Since the attic is not a part of the home normally inhabited, it can easily be ignored. Many homeowners may not appreciate the need for proper ventilation of the attic. Solar heat on the roof can cause the space to become very hot. Without proper insulation and ventilation, the heat is often transferred through the ceiling into the living space, increasing air conditioning load, resulting in increased utility bills and additional wear and tear on the air conditioning unit. Fortunately, it is possible to correct home ventilation problems to prevent these conditions from occurring.
While correcting home ventilation problems can help to reduce heat buildup in the summer it also helps to prevent premature deterioration of the shingles that protect the home from the elements. During the winter months, ventilation is essential to prevent buildup of moisture, decreasing the chances of mold or mildew growth.
Since there are serious consequences of ignoring one’s home ventilation problems, homeowners should consider the following:
One efficient method to solve attic ventilation problems is by providing a balance of intake and exhaust vents. Intake vents can be provided in the soffits with the exhaust vents near the roof ridge. This arrangement uses a natural chimney effect to draw cooler drier air into the attic while hot moist air is flushed from the exhausts. As a result, attic air temperatures are stabilized and the moisture problems are solved.
If the home is already equipped with soffit vents take time to ensure they are not blocked. These frequently overlooked vents can easily be filled with debris and clogged. In some cases, the vent holes are too small to provide useful ventilation. This error often occurs during the home’s construction. A soft, nylon paint brush can be used to scrub the soffit vents clean. If the vents were blocked, this action can reduce the temperature in the attic significantly.
If the attic ventilation problems continue to exist, installing an attic fan may help. These fans offer the power to bring large amounts of fresh air into the space, allowing the attic temperatures and humidity to reach equilibrium with the outside air. As a result, heat transfer from the attic to the remainder of the home is reduced.
Home ventilation problems should be addressed when found. In some cases, these problems are easy and inexpensive to solve. Even if more vents must be added, the cost of solving the attic ventilation problems is regained in lower utility bills and certainly less expensive than replacing an HVAC system or having to solve a mold problem in the home.
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