buildings and trees

Attic ventilation myths many Michigan homeowners may be falling for

Good attic ventilation helps keep you comfortable, improves your home’s energy efficiency, and protects the structure of your home. The damp climate in the Holland and Zeeland area make it especially important to get your ventilation right. Avoiding some of the common myths is a good start.

  • MYTH: Considering the problems caused by insufficient insulation, it’s best to have as much air flowing through the attic as possible.
  • Truth: Ventilation needs vary. Too much ventilation can cause leaks, encourage pest infestations, and leave your attic vulnerable to storm damage. Most attics do best with 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of ceiling space. Other factors play into this, however. For example, the type of vent matters because not all vents let in the same amount of air. Fail to calculate for this and you could over-ventilate the attic.
  • MYTH: The attic ventilation the house was built with is enough.
  • Truth: Existing ventilation may be doing little to no good. For example, ridge vents without baffles create only minimal airflow, soffit vents can hold in warm air, and gable vents alone don’t circulate air through the whole attic.
  • MYTH: Homes in cool climates don’t need roof vents.
  • Truth: In cool climates, roof vents are critical for preventing moisture problems and mold growth that can permanently damage your home’s structure.
  • MYTH: Roof vents draw heat from the building in winter.
  • Truth: Attic insulation prevents heat in your rooms from escaping into the attic. The attic remains cold, so there’s no warm air for the vents to remove. If you’re losing heat to the attic, you need more attic insulation.
  • MYTH: Professionals need only calculations and statistics to determine the right ventilation system for an attic.
  • Truth: Because no two attics are exactly the same, determining the ideal ventilation method is something of an art. It takes both knowledge and experience to choose the which type of ventilation will work best in any given attic.

For more guidance on improving attic ventilation, contact us at Mast Heating & Cooling. We proudly serve homeowners in and around the Holland and Zeeland areas.