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Attic Gable Vent Fans and Their Installation - Gable Vents Info

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In our home, we have a ridge vent combined with the recommended amount of soffit ventilation.  This works great in the winter for removing heat and moisture but in the summer this system does not remove heat well when the wind is blocked by our southern exposure trees and the temps climb into the 90's.  On such hot days, the attic does not cool and consequentially our home stays hot through the night.  So I decided to install a power gable vent run on a thermostat.  The installation procedure I used is shown below.

Step 1 - Plan out where your vent will go in your attic and where your louver will go.  Read through all the steps below to get a better idea of how you will complete this job.

Step 2 - Obtain power vent and needed exterior louver.  I obtained my vent and louver at a Menards Home Store. It was an AtticAire brand fan with automatic thermostat capable of moving 1320 cubic feet per minute. The fan was $54 (not bad) and the louver was $39 (ouch!). I replaced the fiberglass screen on the louver with 1/8" hardware cloth glued on with construction adhesive to get better flow.


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Step 3 - Make a hole for the louver.  The hole should be 1/4" to 3/8" bigger than the louver so you can adequately calk around the louver. A sawz-all type tool works well for cutting this hole if you have wood siding. The square opening at the top of my hole is where a smaller louver was previously. I had to place a piece of patching siding at the top.

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Step 4 - Install louver by fastening to the sheathing.  In my case, because of the thickness of my older wooden siding, I had to cut away the sheathing and attach the louver to the siding. For newer siding, you should be able to attach to the back of the sheathing. Caulk around the entire edge of the louver with a good exterior caulk. Prime if needed and then touch up around the louver with exterior matching paint.

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Step 5 - Snap on the louver cover. Not much to this but I thought I would treat you to a picture of a $39 plastic louver with its cover on!

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Step 6 - Make a frame for your gable vent.  In my case, I had to cut the ends of the trusses and replace the cut out region as shown to the right. The illustration on the right shows how the new frame (in green) is used to both form a box for attaching the fan and as a reinforcement header to make up for the vertical part of the truss cut out. 

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Step 7 - Cut out a piece of sheathing or plywood to attach to the frame of Step 6. Cut out a hole for the fan, attach the fan to the plywood, and then attach the plywood to the frame.

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Step 8 - Wire your fan.  If you are not sure how to do this, seek help from a qualified person.


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