Ventilation is a vital, but often forgotten part of your home’s cooling and heating system. As part of the first line of defense against the elements, attic ventilation has a direct impact on the energy efficiency of your home.
Seasonal temperature swings can cause a problem in your attic if it’s not adequately ventilated.
Attics in our hot, humid summers can reach temperatures of 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more. This heat can radiate down into living areas through the ceilings, making your home unnecessarily hot.
It also makes your cooling system work harder which may lead to premature ware.
In the winter, heat that escapes into your attic can cause condensation which, unchecked, can lead to the growth of mold, potentially ruining your attic insulation, corroding wiring and other components of your home’s structure.
What makes a house more energy efficient?
If your home has energy efficient ventilation it helps your cooling and heating system do its job much more efficiently.
A good ventilation system goes hand in hand with adequate insulation throughout your home. To be energy efficient, an attic needs two sources of ventilation that provide enough air circulation while also removing excess heat and condensation build-up.
- soffit vents should be installed down low on the underside of the roof overhang to allow outdoor air into the home
- ridge, box or power vents placed at or near the roof peak allow air to escape the home
Types of ventilation
Air can leave your home in two basic ways;
- Infiltration – which is the natural flow of air moving through cracks and openings in the home, typically around doors and windows.
- Ventilation – a system that’s designed to deliberately move air between the interior and exterior of the home.
- A manual way to ventilate your home is to open your doors and windows.
- A mechanical system can be a simple exhaust system or a more complex energy-recovery and heat-recovery ventilation system.
Types of mechanical ventilation
There are essentially four types of mechanical ventilation:
- Exhaust ventilation
This is an inexpensive and pretty simple way to ventilate your home.
A single large fan expels air from the house while adjustable vents allow fresh air to be brought into your home.
Of course, the downside to this method is that the air coming into your home is unfiltered, which means you could be drawing in pollutants as well.
- Supply ventilation
This system too is fairly easy to install and less expensive than other ventilation methods.
Air comes into the home through a fan and ducts, and can be filtered or dehumidified. It can’t, however, be heated or cooled, so you might incur the cost of heating or cooling the air if it isn’t temperate.
- Balanced ventilation
A combination of the supply and exhaust ventilation methods, balanced ventilation filters the air that’s coming into the house. But, like the supply system method, the air isn’t heated or cooled, which can incur energy costs.
- Energy recovery ventilation
Addressing the problems with the other types of ventilation, this method heats up or cools down outside air coming in by heat transfer.
The two types of energy recovery ventilation system are:
- heat-recovery ventilators (hrv) which transfer only heat
- energy-recovery ventilators (erv) which transfer both heat and water vapor to help humidify the home.
While the HRV and ERV systems are more costly than other types of mechanical ventilation solutions, they are more controllable and help to reduce energy loss. The air coming into the house can also be filtered, which is very helpful for individuals who suffer with allergies.
If you’re tired of paying high electric bills and are wondering if it could be your attic ventilation, contact us.
As a DFW area roofing company we’ll take a look at your home’s ventilation system and make recommendations based on what we find.