Proper Ventilation for an Attic
- Proper attic ventilation allows a natural flow of air to move through the room. While attics must have insulation for warmth, keeping a flow of cold air through the room in the winter reduces the risk of ice damming on the roof. In the warm months of summer, attic ventilation serves to push warm air out of the room, reducing the moisture that can damage shingles or cause mold to grow.
- Insulation is an important part of attic ventilation. Laying rolls of fiberglass insulation is easiest for most homeowners. Begin laying insulation from the perimeter and work toward the attic opening. Avoid placing insulation over soffit vents or light fixtures. Do not place fiberglass insulation near lights; keep it at least 3 inches away to avoid the risk of fire. Installing insulation baffles or rafter vents is recommended when covering your attic in insulation. These vents help move air outside and should be attached to the roof decking.
- Attic fans were designed to keep attics cool in the summer by bringing in cooler air from outside the attic. According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), it is important to check your soffit vents for blockages. If your soffit vents are blocked, attic fans will pull air from inside the home to cool your attic, which will increase the amount of energy you use during the summer. It will also increase wear and tear on your air conditioning unit.
- Sealing all air leaks inside your home is a must to keep your attic properly ventilated. Examine your attic for holes and seal them with caulk. Spray foam is also available for sealing air leaks in your attic. Use duct sealant to seal all exposed ducts in your attic. The DOE recommends that homeowners install ducts in garages and attics to increase ventilation, making the house more energy efficient.