Question

Can louvre gable vents be put under our overhangs to provide intake air for our attic fan? Soffits are covered with loose insulation.

Asked by John Husk
Hebron, NE

Is my only other alternative the expensive job of having all aluminum soffits removed (first the gutter, fascia, etc. would have to be removed)? After being in the attic, I can see no way that I could use a rake or similar tool to remove the insulation from the soffits. There is simply not enough room for me to operate, even lying down on the trusses. Or could I use a mesh screen over my attic entry space from the garage to act as an air intake vent, hopefully coordinating with the power attic fan?

Answer

Answered by Jamie Hager

Morrisville, NC

Southern Energy Management

October 4, 2010

It seems you have honed in on a particular issue -- your soffit vents are covered with insulation.  But I would be cautious about isolating this specific problem -- it may not solve the bigger problem you are trying to tackle.

I am assuming you are hoping to deal with some comfort issues due to heat loss or heat gain from your attic area? If that is the case, I would recommend having an energy audit performed on your home to truly identify what your best next steps would be to stop heat loss or heat gain.

  • Search GreenHomeGuide's directory for an energy auditor near you.
  • I am not located in Nebraska, but it looks as though your state's energy office has a good deal of information on their website about creating an energy efficient home. You may be able to find a local energy rater through them to do an assessment of your home.

I would be cautious about creating any continuous air intake connections between your garage and attic space. With the few clues you have provided, there is a good chance you have some air leakage issues between the conditioned space in your house and your attic space.

  • Opening your garage to this space as well could result in gases (like carbon monoxide) and fumes from your garage potentially getting into your home.
  • A certified energy rater can evaluate your home and identify specific areas where energy loss and air leakage may be occurring and help you evaluate solutions that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

 

For more information:

Read Jesse Terzi's Q&A "Should attic insulation extend into the eave soffits?"

Tagged In: attic insulation, energy audit, attic ventilation

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