Just above your head in your Kansas City home, there may be an unconditioned zone of acute heat and moisture. It may be making your home less comfortable and costing you money. It may even be damaging the structural integrity of the house. It’s called your attic. Solar powered roof vents help eliminate attic ventilation shortfalls and make your attic more energy-efficient to lower utility costs.
How Passive Ventilation Works
Most residential attics are under-ventilated. Typically, homes are constructed with a passive attic ventilation design consisting of vents at the soffits down below the eaves and at the gables up near the peak of the roof. Hot air rising out of the gable vents creates a natural chimney effect that gently pulls fresh air in down at the soffits.
Effects of Under Ventilation
Unfortunately, the passive approach often doesn’t get the job done. Solar energy radiating through the roof accumulates in the attic. During a hot Kansas City summer, temperatures in attics with only passive ventilation can easily approach 150 degrees. In addition, water vapor rising from rooms below also collects in the attic. The consequences of an under-ventilated, humid attic are often felt in the rooms below. Heat energy from a broiling attic radiates through the ceiling and can raise the temperature in living spaces as much as 10 degrees. This causes your air conditioner to run longer cycles to offset the extra heat and maintain thermostat settings, reducing energy efficiency and raising operating costs. Excessive condensation in the attic saturates insulation and makes it lose effectiveness, as well as warping and rotting wooden structural components and creating an environment for the growth of toxic mold.
Benefits of Solar Ventilation
The same solar energy that overheats your attic can be utilized to ventilate it, too. Operated by a small 40-watt solar panel mounted on the roof, solar powered roof vents installed at the gables of the house run from sunrise to sunset and substantially boost passive attic ventilation without increasing your home utility bill. The ample increase in air circulation provided by solar powered roof vents can reduce attic temperatures in summer to less than 100 degrees, taking the heat off your interior ceilings and cutting A/C operating costs. Increased ventilation also exhausts attic water vapor, preserving insulation and preventing condensation damage and mold.
For more information on the benefits of solar powered roof vents on the roofs of Kansas City contact Bill West Roofing.