September 30, 2020
What is the Best Roof Vent for a House
Proper roof ventilation is important to achieve proper attic ventilation and preserve the structural integrity of your roof. There are two main types of roof vents: powered roof vents and passive roof vents. Roofing contractors mainly install four types of roof vents from the two categories. If you were wondering what is the best roof vent for a house, we will attempt to answer your question in this article!
What is the Best Roof Vent for a House - How Roof Ventilation Works
Every style of roof vent works by sucking in air from outside that comes into the attic via the soffits to leave out the top of your roof. This creates your attic ventilation, which is detrimental to your home. It carries away moisture and prevents condensation before it has a chance to cause rust, mold or mildew problems, or worse… Damage the insulation in your attic or the structure of the home roof. In the colder months of the year, ice dams can occur. without proper ventilation in your attic.
Below, we define the four main types of passive and powered roof vents and give you some pros and cons for each type. If you need help deciding, we can help you determine which type of roof vent would work best for your home, and why installing the correct roof vent system can affect the structural integrity of your roof, even your home over time.
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Passive Roof Vents - The Low-Profile or Louvered Roof Vent
One of the most popular types of passive roof vents is the low profile roof vent, commonly referred to as “louvered vents.” These vents generally feature a slant-back design and a low profile to safeguard against weather infiltration particularly on steep-slope roofs. They are regularly available in galvanized steel or aluminum. Low-profile vents, on average, provide somewhere between 50 and 60 sq. in. of net free area (NFA) each. Installing a low-profile vent is fairly easy because most low-profile vents include pre-drilled holes for nailing.
Multiple low profile roof vents are generally installed depending on the total square foot size of your attic. (1,000 square feet of attic space = 4 vents, and 3000 square foot attic space = up to 12.)
The louvered vent is typically installed on the backside of a roof to reduce keep them out of plain sight. The vent color can usually be matched to the color of the existing roof. (depending on the manufacturer.)
Roof Ridge Vents
Roof ridge vents cover the entire span of your roof’s peak and resemble the appearance of the existing shingles. In many cases, roof ridge vents can offer numerous advantages compared to low profile roof vents. One advantage that roof ridge vents offer, is the fact that they blend into the roofline forming a more beautiful appearance for your roof aesthetically. Another advantage is that they produce a balanced airflow that other types of vents cannot achieve. Roof ridge vents, much like low-profile vents, are designed to allow only air to flow through them, preventing pesky birds and insects from entering your attic.
Roof Turbine Vents
Also referred to as roof exhaust fans or metal pot vents, turbine vents offer a few important advantages under the right conditions. Due to their size and the fact that they include rotating fan blades, they remove large amounts of air throughout the attic when the wind is blowing. With only 5 MPH of wind, turbine vents can push 347 cu ft per minute of air from the attic. The results are even better when the wind speed rises.
Because such strong airflow is generated, soffits must be kept clear of attic insulation to allow for the same amount of air entering the attic to be expelled. If not, the turbine vent pulls air from the home’s interior, which can raise heating and cooling bills.
Some turbines are not fit for certain roof pitches, so they may not be an option for you depending on your roof’s pitch. Aluminum turbines are best to prevent rust, and the ball bearings require permanent lubrication and sealing to avoid squeaking.
Active Roof Vents - Electric and Solar-Powered Roof Vents
Active vents can provide added benefits, as they save on energy bills throughout the year. Active vents can quickly release built-up heated air from the attic that tends to build up in the hot summer months. This makes the cooling system work less to cool your home. However, in some cases, electric-powered vents can defeat the whole purpose of reducing energy usage, because they operate using electricity. Another downfall with electric-powered vents is that in a power outage, they will stop working. Solar-powered vents that are available rely solely on the sun’s rays for their power.
What is the Best Roof Vent for a House - Final Thoughts
So the answer to your question, “What is the Best Roof Vent for a House?” is that it depends. You have to know exactly what you are working with in terms of pitch, the amount of airflow present in your home, weather conditions in your area, and more to be able to make a truly educated decision. You should never mix two types of roof vents on your roof. This is because the air will always follow the path with the least resistance, and using two different styles of roof vents can mess up the whole ventilation system, causing adverse effects.
In the end, it’s always better to consult a reputable roofing contractor in the area about which type of roof vent they would recommend for your particular project. Roofing contractors are well aware that adequate attic ventilation is key to preserving the integrity of both the roof and your home’s interior. If you have a roof ventilation question or concern, or you would just feel more comfortable getting a professional to take a look at your project, give us a call at (651)703-2336 or click any of the blue buttons on our site to schedule a free, no-hassle roof inspection and estimate at your convenience!