Continuous Venting Ridge vs Static/Box Vents: Which is better?

Regardless of the situation, all roofs need to be properly ventilated. There are a few differences between Static vents and Continuous Ridge Vents. Deciding which one to put on your roof depends on which one better fits the type and design of your roof.  Either option requires adequate intake ventilation.

Historically, the most common type of roof ventilation is the “Static” or “Box” vent. This type of vent is exactly what it sounds like: box shaped vents that remove damaging heat and moisture from the attic. One reason that they are so popular is because they provide a very economical way to ventilate your attic. Box vents are ideal whenever you have an open attic.  The vents must be placed very close to the ridge of your roof.  Installation is simple, quick, and easy.

Continuous venting ridge is a type of ventilation that allows outward air flow along the ridge or peak of a roof. An opening is cut along the desired ridge line and the continuous ridge vent is laid over the opening and sealed with standard ridge cap shingles. Having the entire ridge line open for venting allows more air to flow out and, in turn, will allow better ventilation of the attic space. Installation is more difficult,  time consuming, and expensive; but the performance and more finished look speaks for itself.

                                          Static/Box Vents


      Ridge Vent





                 Ease of Installation





                  Cosmetic Value


Roofing manufacturers’ warranties require a minimum of one square foot of ventilation for every 150sf of attic space for traditional systems, but only one square foot of ventilation for every 300sf when the ridge vent system is used. That is a good indication of the difference in efficiency. Using the continuous venting ridge system, when installed properly, can prolong the life of your roof and cut down on energy costs. When applicable, Ridge Vent is the way to go!  

John Rhoden

John got his start in the roofing business while working at ABC Supply Co, the largest distributor of roofing materials in the world, on his summers off from college at the University of San Diego.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    What about box and ridge vents together if the box vents are near the top of the ridge? I’m really struggling on this debate between roofing companies?

  2. John Rhoden


    Thanks for your inquiry. Under most circumstances, you should not mix two different types of exhaust vents on a roof. Ridge Vent and Box Vents are both considered exhaust vents. The reason you do not mix them is that the ridge vent can turn the box vents into intake vents. You do not want a box vent acting as in intake vent b/c it will suck air in and can also suck in rain or snow with it. This can cause a leak. The intake vent should be at the bottom of the roof whether it is a soffit vent or an edge vent. I hope this helps.

  3. Avatar

    Can ridge vents be used on townhome units containing firewalls? Roof replacement contractor wants to remove box vents for ridge vent. I understood the firewalls prohibited this. Please advise.

  4. John Rhoden


    Without having seen the structure, I can not definitively answer your question. That being said, your contractor should be able to cut in the ridge vent so it is only venting the attic space between the firewalls without any issue. Then start a new ridge vent for the next section of attic space that is fire-walled off so they do not share the same exhaust vent between the 2 separate attic spaces. If you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out to our office and ask for me, John Rhoden. Thanks for your question.

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