Attic baffles are an often overlooked, yet vital component to any attic insulation. The main function of baffles is to supply a channel in which air can flow from the vents into your attic. This may seem counterintuitive – for after spending time and energy in insulating the attic, why would you want to install vents into that space? In general, the flow of air provided by these baffles is used to help remove built-up moisture and control the temperature of the attic. In more detail, we can look at both the negative effects of not having baffles, as well as the positive effects that baffles supply.
When baffles are not installed, you will not have any control over where your air conditioned air goes. Air pressure is the key element that dictates where air flows, and without baffles you have no control over that pressure. Unless you have insulated your space with air tight drywall, there will be cracks and crevices everywhere throughout the drywall in which air will leak. Likewise, practically no matter what you do there will always be some air leakage from under doors and around windows. All of these cracks and crevices – through drywall, doors, and windows – will be channelling out air, and dictating the flow of your precious air conditioned air. On the flip side, if your attic is well sealed, then the lack of baffles might cause a build-up in moisture in the attic. In this case, without any air flow, the attic will collect water which will damage the building.
When baffles are installed, on the other hand, there are many positive benefits. With baffles air pressure and the flow of the air will be planned and regulated. With this, proper air circulation will be maintained, preventing losing too much air conditioned air, but at the same time preventing the build-up of moisture. Baffles are delicately designed to achieve both functions at once: allow for proper air flow, yet also regulate the air temperature. Besides these benefits, baffles also help keep the current insulation firmly in its place. Without baffles, and without control of the air, insulation is often blown out of its place, while evenly spreading out the air flow prevents this problem.