Intake Ventilation Solutions For Your Home
With all the ways you can get that musty old air out of your attic, wed be remiss without diving into ways to replace it with new, fresh air from the great outdoors.
Exhaust ventilation without any intake is like having a bike without pedals. The air may be able to move a little, but it wont get very far!
Paired with proper exhaust , adequate intake ventilation brings fresh air into the attic and up through the exhaust. This is classic vertical ventilation at its finest! A new stream of fresh air comes in, and the old hot air is pushed out.
Unlike with exhaust, there are less styles of intake for your roof to consider. And in most cases, we strongly suggest the first option on the list.
Soffit ventilation is by far the most popular form of roof intake venting. It forms one half of the most popular combination of intake and exhaust soffit vents with a ridge vent .
Soffit vents are a favorite amongst home builders and roofers because they are unquestionably the most effective intake vent for the cost. If a homes style allows for it, most new construction builders include soffit vents in their homes blueprint.
What is a soffit vent, exactly?
Soffits are intake vents that installed directly on your eaves, which are located directly underneath your roof line. Some folks refer to this area as the roof overhang.
Over Fascia Vents
Drip Edge Vents
As you can imagine, installation is notably complicated and should only be completed by a professional.
What Are Soffit Vents
The soffit is the portion of the roof that overhangs the home. Soffit vents are installed along the soffit between each rafter. With a variety of sizes and designs, soffit vents range from small, round vents to a continuous vent that runs along the length of the home.
This type of ventilation system is often used in conjunction with ridge vents or box vents to allow for optimal air circulation.
Are Roof Vents Useful During Summers
As the temperature rises outside, you cannot figure out how to cool down the interior of the house. Why does that happen? The rise in outside temperature also increases the temperature of the roof which in turn heats up attic. Heat cannot escape through unventilated attics, and so it becomes oppressive. Having a vented roof will drive away the warm air and greet you with cooler air.
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Can Roofs Have Too Much Ventilation
No, as a general rule you cannot have too much attic ventilation, but it does need to be balanced. There can never be too much intake ventilation through soffits but too much exhaust ventilation without enough supply air can be a problem, as that can leave the attic depressurized. In that case the air will need to come from somewhere, and it will either mean other ridge vents will act as intake rather than exhaust, or it can even draw air from the inside of your home through any faults in your air barrier.
If your ridge vents are pulling air in instead of exhausting it, not only will the system not provide proper ventilation, it can pull in precipitation.
Hiring An Expert To Improve Attic Ventilation
Professionals can help you calculate how much ventilation you need, based on the size of the attic, then assess the necessary type of attic ventilation. They’ll also have experienced technicians who can implement a full suite of attic ventilation devices.
A general contractor can do this work, but first check their qualifications for experience with energy- or ventilation-related projects.
A full-service ventilation and insulation company is often your best bet. These companies address many projects, ranging from crawlspaces and attic insulation to air ducts, vapor barriers, attic fans, gable vents and fans, and turbines. As with the general contractor, ask questions and study the qualifications of the ventilation/insulation company. Not all companies deal with the entire range of projects.
To install a roof ridge vent only, call a roofing company.
R806.1 Attic Ventilation / International Residential Code
R802.7 / International Residential Code
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Best Roof Ventilation Options For 2020
Ventilation of your home is often overlooked, but its an important part of keeping your home healthy. This year, check out the best roof ventilation options to keep your home safe and protected.
Looking to make improvements to your roof this year? Then you need to take a look at improving the ventilation. Its something thats very much overlooked, but is vital for keeping your roof in the best possible condition. Here are some of the best roof ventilation options on the market, so youll get the most from your vents.
Why Ventilate Your Roof
When you talk about roofs, youre often talking about keeping things out of it and keeping it sealed. Water and moisture are severe dangers to the roof. If it gets in, it will create mold and rot that damage the structure. In some cases, it will even necessitate the replacement of the roof itself.
Roofing styles have come a long way, and now theyre more airtight and watertight than ever before. Thats great for keeping water out from the outside, but what about the inside?
As you go about your day youre going to create water vapor, and thats going to find its way up to the attic of your home. If theres no ventilation, it cant escape out into the atmosphere. If its trapped, its going to settle in your attic and cause those moisture problems described above. As you can see, its vital that you allow the vapor to escape.
