What Are Roof Vents?
Going through the neighborhood, you might have seen different types of vents installed on the roof of homes. These vents provide ventilation to the house. Not only homes but also commercial buildings, institutional buildings, and industrial buildings have vents on their roofs as well.
Roof vents are an important part of the roofing system. Other than the roof, they are also installed for attics. The roof ventilation system facilitates a healthy environment by venting hot gases into the atmosphere while bringing fresh air inside the house. This article shall elaborate on the need for ventilation and types of roof vents.
Benefits Of Roof Vents
The sunlight falling on the building heats it; thus, the air inside the building gets hot too. The hot air has the property of moving upwards. The hot air rises in buildings and gets trapped near the roof.
This leads to an increase in temperature inside the room. For areas having high humidity, it becomes very difficult to live inside.
Considering the problem mentioned above, roof vents are a savior of this issue. The vents are installed on the roofs and attics, and it allows the hot air accumulated near the roof to escape into the atmosphere. Also, the fresh air comes in, which cools down the internal atmosphere.
One of the biggest advantages of having vents is that it maintains the ambient temperature inside the room. Thus, significantly reducing the cooling bills.
Another significant advantage is that the internal finishing doesn’t deteriorate due to moisture as the roof vents release it into the atmosphere. Further, the bad smell and mold are prevented too.
However, one aspect to be considered when designing roof vents is rain. The vents should be designed in such a way that rainwater doesn’t percolate inside the building. There should be an adequate protection system in the vent that prevents the rainwater from coming inside the building.
Types Of Roof Vents
The roof vents are primarily of two types- exhaust vents and intake vents. As the name suggests, the exhaust vents allow the hot air to escape into the atmosphere while the intake vents bring fresh air into the building. We shall go through both types and their different models available in the market.
- Exhaust Vents
- Wind Turbine
- Power Vent
- Off-Ridge Vent
- Box Vent
- Ridge Vent
- Cupola Vent
- Hip Vent
- Intake Vents
- Soffit Vents
- Gable Vents
- Over Fascia Vents
- Drip Edge Vents
a. Exhaust Vents
1. Wind Turbine
A wind turbine or whirlybird is one of the oldest types of roof vents. Its popularity is because it doesn’t use electricity but only needs air movement. Wind turbines can be used in almost all types of buildings.
The wind outside the building rotates the upper part of the vent. This causes the hot and humid air inside the building to exhaust to the outside. This way, the building freshens up due to the absence of the stale air.
The popularity of a wind turbine is due to its affordability and durability. The maintenance for the turbine includes lubrication of bearings with grease or lubricant oil to prevent rusting of the bearings.
You can also install whirlybird with lubricated bearings that won’t rust or require replacement. It is advisable to choose a good quality wind turbine; else, it squeaks under heavy wind.
The only disadvantage of a wind turbine is that it needs wind to operate, and it is unsuitable for areas with no or low wind velocity. For effective operation of the vent, the minimum wind velocity needs to be regularly above five miles per hour.
2. Power Vent
The power vent overcomes the limitation of a wind turbine, and it can be operated in areas with no or low wind velocity. The power vent operates with electricity, where an electric fan with a motor is installed in the vent that pulls the hot and humid air out when switched on.
The disadvantages of the power vent are that it increases power consumption and exhausts fresh air into the atmosphere. It is available in two types-hardwired power roof vents and solar power roof vents.
The hardwired power roof vent gets connected to the thermostat or a humidistat. As the temperature or humidity goes above a certain point, the thermostat or humidistat activates the circuit and supplies the power to the vent fan. The hardwired vent is not commonly used as it increases the electricity bills.
A solar-powered vent would be best for your house if the roof gets ample sunlight. A small solar panel is attached to the vent that provides electricity to the fan for exhausting the stale air. To make it work at night, it needs a battery attached to it that provides power in the absence of sunlight.
3. Off-Ridge Vent
An Off-ridge vent is a long and thin projection made into the roof near the ridge. These ridges don’t consume power or wind to operate. The disadvantage of an off-ridge vent is that it has a lesser venting ability.
Thus, multiple units are designed and installed on the bigger roofs. It is seldom used in houses; however, it has a sleek design that can give a different aesthetic to the roof.
4. Box Vent
Box vents are one of the most used roof vents. As the name suggests, it looks like a small box mounted on the roof. It is also known as louver vents. It is easy to install. You just need to cut out a hole in the roof and fix the box vent in the hole.
The box vents are designed and installed in multiple locations across the roof to operate efficiently. The box vents are available in many colors, and you can choose to install the color matching your roof.
5. Ridge Vent
As the name suggests, a ridge vent is installed on the ridge of the roof, i.e., the peak of the roof. It is one of the best and most popular vents owing to its’ venting mechanism.
This system is installed along the roof length; thus, it serves the entire roof and evenly exhausts the hot and humid air from the room.
The cost of the ridge vent is also optimal. Another feature is that it is hidden and can’t be seen easily from the outside. For best results, use the ridge vent in conjugation with the soffit vent.
6. Cupola Vent
In the olden days, a cupola vent was popular in buildings. However, it has gone obsolete in modern times due to its inefficiency. Modern inventions like ridge vents, wind turbines, and power vents have replaced cupola vents.
It allows the ventilation as well as the light to the building. It was installed on the ridge and had a shape like a house. It was made of iron and was expensive due to its bulky shape and size.
7. Hip Vent
Like the ridge vent, a hip vent sits along the ridge of the roof, and it also uniformly vents the stale air from the room to the atmosphere. Furthermore, the hip vent is used with hip roofs as they have high slopes and no need to install ridge vents on them.
It is a well-designed concept and has high efficiency. It maintains a low profile on the roof and is almost invisible to the outside of the building.
b. Intake Vent
1. Soffit Vent
Soffit vents are mesh-like flexible materials that allow the fresh air to cool down the interior of a building. As it is only an intake type of vent, it needs an exhaust vent in pair. Most commonly, a ridge vent is used with a soffit vent.
The soffit vent is installed on the eave or under a peak. It comes in two types- continuous soffit and individual soffit.
2. Gable Vent
Gable vents are installed on the gable. A gable is a triangular part on the side of the building that supports the roof over it. These vents are outdated and are seldom used in buildings nowadays.
It has many shapes, such as rectangular, square, circular, or triangular. The main advantage of a gable vent is that it works as an exhaust vent as well as an intake vent.
3. Drip Edge Vents
Drip edge vents are used when the eaves don’t have enough space to accommodate the soffit vents. The functionality of drip vents is the same as the soffit vents. It has an efficient netted design to allow the air to pass through.
4. Over Fascia Vents
Fascia vents are useful when soffit and drip edge vents can’t be installed due to no eaves and edges. They are mostly used in hip roofs as it doesn’t have eaves and edges. It pairs well with the hip vents.
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