In the interest of conserving energy, homeowners are doing their best to tightly seal their homes. One area that definitely needs proper ventilation, however, is the attic. Without it, your attic can trap contaminants, moisture, and heat â€“ all of which can cause significant problems in your home.
If you’ve recently found water in your attic, improper ventilation is likely to blame. Water can enter your attic in several ways, both from within and without your household.
For example, if the space between your attic and living space isn’t properly sealed, moisture and heat can rise into the attic. As this heat and moisture lingers, condensation occurs, soaking insulation and causing damage to your home’s structure.
Another problem caused by trapping heat in your attic is ice dams. During the winter, snow and ice fall and gather on the roof, and if your attic is too warm, the ice and snow melt, running down towards the cooler eaves. Unfortunately, this water can then refreeze, causing what is known as an ice dam.
Aptly named, these ice dams cause water to backup on your roof, and eventually seep in beneath your shingles, and into your attic. If left unchecked, this process can cause significant damage to your home, leaving you with rather costly repair bills.
With proper attic ventilation, however, you can reduce the likelihood of such events, by allowing air to enter at the eaves or soffits and exit near the roof ridge, creating a continuous flow of outdoor air through your attic. This action lowers attic temperatures, keeping the temperature of your roof relatively close to that of the outdoor air, which prevents ice from melting as fast, reducing the likelihood of ice dams forming.
In addition, proper ventilation:
- Extends the longevity of shingles
- Prevents premature damage to wood framing
- Protects the efficiency of attic insulation, thus reducing energy costs
- Helps prevent mold and mildew.
As you can see, the benefits of proper attic ventilation are many. If you’re worried that your attic isn’t properly ventilated, let one of our technicians assess the situation. For expert consultation, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Ventilation image via Shutterstock.