roof vent

What Are Roof Vents?

You probably think of the shingles, gutters, and a chimney when you think about your roof. But have you ever thought about your roof vents? While it seems like a relatively minor part of your roof, roof vents are essential to every single home. This blog will go over exactly what roof vents are, why they’re important, and the most popular types of roof vents. 

What Are Roof Vents?

Roof vents are systems that help air to move through the attic. There are many different vent types and roof ventilation styles. The best way to find out the right choice for your specific roof is by speaking to a roofing professional. 


Roof vents either help intake air or act as an exhaust to let stale air out. Some houses only have exhaust vents due to the design, but it’s better to have both. So why exactly is this important, and how does it affect your roof overall? 

Why Is Roof Ventilation Important?

Roof ventilation is important for several reasons. First, the vents will help prevent roofing damage and save you money on your energy bill. Proper roof ventilation will also prevent extra moisture in your attic space, discouraging mould.

Improper or poor ventilation can also lead to issues such as ice dams, which happen in the winter when parts of your roof are hotter than others. Additionally, poor ventilation can make your HVAC systems work way harder than they need to cool your upper floors in the summer.

Common Types Of Roof Vents

When you’re considering roof vents, there are a couple of options. These are some of the most common types of roof vents, but ultimately what type of roof vent you get depends on the overall architecture of your home. 

Ridge Vents

Ridge vents are the standard type of roof vent that you’ll see on newer homes. It’s installed right along the very peak of the rooftop. A ridge vent allows hot air in the attic to escape through the highest point of your house. It also runs along the entire length of your roof, so it has enough surface area to expel any hot air. 


Typically, ridge vents are paired with an intake system like a soffit vent – which we will discuss further down – to offer the best possible vertical ventilation. 

roof vent

Box Vents

Box vents, also sometimes called Louver vents, sit over holes cut in your roof and are usually installed in bunches. You’ll need more than a couple of box vents to ventilate your entire roof properly. Typically roofers use a box vent for complicated rooflines involving several different sections. Box vents are an excellent choice for a hipped roof

Roof Turbines

A roof turbine, sometimes called whirlybird ventilation, is a device with aluminum blades inside a covering that uses wind from the outside to pull air out of your attic. They only work on days with wind, making them a poor choice if you live in an area that doesn’t get much wind. While roof turbines aren’t the most efficient choice for ventilating your roof, they don’t require electricity, and there’s little to no maintenance. 

Intake Ventilation

As we mentioned before, there are two types of roof vents, intakes and exhaust. Intake ventilation brings fresh air into your home. The cold air can also better help expel the old hot air. In Alberta, the most common type of intake ventilation you’ll see is soffit vents.

Soffit Vents

Soffits are installed on your house’s eaves, right under your roofline. You can see the soffit on your home by walking underneath it and looking straight up. While there are many different types of soffit, most are designed with holes to allow cool air to flow into the attic of your home. The holes are small, so you don’t have to worry about pests making a home in your roof. 


The most popular type of soffit vent is a continuous soffit vent. This will run along the entire perimeter of your home, and continuous soffit vents are usually made of vinyl. They offer many different customizable options, such as colour, making matching them to your house’s design simple. 

What's The Right Roof Vent For My Home?

We’ve gone over some of the popular choices for roof vent. But what’s the right choice is for your home? Ultimately it’ll depend on the design of your house. Your home builder or roofing contractor will be able to give you advice on which is the best choice for the shape of your roof and house, 


Are you wondering if your roof has the right exhaust and intake vents? Give our professional roofing team a call, and we’ll give you a free consult on your roofing service.