Why is my house so hot!? Is your attic properly ventilated?

Picture your car sitting in a parking lot in the middle of summer. It’s 100 degrees outside, windows up, and the air conditioner does not work. The inside of the car is feels like an oven and no air is going in or out. The temperature keeps rising.

The only way to start lowering the temperature is to lower the windows. You lower one, hot air starts slowly drifting out, but it is still too hot. You lower the second window and a gust of wind pushes the hot air through the car and out the other window! The inside of the car starts to immediately cool down.

This is how you should picture the attic in your home. When an attic is not ventilated correctly, moisture can build up. Moisture that can cause mold and other issues. Plus, hot air can drastically increase your utility bills.

There are two keys to ventilating an attic and each are equally important.

  1. Exhaust vents on top of your roof – Most homes have some type of exhaust (or outtake vents) on the top of the roof. Turbines, box vents, power vents or ridge vents are the most common. The key to outtake vents is making sure there is an adequate amount of venting for the size of your attic and that the venting is placed in the right area on the roof. Yet, this is equivalent of only lowering the one window on your car.
  2. Intake vents – The most commonly missed, but equally important part of venting an attic are the intake vents — normally known as soffit vents. This is the second window being lowered on your car. Soffit vents are the small rectangular boxes you see on the underside of your roof, at the edge your house. They typically have metal screens. These vents allow cool air to blow up into your attic and push the hot air up through the top. The problem is that over the years, soffit vents get covered in dirt, insulation and even painted over. Furthermore, there are typically not enough soffit vents installed when houses are first built. Having some, but not having enough vents is the equivalent of only lowering the second window of your car half-way. The square footage of your attic determines how many soffit vents you need, and that will directly correlate to how many exhaust vents you need. Once those measurements are equalized, your attic will breath!

Your roofing contractor should be trained in ventilation. There are accepted practices in the construction industry regarding how much intake and outtake venting should be installed on your home. Fixing ventilation problems are typically not expensive and your entire roof DOES NOT need to be replaced to do so.

Call Eisel Roofing & Construction and we will be happy to conduct a free inspection of your home to determine if your car windows are up or down.