17 Working Shed Ventilation Ideas: How to Properly Ventilate your Shed
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
If you are using your shed to work on projects or other things, it must have proper ventilation. You must have cooler air coming into your shed no matter the project you are working on. If you just got a new shed, you might wonder why it is necessary to properly ventilate your shed. So we will go into the details of why it's essential and give you some excellent shed ventilation ideas to use.
Why Do I Need Ventilation In My Shed?
If your shed has good ventilation, there will be cool air and proper air movement inside. Effective ventilation prevents excess moisture build-up, which if not tackled, might lead to mildew and mold growth. Your shed must have a good venting system to maintain temperature control, even in the winter months. No one wants excess heat building up in their shed.
If you normally work with chemicals and other combustible liquids in your shed, ensure that fresh air is constantly moving around inside to prevent inhaling harmful toxins. If you have a ventilation system properly installed, you will not be worried about heat build-up or fumes as there will be sufficient clean air flow.
If you live in a cold area or humid region, you must ventilate your shed to prevent stale air from building up and getting trapped.
What Are The Problems Caused By Poor Ventilation?
Yes, there are problems that you could face if you do not ventilate your shed and there is no proper airflow in it. If people are occupying the shed, there is more need for effective air circulation.
Below are some problems that might occur if your storage shed is not well ventilated.
Heat: If there is no extra airflow in your shed, then the heat rises, which could promote mold growth. This could cause some respiratory issues.
Condensation: You could begin to notice that the siding, shed roof, and metal tools start to rust. Condensation also causes wood to rot.
Excessive moisture: When excess moisture builds up in a shed, it could lead to mildew and mould growth. Mould growth could lead to health concerns like headaches and respiratory issues. Mildew can also damage your property.
Chemicals: The fumes from fertilizers, pool chemicals, gasoline, and other products in your shed can be detrimental to your health. Exposure to this dirty air, even in the short term, could lead to skin irritation or respiratory issues. Some chemical mixtures could be explosive.
Stale air: When the air inside your shed is stale, it could cause eye irritation and make any stored items smell. Because the air smells, the shed won't be a comfortable place.
How Much Ventilation Does A Shed Need?
You must ventilate your shed, creating a pleasant environment with a healthy throughflow of air. So the question now is, how much ventilation do you actually need?
A rule of thumb is to ensure that the amount of fresh air is never less than the amount of warm air moving out of the shed. Any excess intake will get exhausted.
Excess air intake could pull the exhausted air back into your shed attic areas. It could also allow rain and snow to ingress, making the roof damp, which leads to rot and mould growth.
Many sheds on the market are smaller than 300 square feet, so you have to ensure that the air space at the ridge cap is less than or equal to the air space in the soffits. You might have to invest in vents if you don't have a ridge cap or an opening in the soffits.
You can easily calculate how much venting you need for your shed by taking the square footage of the attic area floor and dividing it by 2. This will give you the square inches of venting you need.
What Are The Main Types Of Ventilation?
There are many ways you can ventilate your shed. Shed ventilation methods include a wind-powered ventilation system, an active ventilation system, or a passive ventilation system.
Air circulation works like a charm with passive ventilation as it allows the free movement of cooler air, which is pulled inside through vents in the eaves. Then, as it heats up, the hot air rises and moves through the gable vents in the roof. You can add windows to your shed to effectively implement passive ventilation.
This ventilation system is mostly used for a more complex shed structure to help disperse excess heat and for additional airflow. It works by pushing out hot air through the rooftop or drawing in more cool air. You can gain more control of the airflow by using high-powered electric fans.
Wind Powered Ventilation
This involves using a wind-driven roof ventilator to effectively remove heat and moisture from your shed. Since it relies on wind, it has more air circulating than passive vents.
Best Ventilation Ideas To Choose From
Ventilating your shed makes it comfortable as you sit and operate in it. So, these are some of the best ventilation ideas you should consider.
Wall vents are good for passive ventilation. They have different shapes and sizes, come in metal and plastic, and are easily paintable. They also feature louvres with screen backing to prevent bugs from entering.
To install these vents, cut an appropriate shape into the shed siding. Then, use adhesive or screws to attach the outside flange. Finally, caulk the edges. You can use wall vents with gable vents or ridge vents depending on the location. It improves air quality and circulation. You can get these vents for $25 or less if you plan to use them on a small shed.
