Do You Make These Common Home Ventilation Mistakes?
Much of what’s assumed about issues like home ventilation was accepted before we knew the actual facts. The advantages of technology that accurately chart heat gain and loss in a home and pinpoint sources of energy inefficiency are relatively recent. Attics are frequent sources of home ventilation issues. Here are three attic ventilation myths to be aware of before you make any major changes:
1. MYTH: More ventilation is always better.
Actually, scientific data that shows that one square foot of vent space in the attic for every 300 square feet of ceiling space is adequate. Retrofitting the home to increase the area of attic vents can make the attic vulnerable to outdoor winds and wind-blown rain and snow. Attic insulation that’s continuously ruffled by air currents loses its effectiveness. Installation of additional roof vents entails roof penetrations that may increase the likelihood of leakage and damage the structure.
2. MYTH: Only homes in hot climates need roof vents.
Here in Delaware, excessive summer heat in the attic isn’t so much the issue. Instead, it’s the fact that in winter, attics accumulate warm water vapor that infiltrates from living spaces below. During cold nights, that water vapor condenses in the attic, saturating insulation and degrading its heat-retarding properties. It also creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and can warp and rot wooden structure. The continuous upward circulation of attic air through soffit vents at the eaves and out of roof vents exhausts warm humid air and reduces condensation damage.
3. MYTH: Roof vents pull warmth out of the home in winter.
It’s an old home ventilation idea that doesn’t stand up to modern research. The upward draft of air circulation in an attic during winter is not sufficient to suck warm air out of living spaces through the ceiling. If your attic is warm in winter, it’s usually due to insufficient attic insulation retarding heat conduction through the ceiling, leaks in heating ducts routed through the attic or solar energy radiating through the roof.
Call Sobieski Services today for more of the established facts of home ventilation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Scorpions and Centaurs