A properly ventilated home is more beneficial than people care to know. It can help prevent the growth of mildew and mold while supplying fresh air to your home.
Like most other homeowners, you probably use a roof ridge vent to provide much-needed ventilation. It’s the best way for you to properly ventilate your living space and allow dump air to escape from your attic.
So, what is it? How does it work? Is it beneficial? These are some of the questions we hope to answer with the complete guide on roof vents. Read on to find out more.
What is a roof ridge vent?
It’s a ventilation system that you can install across the ridge of your roof. This type of roof vent curbs the appeal of your home while still providing effective ventilation services. Also, the ridge vent is often covered by shingle caps.
What is the work of a roof ridge vent?
If you are wondering whether you need to install a roof ridge vent, the answer is yes. It’s an essential installation that plays a huge role in getting rid of accumulating moisture in the attic.
That way, you will not have to worry about mildew and molds forming. All the warm and damp air that usually collects in the attic can also escape. You will no longer have to worry about it condensing to create leaks.
Additionally, ridge vents can help make your roof more durable and long-lasting. Plus, if you are looking to increase your energy efficiency, these vents can help you with that.
That’s because the vents help moderate your home’s temperature. All these, including better air circulation, make roof vents an essential part of your roof.
Why you should install a ridge vent
Ridge vents can provide your home with numerous benefits. These benefits work toward improving your home’s value and overall condition.
Here are some of the benefits you should look out for in these types of roof vents:
Improves energy efficiency
In most two story homes, the upper story is often hotter and more uncomfortable, especially in the heat of summer. That is why you may need to keep your HVAC systems running continuously for better, cooler air.
However, when you install a ridge vent, you will notice an improvement in energy efficiency since this type of vents can moderate your home temperature. That means a lower energy bill by the end of the month and more comfortable home.
Reduces the need for extra rodent traps in the attic
It’s common for rodents to find their way into your home via roof vents – especially the older styles. You may run into a squirrel or a mouse and sometimes even raccoons in the attic.
These rodents can cause significant damage to your property. And the best way to handle them is by setting up blockades and traps.
Interestingly, ridge vents are an exception. They act as enough blockades for rodents trying to find their way into your attic. You do not need to set numerous rodent traps that can also accidentally hurt you and your family.
Unlike other vents, ridge vents exude a more low profile, sleek design. That allows these ventilation systems to almost blend with your roof. You can hardly notice it from ground level.
Besides, shingle caps cover most of it.
Allows air circulation naturally
Unlike air conditioners, these vents work naturally. How do they work, you wonder? Ridge vents rely on pressure from the wind blowing across the roof.
That pressure allows this system to suck out warm air in the attic and supply fresh and clean air. You can think of it as enjoy the fresh air outside your home.
Works independent of other systems
These types of vents do not rely on other systems to function correctly. Instead, ridge vents provide air circulation on their own.
Even so, it can still work alongside other vents if you need to install more for better effectiveness and efficiency.
improves the air quality in the house
Air pollution and odors inside the house are some of the reasons homeowners opt for ridge vents.
These systems allow the circulation of cleaner, fresher air into your home while eliminating odor and pollution.
It also allows damp air to escape, thereby improving the quality of air. More importantly, this quality improvement can help you prevent symptoms and illnesses caused by pollution and low air quality.
They are non-mechanical
With mechanical and electric vents, you risk failure of the system. Additionally, you may need to pay for maintenance and other expenses.
However, that is not the case with ridge vents. You do not need to worry about any of that. Even so, this makes the cost of installation of this vent more expensive than other types.
Disadvantages of installing ridge vents
In some instances, roof ridge vents may not be the best type of ventilation for you. You need to consider factors like your home’s age, geographical location, type of roof design, the size of your roof, and even the climate of where you live.
Here are some of the most prominent disadvantages of installing these types of vents:
Ridge vents are not an inexpensive option. In some area, the cost may be higher than other.
Also, the cost can vary with how old your home is and the size of your roof. If you have an older home, you need to install other systems alongside the ridge vent for proper ventilation.
All these sums up to at least $1500 or more – If you are lucky, the least you will have to pay is $500.
High leak potential
Storms and heavy rainfall can easily damage a ridge vent leading to a roof leak. Plus, the wind may blow rainwater into the vent causing leaks. If your location is prone to this kind of weather, this is not the best choice for you.
It’s best if you consider other types of roof ventilation that have watertight seals. That way, you no longer have to worry about your roof leaking into the attic.
