4 common myths about roof vents

Installing a ridge vent on the top of a pitched roof will help pull hot air up and out through the attic. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Shane H.)

Installing a ridge vent on the top of a pitched roof will help pull hot air up and out through the attic. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Shane H.)

Roof vents are more complicated than they seem, and there are many myths about the right way to install and use them. When installed properly, roof vents can help to keep the home cool, reduce humidity and prevent mold growth.

1. Vents are only necessary in warm places

If you live in a region that's cool for most of the year, you may be thinking that vents are an unnecessary expense, or even undesirable. Another myth is they remove all of the warm air from a home, causing the furnace to work harder. However, insulation is more responsible for heat retention than roof vents, and the sun can do more to warm up that space than a furnace. Vents are often used in colder climates as a way to combat moisture retention.

2. Any roof vent will do

There are several types of roof vents, like ridge vents, soffit vents and wind turbine vents, and the type you choose depends on the climate, wind patterns, location, design and material of your house. Consult a trusted roofing specialist about the type that is best for yur home.

3. More ventilation is always better

Just as there is a limit to how much soap you should use to wash your car, there's a limit on roof ventilation. Once again, it depends on your specific requirements. General guidelines say that one square foot of ventilation should be available for every 300 square feet of attic space.

4. Ventilation will cool down the attic

Proper ventilation will allow for air flow, which can remove heat from the attic. But even good ventilation won't be able to bring your attic heat level down to outdoor temperatures because the roof radiates heat into the attic.


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Is my attic properly ventilated?

Improper attic ventilation can cause your energy bills to rise and severely damage your roof. Highly rated roofers say it will also void some roof warranties.

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