Proper Roof Ventilation: Ridge Vents or Power Vents?

Proper Roof Ventilation: Ridge Vents or Power Vents?

On the surface, roof ventilation sounds ridiculously simple: out with the hot air, in with the cool. The goal is to get rid of the stale, hot, and humid air in your attic and to continuously replace it with fresh, cool air from outside. Done right, roof ventilation can cut cooling costs in summer and heating costs in winter as well as prolong the life of your roof.

But the question of whether to install a ridge vent or a power vent isn't nearly as simple.

Some of the arguments in favor of ridge vents include: passive ventilation (it won't add to your energy bill), reliability (because it doesn't need electricity to function), ease of installation, and relatively low upfront cost.

On the other hand, power vents are a better choice for hip roofs (which often lack ridge line footage for venting) and for homes in the Northeast, where fluctuations in winter temperatures can sometimes make passive venting impossible.

In either case, there needs to be a balance between intake and exhaust as well as adequate attic insulation. But, as Marietta roofing specialists will tell you, there are other factors to consider, like existing vents, attic and ceiling shape, roof pitch, and obstructions.

Long story short, the choice between a ridge vent and a power vent isn't as cut-and-dried as most homeowners imagine. What's definite is that it should remain an either/or question. Combining the two is a bad idea, as Danny Lipford (of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford) explains:

Combining an attic power vent fan with a ridge vent is usually not recommended because:

  • It could reverse the natural flow of hot air out the ridge vent.
  • If air is drawn in through the ridge vent while it's raining, it might pull rainwater in with it, which could lead to leaking or mold in the attic.

While a power vent fan combined with a ridge vent can work against the natural flow of air through the attic, it will still exhaust more hot air than not having a fan at all, it's just not the most efficient way to go about it.

If all this seems like too much to take in, you can always call on the pros for help. Roof Roof, a contractor specializing in roofing, attic insulation, and gutters, is one name you can count on. They understand that a well-ventilated roof is a long-lasting roof. To get in touch with them, call (864) 990-2001 or visit Findlay Roofing today.

(Article Excerpt from Combining an Attic Vent Fan with a Roof Ridge Vent, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford)

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