Ridge Vents vs. Turtle Vents: Which Ventilation System is Right for Me?

By Dymon Brady

One of the most effective things you can do to safeguard the integrity of your roof and save energy in your home is install proper attic ventilation. Ventilation works because it keeps attics close to the same temperature as the outside air.

We have talked about why attic ventilation is important in the past. You can read more about it in our post: Saving Money Through Attic Ventilation.

You may know perfectly well how important ventilation is! But, unfortunately, ventilation problems are another one of those subjects that offer hundred different solutions. So how do you know which ventilation systems are even effective? Out of those, which ones are preferable?

Brady Roofing recommends installing soffit or drip intake vents. They are located at the bottom of the roof, by the eave. These are pretty easy to understand, basically if you have soffit and gutters, soffit vents are right for you. If you don’t, a drip edge vent will work perfectly.

The exhaust vents we install are ridge vents and turtle vents. This may be a more difficult decision to make. That is why I wanted to provide a comparison here for you.

Turtle Vents

Turtle Vents

Turtle vents, also known as louvers, are box-like vents that are installed as close to the ridge as possible. As air comes in through the soffit vents, the warmest air will rise up to the ridge. That is why it is important to have these vents installed as close to the ridge as possible.

Turtle vents must be spaced evenly throughout your roof to be effective, because they are not a continuous vent. Having them spaced evenly apart helps to avoid pockets of hot air and moisture.

Here are some additional pros and cons of turtle vents:

– Relatively inexpensive to install
– Easy to install
– Easy to implement in old homes or buildings that already have static vents.

– Not as efficient as ridge vents
– May be aesthetically unappealing
– More susceptible to developing leaks if not installed correctly

Ridge Vents

Ridge Vents

Actually, when using ridge vents, it is recommended to have 1 square foot of ventilation along the ridge for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. When using turtle vents, the recommendation changes to 1 square foot per every 150 feet! So you can see how you could end up using a lot of vents to cover the ventilation needs.

Ridge vents are our personal preference. They are virtually unnoticeable and may even add a touch of beauty to the roof’s ridge. But more importantly, ridge vents are more effective. This is because they are a continuous vent along the top of the roof’s ridge, releasing the hottest air in the attic with a vacuum-like effect.

Additional ridge vent pros and cons:

– Allow a continuous flow of air.
– Reduces risk for ice dams and trapped moisture.
– More attractive.
– Dependable, will not leak easily.

– More expensive.
– May not work with some roof configurations.

Obviously, unless you have a unique situation, we will recommend that you install ridge vents on your home for the best results!

If you have any questions about your attic’s ventilation system, or would like to request a free estimate, contact us today at (801)487-5151.

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