Proper Attic Ventilation With An Attic Fan

It may seem counter-productive to have your attic full of insulation and then add attic vents. However, the vents are needed so that a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate the attic helps keep it cold in the winter, which reduces the potential for ice damming. Additionally, there are benefits in the summer as the vents move hot air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture and the insulation will keep heat out of the house.

Below is an article from Energy Star that describes the proper way to install rafter vents and the reasons they are so important to create an energy-efficient home. After reading the article, give us a call at Genesis Electric so we can partner with you to meet all of your electrical needs.

Source: energystar.gov | Re-Post Genesis Electrical 6/18/2018 –

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.

Attic Fan Ventilation
Attic fans are intended to cool hot attics by drawing in cooler outside air from attic vents (soffit and gable) 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. To prevent this, follow the air sealing and insulation strategies in this guide and make sure the attic is well-ventilated using passive vents and natural air flow.

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