floor serving as a roof in the attic!
The house is a 3/1 and I also need to put an exhaust fan in the bathroom for improved ventilation.
Can anyone with actual experience provide any tips, warnings, or things to watch out for?

Thanks for any input you can offer.
Gary



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PaBull

694 posts in 4070 days

09-04-2008 06:53 AM

Maybe a little ignorant, but what I would do is get the yellow pages and pick 2 or 3 heating and a/c contractors, ask them in my house and tell them all the same story and find out from the pro how they would do it. Then you figure if you can do it better or cheaper. But at least you know what it would cost and what they would do for that money. That is my five cent worth.
Good luck and keep us posted.

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Gary

6 posts in 3969 days

09-04-2008 01:41 PM

Pa,
I didn’t go that route ‘cause it’s most highly likely I’ll do it myself and it wouldn’t be ethical to
ask a contractor how to do something when I have no intention of paying for their time.
Gary

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MRTRIM

743 posts in 4123 days

09-04-2008 02:44 PM

good answer gary !! lol as a contractor . i was about to warn you about doing that ! we do talk to each other almost daily and we also drop names of people who do this among other things like not paying ect . im not sure bull was saying intentionall waste these guys time or maybe copare the cost . im from new england where you see a lot of whaf s they are great up there , living in central fl. ( st pete ) i dont see any . my thoughts are your taking air from inside and replaceing it with air from outside which could be slightly hotter depending on a lot of facts i dont have . i spent some time in attics here as i used to insall cable modems for time warner . i often wondered why more people dont have exaust fans in the attic . which would only exchange the air in the attic .

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PaBull

694 posts in 4070 days

09-04-2008 04:32 PM

Gary and MrT, I am sorry if I said the wrong thing or if I said it the wrong way. There are times when a contractor can do it better and cheaper and comes in with knowledge to make it better than we can do as novices.

I do agree, if you are not intending to use a contractor at all, don’t call on them. I use to be a general contractor, still have my B-1 license.

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tenontim

151 posts in 4122 days

09-04-2008 07:08 PM

Gary, if you have a hall way in the house, that’s usually the best place to put an attic fan. You’ll have to pick the spot, cut out the ceiling joist and frame it in to fit the fan. Usually a nice idea to put the fan on a timer. Also, you’re going to have quite a bit of air going into the attic, so you want to have about the same amount of attic venting, to let that air out. Other wise you’ll be restricting the flow and efficiency of the fan.

-- Tim

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PaBull

694 posts in 4070 days

09-05-2008 01:10 AM

Gary and Tim, you don’t have to cut the joists any more, the fan sits on top and the louvers below the joists.
We have this one in our new house. Don’t put it on a times, it will suck in the windows.

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Gary

6 posts in 3969 days

09-06-2008 03:56 PM

Well, there won’t be any pics or further progress report from me.
A need to replace some major A/C components started this discussion—the coil is in the attic.
I’ve had to HVAC contractors take a look and give me estimates for A/C work and I asked each of them
if they’d recommend I install a WHAF. Both said no—too hot & humid here to really be beneficial.
Both said the attic has very good ventilation already.
This is fine with me—my Honey-Do list is already way too long and impacting projects I’d prefer to be doing.
Thanks,
Gary

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PaBull

694 posts in 4070 days

09-06-2008 04:53 PM

So, and I am sitting here with egg in my face for recommending a contractor….lol

I am glad you were able to make a decision and go on with the rest of you to-do list.

Good luck.

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Gary

6 posts in 3969 days

09-06-2008 11:59 PM

Pa,
No egg; you’re suggestion is reasonable for some. It’s just not my way.
Note that the call to the HVAC guys was specifically for the A/C.
I told ‘em I was considering undertaking a DIY WHAF and did they think it’s worth the effort.
I didn’t ask ‘em how to do it OR how they’d do it, only if they thought it’d be a smart thing to do.
Each said they didn’t think so.
Unfortunately for me, one of these two contractors will be making plenty on the A/C system.
Gary

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PaBull

694 posts in 4070 days

09-07-2008 06:41 AM

OK…, makes me feel little better.

View nutmegger's profile

nutmegger

5 posts in 3949 days

11-13-2008 08:40 PM

I’ve been looking at the idea of a solar ehaust fan for my attic (new england). Summers my attic is an oven, supposedly they run quiet and only turn on in the sun, which is the only time it heats up anyway. Little costly upfront but no electricity bill involved. Any thoughts?

-- NUTmegger

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thehis

6 posts in 3455 days

01-31-2010 03:10 AM

Have you thought about using a quietcool whole house fan. They are much easier to install, and much quieter.

-- http://www.thehis.com

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millmgr

3 posts in 3529 days

04-27-2010 10:07 PM

I have recently seen a stand alone solar fan advertised in Costco for around $300. Just install through the roof and it starts automatically when the temps get to the preset level. Can’t vouch for it yet, Still thinking about buying it.

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alina

2 posts in 3323 days

06-11-2010 03:57 PM

It’s got a shingle roof with T&G 3/4” thick 5” wide pine substrate—in other words, there’s a gorgeous
pine floor serving as a roof in the attic!
p90x Fitness
The house is a 3/1 and I also need to put an exhaust fan in the bathroom for improved ventilation.
Can anyone with actual experience provide any tips, warnings, or things to watch out for?

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