ROOF VENTS ARE IMPORTANT IN WINTER TOO
When people think of roof vents, they often think about cooling a hot summer attic. But roof vents are as important during winter months.
YOUR ATTIC SHOULD BE COOL IN WINTER
Your attic in winter should be only a few degrees warmer than external air. And the only way to keep your attic cool in winter is proper air circulation.
INADEQUATE ATTIC VENTILATION
During winter, windows and doors are left closed for months on end and air in living spaces is heated most of the time. Moisture vapors from cooking, cleaning, and bathing are carried by warm air into your attic space. Over time, without proper attic ventilation, that moisture can build up on attic surfaces leading to mold, mildew, and wood rot.
A warm winter attic can also lead to ice dams. Ice dams can lead to considerable damage. Click here to learn more about ice dams>
INTAKE AND EXHAUST VENTS
Attic ventilation is divided into two categories – intake vents and exhaust vents. Intake vents draw outside air into the attic while exhaust vents allow hot, moist, or stagnant air to flow out of the attic.
Intake vents play an important role in keeping your attic cool in winter (and summer). Intake vents are typically installed at the soffit or eave. These vents draw external air into the attic.
We always caution homeowners to verify that all soffit and eave vents are properly installed. Too often we find external vents are blocked (holes are not cut thru to the attic space).
Don’t assume you have ventilation just because you see ventilation screens or vents at the eave. Always check!
Additionally, we find vents are blocked by insulation within the attic because baffles are not installed or are improperly sized.
STATIC ROOF VENTS
Static roof vents allow air to escape from the attic. Often multiple static roof vents are needed to adequately ventilate the attic. Roof vents should be evenly spaced across the roof and installed just below the peak of the roof where heated air will rise. Static vents do not require electricity to work and thus are less expensive to operate. They are available in a variety of colors allowing you to choose what will look best with your roof.
Ridge vents also called Ridge Cap Vents are installed as you might guess, at the ridge of the roof. Ridge vents are often covered by the roofing material used on the rest of the roof making them blend with the look of your home. Designed to avoid the need for roof vents, performance here in the Midwest has been mixed due to subzero temps and snow levels that can interfere with ridge vent airflow.
When using a ridge vent it is necessary to have an equal or larger amount of intake ventilation from the soffit area of the roof. This allows for air to enter at the lower vents and travel up to the top of the roof as it heats and exits out of the ridge vent. An inadequate amount of soffit ventilation will act to retard the effectiveness of your ridge vent.
POWERED ROOF VENTS (ATTIC FANS)
A powered roof vent commonly called an Attic Fan can dramatically improve the flow of air through your attic. Attic fans are covered by a dome to keep the elements from entering the opening in your roof. The fan is connected to a thermostat or a humidistat/thermostat combo that dictates when the fan should activate based on the current temperature or moisture levels in the attic. One attic fan can produce the same results as multiple static roof vents.
BATH FAN & DRYER EXHAUST VENTS
Bathroom Exhaust Fans and Dryer Exhaust tubes should always be exhausted externally via a dampered roof cap. Never exhaust your bathroom fan or dryer into your attic. The warm moist air exhausted from both of these sources can lead to mold and damage to your roof and home structure. If you purchased this home after your bathroom fans or dryer exhaust was installed, you may want to make sure these are venting properly.
WE ARE ATTIC AIR
Attic Air provides insulation and attic ventilation including roof vents, intake vents, attic fans, bathroom exhaust fans, whole house fans, and more. Call us for a free attic assessment at 630.830.3870