vent flashing

Posted On: April 15, 2022

11 Of The Most Common Types Of Roof Vents (Pros & Cons)

The types of roof vents you choose to install on your home can have a dramatic effect on the ventilation and overall performance of your roofing system.

Without proper roof ventilation, you can face a lot of issues. Your roof vents help with:

  • Preventing moisture build-up in the attic
  • Preventing ice dams and improving snowmelt
  • Keeps your attic from smelling musty
  • Protects your plumbing systems
  • Keeps moisture out of your kitchen and bathroom
  • Prevents wood rot
  • Prolongs the lifespan of your roof

But roofing vents are not one-size-fits-all: there are many different types, styles, and functions of roof vents. Today we’ll go through some of the most popular options, plus their pros and cons so you can ensure you choose the best ones for your home’s needs.

The Most Popular Types of Roof Vents (And Their Benefits)

There are many types of roof vents, and each has its own set of pros and cons. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of roof vents and how they help your roof function at its best.

First, we’ll go over common exhaust vents which allow the release of air from your home—then we’ll talk about intake vents that bring airflow into your home. Both are vital for your roof to function properly.

Ridge Vents

The most common type of exhaust vent for your roof is a ridge vent. These may be installed by placing a few different box vents near the ridge, but the most efficient ridge vent is installed right along your roof’s ridge. This ensures a consistent flow of air and keeps your attic nice and dry.


  • Consistent airflow
  • The most efficient vent system
  • Blends in with your ridge for a seamless look


  • Can be difficult to install
  • If any part of your roof’s ridge is damaged, it could compromise your vent system

types of roof vents: ridge vent

Off Ridge Vents

Off ridge vents are actually more similar to box vents in that they simply sit among your shingles rather than the ridge itself. However, they look similar and function similarly to a classic ridge vent.

Off ridge vents are not nearly as popular as other exhaust vent types, particularly because they are smaller and not as efficient. They do work well for roofs that don’t have a long ridgeline and want something more aesthetically pleasing than a box vent.


  • Easy to install
  • Can be placed anywhere on your roof


  • Less efficient than other options
  • It may not be as durable
  • Not ideal for areas with a lot of hot air to expel

Box Vents

Box vents are probably what you’re familiar with when you think of what an exhaust vent on a roof looks like. They’re quite common, but not as aesthetically pleasing as the last two types we’ve mentioned.

Box vents are great for getting rid of hot air quickly, but they can be less efficient than other types of vents. They are often installed every few feet, near the ridge but not on it. They can come in many different colors to match your shingles and always have a thicker base with flashing to ensure no leaks.


  • Can be strategically placed where you need them most
  • Can be colored to match your roofing colors
  • Ideal for more complex roof shapes with many valleys and fewer ridges


  • Smaller in size (18 x 18 inches) and can’t as quickly release hot air
  • Susceptible to cracks and damage from hail or high winds

box vent: types of roof vents

Electric-Powered Vents

These hard-wired vents add a boost of ventilation power to your roof. These powered vents don’t need the wind to help pull stale or moist air out of your attic. They can do it consistently or when you need it most such as during the humid summers.

A downfall of these is that they can be powerful enough to pull conditioned or heated air in your home up and out of your home—driving up energy costs. So if you’re considering this option, think about how much power you need or want in your exhaust vents.


  • You can ventilate your attic when you need to
  • Don’t need a windy day to ventilate


  • Can produce more power than needed
  • Can drive energy costs up by pulling out heated or cooled air from your home’s interior
  • Also, drive energy costs up by running off your home’s electricity
  • If it breaks it’s not an immediate fix

Solar Powered Vents

Solar-powered vents are the way of the future. They can require less energy costs (nearly $0) to power them and should essentially be in the ideal position to gather the proper amount of solar energy to run.

They are definitely the most expensive type of roof vents you could probably get, and it can be tough to manage how efficiently they work. Despite their low cost to run vs. the hard-wired types, they share the same issue with being either way too powerful, or not powerful enough.


  • Energy-efficient
  • Cheaper than hard-wired models


  • Can be too powerful and draw out too much air
  • If they can’t charge, they can’t run

Roof Turbines (Wind Powered)

Roof turbines are one of the most common types of exhaust vents. They rely on the wind to help spin a turbine that will help pull air out of your attic.

The downfall with these is that if there’s no wind, then they can’t function. Additionally, if there’s too much wind, they can sometimes break or come loose by spinning far too quickly.


  • They’re common and easy to find
  • Help reduce moisture and heat in your attic


  • Need wind to function
  • Too much wind can break or tear them off your roof

Cupola Vents

Cupola vents are a great option if you’re wanting to add some curb appeal to your home. They often come in many different shapes and sizes and can be a real eye-catcher on top of your home.

The downfall with these is that they can be expensive, starting at around $1,000. Additionally, they require more maintenance than other types of vents and can be difficult to install.


  • Offer great curb appeal
  • Can increase the value of your home


  • Expensive
  • Require more maintenance than other types of vents
  • Difficult to install
  • Birds may often make nests in them, blocking airflow

brick house with cupola roof vent

What About Intake Vents? 4 Types That Ensure Proper Air Flow

Pulling out the air of your attic via an exhaust vent is one thing, but intake vents are also vital to 1) create that airflow and 2) bring in fresh air after the stale air is taken out. Intake vents include:

  • soffit vents
  • gable vents
  • fascia vents
  • drip edge vents

How to Get the Right Roofing Vents Installed On Your Home

A professional roofer is your best option for getting the right kind of vents and the proper installation you need to prolong and enhance the life of your roof. A good roofer can choose the right vent with the right colors and installation techniques. Northface Construction can make sure it gets done right.

If you’re experiencing issues with excessive moisture in your attic, or higher than usual energy bills, there could be an issue with your roofing vents! Call Northface Construction today to ensure your roof is properly ventilated once and for all.


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