(Tradeslive.com, February 13, 2012) Home attic ventilation is a subject that many home owners don’t take into consideration when adding insulation. Providing adequate attic ventilation will prevent ice dams from building up on their roofs. Especially in older homes that have frequent ice build ups during the winter. Many home owners have installed new insulation in their attics to increase insulation values in order to conserve energy costs and overlook attic ventilation. Saving on energy bills winter and summer has taken on a greater importance with the steady increases in energy costs. Evaluating your attic ventilation and adding to it will provide energy savings while prolonging the life of your existing roof.
The standard attic ventilation are the vents located at the gable ends of the house, which allows the cooler air to be drawn into the house and the hotter air being exhausted through thermodynamic principles. This airflow also removes unwanted moisture from the attic space. Additional ventilation techniques have been added with rooftop vents, whirlybird turbine type ventilators, and powered attic ventilators with thermostat controls, solar powered attic ventilators that do not require electrical connections and ventilation in the soffits with a ridgeline vent at the peak of the roof. The continuous soffit vents offer some advantages allowing cooler air to enter along the entire length of the soffits and expelling the warmer air through the roof’s ridge vents. The result is a highly effective attic ventilation system which expels the hot air in the summer and the humid air in the winter.
Keeping the attic space cool in the summer will save air conditioning costs lowering your energy bill. The powered attic ventilators with thermostats can have the same effect. Adding some of these types of ventilation such as one or more roof type vents are tasks that the handy do-it-yourselfer can install. A powered ventilator requires a qualified electrician to connect to power sources. A solar-powered attic ventilator does not require an electrical connection and can be installed by the home owner.
Protecting your family’s health and saving on costly repair work to remediate any damage caused by unchecked mould growth and prolonging the life of your roof are major considerations besides potential energy savings to take into account. There are savings on air conditioning bills in the summer and proper ventilation during the winter helps alleviate the chances of ice dams forming in the winter. Ice dams can cause interior damage to gypsum board walls, wood studs and cause mould growth in the attic. Inadequate ventilation is easily visible in the winter months, just go for a walk in your neighbourhood or look at your own roof to see those picturesque icicles hanging down and the inches of ice built up along the roof edge.
Maintaining the proper ventilation in the attic prevents moisture accumulating which leads to mould and mildew growing in the attic and can lead to costly repairs being required. Damage to roof structures and materials is a costly endeavour and the repair work should only be undertaken by professionals with experience. Also a cooler roof puts less stress on the materials giving your roof a longer life before you have to replace it. It has been estimated that a cool roof will extend the life of your roof by 25%.
By Larry Napora