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Attic Vent Types

Heating and HVAC
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In the puzzle of maintaining a comfortable home with proper air circulation, an attic vent is an essential piece. Without adequate ventilation, attics can develop serious problems such as condensation, wood rot, mold, mildew, and rusting metal. These issues can compromise the integrity of the roof and cause health issues for family members living in the home. An attic vent helps combat these problems by providing consistent air circulation throughout one’s home. There are two main types of attic vents: intake vents and exhaust vents. Intake vents allow fresh air to circulate through the attic, and exhaust vents allow air in the attic to escape. These main types of vents are also split into subcategories, listed below:

  • Soffit vents
  • Gable vents
  • Ridge vents
  • Static vents

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are screened vents in a house overhang, beam, or arch that allows air to flow into the attic or the space below the roof sheathing. This helps the attic stay cooler in the summer and enables excess moisture in the attic to evaporate. Soffit vents point downward, preventing rain and snow from leaking into the attic. In addition, if rain and snow do blow into the soffit, they are less likely to get the insulation or drywall in the attic wet. Soffit vents should be installed near other high vents to prevent heat-loss and unnecessary moisture in the attic.

Gable Vents

Gable vents are triangular vents usually installed in the gable wall slightly below the peak of the roof. While they offer some benefit, gable vents are often viewed as relatively ineffective because they allow for airflow near the gables but not through the entire roof and attic.

Ridge Vents

Ridge vents span the entire length of the roof peak and blend into the roofline to appear more attractive. Research has shown that ridge vents with external baffles can be an extremely effective attic ventilation system. Ridge benefits offer several distinct benefits over other types of attic vents, including the fact that they are effective throughout the year, provide evenly distributed ventilation along the entire roof, and have a design that maximizes airflow.

Static Vents

Static vents, which include roof louvers, wall louvers, and wind turbines, typically consist of a metal cylinder with a metal hood to keep rain and snow out. They are installed in rows along the roof’s face and can be extremely effective depending on how many static vents are installed.

Attic vents are an essential part to keeping one’s home well-ventilated and can prevent unnecessary moisture and heat from causing mold, rot, and mildew. For the best results, it is good to use several types of attic vents to achieve the goal of lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.

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