Proper Attic Ventilation
LESLIE: Lamar in Utah has a venting question for Team Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
LAMAR: Hi. I had four vents installed when I had my roof reshingled and we’ve got extremes of weather here in Utah; very hot summers. And so it was recommended to put those vents in to help keep the heat out, but in the winter it gets real cold and I’m worried about energy loss.
TOM: Ah, so you’re wondering if you should seal those up in the winter.
LAMAR: Yes, is that advisable?
TOM: The answer is absolutely not because, actually, they serve a very important purpose in the winter, Lamar, and that is to vent that attic space and let moisture escape.
LESLIE: So that your insulation works properly.
TOM: Right. Your insulation has to be dry. If it’s not dry it won’t insulate. So a drafty attic is actually a very good thing. What you should do, if you’re concerned about energy efficiency, is make sure that you have plenty of insulation; probably at least 22 inches of fiberglass, in your part of the country, along that attic floor so that you have lots of resistance to heat loss and then the ventilation will help keep that nice and dry and make sure it’s effective.
LAMAR: Alright. And help prevent …
TOM: So that was a good thing. They did you a favor.
TOM: You know, the vents keep out the heat in the summer; they keep out the moisture in the winter and make sure the insulation works year round.
LESLIE: And Lamar, you want your attic space to be the same temperature as it is outside. So if it’s cold in the winter months it’s doing the job.
LAMAR: Oh, terrific.
TOM: You know, there’s a good website with tips on this topic. It’s called InsulateandSave.com. It’s put together by the experts at Owens Corning. And there is a homeowners guide to insulation that you can download on that website, which will give you sort of a more scientific explanation of why you need that ventilation and what you can do to make sure your house is really as efficient as possible.
LAMAR: Terrific. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Lamar. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.