Enhancing attic air flow advantages the roof and extra

Homeowners are often interested in projects to improve the aesthetics of their homes, especially projects that can make their properties more attractive. Some projects, including improving attic ventilation, can benefit a home even if they aren’t particularly noticeable.

Roof ventilation preserves the life of a roof and at the same time improves the energy efficiency of a house. While letting air into the attic may seem counterproductive when sealing drafts elsewhere in the house, there is rhyme and reason to ventilating an attic year-round.

Roof ventilation is an air inlet and outlet system that creates a flow of air through the attic. In the summer, the air flowing through the attic cools the attic temperatures, preventing damage to the underside of the roof shingles and preventing ambient heat from entering a house. In winter, the airflow helps keep the attic cool and dry. This will prevent moisture from building up in the attic, which can lead to mold and rot problems. Roof ventilation also prevents warm indoor temperatures and rising heat from warming the roofs in winter, creating the freeze-thaw pattern that leads to ice dams.

Improvement of the roof airflow

Many attics already contain passive ventilation in the form of ventilation slots or ventilation strips that are built into the roof edge. Other vents may appear in gables or eaves. Some homeowners prefer the addition of an attic fan to work in conjunction with the existing ventilation system. The spring season is an ideal time to install an attic fan as the weather is temperate and making it easier to work up in the attic.

According to Natural Light Energy Systems, attic temperatures can exceed 71 ° C on hot summer days. Proper roof ventilation can lower these temperatures and extend the life of the roof. The roof ventilation also reduces the load on the heating and cooling systems. Regardless of how much insulation there is in an attic, there will be some transmission of attic air between the house and the attic, and that transmission makes heating and air conditioning systems run longer and harder to compensate.

Homeowners who find their HVAC systems running endlessly to keep the home comfortable can benefit from improved attic ventilation, as can homeowners whose attics have moisture damage from rusty nails or moldy wooden frames. An attic fan is often an effective remedy for these problems.

Roof fan 101

Installing a roof fan is best left to a professional as this requires wiring to the fan and may need to be cut into the roof for ventilation. Many fans work with a thermostat and turn on when the air temperature in the attic reaches a certain temperature. The fan circulates the air and helps keep the attic cooler and drier. The fan can also help remove fumes from cooking or household appliances.

Canada Go Green finds that loft fans can significantly reduce energy costs by making HVAC systems more efficient. Keeping attics cool and dry can also reduce the number of times HVAC systems need to be turned on or the temperatures at which household thermostats are set.

Improving roof ventilation may not add much to the appeal of a home, but such a project can save homeowners money and provide year-round benefits.

-Metro News Service

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