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Powered Attic Ventilation
Pros and Cons of power vented attic.

the original purpose for attic ventilation was forgotten and/or replaced, in cooling climates, with the belief that it was to reduce roof and attic temperatures, thus lowering cooling expenses and increasing shingle life. This was further compounded by the leap of faith that increased or powered ventilation would be even better. While sounding logical, there is simply no research to validate it. In fact, scientific testing has shown that attic ventilation has almost no effect on roof surface/ shingle temperatures and very little effect on attic temperatures. There is however, a growing list of research, computer modeling and field data that indicates powered attic ventilation can be a detriment to health and safety and actually increase cooling costs. The latest and most compelling findings by Natural Florida Retrofit and the AEC Applied Building Science Center found that in all the homes they studied, powered attic ventilators offered no benefits and sometimes caused serious health and safety problems. The attached diagram shows just how Power Attic Ventilation unintentionally effect the house during operation.

Their research found three reasons why Power Attic Ventilation are not a good energy investment:
1. Power Attic Ventilation can create negative pressures in combustion appliances causing the backdrafting of flue gases such as carbon monoxide in the living space. These same negative pressures can also draw increased levels of moisture and soil gases, such as radon, from the crawlspace.
2. Power Attic Ventilation can draw conditioned air out of the house and into the attic, causing the air conditioning to run more. Conditioned air is then replaced with moisture laden outside air, creating increased humidity levels inside the living space.
3. Power Attic Ventilation can increase utility costs substantially because of the increased energy necessary to run the fan and cool/dehumidify the outside air being drawn into the home.

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