Household electricity consumption will inevitably spike in winter. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your heating costs. In addition to having siding contractors inspect your home’s insulation, it’s important to make sure there’s adequate ventilation in your roof or attic. Remember: Insulation and ventilation always go hand in hand.
How can adequate roof or attic ventilation help lower your heating costs?
Why Insulation and Ventilation Always Go Hand in Hand
Adequate roof or attic ventilation ensures your insulation doesn’t lose its R-value or ability to prevent heat transfer. Without adequate ventilation, warm, humid air can’t exit your home. And if warm air becomes trapped in your roof or attic, condensation might start to form. When condensation comes into contact with insulation, it will lose some of its R-value, forcing your HVAC system to consume more electricity to keep indoor temperatures at a comfortable level.
Here’s a tip: If you notice a consistent spike in your electricity bill, you might new windows. According to the Department of Energy, heat gain and heat loss through inefficient windows account for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling costs.
Ice Dams, Leaks, and Inadequate Ventilation
Ice dams are another issue you may encounter if your roof or attic isn’t well-ventilated. Without adequate ventilation, the warm air trapped in your attic will the temperature of the roof’s surface, melting the snow on top. As the melted snow slides down towards the edges of your roof, it freezes and deposits ice near its eaves, forming ice dams. Ice dams are a problem because they prevent water from reaching your gutters, increasing the risk of roof leaks.
How Much Ventilation Does Your Roof or Attic Need?
There should be a square foot of net free area (NFA)—the area through which air can pass—every 300 square feet of floor area for attics with a vapor barrier. And if your roof doesn’t have a vapor barrier, it only needs a square foot of NFA for every 150 square feet of attic floor space. If you’re not sure if your roof has enough ventilation space, have a professional roofer inspect it.
Allstar Construction of Fargo has been providing professional exterior services, including roof replacement services, to local residents since 1979. To request a free estimate, call us at (701) 478-7663 or fill out this form.