Does your attic seem hotter than it should? One problem may be with the attic ventilation. Eco-Synergy Advisors can verify the effectiveness of your ventilation strategy and offer solutions if needed. Most existing homes have inadequate or underperforming attic ventilation systems that effectively put additional stress on any HVAC equipment, ductwork, and insulation. Additionally, the mechanical fans (yes, even the solar powered ones) contractors tend to sell to address this problem almost always actually do more harm than good.

Mechanical fans do draw air out of the attic, which in theory should be replaced by cooler outside air coming in through soffit or gable vents. In reality, much of the cooler air is actually air-conditioned air drawn from the living space through gaps and holes around light fixtures, electrical and plumbing penetrations, recessed lights, attic access doors, etc. – the path of least resistance. In short, mechanical ventilation is almost always a bad idea, and one that costs you money. Additionally, traditional insulation contractors will often make attic ventilation less effective by blowing insulation over soffit vents at the eaves.

One realistic point on attic ventilation; while important for good attic performance overall, it is never the silver bullet to address heat gain into the living space. The majority of heat in the attic is caused by heat radiating from the roof deck to the attic floor. In a traditional vented attic, this is best addressed by providing adequate attic insulation and, in some cases, a true radiant barrier (that is, not the silver paint). Attic ventilation addresses convection, or heat gain through hot attic air. It is imperative to have a good air-barrier between the living space and attic to prevent air movement between these spaces. Proper attic air flow (ventilation) will allow hot attic air to exit and be replaced by cooler outside air. This is usually best and most cost-effectively accomplished by a combination of air-sealing between the attic and living space, and ensuring good high/low air flow through soffit, gable, and roof venting.

Our highly-trained professionals at Eco-Synergy Advisors understand the interactions among the features of your home and can offer and implement the best, most cost-effective solutions, ensuring you maximum performance and solving the problem the first time.