Proper Attic Ventilation

BRrrr… It’s been so cold this winter! Does Your Attic Have Proper Ventilation?

I’m not at all fond of these Arctic fronts we’ve been plagued with but I’m sure happy that during the heat of July we added more attic insulation and more vents in our soffit.  What a difference it has made in keeping our house warm.

 Considering the hot and cold temperatures common here in the Midwest, proper attic or roof ventilation is a necessity.  In winter, a properly-vented attic allows the warm, moist air from the home to escape preventing condensation from forming on the underside of the roof sheathing thus preventing wood rot.  The likelihood of ice dams is also reduced.  During the warmer summer months proper ventilation will reduce cooling costs and extend the life of the roof shingles.

 

 In my research I found that both insulation and soffit vents work together for the best ventilation.  As energystar.gov states:  “At first it may seem odd to add insulation for warmth and then purposely allow cold air to enter the attic through vents, but this combination is the key to a durable and energy-efficient home.  In the winter, allowing a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate the attic helps keep it cold, which reduces the potential for ice damming.  Proper insulation and air sealing also keeps attics cold in winter by blocking the entry of heat and moist air from below.  In the summer, natural air flow in a well-vented attic moves super-heated air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture.  The insulation will resist heat transfer into the house.”

How can you determine if you need to better ventilate the attic?

  1.  If there are no roof, gable or soffit vents on the house.
  2. Touch the ceiling – if it’s hot you need more vents.
  3. Ice builds up on eaves.
  4. Dampness or frost in the attic during the winter.

So now we understand how proper ventilation of the attic is vital to keep us warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while at the same time saving us money on our energy bills.  This blog is but a brief explanation about attic ventilation but if you’re one who likes to examine a subject long and hard you can contact your local home improvement store or roofing company.