Soffit & Energy Efficiency: Everything You Need To Know
Are you aware that a crucial part of your roof, the soffits, are vital to establishing energy efficiency throughout your home? In this article, we’ll take a look everything you need to know about about soffits and energy efficiency.
What Role Do Soffits Play in an Energy Efficient Home?
With estimates that show that nearly 70 percent of homes don’t meet basic ventilation requirements, ensuring that your soffits are properly installed and maintained is vital to not becoming a part of this statistic.
Soffits perform a vital function in allowing air to enter and escape your home, which prevents superheating air that can ruin the effectiveness of roofing shingles over time—creating ice dams and leaks that can hemorrhage heat. Further, without properly installed soffits, build up of moisture can cause mold and rot to erode the interior of your home, as well as attract pests. It’s for these reasons that the U.S. Department of Energy recommends vented soffits to ensure maximum energy efficiency. Just to point out how effective soffits and other measures can be, proper ventilation can reduce the temperature in your attic by 50 degrees.
Professional Organizations Weigh in on the Effectiveness of Soffits
Other professional organizations have joined in this trend for properly installed soffits. For instance, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends the 1/150 Rule, where the minimum area of ventilation openings should be 1/150 fraction of the space ventilated. The goal of this is to ensure that the circulation of air through the attic enables a natural convection of hot air to be replaced with colder air to make a balanced attic—and ultimately, a more energy efficient home.
By professional estimates, soffits can help save homeowners a number of expenses over the course of a mortgage. For instance, properly vented homes can save $4,300 over the course of a 15-year mortgage, not including the replacement of shingles ($4,680), roof deck ($1,200), insulation ($5,505), and mold remediators ($3,000) according to statistics compiled by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.
Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the benefits of soffits helps offset indoor pollution and poor air quality, diluting the air and helping to reduce moisture levels that lead to mold growth. According to the EPA’s statistics, dampness and mold in homes accounts for over 20 percent of current asthma cases in the United States—an alarming but preventable figure.
As you can see, soffits are very important to the overall energy efficiency of a home, as well as preventing future expenses due to moisture and mold. It’s critical that soffit is well maintained and functioning to get the most bang for your buck in the long run.
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