When you look at the roofs in your neighborhood, you probably see any number of items coming through them or sitting on them. All these different types of roofing accessories play important roles in the functionality of the roof and the home as a whole.
One of the most important types of roof accessories is roof vents. These vents not only ensure that attics and upper-level crawl spaces have good ventilation, but they also protect the roof itself. If you are in the market for a new roof, you will need to choose the right type of roof vent for your home.
Types of Ventilation
You can break roofing ventilation down into two separate types: active and passive.
Active ventilation includes fans pushing air through your attic or crawl space. If you have active ventilation, the ridge vent on your home has plastic flaps that allow air to pass through.
The price of roof vent installation depends on the number of vents you choose, the type of vents that you have installed, and some other factors. Based on averages, roof vent installation can cost anywhere between $150 and $2,000.
Passive ventilation does not require any fans. Letting air flow through the space naturally, passive ventilation does not require a ridge vent to have plastic flaps, also called baffles.
The best roof vent choice for your home largely depends on your climate. If you live in an area with high humidity, you should choose an active option that minimizes the amount of humidity in your attic.
The type of ventilation under your roof will dictate the type of vent you need.
First, let’s look at the different types of vents used in active ventilation.
Turbine vents, also called “whirly birds,” are some of the most popular roof vents. These vents allow the air in your attic to recirculate 10 to 12 times per hour.
There is a common misconception about turbine vents. Many people believe that their makeup allows birds, debris, rain, and snow to enter your home. This only happens if the turbine vent suffers damage, at which point you need to have your vent replaced.
Power vents are circular vents you usually see near the ridge cap on a roof. These vents rely on electricity to pull hot air out of your attic, dispersing it into the air. These vents not only keep your attic cool but also help reduce the risk of humidity damaging the lumber and drywall used in your attic.
During wintertime, you should use your power vent with a humidistat. This helps maintain optimal humidity levels in your attic.
The only downside of power vents is that the engines are prone to fail because they run so much. If you opt for power vents, you should plan on replacing the motors every few years.
Solar Powered Vents
Converting to solar power is a popular choice among homeowners, so it makes sense that roofing vent manufacturers offer solar-powered vents. These vents rely on energy provided by the sun to operate. Unfortunately, the vents do not run while the battery is charging, which may lead to difficulties during cloudy days.
Roof Ridge Vents with Baffle
Ridge vents that have baffle (plastic flaps) are a popular choice among homeowners. Roofing contractors cut these vents into the roof so they do not stick up, detracting from the beauty of your roof. They require you to install some mechanical fans in your attic, though.
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of active roof vents let’s look at your options if you opt for passive ventilation.
Ridge Vents Without a Baffle
Ridge vents without a baffle are a popular choice, primarily because they do not stick out of your roof. Instead, contractors cut these vents into the roof decking along your roof’s ridge. Unlike their active counterparts, these vents do not have a baffle.
The biggest issue associated with ridge vents that have no baffle is that birds and other outdoor elements can get into your attic.
If you see a roof that has small boxes on it, those are static vents. Static vents rely on convection to pull hot air out of your attic before pushing it out of your vent. Also referred to as box vents or turtle vents, static vents are the most common type of passive roof vents.
Gable End Vents
Finally, gable end vents provide ventilation to your roof without actually being in your roof. Instead, a roofing contractor can cut these vents into the side of your home, just below the peak. When the wind blows outside, these vents allow the air in your attic to flow through the vents and out the sides of your homes.
Having a roof ventilation system not only makes your attic more comfortable but it also plays an important part in expanding the lifespan of your roof. You should work with your roofing contractor to choose the best type of roof vent for your home.