What's the Best Way to Ventilate an Attic in Arizona?

Attic Ventilation Ventilating an attic in Arizona is no joke. Without proper ventilation, your attic can reach 160°F or more during summer.

This crazy heat can make you uncomfortable, increase energy bills, and damage your roof - all while possibly voiding your roof's warranty.

So what’s the best way to ventilate an attic in AZ? Let’s go over some of the basics of attic ventilation. Then we can get into the pros and cons of specific ventilation methods

The Basics of Attic Ventilation

Here’s the key to proper attic ventilation: create continuous air circulation throughout the attic space while preventing moisture from entering.

How to do that:

  1. Cooler outside air needs to enter the attic via intakes and then…
  2. Moist, hot air in the attic needs to exit via exhausts.

Think yoga: breathe in, breathe out, relax. Generally speaking, there are two ways to get air in and out of an attic: natural ventilation and active ventilation.

Natural Attic Ventilation

Air enters the attic via eave or soffit vents at the edge of the roof and then exits via the roof’s ridge (the top). This is “natural ventilation” because hot air naturally rises, so it goes up the eaves on its own and exits the ridge on its own.

  • The pro: No extra equipment needed to buy.
  • The con: This ventilation may not be enough to make a huge difference in the temperature of the attic, especially during Arizona’s summer months.

SIDE NOTE/WARNING: Make sure your attic insulation isn’t covering the eave or soffit vents. Otherwise, fresh air can’t enter your attic.

Active Attic Ventilation

Active ventilation uses the same intakes (eave vents) but uses a turbine fan on the roof as the exhaust. The fan actively pulls in air through the eave vents and actively pushes moist, hot air out the attic. This can reduce attic temperature by 40 degrees or so.

The pros:

  • Can possibly lower energy bills
  • Extends the life of your roof

The cons:

  • Costs more because you’re buying extra equipment
  • Can actually increase energy bills if your attic isn’t sealed properly. The fan can draw up the cool air from your home’s living space and pull it to the attic. And that’s no good because your AC would run longer to cool your home.

Assuming your attic is properly sealed (you should get that checked) then active ventilation is the way to go. But the choices don’t stop there. Now you need to know what kind of attic fan to get. We’ll simplify it for you and just tell you what we recommend.

Solar Attic Fans: A Good Choice for Arizona

Why pay to power an attic fan with electricity, when you can power it for free using a resource that Arizona has more of than you can shake a stick at: sunlight.

A solar attic fan does just that; it uses a photovoltaic panel to collect sunlight that powers the fan’s motor and increases air movement in the attic. The increased air circulation provides the pressure needed to force out the hot air from your attic.

We’ve done a lot of research on solar fans and have teamed up with Natural Light Energy Systems® to bring you the best solar fan your money can buy.

Have questions about attic ventilation? Contact us for help.