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How to Improve Attic Ventilation


So much information about making an energy-efficient home is about creating a tight seal with no holes, and that is important, but it’s also important that your attic can breathe a little. Although this means letting cold air enter your attic, it actually improves the efficiency of your home, and if you have enough insulation, it won’t let that cold air enter your living space. If you think your attic needs some extra ventilation, check out these four important tips.

Install Roof Vents

Roof vents are simply vents that are located directly on the roof. Make sure you mark the position of the vents before you start cutting, and mark them from the inside, so you can see where the rafters are located. Just hammer a few nails through the roof from the attic, so they show on the outside of your roof. On the outside of the roof, cut the shingles and roof sheathing in the size and shape of the roof vent. Last, install the vent and nail it with roofing nails.

Install Soffit Vents

Photo Flickr via ArmChairBuilder.com

Photo Flickr via ArmChairBuilder.com

Another option is to install soffit vents if you have an overhang. To start, use a cardboard template to mark where the vent is going to be placed. Make sure the template is about one-half inch smaller on each side than the size of the vent. Once you have the area mapped, start cutting the vent hole with a jigsaw. Once the hole is ready, install the vents.

Install Rafter Vents

One problem you may discover if you have soffit vents and a lot of insulation is that the insulation covers the soffit vents, which makes them useless. You can fix this problem by installing rafter vents. Rafter vents are long vents that span from the soffit vents to above the insulation. This way, you can still add plenty of insulation, but the insulation doesn’t become blocked, so you still get all the great benefits of attic ventilation.

Install an Attic Fan

One last way you can help improve your attic ventilation is to install an attic fan. An attic fan helps air circulate through your attic. When used correctly, it pulls cold air through the vents and pushes it into the attic. At the same time, it pulls hot air from the attic and expels it outside. However, if your vents are blocked because of too much insulation and no rafter vents, the fan loses its efficiency. Instead of pulling cool air from outside and pushing hot air outside, it will pull cool air from your air-conditioned home and push the hot air back into your home, which will force you to use more energy to keep your living spaces cool.

A tight home with no holes is important, but there are some necessary holes that can help improve energy-efficiency in your home. As long as you use attic ventilation and insulation correctly, the cold air that enters your attic won’t reach your home. Instead, it will help reduce your heating and cooling costs throughout the year. Get started today by learning what (if any) ventilation your attic currently has.