Why Do You Need to Install Attic Vents?
Well designed roofing must include attic vents to ensure peak efficiency in your home. Without attic vents you can expect the roof deck and roofing to deteriorate much sooner, costing a significant amount of money for repairs and replacement. How do attic vents perform, and what types provide the best value for the average American home? Take a closer look at this small roofing element and find out why you need to include attic vents in your home.
How an Attic Vent Works
Roof vents play a vital role in both cooling and heating your home, enhancing efficiency throughout the entire year. Many people know that roof vents help to release hot air trapped in your attic during the warm summer months. This helps to reduce cooling costs, but also helps to avoid roof deck damage due to high levels of humidity in the attic space.
Roof vents are also crucial in the winter months, keeping this space dry and reducing the risk of ice dams on the roof. Ice dams damage shingles and can easily trigger roof leaks. Vents allow your roofing materials to last longer by maintaining a dry, moderate atmosphere in your attic space.
Attic vents maintain air circulation in that area, releasing hot air and moisture and replacing it with fresh, dry air. Consistent temperatures and proper air circulation allow your heating and cooling systems to perform at peak levels, lasting longer and costing less.
Different Types of Attic Vents
Metal vents offer the most affordable option for attic venting. These static forms provide somewhat adequate ventilation, but only in a limited area. Several vents are required to cover most attic spaces, which increases the chance of leakage. Unless budget is the most important factor, choose another type of attic vent for optimum performance.
Turbine vents are also made of metal and provide limited coverage. However the movement of an internal turbine results in greater airflow throughout your attic space. Better than stationary metal vents, turbine vents deliver mid-range performance at an affordable cost. Multiple vents need to be installed in a standard attic.
Power fan vents take the turbine design one step forward, but require energy to run. Some power fan vents operate with thermostat controls, which eliminate the benefits of attic vents in winter. While this type of roof vent covers more space than turbine vents, the energy required and control limitations make it a poor choice.
Ridge vents provide the optimum amount of coverage in an efficient manner. Installed along the ridge or peak of your roof line, this type of attic vent takes advantage of warm air’s natural movement. Combined with under-eave or soffit vents, ridge vents allow for maximum air movement without using any energy. Because of their unobtrusive design and location, ridge vents do not disrupt the roof line and help to maintain an attractive facade on your house.
Intake vents such as soffit vents are often overlooked but equally important in the design of your roofing system. This may include soffit vents, under eve vents, continuous soffit vents, vented drip edge vents, or continuous fascia vents. The air intake area may be equal to or exceed the net free area installed in your roof system. When heat rises and moves through the exhaust
vents at the peak of your roof, this natural occurrence pulls cooler are from the intake vents and should essentially balance the exhaust vents.
Having the appropriate net free area of intake vents help reduce the amount of moisture and heat buildup which prolongs the life of your building materials, prevents the eves of your home from developing ice dams, and helps reduce the amount of time needed for your HVAC system to heat or cool your home which leads to lower energy bills.
In order to maintain peak efficiency and extend the life of your roof materials, experienced roofing contractors will recommend that you install attic vents or replace the existing vents. Metal and turbine vents perform fairly well, but ridge vents and continuous soffit vents remain the optimum choice for most homes. These small elements play a major role on the roof and in the attic, as well as helping to maintain a comfortable atmosphere around your home.
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