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6 Types of Roof Vents (& Why They Are So Important)

Roof vents are an essential aspect of home ventilation. They are critical in expelling hot air that is usually stale and saturated with moisture while facilitating fresh and cool air intake. Ideally, homes are equipped with exhaust vents and intake vents to complete the ventilation system, but this is only sometimes the case. So why are roof vents necessary?

Why Are Roof Vents Important?

In tandem with seasonal fluctuations, ventilation will come in handy in regulating your home’s internal temperatures and extending your roof’s lifespan. 

Recently, several shingle manufacturers have instituted stringent roof vent specifications to meet their warranty expectations demonstrating just how important they are for your roof.

The Benefits of Proper Roof Ventilation

Even with adequate air ventilation, humid air still settles over fascia vents. Damp conditions accelerate roof degradation as they foster perfect environments for rotting. Installing an efficient roof vent minimizes the risk of spoiling, keeping your shingles healthy for longer.

According to physics, hot air is elevated while cool air descends. Additionally, moist air pressure exaggerates the capability of air to retain heat. In warmer climates, good ventilation creates convection currents that remove hot air and facilitate the intake of cool fresh air through an intake vent. In the long run, this helps you cut down on energy costs.

If you’ve ever had a run-down roof vent before, then you have noticed the shift in air quality in the absence of intake and exhaust vents. If you don’t have a roof vent, getting one will undoubtedly help you get rid of musty and stale air more efficiently.

What Are the Types of Roof Vents?

There are several types of roof ventilation that vary with the kind of roof architecture of your home and seasonal climate alterations. Some vents are designed for aesthetic accentuation, while others are purely for adequate intake ventilation. The best is a blend of both of these features. The different types of roof vents include:

Ridge Vents

types of roof vents ridge ventilation

Ridge vents are the most common type of attic ventilation and are for good measure. They are the most efficient roof vent available on the market because they combine simplicity with functionality to provide an effective exhaust vent. As an aesthetic bonus, ridge vents can blend seamlessly with your roof design.

Ridge vents run along the central spine of the roof, which is the same reason why a ridge vent is so popular. Hot air rises from lower levels of your home and escapes through the ridge vent positioned along the entire length of the roof. The ridge vent becomes an energy-efficient attic ventilation system when paired with intake vents such as soffit vents.

Baffle ridge vents have an external baffle system that keeps the chutes of the vent free from debris, such as dirt and snow, that might clog and reduce the overall capacity of the vent as a roof ventilation system.

Box Vents

Box vents get their name from their appearance. Like ridge vents, box vents are examples of static vents. They are positioned along the length of the roof in strategic locations. They produce insufficient ventilation and are usually arranged as a support to a primary roof vent.

Box vents are also known as roof louvers and are almost always installed in bunches close to the roof’s ridge. They are a close second to ridge vents in terms of popularity primarily because they can fit into any roof design. A box vent is only complete if an intake mechanism such as soffit vents for a balanced attic ventilation system.

Off-ridge Vents

Off-ridge vents are similar to box vents in that both are positioned parallel to the roof’s ridge. However, the most significant difference between the two vents lies in their shape. An off-ridge vent is more linear and has reduced vertical height. These exhaust vents may also be coupled with soffit vents for maximum efficiency.

Power Vents

types of roof vents power ventilation with solar

Power vents are the perfect example of active ventilation. They are usually installed by a qualified roofing contractor and fitted with your home’s electrical setup. They usually derive their power from mains electricity but may occasionally be solar-powered fans. They help eliminate excess moisture and warm air through the suction force generated by the rotating fans.

Most power vents are highly silent; therefore, a breakdown may go unnoticed. Additionally, a power vent overloads your air conditioner as they actively suck out conditioned air negating the energy efficiency of solar-powered vents. For this reason, they are an expensive form of attic ventilation.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines utilize wind power to drive their rotating fans. This makes them a vital example of passive roof vents. Passive roof vents help proper attic ventilation by using external force, which is wind, for adequate ventilation. They resemble rotating chef hats and rarely blend in with the roofing system; thus are preferred for industrial purposes.

The wind blows over the turbine vents and rotates the fans, thus driving the vertical ventilation mechanism. Passive ventilation through roof turbines is a better fit if you have reservations about attic power vents.

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are the primary type of roof intake vents. They are often paired with static vents to boost exhaust ventilation efficiency. They are preferred over gable vents for air conditioning in the attic space because they have a higher cooling capacity. While gable vents are suitable for cross ventilation, a soffit vent will pull air vertically, which requires less energy.

Gable end vents are usually positioned on either side of the attic space and have no relation to the roof system. They can be classified under static roof vents and are essential for attic ventilation systems in climates with the wind. You can almost always see gable vents on the roof deck of gable roofs.

Exhaust Vents and Seasonal Changes

You might be thinking of getting a new roof to counter seasonal changes, but good roof ventilation might save you trouble. 

Whether you choose more energy-efficient vents that utilize solar power or go for traditional turtle vents or drip edge vents, ventilation may do more towards improving your air intake in the summer and keeping your roof free from ice dams in the cold of winter.

Before you take out your bad roof problems on the roof sheathing, it is best to examine your active roof vents.

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