The attic has long been the place to avoid altogether or the place to store items that you don’t need on a regular basis. The attic has also been a topic of discussion as the codes for attic insulation have changed and now need an increased amount of attic insulation. There has also been a fair amount of chatter regarding attic ventilation and the pros and cons of making sure that the attic is well ventilated. For some people it doesn’t seem to make sense that you add energy efficient insulation to an attic and then add vents to purposely let outside air flow into the attic. There are several reasons why a properly ventilated attic is important and many of them rest in the benefits.
Attic Ventilation Benefits
- In the summer, keeps attic cool
- Acts like an envelope sealing your living space
- If you have asphalt shingles, the attic must be ventilated to comply with manufactures warranty.
- Helps vent the warm, moist air in the winter to reduce chances of wood rot under the roof.
- Can prevent ice dams from forming in the winter, which prevent wood rot on the outside of your home.
In the summer, proper attic ventilation helps the natural air flow of hot air out of the attic, protecting your roof and removing moisture from humidity while the insulation is doing what it is supposed to do, which is resisting the transfer of heat into the house below.
An attic fan draws cool air into your attic from the outside by way of attic vents (either soffit or gable) and forces hot air outside. If your attic has vents that are blocked or if the attic is not well sealed, the attic fan will force cool air out of the house and not into the attic. This uses more energy and will obviously increase your utility bill in the summer.
The combination of good, effective ventilation in addition to a well-insulated attic with batt rolled, spray fiberglass or foam insulation, will insure that your attic will minimize the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter by providing a uniform flow of air along the underside of the roof keeping your home more comfortable and your utility bills down.
A great insulation contractor is also a great ventilation expert and with the addition of insulation to your attic the two are not mutually exclusive. Make sure you hire the right contractor so air vents and soffits don’t get covered up or in many cases, they are added during the insulation process to protect your home inside and out!