Attic vents are very easy to install for the do-it-yourselfer. The attic is usually a place for storing winter/summer clothes and other household items. If your house does not have an attic vent just think how inexpensive and the little time it takes to install.
If there is low air flow through your home, moisture will build in the attic and over time cause decking and possibly structural failure. Wood and moisture do not mix especially in an enclosed area. Also, increasing the airflow through the home will reduce the presence of mold spores, which grow in damp areas of the home, thus reducing possible health problems. Homes predominantly in colder climates use attic vents.
How it works: In the winter warm air rises to the attic creating a upwards draft throughout the home. If there is no where for the air to go it stays in the attic creating a stale and stagnant environment. If you do not decide to install any type of air vent in your attic make sure the living area and the attic are completely sealed so the warm moist air stays in the home and does not travel to your attic.
There are three types of vents that can be utilized to improve airflow in the attic. Ridge vents are placed at the highest point on the roof so the hot air will rise and escape through the path of least resistance. Gable-end vents are placed at the end of the roof which also let hot air escape. Eave vents or soffit vents are place at the lowest point on the roof to assist the ridge and gable-end vents and improving air flow tremendously letting outside air updraft through the attic more efficiently.
There is another way to reduce the temperature and moisture in your attic, install an exhaust fan with a high enough air flow rating for the size of your attic. This will ensure proper air flow through your attic keeping the home more comfortable in the summer and the warm air out of the attic in the winter. Most asphalt shingle manufacturers require some type of vent on the roof for whatever type of warranty they provide. The way homes are built differ from area to area so some venting techniques may work better in different geographical locations.