Types of attic vents include gable vents, ridge line vents, soffit vents and turbine vents. Some vents, such as turbines, are powered by the wind, while others use attic fans to improve air flow. Solar attic fans, mounted on the roof and powered by the sun, are also available.
Gables are the triangles found on either end of a peaked roof. Gable vents fit on the very top of these triangles. These vents are ineffective when used alone. Attic fans are sometimes installed over gable vents to improve air circulation.
Roof line vents, or ridge vents, are installed at the roof peak in place of ridge shingles. They are placed at a slightly downward angle from the center of the roof to the roof edges to prevent water from entering the attic. These are most effective when used with soffit vents.
Soffit vents are installed along the perimeter of the roof, under the eaves. They pull cool air into the attic, pushing the hot air towards the top and out of the ridge line vent. Floor attic fans, usually placed in the center of the attic, improve the process.
Turbine vents are round and have flanges that catch the wind. The movement creates suction, pulling hot air out of the attic. These are most effective in windy areas and are usually backed up by another type of venting system. Turbine vents are usually made of polished steel and have an industrial look.