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Save Money With Attic Ventilation

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When it comes to properly maintaining a comfortable home and reducing energy costs, attic ventilation is essential. There are many sources of moisture in the home, from the materials used to build the home to the everyday activities family members do, such as cooking, bathing, and washing clothes. Such activities release excess moisture into the air, which can be absorbed into the materials of an improperly ventilated attic. The result is wet insulation and framing materials that can cause mold, mildew, and rot in the attic. Proper attic ventilation can not only prevent this, but also lower energy bills by allowing the extreme heat in the attic to escape in the summer, which causes the air conditioning system not to work as hard to cool one’s home. To adequately ventilate an attic, it is important to have a combination of attic vents.

There are two types of attic ventilation options:

  • Non-mechanical
  • Mechanical

Non-mechanical Attic Ventilation

One of the most basic types of non-mechanical attic ventilation is a gable vent, which should be installed in the uppermost part of the attic. A gable vent allows warm air to escape near the gables; however, air does not circulate throughout the entire attic with this type of vent. Ridge vents, another type of non-mechanical ventilation, are installed at the peak of a roof and allow air circulation throughout the entire length of the roof. A third form of non-mechanical attic ventilation is soffit vents, which allow cool air to enter the attic. Most professionals recommend a combination of ridge and soffit vents for best results.

Mechanical Attic Ventilation

For homeowners who require more than the effects of passive ventilation, mechanical attic ventilation is the best solution. Options include attic and whole house fans, which are differentiated by the areas in the home they cool. Attic fans are usually installed in the attic and blow hot air out of the attic. Whole house fans, in contrast, are used in homes in cooler climates and circulate outdoor air throughout an entire home. Both types of fans are available with electrical and solar-powered units.

Choosing the best type of attic ventilation can be a challenge, especially without doing research to determine the most effective type of ventilation for specific climates. When in doubt about the best attic ventilation system to install, always consult a professional. He or she will be able to determine whether non-mechanical or mechanical ventilation or a combination of the two would best suit one’s needs.

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