Having the proper roof and attic ventilation systems are imperative to preventing potentially extensive damage to your home and belongings. Without having the proper ventilation system you could experience a variety of issues including:
- Increase energy costs
- Damaged roof system components
- Damage insulation
- Water damage caused from condensation
- Dry rot to plywood decking due to extreme heat or cold
- Rusting of metal nails, straps and other clamps holding HVAC ducting in more humid climates
- Mildew and mold
There are a variety of options when it comes to attic and roof ventilation systems, so it’s important to discuss your specific and unique needs with a professional.
How Much Ventilation Do I Need for My Home?
In general most building codes will require 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of space in your attic. With this being said, not every home is made the same, so depending on the specific dimensions of your home, as well as your specific local and municipal code requirements will depend on how much ventilation you need.
What Are the Best Roof Ventilation Methods?
The best method you need to properly ventilate your attic or roof overall depends on the climate you live in. There are a few methods to keep in mind while you do your research or when you talk to a professional.
- Static Vents: These types of vents have little to no moving parts and stay put. They are great if you do not want to run electricity in order to vent your home. The way they work is by passively allowing moisture and hot air to leave your attic through the vent by natural convection. Static vents can be placed all over your roof and come in various styles, colors, and sizes.
- Moving Vents: These types of vents have moving parts that operate through wind power. They can squeak and rattle when they are moving and the most common type is a wind turbine. Moving vents work by removing the hot air and moisture from your roof and attic. They come in varying degrees of quality.
- Electrical Vents: These types of vents require that you run electricity to your roof vent. There are various types of electrical vents out there, but it can be more costly to run year to year. This can be a great option if you live in a hotter area and don’t want to worry about how the heat and water are going to leave through the vent.
- Solar Vents: These types of vents work without being static, moving, or electrical. They can be very cost effective once they are in place. But you have to make sure that they are not going to be covered up by trees.
What Are the Pros and Cons of the Different Types/Styles of Roof Vents?
There are several roof ventilation options when it comes to the type/style of ventilation you can use for your home. As a responsible homeowner, you want to do your research so that you can keep your project costs reasonable without sacrificing quality or function. However, the following vent options range from attic ventilation fans pros and cons to roofing vents pros and cons to help you start to start your research journey.
- Box Vents
- Pros – Box Vents are also known as: Flat vents, Low profile vents, Turtle vents, and Louvers. These vents are considered static vents since they have no moving parts. By creating an opening for the hot air and moisture in your attic to escape through, they take advantage of natural convection.
- Cons – Being static vents that rely on natural convection comes as a disadvantage for some simply because they are limited in their effectiveness. You are usually required to install numerous box vents.
- Pros – These vents are considered to be static, since they do have some moving parts, but there are not any motors included in their construction. These wind turbines rely on the wind in the environment to function. These types of vents move more hot air and moisture out of your attic than box vents, of course, this is only when the wind is blowing.
- Cons – They come in various degrees of quality, and it is usually recommended to go ahead and initially invest in the highest quality of wind turbine venting to ensure years of worry free effectiveness. This initial cost and having to rely on the wind can be deterrents for many homeowners.
- Soffit Vents
- Pros – These types of vents are able to provide air intake for your roof’s ventilation system. These are installed into the soffit and eave areas and provide a great opportunity for you to increase the airflow through your home.
- Cons – These are most effective when they are used in combination with a continuous ridge vent. So, you have to put more money into ventilation systems than others.
- Power Vents
- Pros – Power vents are generally roof or gable mounted and are also known as PAV’s (power attic vents). These types of vents contain motors that drive large fans in order to remove the moisture and hot air from your attic. Additional features for roof ventilation fans include adjustable thermostats that can make the fan kick on when a certain temperature is reached in your attic and humidistats that can turn on when certain levels of humidity are detected. The motor operation is generally minimal where noise is concerned.
- Cons – The minimal noise of this type of vent can be a good and bad thing since homeowners may not be able to notice if it is not functioning properly. Because of this, it is important to factor in the need for regular inspections when considering this type of vent for your roofing or attic ventilation.
- Ridge Vents
- Pros – This is another type of static ventilation that usually runs the entire length of your roof’s horizontal ridge. By running this vent from end to end you get a more finished look for your roof that blends in and gives your home an increased curb appeal. Ridge vents provide an even distribution of temperatures and ensures your roof won’t experience premature aging in some areas caused from uneven temperatures.
- Cons – Using ridge vents along with undereave venting is considered one of the most efficient systems you can choose. So investing in ridge vents means you’ll have to invest in other types of roof vents.
- Off Ridge Vents
- Pros – These types of vents are often mistaken for box vents, however they do function in quite the same way. These are often installed near the ridge of your home’s roof and are more rectangular than square.
- Cons – These mimic the box vents in their effectiveness and generally need several to be installed.
- Cupola Vents
- Pros – This style of static vent is most often used as decoration. The cupola vent sits on high wall that frame the opening cut into the roof for venting. This allows heat and moisture to escape through the opening with natural convection.
- Cons – These vents are most effective when they are used in conjunction with other vents. Not all cupola vents are as functional as others and are not as reliable as using other styles of static vents.
- Greenhouse Vents
- Pros – These vents completely open up to expose your greenhouse to the elements. They can quickly be opened up to reduce the heat and humidity inside of the greenhouse to decrease the internal temperature of the greenhouse.
- Cons – These vents are only used on greenhouses and not regular homes. Greenhouse vents have to be manually opened in order to provide ventilation.
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