Choosing The Right Vent

The ceiling vents you install in your home do a lot to minimize the load on your air conditioning system. This can help save you money throughout the summer months. But ceiling vents also perform other functions, such as helping to reduce the humidity inside your home. It's important to choose the right one for the right purpose. Below is a description of four ceiling vent types and how they're used.


The simplest type of vent you can install is the static roof vent. These basic vents are just openings in the roof covered with a hood that will allow air in and out of your home. One of the advantages of this type is that they are very inexpensive and need virtually no maintenance. However, static vents can present you with some problems as well. While the hood is designed to keep precipitation out most of the time, if there is wind driven heavy rain or snow, static vents can leak. In addition, because it is a static system it's not always sufficient to provide the ventilation you need.


In your roof, the soffit is the part located just below the eaves. For soffit vents to be effective, they must comprise a fairly large percentage of your attic's floorspace (a ratio of 1 to 150 is the minimum). Many homeowners install soffit vents to work in concert with static roof vents, allowing air to enter through the soffit vents and exit through static vents placed near the peak of the roof.


This type of vent uses wind power to help cool your home. As the wind pushes the turbines and they spin, the ventilator draws hot air out of your home and replaces it with cool air. Turbine ventilators cost a little more upfront than static vents. However, like static vents they use no electricity. Also, even when the wind is not blowing, a turbine ventilator will still function as a static vent by allowing air to pass through passively.


Powered vents are by far the most efficient type of ceiling vent. There are two general types, electric and solar. Both make use of sensors to measure the temperature and humidity below the roof. Whenever these levels rise too high, the fan will automatically turn on. The hot and humid air inside is pumped outside and cooler, drier air is drawn inside. A single powered vent can be as effective as half a dozen static vents. The downside is that the installation and maintenance costs for powered vents are considerably higher.

For more information on the temperature and airflow of your home, contact an HVAC professional like Reliable Mechanical Services Inc.