There are different types of roof ventilation to choose between and it is their location on the roof that sometimes decides what type is best used. When it comes to attic vents and fans, you normally locate them in the highest corner of a gable, on the roof place or ridge or alternatively, underneath the eaves or soffit. In this article I will tell you a bit more about gable ventilators, ridge ventilators, roof plane turbines and fans and last but not least – the soffit ventilators.
Gable ventilators are made of galvanised metal and are triangular in shape. They can be purchased at either a home improvement centre or at a sheet metal shop. Gable ventilators should be installed at the top of the gable and their purpose is to eliminate any heat that collects up by the house ridge.
Everyone knows that heat rises and it is therefore not a surprise to learn that the hottest air collects at the highest point of the house – the ridge of the roof. Therefore, this is the most efficient location to place a vent. Ridge vent systems basically consist of long and inverted metal trough which allows air to leave the house easily and without taking in any rain. Remember to install ridge vents before you lay any roofing materials. I have mentioned this before but if you are doing any major work to your roof, try to deal with other roof related jobs at the same time. This could be work to with the gutters, chimneys, skylights and so on.
Roof Plane Turbines and Fans
The turbine vent is a clever invention. Once placed on the roof it acts in two different ways depending on weather. In calm weather they act as a free ventilation space whilst they generate an air flow when it is windy. When it is hot outside, you can avoid the need to use air conditioners by placing powered attic exhaust fans over ceiling vents. They work by increasing the natural air convection. If you are looking to purchase a normal exhaust fan, take into account its noise level and air flow. The airflow is calculated in cubic feet per minute or CFM for short. Noise levels on the other hand are measured in ‘sones’ where the lower the number, the quieter the fan is.
These ventilators are rectangular in shape and placed, as the name advises, at the soffit or by the eaves of the roof. They provide an in-flow of cooled air whilst warm air convection draws the air upwards and through the gable and/or ridge ventilators. Another great thing with soffit ventilators is that they will assist in drying out the roof decks if they have leaked – especially by the eaves.