Proper attic ventilation and insulation can make a huge difference in the amount of energy you use, and consequently, in the amount of money that you spend on your home heating and cooling. Fixing your attic insulation and ventilation can also lead to increased comfort by: reducing noise, improving air quality, lowering risks of ice damming in the winter, and providing better control over home humidity levels. So, how are attic ventilation and insulation related and why are they necessary?


Why do I need ventilation AND insulation in my attic?

It may seem counterintuitive to insulate your attic to keep your home warm and then allow cold air from outside to enter through attic vents. According to EnergyStar, this is all part of a carefully orchestrated system that keeps your home comfortable and prevents damages.  

In the winter months, airflow from outside keeps your attic cold enough to prevent ice damming. Ice damming occurs if the attic is so warm that it melts the snow on the roof, allowing the water to run off and refreeze in the gutters. Ice damming can do a great deal of damage to your roof and gutters, so this airflow is essential. However, you do not want all the cold air coming into the attic to enter your living space. With proper insulation along the attic floor, the attic will stay cool enough to prevent ice damming, and the insulation will keep all of the warm air in the living areas where it is needed.  

During the summer months, airflow is also important. The movement of air from outside helps to get rid of the extremely warm air that is trapped in the attic. This protects your roof and shingles from the heat and moisture that the air contains. Some people have attic fans that they use to help keep things cool and ventilated. Attic fans also work by bringing cooler outdoor air in and getting rid of the hot air. This system works well when it is done properly, but can backfire if the attic is not sealed. If there are gaps and holes that allow air in, the fans will simply suck in the air conditioned air from your house, which causes your HVAC system to have to work longer and harder.

Thus you can see, the relationship between ventilation and insulation can be a bit complicated, but when done correctly, it keeps your home functioning correctly and provides comfort for your family.


What are some signs that you may need to improve attic ventilation and/or insulation?

It can be tricky for the average homeowner to identify attic issues, but if you are experiencing some of the following problems, it would be beneficial to check your attic for air leaks and insulation levels.

  • Temperature differences between rooms
  • Drafty rooms
  • Ice dams forming on the roof
  • High heating and cooling bills


What should I do if I need help with attic ventilation or insulation?

Many things that can improve your attic can be done as DIY projects like adding more insulation, installing vents, and sealing holes and gaps. However, if you want everything to work together in the most efficient way, you might be better off hiring a professional. As the name indicates, an HVAC technician is trained to be able to handle problems involved with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. They understand the complex inner workings of homes and buildings and can improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort levels.

If you are in need of Meridian HVAC services, contact the professionals at Snowflake Air. Your satisfaction is most important, and same-day service is guaranteed. Keeping our customers comfortable is our business!