Which Way to Face Soffit Eave Vents?

What direction should the fins face on soffit vents – toward or away from the house? -Don

Hi Don,

Soffit vents are installed under the overhang in the eaves (known as the soffit) to allow cool, outside air in the attic to reduce the temperature. Since warm air rises, outside air is drawn in the soffit vents – and exits near the peak of the roof through ridge, gable, or roof vents – to provide natural air circulation through the attic.

It’s best to install soffit vents with the open part of the louver facing in toward the house to keep windblown debris out of the attic and prevent water from coming in when the eaves are cleaned with a garden hose or pressure washer. In addition, facing the vent fins in provides a more attractive exterior appearance for your house, since you can’t see into the attic from outside.

Because most attic ventilation is passive and low volume, you’re not hindering air movement by facing the fins toward the house. If your attic uses a power vent to help cool the attic, it will work fine with the fins facing in as well.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

Further Information

9 COMMENTS

  1. We built our house around an old barn silo which encloses our foyer. We have a severe leaking ceiling during SOME rainstorms from the ceiling on the second floor where the silo meets the front face of the house. Whether it leaks or not seems to depend on the direction of the wind and is usually during a very windy storm. We have had all stone work repaired, have a fairly new roof and have had 3 roofing companies out to look at the problem. They see no roofing problem that would promote leaking. The soffit is vented along the full length of the roof. Is it possible that during a rain storm that strong winds from a certain direction could “wrap around” the silo and suck rain up into the attic? We are thinking of replacing 6 feet or so of the soffit adjacent to the silo with unvented soffit. I would appreciate hearing your comments. Thank you. Karlyn

  2. I HAVE VYNEL SOFFTETS NOW THAT SOME HAVE VENT HOLES IN THEM I HAD A NEW ROOF DONE LAST YEAR AND THEY SAID IT NEEDS MORE VENTALTION HOW AND WHAT KIND OF VENTS DO I NEED TO INSTALL IN THE VYNEL SOFETTS THAT IS THERE NOW

  3. I have a louvred wooden vent in the front wall of my attic, do I need soffit vents? The roofing company covered the vents of the wall above a lower roof on either side of the chimney at the rear of the house when they replaced the flat roof over a deck. Said I didn’t need vents as it is a summer residence. Do I need soffit vents or not? Would appreciate comments and advice.

  4. I am looking for air vents for eaves on the roof of my home.

    At the moment I have square wooden ones, which are beginning to dry rot and the nails are rusting.

    I am looking for durable plastic eaves with netting attached to prevent, not only bats, but other small insects from getting in.

    Your assistance in this matter would be appreciated.

    Thank you and best wishes for 2018:

    Eileen

    • Hi, Gus,
      Danny says, “The first thing you need to check is to make sure all bath and kitchen exhaust fans are routed all the way to the outside and not stopping just in the attic. Let us know how it goes!”

  5. i have the old soffit (solid) the whole length of the house,Attic is roughly 1100 square,the house is 40′ long and the eve or soffit is roughly 2 feet wide(over hang) now i would like to use the vinyl soffit ,so how much of the vented should i use and how much of the solid ,on the vented soffit i would like to use the center vented panel if possible
    Thank You
    Looking forward to your reply

  6. Hi, we LOVE the show. We have a boring Midwest tri-level home and are about to paint the exterior. We are experimenting with different color tricks to add some architectural interest. One of the upgrades I’m looking at is adding wood plank paneling to the underside of the eaves to match what’s already on the porch. I have identified a paneling product rating for exterior that we can cut into strips to fit. My question: should the planks run the long way, parallel to the house, or the short way, perpendicular to the house? Thanks in advance for your opinion.

    • Hi, Shari,
      This one is mostly a matter of personal preference. However, if you run the planks parallel to the house you’ll need to identify where all of the soffit supports are located so you can nail the planks every 16 to 24 inches.
      If they run perpendicular to the house, they can be nailed to the soffit support along the house wall and under support for the fascia board.
      Good luck!

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