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Statewide Remodeling: Vents

 Posted by on August 2, 2011
Aug 022011

Remodeling is one of the very best investments you can make in your home. When done properly by licensed contractors, remodeling allows you to customize your home in ways that appeal to your personal aesthetic. However, before you start your remodeling project, you will need to think about your home’s capacity to vent heated air out of home. There are different kinds of vents so finding the right fit for your home depends on climate, budget and home design.

Passive roof vents encourage natural air flow and work without the aid of motorized fans. Roof vents enhance the overall comfort of the house by providing escape hatches for hot, stale, moist air,  which can reach temperatures of 150 degrees in summer.

In winter, you need to dump that hot air before it condenses, which can lead to rot and mold. Warm air trapped in the attic during winter also may cause rapid melting of snow, which then refreezes into ice which can push up shingles and peel off gutters and soffits.

Proper attic ventilation calls for a minimum of 1 square foot of vent area for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. If you have asphalt shingles, you must have some kind of attic ventilation or you’ll risk voiding the warranty.
Static vents have no moving parts. They’re basically protected holes in the roof that allow air circulation. They come in various designs–roofline, dormer, roof louver, or eyebrow vents–and are installed in an even line across the roof. Some professionals swear by them; others think they tend to leak.

Gable vents, or wall louves, are placed in the gable ends of the attic and can be used in combination with other vents. The higher they are, the more effective. However, the airflow from gable vents is limited because they’re under the roof deck, resulting in hot spots.

Wind Turbines are mushroom-shaped caps atop roofs designed to catch natural wind currents, which spins an internal fan and propels hot air out of the attic. Wind turbines are most effective in the austin area due to our local winds. In areas where the wind is slow, wind turbines do not work as well and can be assisted by a small motor.

Getting rid of hot air is just part of the equation. You also need intake vents, which are usually soffit vents. Made of aluminum or vinyl, they contain tiny perforations or slits for airflow, and are available as either narrow strips that butt together, or as smaller, wider vents that fit between roof joists.

Soffit vents are most effective when used with a ridge vent. Most new houses have soffit vents, and they can be retrofitted onto old ones. If you have only small gable or roof vents, putting in soffit vents will increase airflow.
In Central Texas, I highly recommend the use of small, solar powered motors to turn your attic vents. This dramatically increases air flow into and out of  your home. Best of all, these motors are powered by the sun’s natural light. So they incur no costs to operate and quickly pay for themselves in the form of lower energy bills.

Find out how easy it is to “Go Green” while saving hundreds of dollars a year or more on your heating and cooling bills. Call Statewide Remodeling today at 888.270.7206 or visit us online to sign up for a free in-home estimate of your energy savings needs.