A few months ago we discussed the hazards of poor ventilation systems in homes and the common signs you may experience if your home is poorly ventilated. Since we know you are already aware of how critical this system is to your home and your roofing system, we will save you the lecture this time; however, if you have yet to read our Professional Roofers blog piece on this, we highly recommend that you go back and read it – it’s certainly worth the read. For this particular blog, in keeping with our series on the various components of your roof, we are going to discuss what roofing ventilation is, as well as the numerous types of vents you may find on your home and how to identify each.

First things first, for those who don’t know or may have forgotten – what is roofing ventilation? Roof ventilation is a system, or series of systems, that allows constant airflow throughout your roofing system and attic. It will essentially move air out of and throughout the home as needed. Your ventilation system is incredibly important in regulating temperature and moisture within your home. Without it, your attic space and upper floors could become incredibly hot in the summer, drastically increasing your home energy needs. Additionally, without the regulation of moisture in your home, particularly in the hot and humid summer months, the structural integrity of your home may become compromised with rot, mould, and other damaging side effects.

There are various options available to homeowners, and many homes will have a combination of two or more types on their roofs or throughout the home; however, today we are only going to discuss the most common forms of roof vent systems that you might see.

Square Top Roof Vents, otherwise known as “Box Vents”, are a form of static ventilation, meaning that they have no moving parts. These are installed over holes cut in your roof and use natural convection to release hot air from your attic space. Off-ridge vents are a similar product, functioning in the same way, however instead of being square they are long and thin in appearance.

Soffit Vents are another form of static ventilation that are installed in soffits or eaves and allow for constant air intake into a roofing ventilation system.

Ridge Vents are static and are (ideally) installed along the entire ridge of your sloped roof. Matched with soffit vents, this system can be one of the most effective methods of maintaining proper airflow throughout your home. 

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Wind turbines are vents that do have moving parts, but they are not motorized. Wind turbines rely on the wind to power their movement, and can release more air than box vents – when the wind is blowing strong.

Power vents have motors that turn fans and actively release heat from your attic space. They are significantly more powerful than wind turbines, and can release hot air from your home approximately 4x as fast; however, they are also much more expensive, using potentially quite a bit of energy. Solar powered vents are also available and work to minimize these costs over a home’s life.

We hope this short introduction in the various forms of roof ventilation has been useful to you and your family. As always, if you have any follow-up questions please do not hesitate to contact us!

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