Types of Roof Vents and What They Do

Types of Roof Vents and What They Do

February 26, 2024

The ventilation system you and your roofing company choose for your home plays a huge part in the longevity and durability of your roof. Proper ventilation prevents a myriad of issues such as mold growth, roof deterioration, and energy efficiency issues. The right system of exhaust and intake vents ensures continuous airflow that helps keep your roof and attic space dry and temperature regulated.

In this post, we’ll look at the two types of vents: exhaust vents and intake vents. We’ll break down some common subtypes of vents under these categories and their distinct traits and features. We’ll also look at how to choose which vents may be the best for your specific roof and home.

Types of Roof Exhaust Vents

Exhaust vents are vents that usually sit atop a roof and allow air to exit the attic space. They allow air to escape, keeping the roof dry and preventing too much hot or cold air from building up underneath it. Here are some common types of exhaust roof vents.

1. Turbine Vents

Turbine vents, often called whirlybirds for their spiraled appearance, are circular vents installed at the top of a roof. They use the power of wind and spin, drawing air out of the attic. Their spinning motion creates a vacuum that pulls moisture and warmth from the attic, making them an effective vent that requires no electricity. Their only drawback (in some cases) is their appearance as they do not compliment some styles of roofs and homes.

2.  Ridge Vents

Ridge vents are installed horizontally along the peak of a roof and are almost invisible from te ground. They usually run the entire length of the ridge and allow heat to escape the attic evenly. Rather than all of the airflow exiting through a few points, ridge vents allow this to happen along the whole length of the vent.

3. Off-Ridge Vents

Off-ridge vents sit slightly lower from the peak of your roof than other vent types. They are usually shorter in length than ridge vents and work well for roofs with a lot of different planes, valleys, and peaks that need shorter ventilation hardware.

4. Power Vents

Power vents are usually smaller and sleeker than other vent types and operate with electricity. They use motors that actively expel air from the attic. Some models also come with thermostats and/or humidistats to keep track of the attic's temperature and humidity levels. Most power vents are dome-shaped and installed atop the roof.

5. Box Vents

Box vents, also known as flat vents, louvers, or turtle vents, are another common type of roof vent. They are not electricity-powered and rely on natural convection to expel air and moisture. They are most commonly used to ventilate a specific area of an attic.

6. Solar Vents

Solar-powered vents are similar to power vents, only they rely on solar power to work. They are a more eco-friendly option that won’t touch your home’s energy bill and still provide effective ventilation for your roof. They also use motors to expel air from your attic,

7. Cupola Vents

Cupola vents are a more decorative style of vent that still offer good ventilation for your roof. They are mounted on the ridge of the roof. They can be functional with louvers that allow hot air and moisture to escape, but in some cases, they are purely decorative to complement the style of the home. Cupolas also have a lot of history in construction around the world.

Types of Roof Intake Vents

Without intake vents, airflow through your roof and attic would not be possible. Intake vents work with exhaust vents to create airflow, cycling air through the attic and roof to prevent issues from moisture or extreme temperatures. Here are some common types of roof intake vents.

1. Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are installed in the soffits or the underside of your roof’s overhang. They are some of the most common intake vents because they are easily hidden and functional. They also come in multiple styles, some of which are designed to look nothing like vents and blend in seamlessly with your home.

2. Gable Vents

Gable vents are shaped like louvers and are installed on the exterior wall at the peak of the gable end. They allow for cross-ventilation, letting out hot air and letting in cooler air. They can be used alone or with an exhaust vent system.

3. Over Fascia Vents

Over fascia vents are installed under the roof’s edge, just above the fascia board and gutters. They are commonly installed on roofs that cannot accommodate soffit vents and usually have a sleek design that does not stick out when installed on your roof. Over fascia, vents tend to allow less airflow than other intake vent types, but they are a good alternative for rolls where soffit vents are not possible.

Choosing the Right Ventilation System for Your Hom

Your ventilation system determines how well your roof will keep moisture and heat from building up in your attic. One of the many important components of your roof, a good ventilation system contributes to the durability and longevity of your entire roof. Different ventilation options offer styles that complement your home, functionality that helps keep your home efficient, and both.

When choosing which vents to install, your budget can guide which ones you choose. Budget-friendlier options are often the types of vents that are tried-and-true in their design like soffit vents or turbine vents. The most cost-effective options may lack in their efficiency and/or aesthetics.

Higher-end options are often aesthetically pleasing and more efficient than other options, but they may be on the more expensive side. Vents that require electricity or offer a more stylized look fall into this category.

Specialized vents that are designed to suit unique roofs or offer designs that are barely noticeable are also often more expensive. Some sleeker roof vent designs may also be less efficient than others.

The best way to figure out which vents will work best for you is to consult with your roofing company and weigh your options!

Roof Ventilation: Closing Thoughts

The right ventilation system keeps your roof temperate, dry, and efficient so that it can hold up to the test of time and support the other components of your roof. Each type of vent has its own pros, cons, and specific features that benefit different roof types, needs, and preferences. If you’re building a new home or upgrading your roof, be sure to pay attention to your ventilation!

If you’re looking for a roofing company to help you with ventilation or any other roofing projects, call us at Statewide Roofing. We operate all over Oklahoma and work on all types of commercial and residential roofing projects. Check out our portfolio to see some examples of our past work, and get in touch with us on our contact page to get started today.

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Call Statewide Roofing for a free quote for all your roofing and home improvement needs. We specialize in all kinds of roofing systems for both commercial and residential buildings. Browse of list of services by visiting our commercial and residential pages, and take a look at our portfolio for some example work and projects our team is proud of.

Let us know if you have any questions about us, our services, financing, repairs, or our process. Our team is here to answer any of your questions and get your the information you're looking for for any of your roofing needs. We're happy to help! For immediate assistance, give us a call to speak with one of our professionals and get started with Statewide.

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