Roof Ventilation

June 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm 2 comments

Way back when we had the inspection of our home (about a year ago!) our inspector brought up the fact that the attic was super hot and installing an attic fan up there would help get some of the hot air out. Our house gets especially hot in the summer, sure we can run the air conditioning, but I would prefer to run it less and have a better ventilated roof and attic.

We didn’t have any money to get an attic fan when we moved in the home last August, but figured this spring or summer we would get the attic fan in there. Jeff and I recently purchased a fan at Lowe’s and were all ready for our handyman to install it, but I started to have second thoughts and wondered if there was a better solution for us. We returned the attic fan and I read online about other ventilation options such as ridge vents, wind turbines and more.

With all the options out there, I didn’t know what would be best for our home, so I had a roofing company come out to give us an estimate on a ventilation solution. Drew from Brad Smith Roofing first mentioned that we didn’t have enough soffits, which are vents installed into the underside of your home’s eaves.  These vents allow fresh air to be drawn up into the attic.  Here is a photo of our soffits. I think we only have 2 to 4 on each side of the house, which is definitely not enough!


From what I read online and talked about with Drew, a roof needs to breathe basically. You need to have air coming in from the soffits or other vents, and air going out at the top through an attic fan, ridge vent, roof vent, etc.

Unfortunately (according to Drew) you can’t just add in more soffits unless you are replacing the roof or siding. Our roof is fine now so no sense in doing that! Basically he suggested that we install about 6 roof vents, and replace the 2 that we have for a total of 8 new roof vents. Total estimated cost = $1,000. That’s not too bad, but I’d still like to get another opinion so I’m going to have another roofing company out to see if they have the same roof ventilation suggestion, and how their price compares.


Entry filed under: Home Improvement.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SOS Roofline  |  July 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Tight houses are good, and they should breathe
    Excessively leaky houses are one way for a house to breathe, but not the best. While there’s a lot of ongoing research and a robust scholarly debate on the best way to achieve acceptable indoor-air quality, building scientists all agree that houses need to breathe. As houses become higher and higher performance, they need to breathe in a steady, reasonably controllable way. We cannot afford to let them breathe at the whim of the weather or with windows only. We also sometimes need to be able to have them hold their breath when conditions outside are exceptionally bad. Only with designed ventilation systems can we make sure that indoor-air quality and energy efficiency advance hand in hand.

  • 2. jessimen  |  August 20, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Worthy discussion for roof ventilation. Proper roof ventilation doesn’t consist of either an intake or an exhaust, proper roof ventilation should comprise of both of these important elements in order to create effect air circulation in and out of your home. In order to create proper roof ventilation that adequately rotates air in and out of the house it is important to get the level of intake and expulsion just right.



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