When considering the many different options for roof vents available on the market, choosing a roof ventilation system can often be difficult. This is especially true if you are a homeowner with no roofing experience. To help get you up to speed on the best roof ventilation options and some general roof ventilation 101, let’s first discuss why you need a roof ventilation system and the benefits of each of them. Then we will discuss how to choose the best roof vents for your home!

roof ventilation types

Why is proper roof ventilation so important?

With the potential for temperatures to climb into the triple digits during the summer, attics can become very hot. Although we don’t experience many days of extreme heat in San Diego, even in well-insulated homes, this can have an effect on the ambient temperature of your home. In response to this rise in home temperature, homeowners tend to just want to crank up the air conditioner. However, this can cause additional stress to the air conditioning unit, simply because of the heat in your attic and nothing else. By adding roof ventilation, you will be able to release some of the hot air, allowing your air conditioning unit to work smarter not harder – thus needing to run it less frequently and saving on utility costs.

Do I need roof vents in the winter?

This is a very good question with, thankfully, a simple answer. Similar to wanting to remove the heat, we will also want to balance the cold temperatures to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. This will help prevent the development of rot and moisture damage to the roofing materials. In very cold weather, it can also help prevent any ice from developing on the roof that could potentially cause additional roof and/or interior damage.

What are the best roof ventilation methods and options?

There are several major roof ventilation types to consider before deciding which roof ventilation option to go with. The majority of these roof venting options accomplish the same job, but each has their own pros and cons. So how do you choose the best roof vents for your home? Well first, you need to have a better understanding of when and why you might use each of the options.

  • Box Vents & Turbines: The most common vents seen on modern homes are box vents and turbines. Turbines are wind-powered and are effective at removing heat from the attic if the wind is blowing. On the other hand, box vents are static vents that allow heat to escape but they don’t actively pull the hot air out. Box vents are sometimes used in conjunction with turbines because it is a relatively low cost venting system.

 

  • Ridge Vent: Similar to box vents, ridge vents are static vents. However, unlike the box vent, a ridge vent is optimally placed at the ridges of the roof where all the heat tends to rise and is accumulating. In other words, as air flows to the ridge of the roof, the hot air is expelled through the ridge vent. This is a great option for homes with gable roofs, a roof with two sloping sides and a gable at each end. However, some hip roofs may not have enough ridge to benefit from ridge ventilation. In this case, it is preferred to use a little power.


  • Power Vents: Power vents are often thought to be one of the best in regards to removing heat from your attic! This is generally because they use very little electricity, often only costing as little as a few bucks per month. However, with less heat in the attic and less need to run the air conditioner, there are hundreds of dollars of potential savings. Most powered box vents include a thermostat switch that will allow the box vent to only operate when the temperature in the attic is 85 degrees or above. This style vent is preferred for every roof application over turbines and ridge vents and is only trumped by that of the great solar powered vent.


  • Solar Vents: Solar vents are often thought of as the vent that functions the best, all while reducing the impact on our ecosystem. Solar vents give you all the benefits of a powered vent while using energy from the sun to power itself. This means that you are reducing the amount of heat in your attic, while also decreasing stress on your air conditioner – resulting in less energy use. As a result, you will save on your electric bill, your air conditioner unit will last longer, and you will be reducing your impact on the environment.

Installation and Costs of Roof Vents:

Like most things, installation and cost of roof vents varies depending on the type of ventilation system. In most cases, if done by a roofing professional, switching from box vents or turbines to solar vents takes about 2 hours to complete. However, if you and your roofing expert end up deciding that ridge vents are the best roof ventilation method for your home, then all of the existing box and turbine vents must be removed and patched up with the appropriate roofing materials. Additionally, ridge caps must also be replaced at the time of installation which could make ridge vent installation a bit more expensive than a solar vent. Another potential cost to consider is proper soffit vents that will allow the cooler air to be drawn in and replace the expelled warmer air. This is vital to the ventilation system’s performance. If your home currently has inadequate soffit vents, they will have to be replaced, increasing the overall cost.

Which roof ventilation types do I choose?

Now that you are well informed with the importance of roof ventilation and have a basic understanding of the different types of roof venting systems, it’s time to choose which roof ventilation method to install in your home. If you need some additional help deciding, contact the roofing experts at RT Roofing Specialist today! We would be happy to help you pick and install the best roof ventilation option for your home and its unique venting needs. We look forward to working with you!