Your roofing system needs balanced attic ventilation to perform at its best. Every attic ventilation system should have a combination of properly placed intake and exhaust vents
Roof vents and attic fans work year-round to prevent excess heat and reduce excess condensation.
The key to ideal ventilation is having the correct amount of both intake and exhaust ventilation. Having only one or a variable amount of one type of venting can lead to pressurization problems.
If the amount of intake roof ventilation with exhaust roof ventilation isn’t balanced, moisture and/or heat can build up in your attic, leading to a potential host of problems, including:
When considering replacing your roof, talk to us about ventilation options for your new roof and attic. There are several ventilation products to consider to ensure you have a balanced intake and exhaust ventilation system. This is of the utmost importance and required by roof shingle manufacturers. Be prepared to discuss ventilation options by understanding the different types of roof vents necessary to create a balanced attic ventilation system for your home’s unique characteristics.
There are several types of roof and attic ventilation products available for your home. You’ll often see them referred to as roof intake or exhaust vents, ridge vents, eave vents, attic fans, and gable vents as well as passive or powered vents/fans.
Attic and roof ventilation products are categorized as either: intake ventilation, exhaust ventilation, or both intake and exhaust.
Intake vents take in air from the outdoors. This fresh air goes into the attic and replaces the air that goes out through the exhaust vents, helping to ensure balanced airflow. Intake vents are typically placed under the eaves of your roof. They help the exhaust vents in the attic do their job more effectively and assist in controlling energy costs.
There are two types of intake vents: soffit vents and roof-mounted intake vents. Soffit Vents are the most common type of intake roof vents, and they’re placed underneath the roof eaves all along the length of your house or between the joists. If your home has no soffit or exposed rafters under the eaves, a roof-mounted intake vent can be used to provide adequate air intake. These vents have a low profile that blends into the roofline.
Exhaust vents allow air to flow out of the attic to the outdoors. Attic fans and ridge vents are two examples of exhaust vents, and these are typically placed higher on the roof, often at the highest pitch where hot air tends to gather.
As the name implies, ridge vents run along the very top of a roof on the ridge, typically where the two sloping portions of a roof meet. They’re ideally placed to catch the wind blowing over the roof, which helps expel moisture and heated air from the attic.
Static roof vents, or roof louvers, permit air to escape the attic and are placed flat on the roof and evenly distributed near the ridge. You might find these listed under various names depending on the region you live in, such as: slant-backs, box vents, turtle vents, half-rounds, off-ridge vents, and dormer vents.
Wind or roof turbines have blades or vanes built-in. The wind turns these blades, creating a spinning vacuum that helps draw out hot, moist attic air.
Attic fans are typically located on a wall inside the attic. Their job is to pull air from the attic and vent it to the outside. Attic fans can move large amounts of hot or humid air from an attic, which can help keep your heating and cooling costs in check. In addition, homeowners can gain more control over ventilation by turning attic fans on and off as needed.
Powered roof vents work on the same principle as attic fans; however, they’re located on the roof. Although a more expensive option, powered roof vents can be configured to run off electrical or solar power. The added mechanical force behind these roof vents can significantly increase air circulation, potentially saving you money in the long run.
Powered fans pull a lot of air, so it’s critical to have adequate intake ventilation to provide enough outside air to balance airflow; otherwise, these powered vents can create a vacuum in your attic that pulls conditioned air out of your house.
A few vents, such as gable vents, serve as both intake and exhaust vents, depending on wind direction and speed. If you install new intake and exhaust ventilation, you may want to close any old, existing gable vents to prevent cross ventilation, which can reduce the effectiveness of your new ventilation.
Now that you’re familiar with the different types of intake and exhaust ventilation products for your roof and attic, let’s take a quick look at how balanced attic ventilation works.
Imagine it’s a summer day, and you leave the front door of your house open so you can bring in groceries from the car. Your house windows are also open, and there’s a breeze blowing outside. Suddenly, the front door slams shut, probably scaring you in the process.
What happened? Your home was drawing in air through the open front door to replace the air leaving through the open windows. In other words, it was ventilating.
This is exactly what is happening in your attic through your intake and exhaust vents. First, air is released from the attic to the outdoors through the exhaust vents, creating a vacuum. Then, fresh air from the outside rushes back in through the intake vents, filling the vacuum.
If you don’t have the right amount of intake vents or if they’re blocked, air may be pulled from your living spaces to help balance the pressure. Likewise, if you don’t have the right amount of exhaust vents, warm pressurized air from the attic can make its way into your conditioned living spaces. Both scenarios are not energy efficient and can potentially impact your home’s energy costs.
If you find yourself constantly adjusting your thermostat, then you may have a ventilation issue.
As you can see, the key concept in proper roof ventilation is balance. To achieve balanced airflow through your home’s attic spaces, you need the correct amount of intake and exhaust vents. Roof intake and exhaust vents work together to remove warm, moist attic air and replace it with cooler, fresh, drier air. In the process, air pressure remains equalized.
Every home is unique and requires a proper inspection to determine whether it has effective ventilation. We’ve learned quite a bit about roof and attic ventilation in recent years. Chances are, if your home is older, it’s going to require corrective action.
If you’re considering a roof system replacement, Remodel Rx can work with you to create the proper solution for your home’s needs. We know proper ventilation is just one part of ensuring your roofing system is installed and functioning correctly. At Remodel Rx, we focus on manufacturer-required processes, precision work, craftsmanship, and outstanding customer service. Contact us today to learn more about roof system replacement.