The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Every building needs enough ventilation in the attic but figuring out what kind of ventilation is necessary can be tricky. Improving your attic’s ventilation will protect your home’s resale value and whatever you choose to keep in your attic. Taking the time to figure out if your attic needs ventilation and then improving it if it does is time well spent. Let’s take a closer look.
How to Evaluate Whether You Require Improved Ventilation in Your Attic
During the warmer months, proper ventilation in the attic helps prevent heat buildup. It reduces the costs associated with cooling and increases the shingle’s lifespan. During the winter, warm air and moisture from the living space below make their way up into the attic.
When there is sufficient ventilation, the heat and the humidity can leave. It prevents ice dams from forming and keeps your attic dry.
The following are four indications that an attic does not have adequate ventilation:
1. Examine the eaves and the roof of your home. It is necessary to install attic vents if you do not find any on the top or in the eaves of the structure. Your roof vents will probably look nothing like the ones in this article. Your roof may have a ridge vent, a continuous air vent that runs along the ridge of the roof and has a low profile. Gable vents, and openings with louvers located at the top of roofs, might also be present.
2. On a pleasantly warm and sunny day, touch your ceiling. If the roof is warm, the attic functions as a solar oven, driving up your cooling costs and causing the shingles to cook.
3. If you have thick ridges of ice on your eaves in the winter, this is an indication that your attic does not have enough ventilation. The attic collects all the warm air that seeps from the rooms below it. There are many reasons why an ice dam may form on a building, including when snow melts and the water freezes on the eaves.
4. Since attic air typically rises, vents near the roof’s apex are a common choice for roof installation. During the colder months, you must check your attic with a flashlight. If you find frost or dampness in your attic, you need to improve the ventilation in your roof and install some attic vents.
Ways to Improve Attic Ventilation
1. Install Attic Access Covers to Reduce Heat Transfer
Attic doors and scuttle holes can be significant sources of heat transfer and energy loss in any home. Attic access cover insulation reduces this heat transfer and makes the rest of the house more comfortable. Also, your air conditioning and heating will have to work less, resulting in cost savings too!
2. Insert Roof Vents
Vents in roofs are often near the roof’s apex, which is where the air in the attic will naturally rise. By installing roof vents in your attic, you can ensure that hot, humid air can escape, preventing heat accumulation and condensation from occurring. You will need to perform routine maintenance checks on your roof vents to ensure they are clear of any obstructions.
3. Install Vents in the Soffits
The boards known as soffits link the bottom of your roof overhang to the walls of your home’s façade. They serve to conceal the roof beams, but when properly ventilated, they can also significantly contribute to the attic ventilation.
Soffit vents create a passageway allowing fresh air from the exterior to enter the attic below. Combined with roof vents, they produce a streamlined system that facilitates air movement into, within, and beyond the attic space.
There are two distinct styles of soffit vents: continuous and rectangular. Rectangular ducts often have vents inside apertures carved out of the wood beams that support your home. When you have continuous ventilation, it means that your attic space has ventilated soffits around it.
4. Install Gable Vents
There is a chance that the roof and soffit vents won’t be enough to let enough air into the attics. You can achieve the required amount of increased airflow by installing gable vents. Most of the time, these vents are at the gable ends of the roof. They have holes you can move so that airflow goes away from the attic.
Some houses have simple gable vents, which are frequently insufficient. If your home has gable vents and no other events, such as roof vents or soffit vents, you will most likely need to install additional vents to meet the ventilation requirements.
5. To improve the movement of the air, use fans
Most strategies for ventilating an attic rely on hot air’s natural tendency to rise. However, this passive ventilation might not be sufficient if you live in a particularly hot or humid environment. Fans provide an additional source of ventilation for these kinds of settings.
By following these tips, you can give your attic ventilation the attention it needs. Fortunately, it’s a simple fix requiring only a few everyday items and a call to the experts. They can provide a professional assessment and advise the best line of action to get your attic back on track.