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Ventilation Systems -- Attic and Whole House

Roof ventilation system

We install Ventilation Systems to Enhance Air Quality, Building Durability, and Energy Efficiency

Attic Ventilation 

Attic venting is a crucial part of a home’s moisture and heat management system.  Venting moisture and heat allows a home to be more energy efficient.  It helps preserve the integrity of a home’s building components, making it more durable, and lessening the need for costly repairs.  It also helps prevent the growth of harmful mildews and molds that can damage human health. 

Attic ventilation is usually passive in nature and relies on convective air flow–intake and exhaust.  Cooler air is drawn in through the lower vents, then moves along the eaves, then rises to the top of the attic where it passes out through the upper vents. 

Most vent structures are fixed, without mechanical or moving parts.  Ideally, every attic should contain fixed intake venting and fixed exhaust venting.  Generally, intake is installed low on the roof line and exhaust is installed high on the roof line. 

Fixed Intake Vents 

Intake venting is available in many designs.  To choose the right vent for a particular job, one must consider the structure of the home, the area where the units will be located, and the net free area provided by each vent.  The most common types of intake venting are:

Under-eave or soffit vents, which are mounted in the soffit.

Continuous soffit vents, which are also mounted in the soffit.

 

 

 

Bird block vents, which are installed between the rafters where they rest on the plate of the exterior wall of the building.  

 

 

 

Edge Shingle-over vents, which is installed on top of the roof.  Smart Vent manufactures a vent like this. 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixed Exhaust Vents 

Exhaust vents are designed to permit an efficient, unobstructed outflow of attic air.  In addition, because they’re installed high in the attic where there’s greater exposure to the weather, these units must be designed to prevent (or at least minimize) rain and snow infiltration. 

Exhaust vents must be used with intake vents to provide a balanced system and thus an adequate flow of air through an attic.  For maximum efficiency, the net free area of intake vents should be equal to or greater than the net free area of exhaust vents.  As with intake vents, exhaust vents are available in different designs.

Roof Louvers, often called a “hat” vent.  These are installed on the roof as close to the ridge as possible to allow the attic to release the maximum amount of moisture and heat.  These should be spaced fairly evenly across roof to allow for uniform air flow.

    

 

 

 

Gable Louvers, often galled “gable end vent.” These are rectangular or triangular and are usually installed with one in each gable end. 

 

 

 

 

 

Ridge Vents,offer unique advantages compared with other fixed venting, including maximum efficiency, maximum and uniform air movement, and superior visual appeal.  

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Exhaust Vents 

If mechanical attic ventilation is used, it typically will be an electric or solar powered rotary fan used as an upper vent, either close to the ridge line or in the gable end.  The rotary motion of the blades pulls air into the attic through the lower intake vents.  Mechanical vans may operate based on a timer, a temperature sensor, or a humidistat.  Generally, solar powered fans do not have a thermostat or humidistat controls. 

Solar powered mechanical attic ventilation fans – roof and gable end. 

 

 

 

 

Whole House Ventilation

The quality of the air we breathe is crucial to our health, and yet we tolerate some of the worst pollutants in our living rooms. Chances are, the air in your home is not perfectly clean, and there is a need to replace it periodically with fresh air from the outside.  This is especially true for homes that were built or retrofitted to meet modern energy efficiency standards and may be “tight.”  Sources of fresh air ventilation can be passive, such as vented windows, or mechanical, such as bathroom fans, whole house ventilation fans, or heat recovery ventilation fans.

Passive Ventilation Systems

Passive ventilation is a series of vents in exterior walls or at exterior windows to allow outdoor air to enter the home in a controlled way. Natural airflow, wind and the temperature differences in indoor and outdoor air help to draw in fresh air and circulate it through the home. The fresh air forces polluted, humid, warmer air into vertical ducts (aka thermal chimneys) that lead into the attic, where the air is exhausted to the outside. The fresh-air vents are specially designed to slow down incoming air and disperse it indoors. An adjustable precision damper within the vent allows the regulation of airflow, and vents are typically equipped with a filter to screen out dust and insects. Some fresh-air vents also have acoustical features for masking outdoor noises from sources such as traffic, airplanes and trains.

 

 

 

Bathroom and Kitchen Fans

These fans must be properly ducted to the outside, usually with an insulated duct with all connection points firmly attached all the way to a dedicated roof vent. 

Panasonic Whisper Quiet Energy Efficient fan.

 

 

 

 

Whole House Ventilation Fans

Whole house fans offer a great way to cool your home, as well as your attic, after a sunny summer day.  Even in hotter climates, these can often replace the need for air conditioning, creating a comfortable, cool, fresh and well-ventilated space with far, far less electricity than air conditioning.  These are usually installed in a hallway ceiling on the home’s uppermost floor. 

    

 

 

 

 

Heat Recovery Whole House Ventilation Fans

Whole house heat-recovery ventilation systems move stale, contaminated, air from inside the house to outdoors.  Stale, polluted air is constantly being replaced by an equal quantity of fresh clean air. As the two air streams pass through the unit they do not mix. They pass on either side of an aluminum heat-exchange core which transfers heating/cooling energy from the outgoing air to the incoming air. The efficiency of an HRV is so great that virtually none of the warm/cool air collected from your home is lost to the outside. In summer, the HRV works in reverse - removing heat from the incoming air and transferring it to the outgoing air, to keep your home cool and fresh.

 

 

 

 

For more information about the benefits of proper ventilation systems, or to schedule a home energy upgrade today, contact us here.

A bathroom remodel, kitchen remodel, or constructing a room addition present great opportunities to update a home's ventilation system. 

We also install new windows, replacement windows, vinyl windows, fiberglass windows, wood windows, new doors, replacement doors, fiberglass doors, wood doors, residential windows and doors, and commercial windows and doors.