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Is it possible to have too much soffit intake? Currently my simple gable roof on a ranch home has 8 RVO38 vents but NO soffit intake vents (terrible!). Of course the attic space runs incredibly hot and is not doing me any favors. I need to get the venting improved pronto.

The soffit boards sag and have signs of water damage from previous owner's overflowing gutters, so I wanted to replace them with some t&g cedar and put in a continuous soffit vent. If that didn't help attic venting I would have a ridgeline vent installed. Would it potentially be bad to give myself all that soffit venting or could I try that and see if it is adequate before going to a ridgeline vent?

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  • I have no experience in this area but have a similar situation - only have 6 intakes on a 2500sqf house. Thus looking to add some more as well. What are you setup like for exhaust on the roof ( # turbines, etc)? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 0:45
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    sorry for delayed response, was on vacation. I've got approximately 10 RVO38 vents. I researched this more and it seems like unless it is allowing bug or animal ingress, there isn't actually such a thing as too much input down low.
    – matt
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 17:47

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You generally want a balanced system with equal intake and exhaust areas, but if you can't balance the system, then there should be more intake area so none of the exhausts (usually near the peak) get back-drawn and act as intakes.

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Intake vents are incredibly important, I believe at least 1 every 8’ in all eve soffit areas. The exhaust vents may be passive or powered. The most important thing about the exhaust vents is to install them at the highest portion of the roof. Never allow ridge vents or any exhaust vents to be more that 2’ difference in the height of the roof. If you do install with the height difference of more than 2’ you’ll cause a short cycle between the exhaust vents instead of drawing from the intake vents. All of this I’d determined how the attic is built. Sloped ceilings require a very specific way to vent as well as roofs that are sectioned off where the air doesn’t travel throughout the entire home. When in doubt, it’s always best to have an expert review the home and advise you for the best results. I’ve read quite a bit on this site, it’s true, no heat or cooling is lost from ventilation, as long as you have enough insulation, vent all you can to keep the home dry and the roof from baking.

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  • Welcome to Home Improvement! I've edited for a couple of minor formatting issues, but this still remains a wall-o-text and is difficult to parse. Please edit to include some formatting to make it easier to read. Also, if you'll read how to answer, you'll get some tips on what makes a good answer. In particular, it should actually address the question. Unless it's lost in there, I don't see where you address the question of "Can I have too much soffit intake venting?".
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 12:48

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