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VENTILATION
How well should my attic be ventilated.

Your attic is a cantankerous thermal monster, which holds hot air in summer and cold air in winter. To keep these opposing thermal monsters from robbing your home of heat in the winter, coolness in the summer and comfort year-round, attics have to be well insulated and properly ventilated.

In a house, most heat transfer takes place through the attic.

Attic ventilation should efficiently release the summer heat and the winter cold and moisture. It is therefore essential to have good insulation and a tight air seal between the ventilated space (your attic) and the conditioned space (your home), to minimize heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. Fortunately, attics are one of the easiest areas to insulate, and the least expensive area to add high R-value (heat resistance values) of R50 insulation

Installing attic vents, in combination with a whole house fan and blown insulation will help keep your home cool at a fraction of the cost of air conditioning. There is more absolute heat gain per day through an attic in summer than heat loss through the same attic in winter. On a sunny summer day, with the hot sun blasting directly on your roof, attics can get up to 140 degrees when the rest of the house is around 75 degrees. That's a 65 degree temperature differential! (In the winter, for most homes kept at 70 degrees. With a 140-degree attic, heat gain through an under-insulated ceiling is significant. Hot attics heat up knee walls and ceilings, transferring the unwanted heat back into your living space. Proper attic insulation and ventilation will have a major beneficial impact on summer comfort and cooling expense and the improved insulation can actually save you more money and do more for your home's comfort in the summer

Increased attic ventilation has long been promoted by roofing material and attic ventilator manufacturers as a way to increase shingle life, decrease attic temperatures and lower cooling costs. Attic ventilation was added to the nationwide building codes to prevent/eliminate roof damage caused by trapped, moisture-laden air migrating into the attic during winter.
As the use of attic insulation increased, ventilation proved valuable in controlling another problem, ice damming. Ice damming occurs when certain areas of the roof become warmer than others, causing a thaw- freeze cycle that allows accumulated snow to melt, then re-freeze on colder portions of the roof. This re-freezing creates an ice dam that works its way under shingles only to later melt and create roofing leaks. Ventilation ensures the roof deck temperature remains consistently cold so ice damming cannot start.

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