Every roofing system consists of many parts, including attic ventilation. A properly vented attic ensures fresh air circulates throughout your home and helps reduce moisture buildup. Lack of proper ventilation can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can wreak havoc on your health.
Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the importance of attic ventilation and believe several myths that need debunking:
It's a known fact that heat rises. But that doesn't mean your attic vents release warm air, driving up your energy bills. It's usually another culprit, such as poor insulation. Inadequate insulation can also lead to moisture formation, which can contribute to the deterioration of your insulation or cause wood rot.
If you think your insulation is a concern, contact local insulation installers to discuss replacing your attic insulation.
Many people believe attic ventilation increases energy efficiency in warmer climates. While it is a contributing factor, your shingle color, exposure to the sun, and insulation density are more crucial components of energy efficiency than ventilation.
Preventing moisture damage is far more important for your home and is a consideration in both warm and cold climates. In fact, homes located in colder climates often benefit more from attic ventilation.
Insufficient attic ventilation leads to moisture issues and poor energy efficiency. But too much ventilation is equally risky. An attic vent is a place where leaks can occur. The more vents you have, the greater your chance of developing a leak and suffering significant damage during a heavy storm.
Ideally, your attic ventilation will match the size of your home. Your setup should include the right amount of exhaust space to match your air intake. Both these dimensions depend on the size and slope of your attic.
Professional insulation contractors can answer your questions if you're unsure about the balance between your air vents.
Numerous studies show how effective an optimized attic ventilation system can be. Unfortunately, no lab can accurately recreate real-world weather conditions and behaviors. Significant differences between the southwest and the northeast regions make it challenging to truly determine the effectiveness of attic ventilation systems.
A common concern among homeowners is that attic vents will allow pests into their homes. Although it's not impossible, critters will not likely make their way in through these openings.
Insects can get in, but they won't stay long if there is no food source. Rodents typically can't crawl through vents unless they rip into the roof. Attic vents are too small for them to crawl through. The best way to prevent these issues is to keep your trees at least three feet away from the roof so climbing pests don't have access.
Every home needs two types of attic vents: intake and exhaust vents. An intake vent is positioned lower on the roof, sometimes hidden underneath the eaves, allowing it to draw in cool air. Exhaust vents resemble small towers on the top of your roof. These help release trapped heat and moisture from your attic.
Both vents work together to create the required airflow through your attic. There may be several options for types of vents, but choosing the right combination to create balance is the key.
If you're unsure whether you have adequate attic ventilation, you should consult a trained professional. Insulation installers understand the importance of proper ventilation systems. They can work with you to determine the correct ventilation for your home. This approach will prevent unwanted damage to your attic and costly repairs.