Talking About Air Ventilation Systems

Pros And Cons Of The Common Types Of Roof Vents

Designing the optimal heating and cooling system for your home has one often overlooked aspect: roof vents. Ventilation in the upper area of your home is important to push rising hot air out of your home so that your attic or upper room don't become stifling and stuffy.

There are several types of vents available and each has its own pros and cons. Discuss your vent options with your heating and air conditioning installation company during your next appointment.

Box Vent

A box vent is one of the more basic units you can purchase. The vents are small, square in shape and don't have any moving parts. Box vents utilize the natural rising of hot air and merely provide an exit point for the air that would've risen on its own anyway.

Box vents are one of the cheapest vent options. The small size and lack of moving parts means that the vent isn't very noticeable from the curb or even from your own attic. On the downside, the vents aren't very efficient and you might need several boxes if your home or roof is particularly large.


Power attic vents, or PAVs, have a motorized fan that pushes the hot air from your attic to the outside. The fan is strong enough to ventilate even a large attic during the summer months and usually has a thermostat sensor that turns the fan off when optimal temperatures are reached. The unit runs quickly, which can also make it hard to know when it's not working until the heat has already become stifling.

The fan does run off your home's electricity so that could pose an issue if you already have high energy bills. PAVs can also work a bit too well sometimes and end up sucking out air-conditioned air along with the heat, which makes your cooling system less efficient.

Static Ridge Vents

Ridge vents are a more efficient alternative to box vents. The ridge vent runs the entire length of your roof's peak or upper ridge. This design allows for maximum and even heat distribution. Unlike a box vent, you would only need the one ridge vent – unless your home has a second wing with a different section of roof.

The main potential downside of a ridge vent is that it does slightly change the appearance of your roof by altering the sharpness of the peak. Many homeowners find the difference to be negligible, but if you are concerned, ask your heating and air conditioning company to see an example of a home with a ridge vent.