Are ridge vents effective? Is ridge vent coupled with an attic fan an efficient way to cool the attic?

Question

Are ridge vents effective? Is ridge vent coupled with an attic fan an efficient way to cool the attic?

Asked by jeanne Sutton

I have metal roof with rdge vent that was sealed becasue blwing rains entered underneath and water cam through ceiling. We are thinking about installing a much wider ridge vent so rain wont come in. Is ridge vent coupled with attic fan effiecient for cooling the attic? Do I need ventilated ridge vent if I have attic fan?

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Answers

Sean Lintow Sr's picture

Let's take this one step at a time.

No matter what type of venting you have, water can get past it if conditions are right. You probably do not need a "wider" ridge vent but maybe one with baffles or some other blocking mechanism to help prevent water from getting in while still allowing air out.

Is a ridge vent effective? Well that is debatable, but for the most part yes. It is most effective when you have a straight source from the soffit vents to the ridge without any gable or other vents interfering.

As for attic fans, they are highly over rated (mainly by those selling & installing them) and generally cause more issues than they solve. While there are a few limited circumstances in which they are worthwhile, it doesn't sound like it would be in yours.

With that, attics are supposed to be hot and that is one reason why we install insulation. A properly air-sealed and insulated attic is your best defense to staying warm during the winter and cool during the summer.

  • I do have to ask, where is your duct work located?
  • If it is in the attic, you should look into sealing and insulating the ducts.

For more information:

Read "What is the best solar powered attic fan?" a Q&A answered by Danny Kelly.

Also, read "RIP: Solar Powered Attic Ventilator's" a blog post on Sean Lintow's website.