Baffles – An Attics’ Money Saving Device

Are attics supposed to be hot? What about the air movement? Mold in your attics? All three questions have one thing in common. The answer to all three is to improve the ventilation in the attic. Proper installation of baffles in the attic can improve ventilation, increase air movement and eliminate or greatly reduce the chances of mold in your area above the top floor.

Baffles are inserts that improve the air flow from the soffits, or lower vents. Sometimes called overhang vents. They are constructed of plastic, a Styrofoam type of material or cardboard. The design of the baffle can be in a “U” shape with “ears” or square. Square ones are normally constructed of cardboard.

How do they work? As stated earlier, baffles are inserted at the soffits vent to increase air movement from the bottom of the attic to the venting system at the top of the roof. Baffles can also save money in the long run by:

• Decreasing utility bills.

• Extend the life cycle of your roof

• Reduce the chances of ice damming or mold formation.

• Keep the area below the attic in a more comfortable temperature.

Installation of baffles is relatively cheap and can be handled by the homeowner. It is rather labor intensive, plus you must use all safety precautions when installing these. Safety measures include long sleeve shirts, long pants, hard hat, eye protection, and a respiratory mask. Utilizing some sort of board system to use for flooring is also a good idea. You don’t want to put your foot through the ceiling below. I suggest this be done in the early spring or mid to late fall as it does get pretty warm in the attic. Even during that time frame, hydrate often!

On installation, the first thing you need to do, after getting all of your supplies in the attic, is to bring back the insulation above the soffits vent about six inches. Insert the baffle as far down as it goes, push the insulation against the baffle, then tack the top of the baffle to the roof decking. Use staples not nails. Insert the baffles at each section between rafters or at a minimum at every other section. Whether the baffle is constructed of cardboard, Styrofoam or plastic, they all contribute to a better ventilated attic.

The use of baffles can and does save the homeowner money over the long haul. Sure, installation can be a bit tedious, but you will be glad you spent the weekend or a couple of days in the attic with the payback in costs. While you may feel the cost of the baffle is a bit more than you thought, utilizing baffles will pay themselves back multiple times.