Types of Roof Vents and How They Help Your Home

types of roof vents

While your roof may seem like a simple structure at first, there’s a lot of complexity in how a roof functions. Many people don’t think about their roof vents and may not even know that they have a vent installed, but they’re essential to the correct functioning of your home.

If you’re unsure if you have the correct roof vent for your home, why not give Authentic Restoration a call at (205) 982-5252 today? Our Birmingham roofing experts are always ready to help you get the best performance out of your home.

What Do Roof Vents Do?

Simply put, roof vents let your home breathe. They help old, stale air escape while also pulling cool air into the attic. If your vents don’t work, you can experience many adverse effects in your home, including:

  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Extra humidity in the attic space
  • Dry rot in the roof sheathing
  • Additional pressure on your HVAC system

There are two main types of vents based on how they work. Active roof vents will physically pull external air inside, which forces inside air out. Passive systems rely on natural factors such as convection and heat exchange to move air around in the attic.

Both active and passive roof vents provide excellent air transfer if installed correctly, and no system is objectively better than the other. Active roof vents may be more efficient, but passive vents don’t need any maintenance and are completely silent.

Active Roof Vents

Most active roof vents have some system that pulls air into the attic. This new air displaces the old, humid air, which results in continuous air exchange that allows your home to breathe.

Turbine Vents

Turbine vents, or whirlybirds, allow hot air to rise, which causes the turbine to spin. This spinning makes a vacuum effect that pulls hot air out while allowing cool air into the attic.

Turbine vents are very effective at moving air around and are a great choice if you don’t mind the look. Although they’re open to the air, there’s very little chance of rain, snow, or insects making their way into your home through the vent due to the constant airflow.

Powered Vents

Powered vents rely on an electrical motor to pull air from the attic, replacing it with cooler external air. They have a low profile and are effective at moving air. With powered vents, it’s essential to have a way to measure humidity to ensure that you avoid moisture build-up in the attic.

Solar-Powered Vents

Solar-powered vents work on the same principle as powered vents but use a solar panel as their energy source. While this is great for sunny days, be aware that the vent stops working if the battery runs out. The vent’s effectiveness will ultimately depend on how much capacity your battery has and whether you have a backup power supply.

Ridge Vents With a Baffle

Ridge vents are a popular vent option because they’re invisible unless you’re on the roof, so they don’t affect the look of your home. Active ridge vents have air channels that force airflow, known as baffles, to move air around the attic actively.

The main drawback of these vents is that you need to install and maintain a filter. If you don’t have a filter, you can expect that insects, debris, and water will enter your attic.

Passive Roof Vents

Static Vents

Static vents offer a place for hot air to escape naturally, creating a large current of cool air throughout the attic.

Ridge Vents Without a Baffle

Ridge vents that don’t have an air channel work passively by allowing hot air to escape naturally through the roof ridge. Just like their active versions, you’ll need a filter to protect your attic from moisture, debris, and insects.

Gable-End Vents

Gable-end vents sit just below the roof gable. They let the wind in, allowing it to move through the attic and force old air out through the other end.

No matter what type of vent you decide to go with, they all fulfill the same function of keeping air moving in your home. To find out more or schedule a consultation for a roof vent installation in Birmingham, give Authentic Restoration a call at (205) 982-5252 today!