Incompatible with some roof styles
If you have a more traditional roof with a peak at the top, these types of roof vents are ideal.
However, if you have a flat roof or too steep, this ventilation system is incompatible and therefore not useful.
Unideal for warm weather climates
Like most ventilation systems, ridge vents work excellently in colder climates. However, you cannot say the same for warmer temperatures.
Instead, it’s best to invest in other better ventilation systems if you live in such areas. That is the only way you can expect to keep cool and have better air quality.
Do metal roofs have ridge vents
Yes. If you are looking for the perfect ventilation investment for your metal roof, ridge vents are it. They are the most popular and also the most effective ventilation systems.
Additionally, your contractor will allow at least two inches of spacing between the panel ends meeting at the ridge.
Different types of ridge roof vents
There are only two kinds of ridge vents that you can choose from for installation. The first type is an aluminum vent. This kind of duct is mushroom-shaped and has a wide flange on each side, sitting on top of shingles.
Additionally, this kind of ridge vents does not need extra asphalt shingle ridge caps. That’s because it comes with an aluminum cap.
The second type of ridge vent is the shingle over the vent. Unlike the first type, you install this type of ridge vent over the ridge covered with asphalt shingle caps. These caps match the other roof shingles in the roof.
What are the different types of roof vents
If ridge vents are not an ideal option for you, you may want to consider other types of vents that work more efficiently for your home. Here are some alternatives you can consider:
You can find these vents installed in older homes. In general, the turbine vents are abrasive (the most) but are also very effective.
If you live in a more wind area that experience wind speed not less than five meters per hour, this type of vents are for you. They heavily rely on the wind to help turn their spinning ball bearing.
That way, these vents can draw out warm air from your attic, making it more comfortable.
These are non-mechanical vents that are almost as popular as ridge vents. Typically, you have to install at least two of these vents for better efficiency. Or you can install it alongside a soffit vent.
Probably, you may have seen this type of ventilation system on the roof. It looks somewhat like a metal box sitting on top of shingles. Additionally, contractors install it over a hole cut in the roof.
These types of vents also rely on wind and air pressure to draw warm air from your attic. Also, unlike ridge vents, these vents cost less to install.
You probably know these types of vents by the term turtle vents. You need to install them in pairs for proper ventilation. Additionally, they form curved openings on the slope of your roof.
Soffit vents, as the name suggests, are installed along the soffit and in between rafters. If you wonder what the soffit is, it’s that area in your roof that projects your home.
You can also install these vents alongside box and ridge vents for improved efficiency in air circulation. You can also find soffit vents in various sizes and designs.
Ridge vent vs. turtle vent, which is better?
Depending on your needs, ridge vents are the better roof vents. Firstly, they are unnoticeable and low profile. That makes them more appealing aesthetically. These vents are also more dependable, and you can count on them to improve your energy efficiency.
Additionally, ridge vents can release the hottest air from your attic since they are a continuous vent right along the top of the ridgeline. They do this with a somewhat vacuum effect.
However, if you are on a tight budget and want something inexpensive yet effective, a turtle vent is the right choice for you. Sure, it lacks the same efficiency level as a ridge vent, but it still works great at improving your ventilation and air circulation.
Also, turtle vents can be your ventilation choice if your roof style is not compatible with ridge vents or if your roof is small.
How much roof ventilation do I need
You must balance your ventilation system. Legally, you need to have at least one sq. ft. of ventilation in the attic for every three hundred sq. ft. if you have a vapor barrier.
If not, you need one sq. ft. for every a hundred and fifty sq. ft. of attic area. It would be best if you balance that between exhaust and intake.
How many roof vents do I need
Every home is different in terms of design and roof style. Therefore no one answer fits all in terms of the number of roof vents you need. Each ventilation is different from the other.
To calculate the number of vents you need, you first need to determine your attic size. You can then use the net free area or NFA (amount of space the vent has for exhaust and air intake).
Make sure that your total NFA is equally split between the two.
Can you have too much ventilation in the attic?
Yes. It’s possible to have too much exhaust ventilation. However, you cannot have too much intake ventilation.
However, if you have more than enough intake ventilation than you need because of your attic size, there are no adverse consequences.
Ventilation is an integral part of your home. Having adequate ventilation has endless benefits that ensure you have better health and improved energy efficiency.
However, you need to install at least one kind of roof vent (having more than one is preferred).
Ridge vents are the best kinds of vents you can use because it offers better efficiency.
You can use this guide to get the perfect ventilation for your home.