Ventilation is the process of circulating air to keep it fresh. Ventilation with regard to the HVAC process is the circulation of air for freshness and the reduction of moisture levels allowing the HVAC system to work more effectively as it heats and cools your home. Roof ventilation needs are different in the various parts of the country due to the climate in that region, but a general rule of thumb is that you need one square foot of attic ventilation for every 300 square feet of space measured at the ceiling level. Because of the climate differences in the various regions of the country, it is always best to consult with a professional so they can assess the particular needs of your home for ventilation.
Roof and/or attic ventilation is an important component for the overall effectiveness of your HVAC system. If your home does not have sufficient ventilation you may experience moisture problems in the cold months and in the summer, your HVAC system won’t run as efficiently as it should without proper ventilation. On the flip side, having excessive ventilation can be equally as bad, or even worse. The more vents you have the more opportunity you have for leaks, installing unnecessary vents is just inviting more problems. You also have considerations such as ventilation interference, i.e. grates, debris or roof location, along with general air resistance, which decreases the amount of real ventilation for your home.
With the warmer weather that we experience in the south, there is a tendency to think that more ventilation is better increasing the energy efficiency in your home, which good ventilation can do, but there are other factors, such as sun exposure, shingle color and insulation that are far more significant to your energy efficient capability than just proper ventilation. Having roof vents in older homes does reduce the load on your air conditioner, however; there are other cost effective ways to be more energy efficient than just ventilation. Proper insulation is a key way to make sure your HVAC unit is working at peak performance without an unnecessary toll on your HVAC system. Some homeowners are under the misconception that heat rises and therefore will escape through the roof vents, but if there is proper insulation in the attic, this won’t happen, the heat will stay in the house and your system should be able to keep a constant comfortable temperature.
Having proper roof ventilation is a subject that all researchers can agree upon, it is just a matter of determining what type of vents and ventilation a home needs based on the particular weather behaviors and region you live in. If you are in doubt about whether you have proper roof ventilation, it is best to call the experts. Our staff at Climate Tech is ready to help you with all of your HVAC needs.