Attic ventilation

I have both a power exhaust fan and a ridge vent in the roof over the main portion of my house. I also have a gable vent at one end of the attic and soffit vents on the front of the house but not the back (no soffit).
I am concerned that this is not a very effective ventilation system, that things are basically working at cross purposes. If so, what should I eliminate or change to achieve better ventilation?

You have to eliminate one or the other. You can eliminate just the ridge vent since the power vent is an active system. Or if you eliminate the power vent, you must add soffit vents as an intake. The combination of the two different systems makes your active system, the power vent, your exhaust to, and your ridge vent an intake, drawing water into it and causing a leak.

Thanks for the info. Do you have a preference between the power exhaust fan or the ridge vent? I do have one gable vent. Does that make a difference which system I should use?

Both you need intake. If you dont have soffit vents then you will be limited to what you can use. A ridge vent is more effecient than a power vent on the sole reasoning of using power. Without intake for a power vent you will burn it out faster. Ridge vent will not work period without intake.


Get smoke bombs and set them off. See where the smoke goes.

Then close off the power vent with a piece of plastic. Set off another bomb. See what happens.

Close off different things and see.

Maybe you do not have to do anything.

Lefty he will have to remove one of the exhaust vents. When the power vent will turn on the ridge vent will turn into an intake pulling in snow rain dirt and whatever else. Air follows the path of least resistance and will pull from the power vent form the ridge. He is right he will have to remove one of them.

I have soffit vents along the front side of the house but not the rear (no soffit). Are soffit vents on just one side sufficient to provide intake air for the ridge vent? I think I would like to eliminate the power vent if I can achieve adequate ventilation without it.

Hi Gtp1003,

My point is that he needs to do some work to come to a solution. He also has a gable vent. So he has 3 exhausts.

I tried to stay away from pointing to a solution until he does the testing.

By his post after yours it seems that he is unwilling to do the testing. So he is going to do what he wants. He may quess right. Maybe not.

You always have a point. Thats what i like bout u lefty.

Hi Gtp1003,

Thanks. I wish we did not have to deal with the ventilation at all.

I just did a roof for a contractor. He does high end additions and remodels. The house and garage have hips. These two hips tie together. Then there is reverse A’s coming in to both hips. Then he is building a room in the center of the attic space of the main hip.

He asked me how is the ventilation going to work. I laugh and said who knows.

I told him when he is done, we will come back. Then we will test the areas I am not sure of. We might have to do some tricks. I left the power vent in for now.

I put ridge vent in where I knew that would work.