Attic fans and ridge vents are two popular ventilation methods for a home’s attic space. Ventilation is necessary whether you have a cozy bedroom up there or an unfinished attic. While both types of ventilation have their benefits, most homeowners wonder if installing both of them is required.
The short answer is, attic fans are not necessary to use with ridge vents. However, it’s not that simple. Sometimes using attic exhaust fans with ridge vents can be useful, but other times the duo can do more damage than good.
At Sol Vista Roofing, we’re here to help you understand your roofing system better. In this blog, we’ll explain the function of attic fans and ridge vents and whether your home needs such a system.
First, let’s start by learning the basics of attic fans and ridge vents to understand how they work.
An attic fan is a mechanical ventilation system installed in a home’s attic. It consists of a fan near the top of the attic and a system of ducts or vents to exhaust air. So how does an attic fan work? Does it take in air, or push it out? The answer is there are two types of attic fans: regular room fans and attic exhaust fans.
Regular Ceiling Fans
Regular fans are those ceiling fans– the ones we have in our bedrooms and living rooms. These fans circulate the air which is already present inside a room. Ceiling fans are suitable for finished attics with windows, a skylight, or other forms of ventilation. Regular room fans work with a chill effect where the wind brushes through our skin to keep it cool and dry.
Attic Exhaust Fans
Exhaust attic fans pull the stale air from the attic and push it outside through the roof outlet. They fans are mostly used with unfinished attics but can also be helpful if you visit it frequently for storage or other purposes.
Attic exhaust fans are powered by either electricity or solar energy. You can control these fans manually or through a thermostat or smartphone. This functionality is convenient when you regularly access the attic.
When we consider ridge vents, we categorize them as exhaust vents, but they don’t work like fans. Ridge vents have quite a few differences compared to these fans.
Ridge vents are static or passive ventilation systems installed along the roof’s ridge. They don’t require electricity to do their work. Ridge vents allow hot air to escape from the attic by creating an airflow mechanism along the ridge line. They come in a series of slats or small blinds that allow air to flow through them and are covered by a protective layer of ridge cap shingles.
These exhaust vents are designed to provide natural ventilation for the attic space, and they are solely effective at doing so. However, there are a few situations where an attic fan may be helpful in conjunction with ridge vents.
Do You Need An Attic Fan With Ridge Vents?
While having both types of ventilation isn’t necessary, some homes need more ventilation in their attic space than others, and that’s where this pair comes in. You may need to use one or more attic fans along with a ridge vent in a large, warm attic space that needs more ventilation.
When Ridge Vents Aren’t Sufficient To Keep The Attic Cool
This may be due to various factors, such as a large attic space with fewer windows, and a humid local climate. In this case, an attic fan can help increase the amount of ventilation that’s needed to keep the attic space dry and cool.
Your Attic Is Filled With Belongings
If the attic is filled with boxes, furniture, or other items that are not frequently used, the air in the attic may become stagnant and warm. An attic fan can help circulate the air in your attic and keep the space cooler, which will help prevent damage to stored items, rafters, insulation, and walls.
Keep in mind that the two systems should be installed away from each other. If you’re confused about the placement of fans and vents you should consult an experienced and reliable roofing contractor.
Since attic fans run on power, you either have to plug it into an electrical outlet or buy a special solar attic fan. Because of this, many homeowners wonder if attic fans are worth it when used independently.
Below, we’ll find out if they are helpful to your home.
Do You Need An Attic Fan?
It’s essential to know that you can use an attic fan without ridge vents, as they are more powerful and can circulate the air more efficiently. Attic fans work better in large attic spaces or ones that are converted into a living space, rather than ridge vents that are always open. So, if you’re considering installing an attic fan in your home, it’s essential to consider the benefits and drawbacks of both attic fans and ridge vents.
- If you already have ridge vents installed on your home, the best intake vents are perforated or vented soffits. They are installed along the eaves of your roof, near the home’s siding. Since air flows in an upward direction, it flows in through the soffits and goes out through the ridge vents, cooling your home in the process.
- An attic fan may not be necessary unless you live in a warm and humid location where you need to exhaust more hot air and moisture out of the attic.
- If you do not have any type of vent installed on your roof, you can consider getting one or more attic fans, as you can easily control the airflow.
Make sure you don’t have them installed close to each other, or in the wrong locations. Proper attic ventilation is essential to keep your home comfortable, healthy and energy-efficient. If a member of your family has asthma or allergies, installing an attic fan is one of the best ways to improve the air quality in your home and prevent mold growth.
There are many more concerns associated with the installation of attic fans and ridge vents. Who installs attic fans? What happens if it’s not installed correctly? Let’s find out.
Who Installs Attic Fans & Why Does It Matter?
Attic fans are installed on the roof, which means cutting a section out of it. This type of work is qualified as professional roofing work, which should always be done by a licensed roofing contractor with substantial experience installing vents.
The vents, skylights, flashing, and other roof accessories are the most common points on a roof that leak and improper installation is the main reason behind it. Choosing the wrong contractor for installation can also void your warranties and insurance claim. If you hire a handyman or do it yourself, there is a high chance of mistakes occurring that may result in faulty installation and invalid coverage.
The best time to install attic fans is during a shingle, or roof replacement service, and local roofing contractors will install the fan for you as part of their service if you ask. You can also install roof vents and attic fans while getting your roof repaired for leaks, nail pops, or any other issues.
If you are looking for new attic fans or ridge vents in Denver, Colorado, we can help you.
Does Your Home Need Attic Fans? Discuss With Our Experts
At Sol Vista Roofing, we’ve been improving homes in Denver, Aurora, and surrounding areas of Colorado. Our experts have been installing attic fans and ridge vents with perfection for over 30 years! We focus on safety, quality, honesty, and customer service, making it our priority to provide you with a comfortable and durable home.
We can install high-quality attic fans built with precision engineering and thermostat compatibility. Our highly skilled professionals will ensure that your roof and vents last for many years without breaking down unexpectedly, which is common when you use low-quality products and installation services. Sol Vista Roofing is proud to have a team preferred by Owens Corning and appreciated by numerous homeowners throughout Colorado.
If you want to discuss your ventilation needs with our experts, or need residential roofing services like attic fan installation or roof repair, call us at (720) 712-3516. We will be happy to help you with a free consultation, estimate, and inspection.