Proper Roof Ventilation Does Make A Difference
Proper attic ventilation is necessary to prevent moisture problems and heat build-up, as well as, reduce heating and cooling costs. The benefits of proper ventilation for you are a cooler attic in the summer, a dryer attic in the winter and structural protection of the home from moisture damage.
Here in Northeast Ohio, a properly vented attic means that the warm, moist air that escapes from the living space below isevacuated to the outside. If this air lingers, it can condense on the underside of the roof sheathing and rot it. Proper attic ventilation also helps prevent ice dams, which form when warm air in the attic melts the snow from beneath and creates runoff that refreezes on the colder eave.
If your home is fitted solely with small gable-end vents or a ventilator high in the roof, you might want to consider adding soffit vents to increase airflow. These vents allow outside air to enter the attic at the lowest point of the roof - along the underside of the eave. They're most effective when used in conjunction with a continuous ridge vent.
Proper ventilation, insulation, and air sealing helps to keep attics cold in winter by blocking the entry of heat and moist air from below. In the summer, natural air flow in a well-vented attic moves super-heated air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture. The insulation will resist heat transfer into the house.
Just like properly sizing your furnace and air conditioning unit, you want the right amount of attic ventilation for your home. Insufficient ventilation can lead to moisture problems during the winter and decreased energy efficiency during the summer, but too much ventilation can be just as bad, if not worse.
If you don't know how your roof vents work, or if you're unsure about your attic ventilation in general, you should talk to our roof inspector about your current system and any inherent weaknesses that may be at work. The risk/reward for having no ventilation or poor ventilation, along with the negligible cost of installing a good-working ventilation system makes them one of the unforgivable sins of home maintenance negligence.