How-To Videos

Adding Soffit and Ridge Vents to Your Attic

By: Allen Lyle

Proper attic ventilation is an important component of an energy efficient home, since it keeps your house cooler in the summer. It’s also important in the winter to vent moisture from your attic to prevent rot, mold, and mildew.

To provide proper attic ventilation, your home should have:

  • Soffit Vents: These vents are located in the soffit under the eaves to allow outside air into your attic. They’re available in both rectangular and round shapes.
  • Ridge and Gable Vents: To let hot air out of your attic, you also need either ridge vents cut into the roofing on the peak of your roof or gable vents at the top of gables in your attic.
  • Power Vent Fans: If you need additional attic ventilation, you can install vent fans in your attic. Vent fans can be either hardwired or solar powered, and should be located high up on the roof just below the ridge or inside your attic behind a gable vent.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Allen Lyle: Now, what Danny means by ventilation is how your attic breathes. And that air exchange is so important. Attic ventilation in the summertime is going to keep the home cooler. That means your air conditioner is going to work less. You’re automatically saving money right there. In the wintertime, it’s going to help move out the moisture, which eliminates the buildup of mold and mildew. Now, you accomplish this two ways.

First of all is intake. Look at this, this is so common in millions of homes across the U.S., you have a solid soffit. It looks really nice – one little vent is just not enough, it won’t do it. So we’re going to cut holes in the soffit, cover those holes with a vent. If you think that’s too big, that’s okay, I’ve got one like this. How about, this is simple, little three-inch hole. Pop it right in place.

Now the second half of the equation is the exhaust. You’ve got to let that air out. Right up top here, this is the ridge. A ridge vent is basically cutting a hole across here, and then covering it with a component that’s going to let that air out of the attic, but keep the rain and critters out. If you can’t do a ridge vent, certainly, I do recommend a power roof vent as close to the ridge as possible.


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7 Comments on “Adding Soffit and Ridge Vents to Your Attic”

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  • kyle Says:
    August 12th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Dave, why didn’t the guys working on the roof in the video have their fall protection on? Just curious.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    August 18th, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Hi, Paul! We’re fans of Broan’s Specifier Tools calculators. You can find them here:
    Good luck!

  • Paul Says:
    August 11th, 2018 at 3:17 am

    Can someone please tell me what the required distance is for plumbing vents from a roof vent for attic ventilation or what it should be if there’s no such requirement…which I can’t imagine there not being such. Is it the same as it is from a window? That is not going to be possible in the small roof area I have to work with if so!

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 8th, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Hi, Dave,

    Enlarging the venting will only work if you have sufficient air intake through your soffits or overhang.

    Thanks for your question!

  • Dave Says:
    June 16th, 2018 at 8:03 am

    I have an circa 1930 balloon (Sears) house that only has small slits
    as soffit vents. The house has a walk up attic (unfinished) and there is insulation beneath the floor.
    Is there a way to enlarge the venting to improve the attic ventilation ?
    Any comments will help
    Thank you

  • Jeff Knecht Says:
    April 26th, 2018 at 8:26 am

    If you have ridge venting and soffit vents, then the gable vents should be covered, as they interfere with proper air flow. Also, be careful whete power vents are located, they, also, can interfere with proper venting .

  • Nanette Says:
    May 18th, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Just put a new roof on with a ridge vent. My problem is my gable vents. When it rains the water gets into my attic. Can I close them off completely and not effect the circulation in the attic.

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Adding Soffit and Ridge Vents to Your Attic