Once you decide that your house will have an attic, the next thing to think about is the types of attic vents that will fit and work best. Installing attic ventilation extends your roof’s life, lowers power consumption, and makes your house more comfortable.
With the many types of attic vents in the market, it is easy for sellers to mislead you due to the competitive nature of the industry. A little research will help you avoid these mishaps that happen to first-time shoppers. Check out the most common attic vents.
Why Attic Ventilation Is Important
An attic is a space in a building just below the roof, and most homeowners use it as a playroom, bedroom, or storage area. Since the attic is directly below the roof, even the slightest temperature changes affect it.
Installing vents in the attic reduces moisture in the space. When the room has a lot of moisture during winter, ice on the roof melts and refreezes again. The melting and refreezing can cause considerable damages to the ceiling.
Also, the attic becomes stuffy without ventilation, and the stuffiness can go down to the other rooms. Unventilated lofts have poor air circulation, meaning the hot air never finds its way out. In turn, your HVAC system stays on, hence high energy bills.
Ventilated attics make the home a more comfortable space. There are many types of vents, and each comes with the role of either eliminating hot air or bringing in cold air to the attic.
Having both intake and exhaust attics is crucial if you want to maintain fresh air and the correct temperatures of the home. However, some home architectural designs will not allow you to install both intake and exhaust, so you can install the exhaust vent alone.
Types of Attic Ventilation
Once you decide you are installing attic vents, it is advisable to consult a roofing specialist. The experts know what will work for your attic and can suggest the proper vents that will fit well in your house’s architectural design.
- Ridge Vents
Ridge vents are a prevalent type of attic vent. This vent sits on the top of your roof and runs from one end to the other. Ridge vents are exhaust vents, and installing them at the roof’s highest point allows air circulation in the attic.
Ridge vents are available in many roofing companies, and installation is easy. However, always get an expert to install the vents because they have more skills and experience. The vents also match with most roof types like shingles or iron sheets.
Ridge vents also provide extra protection from snow build-up and ice accumulation, which would block the vents. This attic ventilation type is common because of its surface area, design, roof location, and cost.
- Off-Ridge Vents
Like ridge vents, off-ridge vents sit in a similar place near the roof’s crest. However, these vents are smaller and not as effective as their counterparts.
They don’t sit as high as the ridge vents and don’t cover much space, hence a smaller surface area. The vents will therefore not expel as much hot air as the ridge ones do.
Most off-ridge vents are made of steel material, and installation is easy. Although they are a shorter version of the ridge vents, this type of vent is advantageous if your house has a smaller ridgeline.
Short ridge-lined roofs are most common in complex roofs or homes whose top does not have a long continuous ridgeline. In these cases, your attic will get maximum ventilation if you install two or three of the off-ridge vents.
- Box Vents
Box vents resemble off-ridge vents, but these are more common. You can install two or three of them on the roof for more ventilation. Box vents have a box shape, and you can get them in a range of sizes.
Although the box vents are standard, their small size is a disadvantage. The advantage the boxes have over the ridge vents is that they are more versatile. Unlike the ridge vents, you can install these in the strategic places of the attic that most need ventilation.
However, box vents will not be a good idea if your roof’s ridgeline is long and continuous. You might have to use many boxes to get enough ventilation on this type of roof.
- Solar-Powered Attic Vents
Another common type of attic vent is solar-powered vents. These will allow you to save on energy bills because they use 100 percent natural power. However, the solar-powered vents still come with the negatives associated with powered vents.
One disadvantage with these vents is that the fan can either be too powerful or not powerful enough, depending on the strength of the wind. They could also have damaging effects when installed on top of a vertical vent, like ridge vents.
It is advisable to use a completely natural type of vent without adding a powered fan, whether it uses solar or electricity. This will save you the damages that come with powered vents.
- Roof Turbines
Roof turbines are also called whirlybirds, and you can easily detect them on top of a roof from a distance. The turbines have pros and cons, and just like the solar-powered vents, they can have negative effects on your roof.
Strong winds drive roof turbines. The wind activates and propels the interior blades to exhaust hot air from the attic. Since these vents depend entirely on wind, they won’t be of use on days when it’s sunny and mild, which is a disadvantage.
Although the roof turbines work well for ventilation, they are smaller than the box vents. They, therefore, pull tiny amounts of air from the space, so you need to install a handful of the turbines for them to be effective.
Roof turbines are eco-friendly because they require zero electricity to operate. They are also easy and very cheap to maintain, and they require very little attention. You won’t worry about noise because the turbines are very silent even when the wind is strong.
To sum it all, every home is different, and the best vent type will depend on its architectural design. However, if you can have both exhaust and intake vents, that will be great. First, browse through all the different types of attic vents and consult the experts.
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