Attics can be vented using gable vents, roof line vents, turbines, fan ventilators or a combination of ridge line and intake vents along the soffit, which is the underside of the eaves. The type of ventilation needed depends on the type of roof as well as the local climate.
Gables are the triangular sections found on either end of a peaked roof. Gable vents are usually installed just below the peak. This type of vent is typically found in older homes and is not particularly efficient. The air only circulates on at the ends of the attic. Supplemental vents are usually needed.
Roof line vents are placed near the peak of the roof. Some models have through-and-through openings, while others have one end slightly raised. They are made of various materials and colors to match different style roofs. Red tile vents are made for Spanish-style roofs, while slate vents match natural stone roofs.
Turbines are made of sheet metal and are more industrial looking. They spin in the wind, drawing the hot air out of the attic. The drawback is that nothing happens if the wind is not blowing. Fan-driven ventilators are efficient, but they do add to energy bills.
The ridge line and soffit intake vents are considered the most effective. The ridge line runs along the top of the roof, and a ventilation shaft runs inside the length of the ridge line. The soffit vents are spaced regularly around the roof's perimeter, pulling in cool air and forcing the hot air out.