Our homes keep us protected from the outside elements, and within any house are natural processes that occur in larger scales outside. One such process is the flow of air and its connection to temperature.
It is universally acknowledged that hot air rises, but this is not a one-way flow, as the eventually rising hot air cools down and falls. This creates systems of air flow which, in turn, create the weather patterns we experience.
This same system is in place within the home. Hot air from the ground floors rises. But at some point, it must cool down and fall or be replaced by colder air. Otherwise, an imbalance will result.
Enter attic ventilation. This ingenious invention might seem counterintuitive but is actually critical to maintaining the balance and air temperature inside our homes.
Benefits of Proper Attic Ventilation
In this article, we discuss 4 benefits of proper attic ventilation to your home, emphasizing the science underlying these benefits.
Increase in Air Conditioning Efficiency
Attic ventilation involves installing intake and exhaust vents in the attic of your home near the roof. These vents allow air to flow from the inside of your home to outside, and vice versa. To prevent overexposure to the elements, homeowners usually compensate by sealing their attic with insulation.
During the summer, hot air rises in your home and can accumulate in the attic if there is no ventilation installed. This can make the attic extremely hot, resulting in the air conditioning unit to work harder and keep the house cool. That translates to a higher energy bill at the end of the month.
But, if there is sufficient attic ventilation, hot air is able to escape, and cooler air is able to enter, which helps maintain a cooler attic space. This makes the underlying air conditioning system more efficient at doing its job, thus saving money for the homeowner.
Prevention of Moisture Accumulation
When moisture accumulates in the attic space, it can cause leaks. If these leaks go unnoticed and untreated, they can cause mold, mildew, and even termites, which can cause even more leaks. Thus, a vicious cycle can develop.
One way for moisture to accumulate is if there is improper or non-existent attic ventilation during the winter. During this season, warm air that rises to the attic will overheat the space just beneath the roof, causing outside ice or snow to melt. On its own, excessive melting can cause moisture to leak into the house through condensation, which can wreak havoc on the house.
But even further, if this melted water engulfs a pipe or gets under the shingles, it can re-freeze when temperatures drop. This can cause frozen pipes to burst or can cause significant damage to the shingles. All this can be made worse by the fact that these issues are difficult to locate in the winter months when snow or ice obscures the roof of the house.
With proper attic ventilation, the attic never gets too warm during the winter, the ice or snow never melts, and the pipes, shingles, and roof are preserved.
Extension of Roof Life
Without attic ventilation, the area just below the roof can become extremely hot during the summer. Over time, this makes the roof very delicate and tender, making it vulnerable during inclement weather. With proper attic ventilation, the hot air just below the roof is allowed to exit the house, and cold air filters in, maintaining a more even temperature. This keeps the roof strong and sturdy, making it last many years.
Our Final Thoughts on Attic Ventilation
We think that attic ventilation is crucial because it allows the roof to function as it should without making the roof vulnerable to moisture accumulation, ice formation, molds and mildews, and extreme weather conditions.
In addition, attic ventilation is critical for maintaining a comfortable airflow inside your house regardless of the season. The balanced air flow will help you save on energy costs, which is not only good for your bottom line but also the environment.
If you think about it on a larger scale, increased environmental sustainability could counteract extreme climate change, which would reduce the prevalence of natural disasters and create less seasonal weather variations. Attic ventilation can balance the airflow not only in your house back but also the planet.