Why Elizabethtown Attic Ventilation Is Crucial For Any Climate
Most homeowners know that proper Elizabethtown attic ventilation for their home is important. There are many misconceptions about how much ventilation is required, what climates are most affected by Elizabethtown attic ventilation and what type proves to be the most effective.
Common Attic Ventilation Misconceptions
One misconception is that the benefits of proper Elizabethtown attic ventilation are most effective in hot climates by reducing temperatures in the attic thus providing energy savings. Actually Elizabethtown attic ventilation is just as important, if not more so, in colder climates.
In hot climates proper ventilation expels solar heated air from the attic space. Studies have shown that the amount of cooling this provides is not a major factor in reducing cooling loads. A properly insulated ceiling, lighter color roofing materials, air- tight electrical fixtures and properly installed radiant barriers are more important factors in increasing energy efficiency. This is not to say adequate ventilation will not help in reducing attic temperatures.
Attic Ventilation Is Crucial For Winter Attics
In colder climates the most important job for proper Elizabethtown attic ventilation is to remove moisture from the attic space. Moisture produced within the house will move into the attic. Even when the home has vapor barriers installed in the ceilings, some moisture can get into the attic space. This moisture can condense and cause roofing support and structural material to deteriorate and cause a loss of insulation effectiveness.
Another benefit from Elizabethtown attic ventilation in cold climates is the prevention of ice dams on the eaves of the roof. These are created by snow melting on the roof from heat in the attic and then refreezing. This heat comes from the heated living areas of the home through warm air leakage from ceiling fixtures, electrical outlets, leaks in the air supply ductwork and inadequate insulation in ceilings and ductwork.
Attic Ventilation Methods
The most economical ventilation method to use is a combination of continuous ridge and soffit vents. This type of system takes advantage of the natural movement of air sometimes referred to as the chimney effect.
Air enters the attic through soffit vents and travels up and out of the attic through a ridge vent. In order for this method to work properly the correct amount of inlet and outlet vent areas must be provided. A general rule of thumb is one square inch of open vent area per square foot of attic area.
Soffit vents are manufactured with perforated, screened or slotted openings. When factoring the vent opening size, keep in mind that the open area of these vents is at best 60% of the entire area.
Keep Your Airways Clear With Insulation Baffles
In order for soffit vents to work properly, insulation baffles need to be installed. These are located between the rafters and allow full coverage of ceiling insulation to the eves of the roof and keep the airway clear. Ridge vents need to be installed properly as well using baffles to prevent outside air from blowing across the ridge which can reduce the air flow through the attic.
Proper Elizabethtown attic ventilation can save you money on your heating and cooling bills as well as extend the life of your roof. It is important no matter what type of climate you live in.
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