On a hot August afternoon, you probably wouldn’t consider propping open your refrigera- tor door to cool off your kitchen. Nei- ther would you think about cranking up your air conditioning while curling up
in front of a warm fireplace in January. But I still find that many homeowners are throwing away their hard earned dollars, into energy bills unnecessarily — and mostly to keep cool in summer.
So my advice to homeowners is that as the warmest part of the year beats down on us is to consider a home improvement that has many benefits — and that being a proper roof ventilation system. Now is the perfect time for homeowners to tackle this quick, easy and af- fordable way to make their homes more com- fortable and more energy efficient, in time for the hottest months of the year.
There are several products on the market that are great at extracting the hot, moist, stale air that builds up in the roof cavity. Some of these products include fitting a few wind-driven roof vents (a.k.a. “wind vents” or “rood turbines”). These products can extract up to 90 cubic yards of air per hour. Or, you could always fit one or two of the thermostatically-controlled, electrically-powered vents. These units can draw up to 530 cubic yards of air per hour. But these versions do require energy to work.
Better still, smart home owners are turning to a new solar-powered roof vent—the Solar Star by Solatube or the solar-powered attic fan by Sunrise Solar, Inc. as these units can extract up to 1320 cubic yards of air per hour.
My prediction is that these solar-powered roof ventilation fans will become increasingly
popular as a way to draw heat up and out of the roof space. These solar extractor fans run entirely on free energy from the sun and pay for themselves through improved energy effi- ciency for the entire home. Consider the ben- efits of having sufficient ventilation :
Inadequate roof ventilation causes air condi- tioning units to work overtime, hence util- ity bills go through the roof (pardon the pun!).
Properly ventilated roofs helps insulation per- formance and makes the entire home feel cooler and more comfortable.
Excessive heat and moisture build-up in the roof can cause significant damage to crit- ical roof structures (and proper ventilation can extend the life of the roof).
Recent trends towards “tight” and poorly ventilated homes can cause many indoor air quality problems, such as mold, odors and “sick building syndrome.”
So my call would be to ask your local ener- gy-efficient products specialist to show you a few of these ventilation options and ask them to answer any other questions you may have re-cooling your home and saving money on energy bills this summer.