Insulation is a crucial component of any home. Without proper insulation, the house cannot efficiently stay climate-controlled. However, all insulation needs ventilation to work effectively. This article goes over home insulation and ventilation and how they work together.
How Home Insulation and Ventilation Work Together
Insulation needs to be able to “breathe” to prevent moisture from collecting. All attics need insulation, but they also need to be well-ventilated. In the winter, attics that are not well-ventilated may cause ice dams. Without ventilation, the roof becomes too warm which causes snow to melt off the roof and then re-freeze in the gutters. This is just one of the issues that poor ventilation can cause.
Types of Roof Vents
There are four ways that an attic can be ventilated naturally. These are though vertical gable end vents, horizontal soffit vents, ridge vents, and box vents. It is common for building codes to require 1 square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of attic space. In some cases, you may need an attic fan to ventilate air outdoors.
Home Insulation and Ventilation in the Walls
It is important for insulation behind drywall to be ventilated, just like attic insulation. Windows have vents that naturally allow air through. Homes also need a vapor barrier to keep moisture out.
Ventilation in the Crawlspace or Basement
Crawlspaces and basements need to have insulation below the home’s floor. For crawlspaces, foundation vent openings let airflow through to ventilate the insulation. In basements, ventilation from box fans or a small window AC unit may be sufficient if there are windows. For some basements, exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors may be necessary. You can set up a sensor that turns the fan on when the humidity hits a certain level.