Attic Ventilation Airflow Myths Debunked!

Posted in: Tips and Tricks

Humidity and frequent high winds pose some special concerns when it comes to designing ventilation for the attic. If you’re looking to optimize the airflow in your attic, start by avoiding these common myths regarding attic ventilation:

Myth: The existing ventilation is enough.
Fact: It’s easy to assume the experts who designed and built your home chose the best attic ventilation possible. In reality, though, there’s a chance the builders only installed enough ventilation to meet local codes. They may not have even been aware of the complexities involved in attic ventilation design, so they took their best guess.

Myth: More airflow is better.
Fact: While your attic needs enough airflow to prevent heat and moisture buildup, too much air can actually cause moisture problems. Excessive ventilation also lets in large amounts of air during high winds, putting the roof at risk for damage. The typical attic with no vapor barrier requires 1 sq. ft. of ventilation per 150 sq. ft. of attic floor space. An attic with a vapor barrier needs less.


Myth: Roof vents are designed to release heat.
Fact: While attic ventilation does somewhat reduce heat buildup, this isn’t its sole purpose. More importantly, this ventilation is meant to release humidity that would otherwise accumulate, causing moisture damage and encouraging mold.

Myth: Attic ventilation wastes warmth in winter.
Fact: Your attic should be insulated well enough to keep heat from your rooms from leaking into the attic. This saves energy and prevents the buildup of moisture that would occur due to condensation caused by warm air entering the cold attic. With good attic insulation, attic ventilation can’t sap warm air from the house.

Myth: Every attic design has one best ventilation method.
Fact: All the research that’s been done in attempt to ascertain ideal ventilation options has provided useful guidelines, but no hard-and-fast rules. Every attic is different, so it takes a knowledgeable, experienced professional to assess an attic’s needs and select the most effective ventilation design.


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