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Intake Vents Vs Exhaust Vents
Correctly balanced ventilation systems use the right combination and placement of intake and exhaust vents. They continually transform the hot and sometimes moist air in an attic into a uniform layer of drier, cooler air all year round. The two roof ventilation options, intake vents and exhaust vents, should be placed to take advantage of the natural increased speed of air circulation. This occurs through the rising of warm air and the falling of cooler air.
- Intake vents, such as soffits, are placed lower on the roof, usually under the eaves.
- Exhaust vents like attic fans, ridge vents are primarily placed at the very top of the roof or the highest pitch where hot air gathers.
Multiple types of vents can work together to create an equal inflow of cool air and outflow of hot air in your house. For example, ridge vents and gable vents function as both intake and exhaust vents. Make sure your home has a balanced roof venting system to increase your homes livability, reduce your energy costs, make your roof last longer and cut down on costly repairs.
Tip: For proper roof ventilation, roughly every 300-feet of attic space should be vented.
Options For Attic Ventilation
According to Gregory, there are two types of exhaust vents for atticsstatic and powered. A static vent is basically a hole strategically placed to allow warm air to escape. They include ridge vents, that run along the length of the roof ridge, box-style cap vents, or turbine vents. A powered vent includes a fan.
Intake vents include those in the soffits and those in the gables. Gable vents can act as both intake and exhaust, depending on the wind direction and speed. However, because theyre placed in the highest part of the home, they operate best as an exhaust vent.
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Which Type Of Roof Vent Is Best For Your Roof Style
There are many different types of roof vents for many different styles of roofing, so it can be difficult to know which is best for your home. However, properly ventilating your roof can lower your energy costs, help eliminate moisture and increase air circulation. Thats why it is important to know which vent is best for your roof.
Architecture, climate, roofing and square footage are a few of the factors that can influence which roof vent is best for your home. Your best option is to find the vent that will remove the hot air from your attic in the most efficient manner. Here are the four most common roof vents.
Box vents are considered static vents since they have no moving parts. Box vents are open-air vents and are among the least expensive roof vent options. For roofs with lower pitches, these vents are often more efficient because there is no fan to move the heat and moisture out of your home.
Soffit vents are installed in the eaves of your roof. Often made of aluminum, vinyl or PVC, these vents increase the circulation and ventilation in your attic by letting outside air flow into your attic.
Roof Ridge Vents
Consult a professional roofer, like those at Findlay Roofing, to help you choose the best roof vent for your home.
Prevent Rodents From Entering Attic
There are many types of roof vents, all with different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, many older styles of roof vents allow rodents to enter your attic. Unless you install traps in your ventilation system, your attic is likely to become the home to baby raccoons, squirrels, mice, or other rodents.
The design of ridge vents, however, prevents rodents of any size from entering your attic without the need for additional traps or blockades. While rodents in your attic may seem harmless at first, they can actually create significant damage. Ridge vents are the best way to achieve the air circulation you need while limiting the risk of further damage.
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Benefits Of Roof Ventilation Systems:
The ice will block the system when the heat from the sun will combine with the heat coming from the outside of your house and melt the snow. The water will move towards the solar whirlybird roof where it will freeze once again because of the lower temperature. In this way, it will damage your entire roof.
When the temperature gets hot outside the house, it is important that we keep the insides cool. When the roof has proper ventilation it will allow the warmth inside the house to get away through ceiling vents bunnings. When the roof is properly vented it will protect the snow from turning into icicles.
While the temperature will increase outdoor, all of us need to stay cool inside. A well-vented solar whirlybird roof lets in warmth to get away, thereby decreasing the workload to your air conditioner.
Make sure that you get the best types of roof ventilation systems. It will help you to protect your house in all conditions.
Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
For Beginners & Professionals
How Does A Ridge Vent Work
An attic ridge vent works by creating an air exchange process. When warm, moist air rises in your attic, the ridge vent allows it to escape through its openings. Once it has escaped, the vent naturally pulls fresh air in through the soffits. This process continues throughout, enabling you to enjoy the fresh air.
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How Does Roof Vents Protect Roofs From Ice
Sometimes, icicles can freeze along roofs and gutters causing a phenomenon called ice damming. You do not understand how damaging it can be until much later. The heat within the attic causes the snow to melt and then it again refreezes beneath your roofing. With proper ventilation, the warm air will be transported before it can melt the ice and cause any kind of jamming.
