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Home Improvement Attic Ventilation

Each individual area of your home is effected by attic moisture, temperature, and air movement. Houses are constructed much "tighter" today than they were 20 or 30 years in the past. Windows are more efficient, house wraps are now traditionally used, the R value of insulation has increased, overall, our homes are more weather-tight. In doing this we trap the moisture content inside the home. Interior moisture content is produced by several things.

The normal sweating and breathing of a family of four adds about 1/2 pint of water to the air just about every hour. Cooking three meals a day adds four or five pints of water to the atmosphere. Each shower contributes 1/2 pint. In fact, every activity that uses water, (like dishwashing, mopping floors, doing laundry) adds moisture content to the air. Experts say that the daily living activities of a family of four can add more than 18 gallons of water a week into the atmosphere of a home. Air moisture will circulate toward drier air to equalize itself. This equalization process actually forces the indoor moisture content through the ceiling and insulation into the attic locality. Ventilation of your attic is important for two reasons. During the summer season, excess heat that builds up in the attic during the day results in high energy costs for cooling, or uncomfortable living conditions.

Also, moisture content generated within the home may move toward the attic if ceiling vapor barriers are not utilized, and they commonly aren't. If this moisture is not exhausted from the attic it will condense and lead to insulation and construction materials to deteriorate, or cause mold or mildew to develop. So, temperature and moisture control are the main reasons for proper attic ventilation. How much attic ventilation is enough? The most ventilation is needed to clear away heat in the summer months. Winter attic ventilation must be sufficient to remove moisture vapor moving from the living space to the attic. In general, ventilation satisfactory for summer cooling is more than adequate for winter ventilation. Studies indicate that further increases in ventilation are not effective in significantly decreasing attic temperatures.

If the ceiling is poorly insulated, you may need a little added ventilation. Attic ventilation can be achieved by gravity ventilators, wind assisted ventilators or power ventilator. Regardless of the method used, the purpose is to provide uniform ventilation of the attic for proper environment and humidity control. Natural ventilation is the most common and energy-efficient method of attaining attic temperature and moisture control. It is also the most economical, and my personal preference. If a space has high air outlets in conjunction with low inlets, ventilation develops as the air inside of the space is warmed up. We desire to achieve this with the application of eyebrow vents, placed at the best possible positions.

About Author Ron Williams :

"The Roof Doctor" has been involved in the Roofing Industry for over 40 years, and a Roofing Contractor for half that time. Coming from a family of roofers, Ron has created a broad  spectrum of roofing experience. Roof Doctor has the knowledge to diagnose those tough problems and get the job done right the first time.
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Article Added on Friday, August 31, 2012
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