Should I put in an electric gable vent?

Discussion in 'Homestead Construction' started by Maxpowers, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Maxpowers

    Maxpowers Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Location:
    outside of Ann Arbor
    Was up in my loft today and thought, damn it's hot up here. Loft is empty right now but we'll be storing hay up there soon. Livestock live down bottom year round. It's a 30x60 pole barn with one copula and soffits.

    Should I put an exhaust fan up there? South or North side? Is there a way to seal it up in the winter? Although we keep the door below the area I was thinking open all winter, so I suppose it doesn't matter if it's sealed up or not.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

    Messages:
    47,776
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    I wouldn't put an electrical vent in a hay barn due to the fire hazard.
    Gable vents and roof vents will work without needing power.
    You still need ventilation in Winter but you could cover the gable vents in cold weather and leave the roof vents open year round. You could also put windows in the gables instead of vents
     
    mreynolds likes this.

  3. ShannonR

    ShannonR hillbilly farmgirl

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    I would go ahead and install one if it were my barn. South side.
     
  4. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    Location:
    SC
    Not sure how the barn is put together but the best set up in my opinion for roof ventilation is gable or ridge and soffit vents. Being an electrical contractor I have installed a few exhaust fans in attics. I try to explain to some people that if they have gable and ridge vents then the fan is actually going to pull a vacuum in the attic which pulls the very hot air off the roof and into the attic which is counterproductive. Most people understand that and decide the fan is not a good idea. Some want it anyway.

    From what I understand the natural air flow with ridge vents and soffit vents both installed actually exceeds what a couple of fans can do. Heat rises so its going to rise out the ridge and draw air in from the soffit.
     
    mreynolds and Al Yaz like this.
  5. Al Yaz

    Al Yaz Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Personally (as foresttofarm noted above) I would go with both ridge and soffit venting - with a balanced amount of soffit to ridge venting. In theory you should not mix soffit / ridge venting with gable venting.

    A lot of roofing guys don’t provide near enough venting. The last roof replaced had the box vents placed over top of the 1x4 strapping limiting the venting area by about half. Even calculating the venting area of the box vents was minimum for what should have been there. The largest factor of heat production (that destroys most roofs) is a lack of proper venting.

    Having said this, in an unheated area, gable vents on each end can be done cheaply and quickly and if you don’t see some immediate relief they can be closed up before going to soffit / ridge venting. Theory is great but I know people who swear their gable vent(s) made a big difference. Fwiw.
     
  6. Maxpowers

    Maxpowers Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Location:
    outside of Ann Arbor
    It has full length soffits but only the 2x2 cupula in the middle. I don't see myself doing ridge vents as that would be a massive amount of work. When this barn was built they left no gap in the plywood sheets.

    I was wondering how gable vents would affect the air flow. When you're on the loft near the wall you can see the cobwebs moving around from the updraft. Maybe a cupola fan would be a better option?
     
    ForestToFarm likes this.
  7. Fishindude

    Fishindude Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,220
    Joined:
    May 19, 2015
    Location:
    Rural Indiana
    I think a big gable end vent would be a big help. Just buy a big manually operated louver that you can open in warm weather and close in cold weather. Get something with a bird screen so they can'y get in through it. Grainger has a wide variety of this type of product you can look at in their on-line catalog.
     
  8. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

    Messages:
    47,776
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    That would be a much better option since venting heat is the reason for that design feature in the first place.

    See if you can find a "whole house" type fan and wire it to a thermostat control so it only runs when needed.


    https://www.amazon.com/Air-Vent-Whole-House-54301/dp/B0009SNSOS
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
    melli likes this.
  9. melli

    melli Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Are there vents in the soffit?
    Agree with BFF about the cupola's purpose...venting.
     
  10. melli

    melli Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Are there vents in the soffit?
    Agree with BFF about the cupola's purpose...venting.
     
  11. Kaos

    Kaos Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    I have / had both, ridge vents and powered exhaust fans. By far the exhaust fan will work. Ridge vents in a hay loft, bad idea. Especially if the hay is for horses, goats. Water will leak in during a hard rain and cause mold with a ridge vent. I live in south Louisiana and ridge vents are about useless. You need power to pull the hot air period.