Easy to install and compatible with all sheds
Can be utilized as exhaust or intake vents
Improves air circulation
You cannot close the vent
It can cause cold drafts
Ridge vents are those covered openings you see on the roof ridge. They consist of a plastic ridge cap or a metal screen that covers the opening while the trusses or rafters are left open at the ridge. You can combine a ridge vent with a soffit vent to effectively release moisture and heat and cool the attic.
You can install the ridge vent by removing the ridge shingles and cutting back the sheathing on both sides of the peak. You should budget about $2 to $10 per linear foot. For a large shed, you can incorporate multiple ridge vents.
Provides ventilation but keeps critters and bugs out
Ideal for new roof or retrofit installations
Can become blocked in heavy snowfalls
Solar Roof Ventilation Fan
This is a device that is mounted close to the ridge. It is made in square and round shapes and in various wattages. It has an adjustable solar panel that powers the fan. This device is not made for a flat roof or wall. Instead, it should be installed on a sloped roof. It removes excess moisture and heat by creating a cyclone-type circulation.
No need for wiring, and installation is easy
Temperature can be controlled with a thermostat
Doesn't have a screen that keeps bugs out
Having one or two opening windows in your shed can help improve airflow, add to the aesthetic, and provide light to easily find things. A window naturally works well with a soffit vent to remove hot moist air and increase airflow to keep the shed cool. It costs around $5 to $50.
A cost-effective way to ventilate your shed
Can be added to new and existing sheds
Could reduce wall storage space
Soffit vents are intake vents you can locate in the lower areas of the roof. Their main job is to exhaust warm air as they increase air intake. The vented soffit pulls in cool air and exhausts the warm air through the turtle vent, gable vent, or ridge vent. Depending on the material, shape, and size, you can expect to pay between $10 and $200.
Very effective for shed or ridge roofs
Ventilates the entire roof
You have to do the entire length of the building
Power Gable Vents
You can give your shed the adequate ventilation it needs with a power gable vent. It often features an adjustable thermostat, which means that it will only work when it needs to. Its job is to improve air circulation in the attic, and you can mount it to the gable end. You should follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper installation. You can get this product for about $50 to $400.
Effectively removes heat
Creates better airflow
Needs a power source to work
Natural ventilation relies on wind power and air movement. It could also rely on temperature differences as cool air falls and hot air rises. You can install the natural vents in different positions in your shed. Ensure you cover them with an aluminum or steel window screen. Also, incorporate a mesh screen to prevent rodents from entering.
Removes odours and humidity 24/7
Eliminates heat in a hot climate
You are not in control of the airflow
Louvres (Turtle Vents)
Turtle vents are used as a form of passive ventilation and are exhaust vents. They pull in cooler air from lower vents and push out the hot air from the attic. You should install a turtle vent at the back and close to the roof ridge to make it less visible. Each one costs around $25.
A cost-effective solution
Easy to install
You need to purchase more than one
Turbines are very good for dealing with condensation using passive ventilation. Turbines also remove fumes from chemicals and prevent the growth of mildew. The turbine extracts the hot air as it rises. Then it is replaced by the fresh air from the lower parts of the shed.
Works well in different seasons
Suitable for all roofs
Can be noisy
This device sits on the peak or ridge of the shed roof. The cupola is a box mounted on a base, which fits the angles of the shed roof. The cupola sides are screened and louvered to allow moisture and heat to escape while keeping critters and bugs out. It also provides extra light into the shed's attic areas.
Provides great ventilation in areas with heavy snowfall
It could draw out too much air
The venting skylight is a type of vent with openings that makes it easy for air to move out. It allows light into your shed and works perfectly with soffit or wall vents to exhaust moisture and heat and draw air into your shed.
Provides a natural light source
It doesn't vent the entire roof deck
Automatic Roof Vent Opener
These devices are neither electrical nor solar powered. It is a mechanism that acts as a vent. It uses heat-expansive wax inside a piston cylinder connected to a hinged mechanism. When the temperature reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the wax starts to melt and expand, which opens the vent. And as it cools, it closes the vent.
No need for electricity
No continuous draft
It could be damaged by high winds
Solar Powered Attic Fan
The solar-powered vent fan creates better air flow in the attic and is mounted on the gable end. It only works when needed as it features a thermostat. You also don't have to pay for electricity as it is powered by a solar panel. You should mount it on the side of the shed with the non-prevailing wind.
