Jacksonville Roofing: Article About Solar Powered Attic Fans
Warm air rises, and cool air sinks. Using this fundamental scientific principal to greatest advantage in warm Florida climates, air conditioning ductwork installed in ceilings means that gravity performs some of the work of cooling interior spaces. Jacksonville roofing companies encounter this building technique all the time and know how to use roofing materials that make the most of it.
Exposed ductwork in attics and high temperatures in Florida can reduce the efficiency of air conditioning systems when hot air contacts metal ducts and heats air cooled with valuable energy.
One technique that limits energy loss caused by hot attic air contacting metal ventilation ducts is the use of light colored roofing materials. The science behind this is that light colors do not absorb heat as much as dark colors. Any heat that is absorbed by light colored roofs goes away more quickly once the sun goes down. Light colored roofing materials alone can reduce attic air temperature significantly.
Another approach is to provide a way for heated attic air to escape. Roofing companies use passive and active ventilators to accomplish this during both new construction and roof replacement projects.
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Passive vents on the peaks of roofs allow hot air to escape when used with eave vents that draw air in. Powered fans that are thermostatically controlled exhaust large volumes of air during the hottest part of the day and then turn off during the evenings and nights. These types of fans, traditionally powered by alternating current, now often use solar power. Along with assisting cooling system efficiency, good ventilation impedes humidity from building up inside attics. Excess humidity causes roofing materials to wear out faster, stain ceilings and even allow mold to develop. The proper ratio of ventilation capacity to roof area is a critical calculation that a professional roofing contractor supplies.
These two techniques offer a considerable reduction of the amount of energy consumed to cool the occupied areas of a structure. The savings last for a long time, too. Modern roofing materials, along with passive and active ventilation systems, represent an investment that will easily provide returns in the form of energy savings for 20 years or longer. These savings will multiply as energy costs inevitably increase.
When planning a new house or undertaking a remodeling project, the perfect opportunity presents itself to take the simple steps of using light colored roofing materials and solar powered attic fans to increase personal comfort and, at the same time, reduce the amount of money spent on energy.