Tell-Tale Winter Signs Your Attic Needs More Ventilation

Attics are often an afterthought when it comes to caring for your home; however, keeping your attic in good shape is essential to saving money on heating, cooling, and costly repairs, especially in the winter. Having poor ventilation in your attic can be especially detrimental to your home in the winter (and the summer, but that’s another post).

Below we will discuss how to identify whether your attic shows any signs that it needs more ventilation, and what you can do to improve it.

Why You Need Good Ventilation in Your Attic
First, it’s important to know that having poor ventilation in your attic is bad for a number of reasons. Number one, if your attic isn’t properly vented, heat and moisture will get trapped up there. In the winter months when there is snow and ice on the roof, this can lead to ice damming. Furthermore, wet, hot air that is trapped in your attic will condense when it gets cooler, leading to not only ice dams, but rot as well. Rot is bad enough, but it can get even worse if not dealt with immediately, eventually leading to mold or other problems.

Ensuring your attic has good ventilation can prevent a whole host of problems that will cost you money in repairs, along with improving the circulation of air in your home.

Winter Signs Your Attic Needs More Ventilation
The best way to figure out if your attic needs more ventilation is by doing an inspection. It’s best done in the summer and winter months so you can compare them, but you can do it any time of the year if you’d like to know as soon as possible.

In the wintertime, conduct a thorough check of your attic. Signs that you need more attic ventilation include things like

  • Ice buildup along the eaves
  • Condensation on the roof of your attic from within or along the walls
  • Formation of ice dams

For example, ice dams form when moist, hot air escapes into your attic and gets trapped. Once it cools, the moisture condenses and eventually freezes, usually on the eaves of your roof. If you find any ice or moisture, that is a clear sign you need better ventilation.

If you check the attic in summertime when it’s hot outside, a clear sign that your attic has poor ventilation is if it’s very hot and stifling in your attic.  You might also notice that the attic ceiling is hot to the touch. A properly ventilated attic should be able to stay somewhat cool even in the hot weather.

How to Improve Attic Ventilation
Improving attic ventilation may not be completely free, but it will definitely save you money in the long run.

  • Add soffit vents, gable vents, and/or roof vents. One good way to improve attic ventilation is by installing vents. This is a passive ventilation system. Roof vents are installed on the top of the roof of your house and soffit vents are installed under the eaves. Fresh outside air comes in the soffit vents and the trapped attic air exits out the roof vent, ensuring that warm, wet air doesn’t wreak havoc in your attic.
  • Install an attic fan. Another great way to improve attic ventilation is through an attic fan. Attic fans actively cycle trapped air out of your attic and pull fresh air in. Attic fans are extremely effective at keeping your attic air fresh and preventing a build-up of trapped moisture and heat. has a wide selection of attic fans, including:

Give us a call at 1.888-229-5757, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions about our fans and which might be the ideal option for your home.