A roof vent is conveniently designed to remove hot air and moisture from your attic. If you have decided that you really need one in your house, you might have discovered that there are many different types of roof vents designed to accomplish this same task in different ways.

There are the wind-powered units, the solar-powered units, the electric powered roof vents, and those that require nothing at all. Your choice of a roof vent should factor in your home’s airflow as well as your roof’s design to eliminate air effectively. A consideration of the various types and styles of roof vents will help you determine that which best fits your needs.

Wind Turbines (Whirlybirds)

Whirly winds are quite similar in shape to a Chef’s hat. These vents do not have motors. But they are not static either. Wind-driven turbines have their movement powered by the wind. When the wind is blowing wind vents move more air than box vents (more on this in a bit). A high quality wind-driven turbine vent is usually fitted with plastic bushings or permanently lubricated ball bearings in the spinning mechanism, preventing the squeak of cheaper versions.

Box Vents (Static vents)

As the name implies, box vents have no moving parts – they are completely static. They simply create a path, an opening in the roof, for rising hot air and moisture to escape. To improve the efficiency of these vents, they should be installed as close to the roof ridge as is possible. This will allow more air, heat and moisture to freely escape.

Ridge Vents

Similarly static, ridge vents are like an open book lying face down. They are installed along the entire length of the roof’s horizontal ridge, allowing them blend into the roofline so as not to distort the look of your home. Ridge vents allow for even distribution of temperature and are most effective when combined with soffit.

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are best designed for homes with small gable-end vents or homes with vents only in the roof. Unlike most vents on this list, soffit vents are designed to let air into your roof space at the lowest point of the roof, thereby increasing airflow. They are most effective when combined with a continuous ridge vent.

Power Vents (Power Attic Vents)

These ventilators possess large fans that are designed to drive moisture and hot air out of the attic. They are not static, equipped with motors to power these fans. These motors (as well as certain other fittings) require electricity to operate. Some power vents are equipped with adjustable thermostats which power up the vent only when the attic temperature reaches a certain level. A humidistat is also fitted in to trigger the motor at certain levels of humidity. Power vents can be hardwired into your home’s electrical unit or powered by solar. Either way, they are highly efficient and relatively quiet.

Cupola Vents

If you need a vent that adds to the overall beauty of your home, cupola vents might be an ideal choice. But this comes at the expense of efficiency. Cupola vents are designed to sit atop a high ridge in the roof system, framing an opening that allows moisture and hot air to rise and escape. But they are best used in conjunction with a primary roof vent to cover for their limited abilities.

Need an efficient roof ventilation system installed in your home? Making a choice on what works best for you might be more than a tad confusing. Find an unbiased roofing contractor – one with no personal affiliations – to design a custom vent system for your home.

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