The humid continental Calgary climate has warm summers, but freezing dry winter temperatures. Dry Chinook Winds can spring up and raise them by 20 °C / 36 ° F. Automatic attic venting can come in handy, especially when there’s a temperature shift while we are away from home.
Whirly bird attic fans can be a great innovation. They use carbon-free turbine technology to vent heat and humidity from attic space. However, they do need to work in tandem with attic vents to deliver fresh air in its place. Could we think of anything better?
Unfortunately We Could, On Some Balmy Sunny Days
Whirly bird attic fans require a moderate breeze for the vents to open, and the turbines to spin properly. But balmy summer days can also be without breaths of wind. This is an essential component of the mix leading to the right decision. Many Valiant Exteriors clients prefer electric fans operating off stored solar energy.
There May Also Be Problems on Some Cold Winter Nights
A cold winter night can come with a stiff breeze, that fingers through gaps in cracked siding, and runs a whirly bird attic fan at high speed. This could draw warm, air-conditioned air from living space below, causing higher heating costs on cold days.
There’s also a possibility a whirly bird could fan a small outbreak fire from a short circuit in the attic, or the living space below. Top-end models have soft metal controls on their fan vents. These melt and automatically close in the presence of high heat, stopping the airflow.
Maintenance ‘Up There’ Can Become an Issue Too
Whirly birds are not necessarily maintenance free, despite push marketing messages on phones. They are relatively inefficient compared to electric fans, meaning more holes in the roof. In fact, you might need more of them than you think. Wind-blown debris can catch in the fan blades, causing them to stay open on cold windless nights too.
But Whirly Bird Attic Fans Can Also Be a Great Innovation
Whirly birds are a great idea for cooling workshop and garden-shed space, where their limitations don’t become issues. They score highly in terms of the carbon-free alternative. Speak to Valiant Exteriors if you are considering them. We’ll willingly provide free independent, impartial advice.
Passive Cooling Your Roof (Image Saud)