Ceiling Fan Blowing into the Attic, Okay?

mudwormMarch 31, 2011

No, this ceiling fan is not used to blow moisture or grease; it's used to dissipate smell. We moved the cat litter boxes into our small closet (about 29"x27") so we can free up the guest bedroom. Have you ever seen a multi-leveled restroom? Yep, our kitties have one and they took it up really well (I'm so proud of them).

Currently, we have the two half doors to the closet open, but we'll saw off the lower half some day so we can close the higher half. Well, sometimes, depending on the timing, we could smell the litter boxes right after use. We want to put in a low wattage whispering quiet fan (e.g. 50CFT 3 sones) in the ceiling of the closet so it's run all the time. But above the ceiling is a very low attic (almost not possible to crawl in) and the attic does not cover a big area.

I just want to check with the folks in the know -- is it okay for me to just blow a ceiling fan into a confined attic?

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I think with time you might get a very stinky attic. Why not just vent it outside.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 6:58PM
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Fori is not pleased

If the stink is going to be in the closet or the attic, I'd take the attic!

Maybe you can change kitty's interior schedule to poop after you go to bed. Or to bury faster! :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Thanks for the replies drywall_diy_guy and fori.

The kitties do their business right after (or sometimes during) their meal. Their digestive system is pretty amazing. The stink is really not that bad -- you usually only smell it right after they used the litter boxes. I kinda doubt that the smell will build up in the attic.

I was mainly wondering if a constant flow of air in the attic is a good thing or bad. We have a lots of dust up there (due to re-roofing done a few years ago).

But I actually just had another idea. Maybe I just need to light a candle in that closet (and make sure there is no fire hazard with enclosures). That might just solve the occasional smell problem.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 4:02PM
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Fori is not pleased

The things we do for cats.

Is there electric in there? Yes I'm thinking of those motion detecting air fresheners...might be safer than training your cat to light a match!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 8:45PM
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there has to be a better solution..maybe a bath vent fan
ducted out of the attic?

the holes cut in ceilings allow attic air/temps and
particulate matter to be sucked into the living space
when central system is in use.

we seem to be cutting lots of holes in ceilings
and few properly seal these holes.

a lot of heat/cooling loss if from living space to
attic. air barriers and insulation need each other to

the easy fix is the one that cost little, but you
pay every month to the utility company.
a higher cost, proper install will quickly pay back.
but I only know what you've posted.

fwiw I keep my house warmer and cooler for my
not so young dog. but I have a good air barrier to the attic, well installed insulation.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:17PM
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No, you ought not do that. Warm air, carrying moisture will end up in the unheated space, moisture condenses on cold surfaces, and you have liquid water in the attic, feeding mold, causing decay.
Hot air circulates into conditioned space in summer, bringing the mold spores you fostered in the attic down into your closet.
This is a numb idea.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Casey is right; when you move air from an occupied area to an unoccupied area you are moving moisture as well.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 10:41AM
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But..your attic SHOULD not be sealed up. It should have airflow vents in it so your attic air can escape., either on the ridge line or the soffits or the gable ends.

If you don't have vents in your attic, then the attic will be hotter than it needs to be which makes running your AC very costly and probably adds too much of a cooling load to your system.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 8:22PM
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guess no one read the 'ducted out of the attic' part?
are you not turning this into a bathroom for cats?
bath fans move moisture from baths and showers, but
also move odors. many homes have one bath vent fan in
shower/tub area and another over toilet (or in small toilet room)
same principal..just for cats.
install bath vent fan..seal cuts in sheetrock..install
backdraft damper..vent to soffits.
its not numb, just a solution we use in bathrooms for
humans every day.

we have many unvented attics here. not all attics are vented.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:54AM
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guess no one read the 'ducted out of the attic' part?

That's what you wrote. No argument with that solution, though if it's vented through the soffits, a soffit vent cap should be used.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:56PM
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Okay, I got it. So, I should not just blow air right into the attic. The attic is tiny and there is no powered ventilation (not sure if it has a little vent or not). I will not want to cut another hole in the roof for this. But the closet is right next to the bathroom, so maybe I can look into joining the vent duct with the bathroom vent duct. My kitties want me to make it clear that the odor is really not that bad. I'm still debating if we should bother with it. Guess that's one more decision to make.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:24PM
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funny how one thing leads to another isn't it.
guess its the joys of homeownership and pets.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 7:41PM
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