Roof Turbine Attic Vents: Do They Help in Winter?
LESLIE: Bobby in Mississippi wants to know how he can save some energy dollars. How can we help?
BOBBY: Yes, last fall we installed a new roof and I had them put some wind turbines – two wind turbines – up there. And I was wondering if they would save me money during the winter if I were to cover those up with like a plastic bag or something.
TOM: No, you need vents.
BOBBY: Even during the … well, it’s got …
TOM: Absolutely. Well, here’s why you need vents in the winter, Bobby. If your attic is not ventilated 24/7/365, what’s going to happen …
LESLIE: Your house isn’t going to heat as properly as it should.
TOM: Well, what’ll happen is it’s going to cost you more money to heat. Because what happens is you’ll get moisture that forms inside the attic and then that moisture saturates the insulation and the insulation doesn’t work. If you have your insulation and you let it get two percent damp, it loses one-third of its ability to insulate. For every two percent moisture, you lose a third of the R-value.
So those vents actually help keep that insulation dry in the winter time. A drafty attic is a very good thing. A drafty house is not, but a drafty attic is good.
BOBBY: (laughing) Okay, well that’s what I was wondering about. Somebody told me, “Well, you’ll save money in the winter if you cover your turbines up.”
TOM: Well, now you know. And in fact, just so you know, those spinning roof vents are probably not the best way to vent your roof. Continuous soffit vent and a ridge vent beats a turbine vent any day.
BOBBY: Well, I also have those.
TOM: Oh, good.
BOBBY: And I was … I …
TOM: Because you just figured more was better, huh?
BOBBY: Yeah, well. While they were doing it.
TOM: Alright. Well, it’s not going to hurt you now but definitely don’t cover them up, okay? Leave them open for that reason.
TOM: Alright, Bobby. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.