Attic Ventilation and How It Can Benefit Your House
Make your AC work smarter, not harder. A homeowner’s natural tendency might be to neglect attic ventilation and simply place all AC units in the areas that are more commonly used, then relax and wait for the cool air to come. In time, though, you will be forced to figure out why you are paying the full price, but not getting the full benefits of your AC system, however hard it works.
How Important Is Attic Ventilation?
Very. In Florida, with its hot and humid weather, you need to be extremely careful of what you put on your roof, as well as under it. Insulation and ventilation are essential for the short- and long-term health of your house – and your wallet. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider making sure your attic is properly ventilated.
Reduce moisture buildup
Average daily humidity for the month of October in Florida is around 75%. In Colorado it’s around 47%, and even New York scores in the lower 70s.
You can imagine, then, that Florida residents have to deal with a compound problem: not only does hot air rise because of simple physics, but Florida air is especially humid. This results in accumulations of hot and humid air in the area of the house that most homeowners will neglect to consider. Proper attic ventilation helps reduce these moisture buildups and circulate air effectively. Instead of your HVAC system working overtime to push cold air upward, it will simply balance the temperature and help keep your entire house energy-efficient.
Extend the life of your roof
One important side effect of reducing moisture buildup is that you will extend the life of your roof. As condensation can damage your walls and roof over time, providing air circulation in an area that would otherwise be a moisture trap helps maintain the long-time structural integrity of your house. By ventilating your attic, you are doing more than just making your summers more bearable.
Improve overall AC efficiency
When you feel your AC is not up to the job, consider two possibilities: air filters and air ducts are clogged – or you’re not conditioning your house efficiently. If heat is trapped in the top-most area of your house, it will end up decreasing the overall efficiency of your AC system – and it may take you a while to figure out what’s going on. By making sure the roof is insulated and the attic is properly vented, you will also help your HVAC work smarter instead of using up resources to compensate for inadequate AC unit distribution.
Best Attic Ventilation Solutions
Studies have confirmed that “passively cooling the attic spaces in a hot, humid climate must be achieved in conjunction with ventilation rates that sustain moisture removal”. In other words, to offset the negative effects of Florida weather, you have to both insulate your roof the best you can, and also ventilate the areas most exposed to moisture accumulation.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for HVAC systems. Especially in the case of attic ventilation, you need to take into account everything, from the size of your attic (where you could theoretically apply the 1:300 ratio, 1 square foot of ventilation per 300 square feet of ceiling) to roof type, temperature averages in your area, local Building Code requirements, structural fit, existing venting system, cost, even taste.
A professional can best assess whether your attic is properly ventilated by doing correct measurements of the surface, conducting a complete inventory of existing venting systems, as well as running a blower door test on your attic.
In the end, consider this: the highest cost is that of a system improperly installed or maintained. Make sure you save on unnecessary running costs by having a specialist help you correctly assess your attic ventilation needs to improve AC efficiency.