Why Attic Ventilation is Important in the Winter

When you think of the reasons to ventilate your attic you probably think about how it’s important to keep it cool during the summer months in order to keep temperatures down in the rest of your house. But did you know attic ventilation is also very important during the winter?

Attic ventilation in the winter improves air quality and prevents any damage to your home that can come about when temperatures drop. Below, we’ll go over some reasons why attic ventilation is important.

Winter Moisture and Ventilation Problems
When you think of high humidity, you probably think of hot, sticky summer days. But when it comes to your attic, winter humidity is just as bad, if not worse than in the summer, regardless of your climate.

If you live in a humid summer climate and keep your windows open to let in the fresh air, the humidity will naturally get trapped in your attic. But even during the driest of winters, moisture in the attic is a concern for every household, regardless of how dry the air is outside if they don’t have proper attic ventilation.

This is because, during the winter, humidity and moisture produced by your household are the product. Cooking, humidifiers, hot showers, and baths all produce warm, moist air that rises in your house and ends up in the attic. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, then the warm, moist air builds up in the attic and can result in a number of problems.

In addition, there are other winter attic problems that are not related to moisture, which can also be damaging to your attic and your home as a whole.

Here are some of the major problems that can occur during the winter in a poorly-ventilated attic:

  • Ice dams: If you live in an area that gets snow in the winter and you have poor ventilation, your home is at risk of developing ice dams. Ice dams occur when warm air in the attic heats up the roof and melts the snow. The melted snow then freezes against the roof, creating ice dams that prevent snow and water from properly draining. The dammed water can then leak through the roof and damage walls, ceilings, insulation, and more.
  • Wet insulation: When warm air touches cold surfaces, it condenses, causing surfaces like attic insulation to get wet. Wet insulation is less effective at retaining heat, which will drive up your heating bills and force you to replace your insulation.
  • Mold and mildew: Moisture and condensation also provide the perfect habitat for mold and mildew. Mold and mildew are bad for your health and cause allergic reactions in anyone who is sensitive to the fungal spores. Plus, mold is very difficult to remove, so once it establishes itself, it will take time and money to eradicate.
  • Other problems include wood rot, frost, poor indoor air quality, and popped shingles.

The best way to prevent these problems is by installing an attic fan to keep your home properly ventilated throughout the winter.