Attic Ventilation Contractor Tips: Do You Have Enough?
Ensuring your home remains comfortable all year depends on three main components of your home working well together, which include:
Most homeowners already understand how critical roof maintenance is and how important attic insulation is to the home’s energy efficiency. However, attic ventilation is often neglected. This is regrettable because ventilation plays an essential role in keeping your attic in good condition and your living areas more comfortable.
Why You Need Attic Ventilation
Poor attic ventilation can result in a variety of issues in your attic and your home, including:
- Higher energy bills
- Reduced comfort and lower indoor air quality
- Structural rot
Our attic experts can examine your home and let you know if you have adequate attic ventilation. If not, we can recommend affordable strategies for you to improve your comfort levels, keep your attic safe from pests and mold, and save you money on energy.
Attic Ventilation Types
The attic is much more than out-of-the-way storage space. It’s a critical part of the roof system, and proper ventilation is the best way to ensure you get the most out of it.
Vents have two basic purposes: intake and exhaust. Most building codes recommend at least one square foot of vent area for every 150 square feet of attic floor space.
The majority of homes have both types of roof ventilation, but some may only have exhaust-type vents due to the architecture. In these cases, an exhaust vent is better than nothing.
You should always consult with an experienced attic ventilation contractor when improving your attic ventilation. These are a few of the different types of attic vents they may recommend for your home if they are not already there.
Ridge vents: These vents run along the entire span of your roof across its peak. Heat doesn’t rise, but hot air does, so ridge vents are in a prime location for letting the hottest air trapped in the attic escape outside.
Box vents: These small, static roof vents sit partway up the roof to provide an escape route for warm air. They look like small, square boxes attached to your roof and usually take up the space of one shingle or tile.
Off-ridge vents: These vents sit close to the top of your roof. They are static vents similar to box vents, but they can span three or more tiles in length. They are not as efficient as ridge vents, but they are a good substitute when a roof does not have a long, continuous ridge.
Powered attic vents: Powered attic vents are attic fans installed on the roof that power up on hot days to ensure a steady flow of air through the attic. Your attic stays cooler, but they do consume energy.
Roof turbines: These are often referred to as “whirlybirds” because of the way they spin in the wind. Vents on the outside of the circular whirlybird catch the wind and rotate to draw air up from the attic. As you can guess, whirlybirds are not as effective at expelling warm air when there’s no breeze.
Soffit vents: These vents are installed in the eaves of your roof. Soffit vents are the most popular types because they are usually installed when the house is built and don’t add much cost.
Gable vents: The gable is the triangular part of the wall at the end of a roof. Gable vents installed in these sections are kind of like having partially opened windows at each end of the attic. They are cheap to install but don’t create anywhere near the vertical airflow produced by ridge vents working in concert with soffit vents.
Benefits of Attic Ventilation
Heat does not rise, but hot air does, which attic ventilation contractors will use to their advantage when designing an attic ventilation system.
Because hot air rises, the best kind of ventilation system is one that promotes vertical airflow, such as that produced by eaves or soffit vents and vents close to or at the roof ridge.
Vents that allow hot air to escape through the top of your roof via the ridge vents create a vacuum that draws cooler air in through the soffit vents. Proper attic ventilation places vents at the bottom of the attic and at the top to ensure a balanced airflow through the attic space.
Stay Cooler and Save on Energy Bills
An attic that is not properly ventilated will trap warm air. On a 90-degree day, the inside of your attic can reach 160 degrees or more. When you open a few windows, the trapped attic air will flow back into your living areas.
Turning on the air conditioning can provide some relief from the heat, but it will cost you. The hot air inside your attic will transfer some of the trapped heat into the cooled air flowing through the ductwork.
If you’re like most people, you will compensate by dialing down the temperature control another degree or two. Unfortunately, even a change of a couple of degrees in your HVAC settings can bump up the amount of energy you use by a lot and cost you more at the end of the month.
Prevent Cold Weather Condensation
Inadequate airflow in the attic can lead to moisture problems and mold growth. On a cool day, the warm, moist air from the living spaces will rise into the attic. The moisture trapped in the air will condense into droplets when it contacts the roof sheathing. Condensation in the attic is a leading cause of ice dams in areas that regularly reach freezing temperatures, but it is rarely a problem in the summer months.
Prevent Rodent Infestation
Trapped moisture that drips into the insulation can harbor a mold outbreak. A sufficient volume of moisture may also lead to wood rot. If mold and structural damage weren’t enough, moisture in your attic can also attract pests like rats and mice that thrive in warm, humid conditions.
Are You Ready to Get Your Attic Ventilation Checked
If superheated air trapped in your attic is making your life uncomfortable or condensation is causing damage and attracting rodents to your home, proper ventilation can stop these issues. Learn how an attic ventilation upgrade can make your life more comfortable and affordable by calling the attic pros today.