By: Danny Lipford
Attic ventilation is crucial to the longevity of your roof and can help to lower your energy bill as well. Vents can be located in gables, under eaves, along the ridge of the house, or cut into the roof itself.
Hot air in your attic may not seem like such a bad thing in the winter, but it contains moisture that can condense and cause long term problems. In summer, heat in the attic not only makes your air conditioner work harder, but it also cooks roof shingles from the underside and reduces their life.
Continuous ridge vents have become popular in recent years for good reason. Since hot air rises, it’s important to locate the vent as close to the peak of the roof as possible, and nothing is higher than the ridge. While they come in a number of different types, one system uses a fiber mat laid along the ridge with shingle tabs mounted over it. A narrow slot cut in the ridge allows hot air in the attic to escape while keeping insects and rain out.
In order for ridge vents to be effective, you need a supply of fresh air coming in from the soffit under the roof’s overhang. Soffit vents are available in a number of styles including round and rectangular metal vents, integrated vinyl soffit vent panels, or continuous trench vents. By combining a balance of both soffit and ridge vents, you can create a constant flow of cool, dry air through your attic in both winter and summer.