Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vent Insulation - Keep out the Heat AND the Cold!

My Installation
    I like my Vent Fans. There, I said it. With all the talk of Air Conditioning there isn't any love left for the basic (lowly?) 14" vent fan. In my RV I have two of them. One in front above the couch and table and one in the back above the foot of the bed and vanity sink area. I've found if you have one on intake and one on exhaust you can have a nice cool breeze flowing in the RV all the time. Makes a HUGE difference in inside temps. Most of the time I can get away without A/C! That being said, there is a drawback. When not in use, they let a lot of heat in during the summer and lots of heat escapes through them in the winter. How do you stop that and keep your preferred comfortable temperatures inside? Read on!

Ugly Mylar
There are a few companies manufacturing "vent cushions" that press into the gap between the vent fan and the roof to seal out light and heat (or seal in cool if you're running the A/C). They work quite well. However, I can't use them. Both of my fans are mounted flush with the ceiling. So, no gaps to fill. I needed another solution. A while back I re-made some of my reflective window coverings. I had so much of the reflective Mylar material left over I figured I had to put it to good use. Besides, the window coverings work extremely well...why not use them to insulate the vent fans too? I could have simply cut out a square (bigger than the opening), affixed some Velcro to the Mylar and stuck it over the opening.
I did. It looked Terrible!

The "Pouchiness" Is Due To Covering The Vent Knob
How about covering the cover? Hmmm. I had some cloth fan covers that came with my RV. They were, oddly enough, for covering the vent fans! I tried to put the cut Mylar covers underneath and then Velcro the whole thing to the ceiling. No good...not enough space to get them to stick. I don't like getting conked in the noggin quite THAT much! So, after moving the Velcro to the extreme edges, I managed to get it to stay on the ceiling! Admittedly, it's a bit of a pain to hold the Mylar in place while I press the Velcro edged piece of cloth over it. At some point, I'll sew more Velcro pieces on the cloth and stick a few pieces on the Mylar cover to hold them together.

All in all, they do work quite well. Light intrusion is WAY down and you can feel the difference in the temperature with your hand. I believe the heater will run less in cold weather, as well, since much less heat should escape out the roof openings. In order to cover the opening/closing mechanism, the cloth "pouches" out a little bit. Maybe some additional Velcro will help?? Stay Tuned for version 2.0.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Editor's Note: Camco Sunshield RV Vent Insulators (with or without reflective surface) are available at Amazon.com

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