Most people consider attic ventilation
to be a waste of money. However, lack of proper ventilation can cost you dearly. Hot air rises up into your attic where it gets trapped. Consequently the rooms below your attic get warmer, thereby increasing your energy bills. Furthermore, lack of attic ventilation leads to the accumulation of moisture that can potentially damage your roof or ceiling beams.
Attic ventilation is an important feature of your home. The following points will help you install the ventilation properly.
There are two types of attic ventilation – mechanical and non-mechanical. If you prefer non-mechanical ventilation, you can select the gable vent. Installed at the uppermost portion of the attic, it allows hot air to escape. On the flipside, it does not encourage uniform or constant movement of air around the attic.
Ridge and Soffit Vents
Non-mechanical ventilation can be improved with the help of ridge and soffit vents. Soffit vents are placed along the soffit under the roof line, and act as an inlet for cooler air from outside. Ridge vents are located at the peak of the attic, and provide an outlet for the warmer air of the attic. Together, these two vents provide uniform ventilation and cooling in your attic. This is a highly beneficial and cost-effective method. Ridge and soffit vents are quite affordable and easy to install. They also negate the need for a fan, thereby saving money on your energy bills.
Mechanical ventilation involves the use of attic fans and whole-house fans. An attic fan, as the name suggests, is located in the attic. It blows out air from the attic and hence increases the air flow. It is of two types-electric and solar powered. It can be fixed on either the roof top or in gable vent areas.
When you purchase an attic fan, go through the checklist of essential features. Invest in an all-metal fan with an effective thermostat. Check for a fire stat, which is used to shut off the fan in case of house fire. This is an extremely important feature and must not be overlooked. Additionally, get a quality screen along with your attic fan to keep out bugs and creeps.
If you live in cooler climates where air conditioners are seldom used, then whole-house fans will be more useful than attic fans. Installed in the attic, a whole-house fan effectively improves ventilation around your entire house.
Whole-house fans are of two types – direct driven and belt driven. Although belt-driven fans are expensive, they are more durable and powerful than direct driven units.
Points to Remember
Check out your attic to determine which kind of attic ventilation
will work best for you. Seek professional advice even if you want to carry out the installation yourself. Spend a good amount of time in the market to learn about the latest products. Do not invest in cheap material as good ventilation of your attic will help keeping electricity bills and home repair costs low.