No need for electrical wiring
Easy to install
It does not work well in cloudy weather
Whirlybird (Rotating Cowl)
The whirlybird is a wind-powered vent capable of drawing substantial amounts of moisture and heat from the attic. It is useful during the winter months as it can prevent ice dams. It spins when it catches the wind, creating a cyclone effect to remove moisture and heat. It costs around $30 to $60.
Provides extra light to the attic
Can be used on old or new roofs
It only works when there is wind
What Is The Best Ventilation Option For A Small Shed?
One of the best shed ventilation options for smaller sheds is letting in fresh air by opening the door. You need good air ventilation to avoid breathing in any fumes from items you store.
The best method involves positioning one gable wall on the side of the prevailing wind and installing a screened vent at each gable end of the roof. These will eliminate the fumes and allow the cool air in.
How To Choose The Right Shed Ventilation?
You should know that there is not one perfect shed ventilation system for all sheds. The one that helps create good air circulation and is appropriate for your shed design is most likely the one for you. Your shed size and shape also impact your options for venting.
There are some factors to look out for when choosing the right shed ventilation system, whether a wall vent or a ridge vent. Consider the following to ensure you make the right choice.
Pick a location that will make your shed a comfortable place to be in. Try to find a place with good natural air circulation.
Your chosen location should have some shade and be well ventilated. Installing vents at the gable roofline helps to eliminate fumes and heat.
An excellent way to reduce the heat gain is by insulating your shed. Insulation will also ensure better air quality.
Using a ceramic thermal additive to repaint your shed is a great idea as it is fire resistant and will reduce heat gain. Also, paint the roof a light colour to promote cooler temperatures.
To help reduce heat build-up and create airflow, you can add gutters to your shed. Also, consider orienting your shed to catch the natural airstream as hits the gable ends.
How To Ventilate A Shed?
Now that you have some ideas for shed ventilation, let us examine some ways to ventilate your shed.
Installing Roof Windows
You can take your shed ventilation to the next level by adding roof windows, also known as venting skylights. This is a great option as it gives you more control over the temperature on warm days. You should opt for a roof window you can open and close.
Adding An Electric Fan
If you go for this method, ensure that there is a power system within your shed for the fan. In a large shed, you need an active ventilation system. Adding an electric fan will achieve this. Active ventilation is vital in airtight buildings as it offers heavy-duty ventilation.
As the fan blades rotate, they draw fresh air into the shed and keep it circulating. The fan will help to eliminate the stuffiness inside the shed.
Installing A Whirligig
A whirligig is a vent with turbines that is wind-powered. The turbine works by pulling in the fresh air and pushing out the hot air as it rises. A whirligig is an active ventilator like an electric fan. But it doesn't need electricity as it gets its power from the wind. This means it is cost-effective and more sustainable.
Install Wall Vents
Wall vents allow consistent air movement in your shed by pulling in the fresh air and pushing out dirty air. Installing a wall vent is a great way to practice natural ventilation and ensures that your household items and shed stay in optimal shape. The addition of these vents allows the hot air to rise, and at the same time, they draw in cooler air from outside.
Where Should Shed Vents Be Placed?
If you are looking for where to place your shed vents, you should know that the ventilation routes are areas where the dirty air escapes from as the hot air rises. So, it's best to have wall vents installed low down on the side of the shed, on the end walls, or high up on the roof.
Does your shed suffer from condensation, excessive moisture, chemical smells, and stale air? Then you should get your shed ventilated. The ventilation options discussed above will help to get the fresh air moving and turn your shed into a healthy and comfortable space.
Shed ventilation is essential so you can breathe easily while in it. So be sure to get your shed ventilated to enjoy all the benefits of owning a shed.
Some people prefer specific shed ventilation ideas or methods to others. A bit of good advice is to go for the one that best suits you and your shed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should A Wood Shed Have Ventilation?
No matter the type of material your shed is made of, you should ventilate it. Your wood shed should be free from dampness as it could damage your stored items and even the shed itself.
Do Metal Sheds Need Ventilation?
Yes, metal sheds also need to be ventilated. You must maintain proper ventilation as you need to prevent fumes and mildew build-up as well as promote peak air circulation.