Everyone knows heat rises. It makes sense then, that heat can get trapped in your attic impeding your efforts to cool the house. Adding ventilation to your attic is an effective way to get rid of that hot air and bring down your cooling energy costs– and as a side benefit, during the winter it also helps prevent trapped warm air from melting the snow off your roof, which sends water to refreeze in your gutters, potentially causing damage.
At first, it may seem strange that you need to put both insulation and ventilation in your attic, but they serve two different functions. Insulation keeps out most of the heat and moisture from the living space below, which can also cause damage to your roof, and ventilation allows any heat or moisture that does sneak in to be efficiently released. If you have asphalt shingles on your roof, you’ll need ventilation to comply with the manufacturer’s warranty.
There are several ways you can ventilate your attic:
Use soffit and rafter vents to maintain ventilation and air flow. Also known as “natural ventilation” this method allows air to enter vents at the eaves and exit through ridge vents. In order for the vents to be effective, make sure that insulation is not blocking the vents at the eaves. That can be a common mistake among people installing vents for the first time.
Add a ventilator fan high on the ridge above the vents. When installed correctly, a ventilator fan sucks in cool outside air, usually from the soffit and rafter vents, while expelling the hot air through its exhaust port. This method works best in an attic that is well insulated and sealed from the rest of the house, otherwise there is a possibility that the fan could start pulling up air conditioned air from the living space, nullifying the energy cost benefit. Make sure that the attic is well sealed and insulated before adding your ventilator fan.
Contact Around The Clock Air Conditioning & Heating for more tips and tricks on ventilating your attic or other energy saving projects this summer.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ventilation and other HVAC topics, downloadour free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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