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.

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 various 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? Let’s explore the pros and cons of different types of roof vents in more detail. 

There are three types of roof vents:

  • Static vents have no moving parts and work best when installed close to the top of the roof where hot air in the attic will accumulate. Types of static vents include box vents, cupola vents, and ridge vents.
  • Wind-powered turbine vents (also known as whirlybirds) use the natural force of the wind to spin and vent out attic air.
  • Electrically powered vents use a powerful electric fan and thermostat to control the build-up of heat and humidity.

Let’s break down these categories in more detail.

Static Vents: Roof Ridge Vents

A ridge vent is a type of static vent that runs along the entire ridgeline of the roof. They are designed to allow air to escape from the attic while keeping out rain, snow, and debris. Ridge cap shingles are usually installed over the vent to conceal and protect it.

Pros

Used in conjunction with soffit vents, which allow air to enter the attic, ridge vents 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, keep in mind that they may potentially leak in heavy storms, aren’t ideally suited to warmer climates, and must be installed on your roof peak. If you have the right environment set up for one, however, they are great investments. 

Static Vents: Box Vents

Box vents are a type of static vents that use the wind to create natural convection, moving hot air and moisture out of the attic. Multiple vents are typically installed around the roof, depending on the square footage of your attic, to maximize ventilation.

Pros

These types of vents are easy to install and can be strategically placed in the spots you need them most. They can be ideal if you have a complex roof with many valleys. You can also coordinate their colours to match your style.

Cons

Box vents are smaller in size, so they may not be able to expel hot air and moisture as quickly as other types of vents. They can also be susceptible to cracks from damaging weather like hail and snow.

Static Vents: Cupola Vents

Cupola vents are another type of static vent that allows for natural airflow and convection. They are typically installed with curb appeal in mind as they look like miniature houses on the top of your roof. While cupola vents can be a good option for residential homes, they are also common for barns and cathedrals.

Pros

These types of vents are often used for both ventilation and decoration. This means that you can expel the hot air from your attic while increasing your home’s curb appeal and value. You can also choose from many shapes and sizes.

Cons

This option can be on the pricier side in comparison to other vents. While they are nice to look at, they are often more difficult to install and maintain. Birds may also build nests inside the cupola, which blocks airflow.

Turbine Roof Vents

This type of roof vent relies on the outside wind to spin a turbine. When this turbine is spun, hot air from the attic will be drawn up through the vent and expelled to the outside.

Pros

Wind-powered roof vents have the considerable advantage of using a free and renewable resource as a power source. These types of vents are common and easy to find and often move air faster than static vents because of the spinning turbine.

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. Additionally, too much wind can cause them to break off your roof. Another key disadvantage of wind-powered vents is that the moving parts can become quite noisy as they age.

Electrical Roof Vents

Power vents use electric-propelled fans to remove moisture and hot air from your attic. They include adjustable thermostats to turn on the fan when certain temperatures and humidity levels are reached in your attic.

Pros

Powered vent systems are quiet and 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. Ultimately, they allow you to move attic air when you need to, without relying on the wind.

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 because it operates quietly. Therefore, frequent inspections are necessary. Additionally, they can produce more power and drive up energy costs by running off your home’s electricity.

Choosing between the different types of roof vents depends on your budget, type of roof, and overall needs. It is recommended to do your research and consult with a professional about their opinion before you decide. 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.