In most homes, only a 1/2-inch thick ceiling separates the carefully controlled environment of your living space from the acute temperatures and humidity in your attic. The comfort level in your rooms below and the efficiency of your HVAC system all rely on proper attic ventilation.
Getting ventilation right is a matter of distinguishing between what’s rumored and what’s actually proven. Here are four myths you may have heard about ventilating the attic:
The More Ventilation, the Better
You can have too much ventilation. Generally speaking, you need one square foot of vent opening to ventilate every 300 square feet of attic floor space. Vent openings larger than that specification can lead to rain and wind infiltration, which can deteriorate wooden attic structure and disrupt insulation.
Ventilation Is for Summer Only
It’s important to have optimum air circulation to control attic heat during the summer. However, air circulation during the winter also performs an important function of removing moist air before it condenses. Chronic condensation in attics can warp wooden structures and saturate attic insulation, destroying its capacity to resist heat.
Ventilation Wastes Heat During the Winter
If your attic vents exhaust heat from rooms below during the winter, you may have too many ceiling air leaks, not excessive attic ventilation. Furnace heat should warm your living space, not your attic. You can also use caulk to seal ceiling cracks and gaps around light fixtures that recess into the attic, close gaps around pipes or vents that penetrate into the attic and weatherstrip your attic access hatch or pull-down stairs.
All Roof Vents Are Equal
Ridge vents are optimum, as long as they’re baffled to prevent wind crossover that effectively obstructs ventilation function. Gable vents look spacious, but actually ventilate only a small portion of total attic space. Soffit vents intake air efficiently, but must be properly matched with equivalent exhaust vent openings at the roof’s peak.
In Peachtree City, ask the professionals at Powers Heating & Air to inspect your home for adequate attic ventilation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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