What is a soffit vent?
Soffit vents are roof ventilation devices that are installed under neath the eaves of a roof that extend pass the warm wall line. These roof vents allow fresh air to enter into an attic (not the home) thus creating an air circuit, when they are properly combined with other types of roof ventilation devices. Almost all homes have some sort of roof ventilation devices installed throughout the roof. There is a verity of roof ventilation devices available in styles such as Wind Turbines, Electric Attic Fans, Solar Powered Attic Fans, Ridge Vents, Boxed Vents, and Hip Roof Ventilation just to name a few. When soffit vents and roof ventilation devices are combined properly, they reduce a home’s energy consumption and prolong the life span of the roof, A/C unit, and many other components of the building structure in such degrees that you just can’t afford not to use them.
At first it may seem odd to add insulation for warmth then purposely allow cold air to enter the attic through vents. On the contrary, attic ventilation is the key to a durable and energy-efficient home. In the winter, allowing a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate the attic helps the attic properly ventilate the build up of moisture caused by cooking, showering, and general heating. If these elements are not taken in consideration effectively, you may be putting your family at risk of being exposed to black mold which can spread through your attic. 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 attic insulation will resist heat transfer into the house during the summer and prevent warm air from leaking into the attic during the winter. The results of this highly effective system is what we call Four Seasonal Ventilation.
The most common mistake homeowners make when installing attic insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves. NEVER COVER ATTIC SOFFIT VENTS WITH ATTIC INSULATION — use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.
Attic fans are intended to cool hot attics by drawing in cooler outside air from soffit vents and pushing hot air to the outside. However, if your attic has blocked soffit vents and is not well-sealed from the rest of the house, attic fans will suck cool conditioned air up out of the house and into the attic. This will use more energy and make your air conditioner work harder, which will increase your summer utility bill. You don’t want your unfinished attic cooled by your air conditioner. Likewise, during the winter ventilation devices will cause a draft that will pull warm air from the home into the attic. Almost all attic fans come equipped with a thermostat so they will not run as the temperature outside drops. Nevertheless, keep in mind the proper balance of roof ventilation devices and soffit vents are critical to work properly all year round.
Two different types of soffit vents:
There are two main types of soffit vents to choose from. Continuous or individual. Continuous soffit vents have recently become the most popular choice for their simple ability to allow the most amount of fresh air into your attic. These devices come in a variety of shapes of sizes. However, the common kind that you will find are generally long and narrow. They can be easily combined together to create a continuous run. Individual soffit vents are the most common type of device that you will find on most homes. They are extremely popular for their flexibility to install in and around problematic areas such as a hot bedroom, kitchen, or partitioned attics.
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