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-   -   Attic Ventilation when NOT have a furnace (

  • May 26, 2007, 09:18 AM
    Attic Ventilation when NOT have a furnace
    My parents have baseboard heat in their single wide 1972 mobile home. They don't use the furnace (and may have taken it out I am trying to determine what they did) because my mom is very allergic to the normal propane smells/emissions/fumes that are emitted from a correctly working furnace system. But by doing these changes they now have a moisture problem. I want to educate them about how the furnace and construction design of the mobile home did have air circulation that normally occurred under the floor and in the attic air space. They have also added insulation to the home so I am suspicious that there may not be much air serrulation space left in attic, walls or under the flooring. After I educate them on what happened and why, I need to advise them about installing an attic fan and vents to try to create the air circulation that was there before. My problem is I am having trouble finding an attic ventilation fan that isn't designed to work with the mobile home furnace system. Does anyone know of a fan that will work in a mobile attic and maybe even under the floor that is totally independent of the furnace? Also if the furnace is still in the home can they use it without the propane burner turned on or installed, just to have the blowers/fans serrulate the air like it used to?

    Thanks for your help. I need to get this problem solved immediately since the moisture problem has become severe and may be damaging the home and their health !
  • May 26, 2007, 09:33 AM
    I don't think you need fan in your parents attic, the volume is too small to bother with. Before you start trying to rebuild the mobile home why not try a dehumidifier? Electric heat isn't quite as drying as propane but neither adds moisture to the air.
  • May 26, 2007, 10:03 AM
    Thanks so much for writing back.. You made an excellent point about the attic space being small so might not need to bother with and electric ventilator fan. Especially since the mobile home is only about 800 sq feet. I didn't think of that.

    I unfortunately don't live near my parents so I can't verify what they say or see the problem for myself. But my Dad says that they bought a several hundred dollar dehumidifier. He says that it pulls a quart a day of water out of the air. They run it constantly in the bedroom that seems to have the most problem, the room that is always "damp" and smells musty is how they refer to the problem. That sounds like allot of water in the air to me even though they live in a wooded area of Roseburg Oregon. So I asked my dad to check for roof or wall leaks. He says he can't see a problem. He said he had a person look for a problem but I didn't get a response from my dad that indicted that the person was any help or that the person found anything to be fixed.

    As you can imagine I am perplexed on what to do with this situation. Even if I get a chance to visit them I want to already know what to do to diagnose and fix the problem so that I can do so in the very short time I am there.

    Is there a way to run the existing furnace blowers/fans without the propane? If there is it sounds like it might be worth a try if the home was designed to circulate air in attic and under floor based on a furnace heat system.

    I truly appreciate any help you can give me to diagnose and fix this!
  • May 26, 2007, 03:37 PM
    If the old furnace is still in place just move the thermostat fan switch to ON. It will circulated the air 24/7. A quart of water from 800 s/f is high but Oregon is a very damp state. I think you are in a tight spot trying to diagnois the problem over a distance. Do they have AC for the summer? AC will pull lots of moisture out of the air too. Hope it works out for you to visit.
  • May 26, 2007, 06:55 PM
    Oops I looked at the information I have. I goofed dad said the mobile is only 650 sq feet. So the 1 quart probably is high. When/If I get to visit how do I tell if they have a water leak? I unfortunately know bothing about mobile homes. Trying to quickly learn all I can so that I can help them when/if I get a chance to do so. It sounds like from your post that the furnace fans can be run without the propane turned on so just running the furnace fans (if they still have the furnace installed I will ask next time I call them) has got to be at least helpful.
  • May 26, 2007, 09:47 PM
    I don't think running the blower on the furnace is going to help a moisture problem at all. Do they have any type of air conditioning? I would install some type of A/C even just a window unit, that should help or cure the problem.
  • May 27, 2007, 08:25 AM
    Unfortunately they don't have air conditioning. Thanks for the insight. I din't realize that it helped a moisture problem. Since I have never had AC I always assumed that it added moist air to a home. That's what I am here for to learn about subjects that I have not needed to know about till now! :) I will look at window units and other ways of air conditioning. But after a cursory glance we will probably try the window unit. The heat pump styles are thousands to buy and probably a thousand to have professionally installed. And I think that they require a working furnace. Hopefully the window units are about the cost of putting in the electric roof ventilator I thought I was going to solve the problem with.

    I really appreciate you help.
  • May 27, 2007, 09:52 AM
    Air conditioning pulls out humidity as well as cools the air, you should be able to find a window unit to cover that amount of space pretty cheap.
  • May 27, 2007, 10:53 AM
    Lets keep in mind that Mush says they already have a large dehumidifier running in the home.Turning the fan to ON will most certainly help since it will circulate the air that has been dehumidied. The dehumidifer does not do much of a job circulating air.
  • May 27, 2007, 10:57 AM
    True, I guess I missed that part.
  • May 27, 2007, 11:00 AM
    I thought so since your answers are pretty good and you caught a few I couldn't figure out. Effingham, not too far from me.
  • May 27, 2007, 11:04 AM
    Really, Where are you?
  • May 27, 2007, 11:08 AM
    50% Wheaton and 50% Apple Canyon Lake, just retired.
  • May 27, 2007, 11:12 AM
    That's up by Chicago, right? I wish I could retire, at least this weekend, I'm on call and Ive already had 24 service calls and it's not that hot, it's just pretty humid.
  • May 27, 2007, 11:15 AM
    Apple Canyon is as far north and west as you can go in Il. Near Galena. Wheaton is 45 minutes west of Chicago. Take the money when you can, I'll save some fish for you.

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