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I have a plastic grate in the ceiling of my garage that simply provides airflow between the garage and the attic. Due to the layout of my garage, my workbench is almost directly beneath this grate. During the majority of the year, the heat here in Florida makes my attic very warm and this warm air continually flows down through the grate, making even the most simple workbench work a sweaty affair. Over the summer, it literally feels like you're working under a giant hair dryer!

My question is, do I even need this grate or can I just replace it with drywall?

Please note that my garage is NOT air conditioned and we don't park our cars in there. I appreciate any feedback!

-Steve M
Orlando, FL

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Your attic definitely does need ventilation. However, it seems really odd to me that it is vented down into your garage. Is there any kind of gas powered appliances nearby? If not, I would:

  1. Install some roof vents and maybe an attic fan.
  2. Install soffit vents or some way for air to get in. (you want to create a FLOW all the way through your attic)
  3. Drywall over the vent in your garage.
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The air needs a path to flow, so just placing the vent on the roof won't be enough. An intake is needed, which would normally be a soffit vent. I'd agree that this is an unusual way to vent the attic, so like you say, it's probably related to gas appliances, former owners cars, etc. – BMitch May 12 '11 at 15:47
You're right, I was assuming there were soffit vents. I know that those kinds of assumptions can get you into trouble. I will edit. – Tatton Chantry May 12 '11 at 16:02
@B Mitch, Does that mean it usual that someone would vent exhaust into the attic? – gregmac May 13 '11 at 16:39
Thank you all for your very thoughtful responses! Some additional information is necessary and I apologize for leaving it out the first time: 1) I already have roof and soffit vents. 2) I have no gas appliances. – conroymedeiros May 17 '11 at 11:58
@Tatton Chantry I have decided to seal the grate with tight fitting piece of cardboard on the attic side, along with some insulation. After reading the responses here, I imagine the vent is necessary if cars are parked in the garage. This fix will leave the next homeowner that option while resolving my issue. Thanks again to everybody who weighed in. – conroymedeiros May 17 '11 at 17:25

do you have any gas appliances in the garage, such as a hot water heater or forced air heater? if so, your garage needs fresh air for the combustion process from somewhere. go to a big box store and buy a fresh air vent. if you have a block wall, they make one that is the size of a cinder block. the vent has weighted fins that open when the gas appliance is running and drawing air.

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Thanks for the response. As stated above, I have no gas appliances. – conroymedeiros May 17 '11 at 12:01

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