The position of your vent in the home's gable can be just as important as how much ventilation you need. Gable vents are more than jewelry for your home. Just as you may choose a specific necklace or watch for the outfit you are wearing that day, your home will be wearing a gable vent for many years and should look good but also be functional to it's best beneficial performance.
The triangle gable vent is the most popular for the best exhaust vent for the most hot air as heat rises. But is the triangle gable vent right for your attic?
If the attic is clear open space and the overhangs are properly vented with cornice vents to intake the cooler air, then the triangle gable vent will expel the most hot air.
If you are using a ridge vent and the overhangs are not vented, then you may wish to install a square or rectangle gable vent at the attic floor area. This is a quick way to add an air intake to the gable since a ridge vent will not work properly if there is no cooler air to push the hot air out.
More decorative gable vents like octagon and round gable vents are usually installed lower in the gable than they actually need to be allowing the hottest air to sit and swirl at the attic peak. Keeping the decor vents within a foot of the gable peak can be more beneficial if there is room to do so.
If you want to check if you have proper air flow, set a thermometer in your attic when the temperature outside is over 90 degrees. The temperature should never reach 130 degrees even if the outside temp is 100 degrees. Some attics may require a fan to influence the natural air flow and coerce it to exit the intended direction and exit.
Also check to see if the cornice vents have been covered by insulation either blown or carried by critters.
Transitioning a gable to be Eco-friendly can be expensive up front, but the noticeable drop in utility use can quickly compensate for the upfront cost just like installing new vinyl windows or LED light bulbs. Small changes can make a huge impact in how your home reacts to the day to day rigors of weather and drastic climate changes.
If you are still not sure of the best position for your louvered gable vent or decor vent, call a local contractor with attic vent knowledge. A lot of contractors will give a fair assessment of your home's situation and even a free estimate to fix any issues for you. We do suggest at least 3 estimates to get a better feel for the field and choose the best qualified.