Turbine vents are wind-driven roof vents designed to enhance roof ventilation. We do not recommend the use of turbine vents. On calm days they do not help ventilation of the roof to any great extent. On windy days they may lead to excessive ventilation and depressurization of the attic. Excessive depressurization of the attic increases the air leakage from the house into the attic. This increases heating costs and can promote condensation.
These turbine vents usually rely on low quality mechanicals to provide the movement. Because they are exposed to a hostile environment, and they are substantially inaccessible for servicing by many homeowners, we find their performance is often poor. Noisy turbine vents are a common problem. Sometimes the turbine vent cannot be made to move. This is not a matter of great concern unless leakage is experienced.
Noisy turbine vents are caused by poor alignment and performance of adjacent moving parts. Turbine vents may be seized because
they are obstructed,
they are bent, or
they are corroded.
The noise is a nuisance, and usually suggests that the system will seize shortly. There are usually no serious performance implications to a seized turbine vent. In some cases, the vent is vulnerable to rain or snow penetration. We see many turbine vents that are covered with plastic garbage bags because of leakage into the attic through the vents.
On a calm day, the vents probably won't be turning, although on a hot summer day there may be enough convective airflow out of the attic to move the vents. If you move the vent with your hand, you can sometimes detect a noise problem. In some cases, lubrication can solve the problem, at least temporarily. If the vent is seized or has been bent, damaged or is corroded, replacement may be necessary. We recommend replacement with conventional roof vents.