One of the more overlooked components of a home is attic ventilation, which is usually connected in some form or fashion with the roof. Often, the ventilation requires a lower vent, the intake, which is usually in the soffit, and a vent that is higher on the roof. Two of the more common roof vent systems are continuous ridge vents, or simply ridge vents, and box vents. This blog defines the box vent system, describes how it functions, as well as recommends when to choose it over other systems.
The box vent earned its name by simply looking like a small box on the roof. It can be various colors, but it is usually black or gray to make it less distinctive. Box vents are placed over a hole cut into the roof, and while high on the roof, they are rarely placed near the ridge or peak. They are static vents, which means unmoving or non-mechanical, and while effective, they are less efficient than ridge vents as they rely heavily on natural air flow and wind.
Utilizing a soffit vent system to pull air into the attic, the box vent allows the warmed air to escape. Depending on the attic’s square footage, many box vents may be required to work well, however. For very large attic spaces, several box vents may be lined up along a roof. Additionally, for roofs with multiple surface areas, box vents may need to be placed at multiple locations around the roof. Although this certainly works to remove hot air, it may also make the roof not as visually appealing.
Box vents can be used on nearly any shingled roof, but those with lower pitches might be the best option as the need for decent air flow to push the air up and out of the attic can be hindered with higher pitches. That stated, box vents work extremely well and tend to be very reasonably priced as compared to ridge or electric vents.