USA: Roof Vents: Roof Vent Manufacturers
ABOUT ROOF VENTS
Roof vents are used to provide attic ventilation in both summer and winter. In summer, roof vents help to keep attics cool. This avoids the build up of moist summer air which can damage both roof structure and shingles. Roof vents also reduce cooling costs by reducing the temperature of the attic. In winter, they help to keep attics dry. This reduces the risk of water backing up under shingles, which can cause damage to the shingles, insulation, and the roof structure. The most common type of roof vent is the ridge roof vent. This runs along the ridge of the roof, allowing warm rising air to escape.
Power vents may be fixed into the roof, or into the vertical end gable wall. They may be powered from mains electricity or from solar panels integrated in the vent. Static vents take the form of roof louvers, wall louvers, or non-electric wind turbines. These use the wind to draw air out of the building using the Venturi effect.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
This is a complex matter, on which we would recommend taking professional advice. The case for installing vents into attics is strong, but it needs to be done properly.
Good roof ventilation into attics is important in both summer and winter. In summer it can prevent very high temperatures (of as much as 150 degrees Fahrenheit) building up in attics; this can radiate very uncomfortable heat into the rooms below. In winter, good roof ventilation will prevent warm air from outside the house mixing with cold air in the attic; this mixing can produce condensation and damp, damaging insulation and roofing materials. Damage to roofing materials can include rotting of framing, curling of roof shingles, peeling of exterior paint, and damage to interior ceilings and walls. The warranties on many of these materials will become void if proper roof ventilation has not been provided.
The key considerations in choosing vents are the number and size to be provided. This is a technical matter, on which professional advice is needed. You also need to consider whether the vents should be fan assisted, or should rely only on natural air flow. In winter, the warmer air in the attic will tend to rise naturally through the vents into the colder air outside. However in summer there is no natural effect of this kind, if you are concerned about over-heating in summer fan-assisted roof vents should be considered. These can be powered either by mains electricity or by photovoltaic panels built into the vent.
A final consideration is appearance. In residential properties it is important to make the vents as unobtrusive as possible, preferably fitting them on rear rather than front roof slopes, and choosing colors which will blend with the roofing materials.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
Active Ventilation Products. Active Ventilation Products is based in Newburgh, New York. Since 2006 it has operated from a 63,000 sq ft building which allows for high volume production. It manufactures exhaust and intake ventilators, powered by wind or solar energy, under the Aura brand name. Aura vents are designed to produce a continuous exhaust to prevent condensation and the build up of heat in attic spaces. They are active ventilators, operating like a turbine, but without moving parts. Separate sets of slotted vanes create a circular movement of air within the vent. The Venturi effect creates a vacuum, which draws air out of the building. The Active Ventilation Products website contains guidance articles. Topics include: When Mold Takes Hold, Ed McMahon & Wife Flee $4m Mansion with Deadly Mold, and How Many Solar Fans do you Need?
Air Vent. Air Vent Inc, based in Dallas, Texas, manufactures a full range of roof vents. The Air Vent website is divided into Homeowner and Professional sections. Its roof vents are presented in the following categories: Attic Exhaust Vents, Attic Intake Vents, Foundation Vents, and Whole House Fans. Its Attic Exhaust Vents are of three types: Ridge Vents, Power Vents, and Static Vents. The Power Vents are available for fitting to the roof or vertical gable end. They may be powered by mains electricity or by solar panel. Static vents include roof louvers, wall louvers, and non-electric wind turbines. The latter require wind speeds of at least 5 mph. The Air Vent website contains more than 20 articles on air vents. Topics include: Attic Ventilation Inspection Form, Ridge Vents in High Seismic Regions, Static Roof Vents Installation Instructions, Vented vs Sealed Crawlspaces, Ice Dams, Hip Roofs, and Sizing and Selection of Whole House Fans.
Duraflow. Duraflow roofing vents are manufactured by Canplas, based in Denver, Colorado. The Duraflow range includes: Ridge Vents, Roofing Vents, Roofing Exhausts, and Roof Flashing. Ridge vents are available in 4 ft sections with latch connectors, and are made from injection-molded polypropylene modified for impact and UV resistance. The have a code regulated insect grill. General purpose vents are designed to be fitted into the surface of flat or sloping roofs. They may be square or circular in shape, made from brown or black polypropylene. The Duraflow website contains a briefing article about ventilation in both summer and winter. The article explains that poor ventilation through lack of vents can cause a range of problems including: damp ineffective insulation, curling and damage to roofing shingles, rotting of framing and ceilings, and peeling of exterior paint.
Solar Attic Fan Source. SolarAtticFanSource.com is a specialist online retailer of solar powered roof vents. The Solar Attic Fan Source website is published by River Town Tech LLC, based in Grants Pass, Oregon. The product range of is organised into two main categories: Roof Mounted Solar Attic Fans and Gable & Wall Solar Attic Fans. The aim of the solar attic fans is to remove the hot air from the attic, thus minimizing the transfer of heat into the home. The less attic heat that is transferred into the house, the less power will be needed for air conditioning, saving energy and cost. Solar Attic Fans can be installed into homes that already have ridge vents, but in those cases the Solar Attic Fans should be placed lower than normal from the ridge line of the roof in order to balance the air flow through the attic.
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