Pros and Cons of Different Types of Roof Vents

Many roof vents are extremely efficient, feature no moving parts, and are animal-proof. You may already know that your roof needs to have vents so that hot and humid air does not accumulate in your attic, otherwise causing a variety of problems ranging from mould to ice dams. There are many roof ventilation solutions out there for a variety of homes, but which is right for yours?

There are three types of roof vents:

  • Static vents
  • Wind-powered turbine vents (also known as whirlybirds)
  • Electrically powered vents

Varieties of static roof vents under any or all of these categories include box vents, cupola vents, and ridge vents. These have no moving parts, so they work best when installed as closely as possible to the rooftop where hot air in the attic will accumulate. Box vents are not as effective as fan-powered vents, so a roof will typically require multiple units for effective venting. Because of their simple design, they are easy to install and don’t break down.

Let’s explore the three main roof type categories today.

Roof Ridge Vents

Pros

A ridge vent runs along the entire ridgeline of the roof. Used in conjunction with soffit vents, which allow air to enter the attic, it can be one of the most effective ways to provide ventilation to your attic. Because it has no moving parts, it is unlikely to break. A ridge vent has the added advantage of providing ventilation uniformly throughout the attic, ensuring hot and cold spots are not created. 

Cons

When comparing roof ridge vent pros and cons, you should bear in mind that they may potentially leak in heavy storms, aren’t ideally suited to warmer climates, and they must be installed on your roof peak. If you have the right environment set up for one, however, they’re great investments. 

Turbine Roof Vents

Pros

Wind-powered roof vents use the wind to draw hot and humid air up and out of the attic. They have the considerable advantage of using a free and renewable resource as a power source.

Cons

You need to have sufficient wind in order to get the most out of them. Therefore, when weighing the pros and cons of turbine roof vents, consider how much wind they will be exposed to in the first place before installing them on your roof. If your house is in a sheltered location, you may find other venting systems more effective. A key disadvantage of wind-powered vents is that the moving parts can become quite noisy as they age.

Electrical Roof Vents

Pros

Electrically powered vents use an electric fan to pull the hot and humid air out of the attic. Powered vent systems can be quite sophisticated and can allow you to ensure that your attic receives adequate ventilation. 

They can be set to activate at a specific temperature or humidity to ensure that your attic’s climate is kept at an appropriate level. They can be wired into the home’s electricity, or they can run on solar power. Powered vent systems may be necessary to ensure proper ventilation in a more complex roof system. 

Cons

One main drawback of the powered vent is that they do sometimes break down, and a broken vent may go unnoticed by the homeowner for quite some time. Therefore, frequent inspections are necessary.

Need a hand finding the right types of roof vents for your home or business? We at Roofmaster are here to help! Get in touch with our team today for a consultation so we can ensure you make a well-informed purchasing decision.