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  • Jeremy Horning

11 Working Shed Ventilation Ideas: How to Properly Ventilate your Shed

Updated: May 31, 2023

If you utilize your shed for projects or other activities, ensuring proper ventilation is important. Regardless of the nature of your work, it is essential to have a steady air exchange. If you have recently bought a new shed, you may question the necessity of ventilation. In this article, we will explain the reasons why proper shed ventilation is important, and provide you with practical shed ventilation ideas that you can implement effectively.


Why Do I Need Ventilation In My Shed?

Why Do I Need Ventilation In My Shed?

If your shed has good ventilation, there will be proper air movement inside. Effective ventilation prevents excess moisture build-up. This can lead to mildew and mold growth. Your shed must have a good venting system to maintain temperature control. No one wants excess heat building up in their shed.


Ventilation is especially important if you normally work with chemicals and other combustible liquids. You will want to ensure that fresh air is able to constantly enter your shed to help prevent inhaling harmful toxins. A proper ventilation system will keep sufficient fresh air flow so you don't need to worry about fumes, heat build up or excess moisture.


What Are The Problems Caused By Poor Ventilation?


Here are a few problems that might occur if your storage shed is not well ventilated.

  • Heat: During summer, excessive heat, 20-25 degrees hotter than outside, can build up and ruin things that you have stored in the shed. (plastics, gas cans,

  • 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 could lead to skin irritation or respiratory issues. Some chemical mixtures could be explosive.


How Much Ventilation Does A Shed Need?

How Much Ventilation Does A Shed Need?

Usually not much. Many people will simply put a small vent on either end of their shed to create a bit of air exchange inside the shed. With the doors and possible windows being opened and closed to get things in and out and the help of these two vents enough ventilation is created. If your shed is larger, 14x18 or larger, you may want to add other types of ventilation or add more vents.



Best Ventilation Ideas To Choose From

Best Ventilation Ideas To Choose From

Ventilating your shed properly keeps it from getting extremely hot in the summer and helps eliminate moisture build up inside which can grow mold and mildew. These are some of the best ventilation ideas you should consider.


Wall Vents


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.


Pros

  • Easy to install and compatible with all sheds

  • Can be utilized as exhaust or intake vents

  • Improves air circulation

Cons

  • You cannot close the vent

  • It can cause cold drafts


Ridge Vents

Ridge Vents

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.


Pros

  • Provides ventilation but keeps critters and bugs out

  • Ideal for new roof or retrofit installations

Cons

  • Can become blocked in heavy snowfalls


Solar Powered Ventilation Fan

Solar Roof Ventilation Fan

The solar-powered vent fan creates better air flow in the attic. 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.


Pros

  • No need for electrical wiring

  • Easy to install

Cons

  • It does not work well in cloudy weather


Shed Windows


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 $50-$250+.


Pros

  • A cost-effective way to ventilate your shed

  • Can be added to new and existing sheds

Cons

  • Could reduce wall storage space


Soffit Vents

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are intake vents you can locate in the lower areas of the roof. Their main job is to remove warm air as it increases air intake. The vented soffit allows cool air in and warm air can escape 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.


Pros

  • Very effective for shed or ridge roofs

  • Ventilates the entire roof

Cons

  • You have to do the entire length of the building


Power Gable Vents

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.


Pros

  • Effectively removes heat

  • Creates better airflow

Cons

  • Needs a power source to work


Natural Ventilation


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.


Pros

  • Removes odours and humidity 24/7

  • Eliminates heat in a hot climate

Cons

  • 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.


Pros

  • A cost-effective solution

  • Easy to install

Cons

  • You need to purchase more than one


Turbines


Turbines

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.


Pros

  • Works well in different seasons

  • Suitable for all roofs

Cons

  • Can be noisy


Venting Skylight


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.


Pros

  • Provides a natural light source

  • Easily installed

Cons

  • It doesn't vent the entire roof deck


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.


Pros

  • Provides extra light to the attic

  • Can be used on old or new roofs

Cons

  • It only works when there is wind

What Is The Best Ventilation Option For A Small Shed?

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 windows or door.

Another great option is to install a screened vent at each gable end of the roof. These will eliminate the heat and moisture buildup and allow the fresh 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 can 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.


  • Your shed location will benefit from some shade. Installing vents at the gable roofline helps to eliminate moisture and heat buildup.

  • You can insulate your shed to keep it cooler inside in the summer and warmer in the winter. Insulation could 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, choose a light color for the roof to promote cooler temperatures.



Conclusion


Does your shed suffer from condensation and extreme heat? 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 reliable place for storage or a small workshop.






Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should A Wood Shed Have Ventilation?

Yes. Except for very small sheds. 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 should have ventilation. You must maintain proper ventilation as you need to prevent heat and mildew build-up as well as keep good air circulation.

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