Other Things To Consider
First, take care not to block any attic ventilation you do have. When insulating an attic, homeowners may inadvertently cover soffit vents, rendering them useless. Keep all insulating material away from the eaves or install baffles between the rafters to direct the air from the vent up along the roof deck.
If you use your attic for storage, dont fill it too full, warns Gregory. When the attic is too full, he says, it inhibits airflow and causes moisture build-up.
Gregory also suggests choosing a contractor with a proven track record and experience with the choices specific to the area. You want someone who understands and knows what theyre looking at, he says.
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What Is A Roof Ridge Vent
A ridge vent is a ventilation system that is installed across the ridge of a roof. Covered by shingle caps, this type of vent not only works well but also has an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Some people may refer to this type of roof vent as a continuous vent.
Roof line with ridge vent installed.
What Happens If My Roof Doesnt Have Proper Venting
Rapid destruction of your home, property, and everything you hold dear. All things that matter to you will perish in the most annihilating way imaginable. Just kidding.
Though there may not be world-ending destruction if you do not have proper ventilation, there are significant drawbacks that will effect your attic space, your roof, your home, and your lifestyle. They include:
- Poor indoor air quality due to dead air in the attic space
- Overburdened HVAC systems forced to work harder to cool the second floors of your home
- Extra moisture in the attic space
- Ice dams in the winter months, if you live in a colder climate
- Dry rot of roof sheathing
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What Problems Can Occur From An Ineffective Ventilation System
Potential issues from a poor ventilation system can include:
- Increased energy costs
- 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 its important to discuss your specific and unique needs with a professional.
Calculate Air Flow Needs
First, determine how much venting your home requires. Ideally, your roof should have a minimum of one square foot of ventilation, split between intake and exhaust vents, for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. The amount of ventilation per vent is expressed as net free area, or NFA, and will be listed in product descriptions.
To calculate your venting needs, multiply the length and width of the attic to determine the total attic floor space. Divide the total by 300. That number is the total NFA your attic requires including intake and exhaust. Divide the amount in half to determine how much of each you need.
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Roof Vents For Every Climate
Every home requires attic ventilation as it has a purpose throughout hot, cold, and mixed climates. And therefore, throughout every season. Vents work by clearing hot and wet air from the attic. As a result, homeowners can regulate the temperature of their home year-round. A well-ventilated roof will keep the temperature of the home comfortable and at the temperature you would expect for the time of year.
In cold climates, roof vents ensure that the attic is the right temperature. When it is icy, roof vents will prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams develop over a short period when the heat of the sun and the warmth of the roof melt the snow and ice. This water then collects, refreezes, and creates puddles along the roof. Also, ventilation will allow any moisture in the air to clear from the living space below, escaping through the attic.
Ventilation is just as important in hot climates. When the weather is warmer, vents will work by clearing the hot air from the attic. As a result, this will cool the house and reduce the cost of running air conditioning systems.
Ridge Vents Do Not Rely On Other Systems
Some types of air ventilation systems rely on other pieces of equipment to work properly. While roof ridge vents can work alongside box vents or soffit vents, they also do not need these other vents to operate.
Ridge vents effectively release moisture from your home, greatly reducing the risk of mold or mildew.
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The Types And Styles Of Roof Vents
Box Vents also called Low Profile Vents, Louvers, Flat Vents, or Turtle Vents are static vents. This means they have no moving parts. Utilizing natural convection, they create an opening for the rising hot air and moisture to escape through. They are available in different colors as well as both metal and hard plastic. Box Vents are most effective when installed as close to the roof ridge as possible. This allows the maximum amount of heat and moisture to escape. Due to their limited effectiveness, numerous Box Vents are often required.
Also called whirlybirds. These vents are not static, as they have moving parts. They do not have motors and instead rely on the wind to power their movement. A lot of people see a wind-driven turbine vent and think of a Chefs hat. Wind-driven turbine vents move more air than box vents when the wind is blowing. They are available in differing degrees of quality. We recommend only installing high-quality wind-driven turbine vents that have plastic bushings or permanently lubricated ball bearings in the spinning mechanism. Most homeowners are familiar with the squeaking noise associated with the cheaper versions as they spin in the wind. Its that spinning action, triggered by wind, which draws hot air and moisture up out of the attic.
Off Ridge Vents
Now that youve read about all the different types of roof vents, we know this will be your next question: