9 Common Types of Roof Vents

Roof vents are important components in a home. They help to increase air circulation, which reduces condensation buildup and helps to curb mold and mildew growth in unseen and often overlooked areas of the home. A properly vented roof also helps to regulate the temperature of your home, which can help increase energy efficiency. There are two categories of roof vents – exhaust vents and intake vents. Both are important and work in conjunction to provide proper and efficient ventilation. Here are several common types of roof vents:

Exhaust Roof Vents

Exhaust vents create convection by pushing air out of the home or by allowing it to escape to the exterior, which helps draw new air in through the home’s intake vents. This ventilation and air circulation help regulate your home’s temperature and reduce moisture, which are just a few reasons why proper roof ventilation is important.

7 Types of Exhaust Vents

1. Box Vents

A box vent is a square or relatively square vent structure that protrudes from the home’s roofline. Horizontal holes along the sides of the box vent allow air to escape from inside the attic space in the home. A box vent is constructed with a flange around the perimeter of the unit that lays under the roof covering to keep the vent opening weatherproof.

2. Wind Turbines

A wind turbine vent, sometimes referred to as a whirlybird, is a round-shaped roof vent that has openings along its sides to allow air to escape. To operate as efficiently as possible, a wind turbine needs to be installed along with adequate intake ventilation to allow for proper roof ventilation and air circulation.

3. Power Vents

Power vents, sometimes called attic fans, can create more air flow for attics that require more ventilation. Power roof vents can be hardwired into the home’s electrical system or some options can use an external solar panel unit to run the fan’s motor.

4. Ridge Vents

Ridge vents run along all or part of the peak of a sloped roof. They are most often used with shingle roofs and they are installed between the roof cap and the top row of shingles. These ridge vents are one of the effective ways to release hot, humid air from an attic space.

5. Hip Vents

Houses with more complex architectural designs and hip-style roof lines may not have a ridgeline to vent. Or, more ventilation may be necessary than what can be achieved with the limited amount of ridge venting available.

Hip vents solve the problem by incorporating the roof ventilation along the hip of the roof. Hip vents and ridge vents are similar in design and functionality. The biggest difference between them is the part of the roof in which they are installed.

6. Cupola Vents

Cupola vents are likely the most decorative and ornate type of roof ventilation as they look like fancy little towers or domes on top of your roof. They provide significant ventilation while also adding to the aesthetic and curb appeal of the home.

Not every style of home construction is right for a cupola vent. When incorporated on the roofline of a home, the end result should appear authentic to the home’s architectural style.

7. Gable Vents

Gable vents are effective ways to achieve air flow through an attic space. Although they are not technically installed on or within the roof, they are still a viable option for attic ventilation. Gable vents come in varying sizes and shapes and are installed on the gables (ends) of the home below the peak of the roof.

They feature slatted openings that keep precipitation out of the home while allowing air to move through. Some attics will utilize fans in conjunction with gable vents to increase cross-convection and air flow through the attic.

Intake Roof Vents

Intake vents provide openings to the home’s attic space to allow cooler air to be drawn into the attic as rising hot air escapes or is forced through exhaust vents. Without proper and adequate intake ventilation, exhaust vents cannot function as efficiently and you may start to see moisture issues and other signs you don’t have proper roof ventilation.

2 Types of Intake Roof Vents

1. Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are one of the most common types of intake vent. The soffit on your home is the material that is inlaid within the roof overhang along the side of the house. Because this area is naturally protected from precipitation, it is a prime place for an intake vent.

Additionally, soffit vents that run along the front and back of the home are located at the roof’s lowest point, which creates more natural convection as all of the attic’s hot air is rising above the cooler air that is drawn through the vent openings in the soffit.

2. Fascia Vents

Fascia vents are installed by cutting holes in the fascia board of the home and placing vents with angled coverings across it. To remain weatherproof, these vents will protrude at least slightly from the fascia board. Depending on the size of the fascia, and if a spouting is present, these vents may or may not be the best option.

They are an efficient type of intake vent if they are the right fit for your home. So, if you are thinking about using them, be sure to talk to your experienced home improvement contractor about the available options and how to have them properly installed with other roof components.

These are a few of the most common types of roof vents. Making sure your roof has proper ventilation can help to avoid winter roofing problems and pays dividends down the road in protecting your home and extending the life of your roof. If you have any questions about your roof, give one of our experienced home improvement reps a call at (717) 399-4708.