1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 17, 2008

:291 Attic Ventilation

Filed under: :291 Attic Ventilation — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:18 am
Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.
1:5:10:291 EcoTip:  Proper attic ventilation will increase roof life and reduce the chance of developing attic mold. The ventilation requirements for attics vary depending on the climate where the home is located. Assuming your home was built correctly – look for changes that may cause problems. For example leaves and debris may clog attic vent screens. Holes in screens may provide a path for rodent, bird, bat and insect infestations
 Additional Information:

The following information is from the EPAs EnergyStar Program:

Natural Attic Ventilation

At first it may seem odd to add insulation for warmth and then purposely allow cold air to enter the attic through vents, but this combination is the key to a durable and energy-efficient home. Here’s why: in the winter, allowing a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate the attic helps keep it cold, which reduces the potential for ice damming (snow that melts off a roof from an attic that is too warm and then re-freezes at the gutters, causing an ice dam that can damage the roof). Proper insulation and air sealing also keeps 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.

The most common mistake homeowners make when installing insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves. NEVER COVER ATTIC SOFFIT VENTS WITH INSULATION — use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.

For more information about attic ventilation check out Joe Lstiburek’s website. He has several documents posted that discuss attic ventilation requirements for different parts of the country. For example if you live in a hot humid climate – there will be different considerations. http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-102-understanding-attic-ventilation/

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