attic ventilationAttic ventilation is an important part of your home because it not only keeps a comfortable temperature in your house year-round but also reduces energy costs. Natural attic ventilation (or the ventilation not produced by whole-house fans or other ventilation systems) happens through the natural exchange of air in your home. The 3 signs of a problem with your attic ventilation.

Ventilation: “V” in HVAC

Most homeowners overlook the “V” in HVAC. Instead, they think of the H and A/C — heating and air conditioning. However, ventilation is just as important.

Ventilation moves air throughout your home. That’s why you turn the exhaust fan on when you take a hot shower. It removes the warm air so as to prevent mold growth.

Ventilation is also important in other parts of your home. Ventilation systems move overheated or “stale” air out and replace it with fresh air. Your HVAC technician designs your system to handle the high volume of this air movement. Proper ventilation happens when it’s at peak performance.

Common attic ventilation problems

Many homes, however, cannot naturally ventilate attic air, without aid, because of improper insulation, gaps in the floorboards, and other issues. This can lead to some damaging – and expensive – problems, including:

1. Mold or mildew-like growth

Homes with moisture problems often have issues with their attic. They don’t have adequate protection from the elements. Loose shingles or cracks in the wood can lead to leaks, which is the perfect environment for mold or mildew to grow.

2. Structural damage

Your attic is hot because it is in the direct line of the sun’s energy. The more the sun beats down on your house, the hotter your attic will become – especially if it does not have any sort of cooling system. This excess heat – and the build-up of moisture from leaks – can cause significant damage to your roof and the structure of your home.

3. High utility bills and energy use

The excess heat in your attic can travel through the insulation or ductwork to the rest of your house, causing your air conditioner to work harder and run for longer periods of time.

How do you know if your attic has proper ventilation?

If you have any of the aforementioned problems, it can be difficult to understand why. To ensure that your attic is properly vented, we recommend scheduling a Maryland energy audit – such as Minnick’s Energy Audit – to determine (1) where the issues are originating and (2) what solutions you can implement to resolve the problems.