After air sealing and insulation, proper ventilation is the third prong in our comprehensive approach to a high performance attic. Ventilation is key to the durability of the attic and roof system, and will keep your attic cooler in the heat of summer and carry off excess heat and moisture in the winter.

Start at the Eaves

Proper ventilation starts outside at the eaves, or the part of the roof that meets the wall of a building. Perforated soffits allow cool, outdoor air to enter the attic at the eaves. Too few vents on the exterior can starve the attic of this ventilation air, so additional vents may need to be cut in to ensure proper flow.

Attic Ventilation Chutes

Back up in the attic, ventilation chutes made of foam, plastic, or cardboard ensure that ventilation air is unimpeded as it makes its way up into the attic. Installing chutes here is critical. They help to mitigate ice dams by keeping the most vulnerable part of the roof deck cool, so ice doesn’t melt and then start to build up and damage the shingles. Existing homes often require additional chutes to be added, or that existing chutes be extended to ensure adequate airflow.

High Side Ventilation

As cool ventilation air warms in the enclosed attic, it needs an escape route to carry off excess heat. This is where high side ventilation comes in. This ventilation can take the form of either several roof vents or a continuous ridge vent strip at the peak of the roof. If high side ventilation is restricted, air flow through the attic will also be restricted. In some homes, passive ventilation on the high side of the roof may need to be added.

Note: Why Power-Ventilation is Not Ideal

Roof mounted, “power-ventilation” attic fans, capable of flow rates of over 2,000 cubic feet per minute (picture your furnace's blower motor on full blast) are often sold under the guise of saving on cooling bills in the summer and preventing ice dams in the winter. In reality, however, these attic fans tend to drastically de-pressurize the attic. This disturbs insulation and aggressively draws conditioned air up and out of the home. Passive ventilation (the type of ventilation we use, described above) has the same benefits as active ventilation, but without the energy penalty and increased air leakage associated with power-ventilation. It is for these reasons that we generally discourage the use of active ventilation in most attics.

Get in touch to set up your attic ventilation inspection and upgrades.

Contact UsEnergy Assessments for $250 or less

Schedule your FREE Home Estimate

Testimonials

Nichole H., Hudson, WI

St. Croix Energy Solutions recently came to our house for a home energy assessment. The staff while scheduling the appointment, the staff that came out and taught us about home energy, the staff explaining the rebate offers and the team that came out to perform the work were all kind, patient, organized and energized about their work~ no matter which role they played.


My husband and I had certain concerns, but Pete shared more tips on how to improve our home to make it more energy efficient. He walked through the whole house showing us areas that needed updating, gave us informative packets and gave us time to think and ask questions. The staff was prompt at r... (read more)