What is a Roof Turbine? | Advantages and Disadvantages of Roof Turbine

What is a Roof Turbine?

The roof turbine is a ventilation that removes moist air from the roof to prevent wood rot, mildew, and mold from forming. In simple words, turbo vents are exhaust vents that remove humid and hot air from the roof or attic.

roof turbine

The turbine vents are designed in such a way that when the air strikes the turbine vents, they twist and spin. When the air blows, the fins of the turbine open, and the turbine’s twisting motion creates a suction force that pulls warm, humid air out of the roof.

In most cases, turbo vents require little maintenance, but problems cannot be ruled out completely. These vents can leak but don’t always need to be replaced.

As the turbine vent spins, the fins open, helping hot air from inside the attic to escape through the vents. It works like a vacuum cleaner that pulls hot air.

The continuous rotation of the turbine vent prevents heat from accumulating in the room’s attic. This allows you to sustain a comfortable temperature in your room without consuming money on a home cooling system like an air conditioner.

Why Are Roof Turbine Vents Leaking?

The following are the causes of the roof turbine vents leaking:

1) Rust or Obstructions

Even the force of a very slow wind has the ability to turn the turbine vent. When the turbine vent rotates, the wind blowing through the vents has the ability to remove rainwater from the channels between the fins.

If your turbine vents are rusty, they can become stuck; due to that, they will not rotate properly, and this may cause water leakage. Also, there may be some obstruction inside the vents that stops the efficient rotation of the vents.  Check vents, remove obstacles, and replace the rusted vent.

2) Loose Connections

When the air blows at high speed, the loose turbine vents can detach from the standpipe and allow water to penetrate. The top part of turbo vents is usually attached to the lower standpipe section with a friction fit. If the flanges that connect the pipes to the roof sheathing are not properly fastened, this may also cause water penetration.  

Therefore, check your vents and ensure that the top portion is steadily attached to the standpipe. If the drainpipe is loose against the ceiling, attach it with stainless steel screws or ceiling nails.

3) Unsealed Joints and Fasteners

Different points of the turbine vents are fastened to stop the water leakage.  Silicone caulk or roofing cement is used to seal the vertical chimney joint, the nail head, the bead connecting the bottom and top portions, and the base of the vent. With time, these seals may weaken, and you will need to reapply them.

4) Improper Flashing

If the roof turbine vent works efficiently, spins efficiently, and has no missing fins, the leak may occur near the vent bottom portion. The turbine vents usually contain an integral base flashing. The sheet metal is used to construct the base flashing. It slides under the shingles just above the vent.

When the flash damages or bends, the rainwater may enter from below. Replace the raised part of the flashing and use roofing caulk or cement to seal all fasteners and edges. The flashing corrosion may generate holes that allow water to penetrate.  In such a situation, replace the whole vent.

Pros and Cons of Turbine Roof Vents

Pros of Turbine Roof Vents

The pros of turbine roof vents are explained below:

1) Cheap and Easy Installation

The roof turbine vents have easy installation than ridge vents.  This turbine also has a low and affordable installation cost. Since the roof turbine vents don’t have electrical parts because the wind drives the turbine vents directly.

2) Highly Efficient          

When the air blows slowly, the turbine still works efficiently and performs a great job of pulling hot air out of your building’s attic. However, when the wind blows, the turbine vents become a strong hot air vacuum, sucking hot air into the vents as efficiently as any other alternative.

3) Small Installation Space

The turbine roof vents have a smaller size than other roof vents. Therefore, they require very small space for installation. For example, a ridge vent requires the entire length of the roof for efficient working. However, roof vents can cover the same area with multiple well-placed vents.

4) Best suitable for Any Property Size

These vents are ideal for property of any size. Therefore, this type of roof vent does not require a maximum or minimum roof size for its efficient working. Ridge vents may not be appropriate for small spaces.

The turbo roof vents have the ability to work efficiently on both large and small roofs. You can easily handle the turbo roof vents by adding fans.

5) Low Operational Cost

One of the main advantages of turbo roof vents is that they have easy installation and are inexpensive to deploy around the property. They have low costs because they are powered by air instead of electricity. Therefore, you don’t need to pay extra electricity bills. So, it’s good to have proper roof ventilation 24/7 without having to worry about utility bills.

Cons of Turbine Roof Vents

The major cons of turbine roof vents are given below:

1)  Condition Dependent

These roof vents rely heavily on wind speed and are only useful in areas where strong winds can blow. The main disadvantage of this factor is the unreliability of the wind. That means if you live in an area with little wind, then the vents will not work efficiently.

2) Vents aren’t Discrete

The roof vents are not as inconspicuous as one would like them. That’s not a big deal for most owners, but it can be inconvenient, especially if you live somewhere where you don’t want to be seen. These vents aren’t made of reflective material. Therefore, they’re not inconspicuous, sticking right out of the ceiling.

3) Require Regular Maintenance

These roof vents don’t have a high maintenance cost. However, these vents need regular maintenance for efficient working. Like other equipment with moving parts, roof vents also have moving parts that wear out and require seasonal maintenance.

The faster the vent wears out, the higher the maintenance cost. Therefore, if you don’t maintain vents for a long time and continuously ignore them, the turbine will start to squeak and groan noises.

FAQ Section

Why do you need roof turbines?

In the winter season, the hot air spreads into your roof. Without proper ventilation, the extra moisture in the heated air will cause wood rot, mildew, mold, and exterior problems like ice dams.

A roof turbine has the ability to expel roof humidity and lessen the risk of expensive roof damage. In the summer season, the turbine removes the warm air from the roof and helps to cool the room temperature.

Do roof turbines require maintenance?

Some types of turbines contain ball bearings that require proper lubrication for efficient working. When purchasing a roof turbine, look for a model with sealed, self-lubricating bearings. Some turbine vents may be damaged due to rust. The aluminum model has a high ability to resist rust.

Do roof turbines help cool house?

Yes, a roof turbine helps to cool your house. It is one of the most effective methods to cool your house without electricity.

Can rain get in roof turbines?

No, rain can’t enter into the roof turbine. It is designed in such a way that water or rain water can’t enter the turbine.

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