Ridge Vents or Powered Vents

Ridge Vents or Powered Vents

Rob Dietrich BEng (Mech)

A hot attic is undesirable for several reasons - it can shorten lifespan on roof shingles, deteriorate your valuables that you store in your attic, and overheats your house meaning your electric bill will be higher than it should be.  To avoid this it's important to choose the right type of venting for your roof.

  • Measure the temperature.  Put a thermometer in your attic, and measure on milder, hot and cold days. According to many experts your attic temperature should be no more than 20 degrees above ambient temperature. If on a day it's 90deg and your attic is 140 - 160deg you definitely need to investigate further.
  • Ridge Vents help. Ridge vents can be installed on new roofs or even existing roofs. They are basically like a cap that goes over a 2 inch gap at the apex of your roof. They will only be effective if you have effective soffit vents (lower intake vents)- usually found on the soffit underneath the gutters of your house.  I say effective because even if you have soffit vents, they may be clogged with paint or even have insulation covering them. 
  • Check your insulation.  Insulation is extremely important, as it protects you from both hot and cold days.  Call and ask for and insulation specialist to evaluate whether your home has adequate insulation and whether your soffit vents are free and clear.
  • Powered Vents.   I'm not a fan (pardon the pun) of either solar powered or even powered vents however in some cases they could be necessary. There are many arguments either way saying that you should have one system or the other.  In my experience when we changed from powered to ridge vent the temperature dropped dramatically. It makes sense because powered vents although they can move a lot of volume, that a ridge vent will move more air strictly because of the size of the gap -it's all along the ridges of your house - heat rises.    Now if the ridge vent is only partial, or if the attic air temperature is excessive (20 degrees higher than the outside air), fans may prove beneficial." Hire a licensed electrician to install an attic fan and get the necessary permits and inspections.

Rob Dietrich Headshot
Phone: 404-632-5170
Dated: August 4th 2018
Views: 6
About Rob: Originally from Down Under (Australia), Rob moved to the United States in 2013. He resides there wi...

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