5 Surprising Myths About Your Home’s Attic Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation is often misunderstood, but it’s a critical component to home energy-efficiency and indoor comfort. However, attic conditions change with the seasons and the requirements for ventilation do as well. Maybe that’s why there are so many myths and misconceptions about proper attic ventilation and how to achieve it. Here are some you may encounter:

The More, The Better

Like anything else, attic ventilation can be taken to extremes. Excessively large vent openings increase the possibility of water intrusion during heavy rains, posing a danger to wooden structures. Wind currents blowing through oversized vents can dislodge insulation and disrupt proper coverage. In most attics, total vent space should be limited to one square foot per 300 square feet of attic floor space.

Cool Climates Don’t Require Venting

In addition to heat gain in the summer, attics accumulate humid air that condenses during the winter. Moisture in the attic can ruin insulation, spawn mold growth and warp wooden structural components.

Roof Vents Let Out Warm Air During the Winter

Why is warm air in your attic in the first place? Your furnace should warm your living space, not your attic. Air exchanges between heated rooms, so you can eliminate your attic by air sealing, upgrading insulation and ensuring that ductwork isn’t leaking warm air.

One Vent Strategy Works Everywhere

What works best for a home in one climate may not be the optimum choice for another home elsewhere. Rather than relying on rigid formulas, it’s better to consult a qualified local HVAC contractor who’s familiar with the ventilation requirements for your particular climate.

All Roof Vents are Equal

Not all vents function identically. Ridge vents along the roof peak are generally more effective than gable vents and other alternatives. Combined with soffit vents below the eaves, ridge vents provide the best “chimney effect” to exhaust attic air. Consult a professional to evaluate your existing vents and get suggestions for improvement.

For more expert advice on attic ventilation customized to your individual home in San Antonio and South Texas, contact the professionals at Beyer Boys.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “VooDoo13/Shutterstock”

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