Incorrect amount of soffits??

I live in upstate NY and the past month has been terrible for cold weather. I invested in some rolled insulation to put in my attic(there currently is only the insulation that was installed 35 yrs ago..about 6 inches)...once I got up in there, I realized when the house was built(1969) the builder only put soffits on the west side of the house(the front) and there are none on the east side(back) yet there is a gable vent at each end(N and S)and a ridge vent....you definitely can feel the draw of air when your up there, but my question is, "is this right not to have all sides of the house vented"...should I look into installing soffits on the back side? any input is greatly appreciated. CG
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Are Ice dams a problem? Extra ventilation could help you with that.
Does your attic overheat in the summer. Extra ventilation could help you with that.
Theres a formula for how much inlet vs outlet capacity, but as your experience tells you, it is not critical.
PJ
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i added a soffit to my VW , it didnt help
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They may or may not be vented, and it may or may not matter. If the area in question isn't having problems with ice dams or shingles peeling, it likely isn't an issue.
Jeff
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(with possible editing):

First of all, it will depend upon HOW the insulation is applied. If the insulation is placed over the ceiling rafters of the floor below, soffit insulation usually isn't necessary so long as there are gable vents. Where soffits and proper venting are critical is when the insulation is placed between roof rafters. Then it becomes essential (in moderate climates with extremes of hot and cold temps) to allow venting above the insulation. This is most easily done with some called "proper vent" or similar (I've probably spelled that incorrectly). This allows a small air channel to run from the soffits to the ridge above the insulation.
In your case, it doesn't seem like you need it. You will benefit most from simply adding more insulation over the 6" layer you now have. What might work very well is blown cellulose since it's cheap and can't settle in wall spaces. Up here in northern NH (-20 today), I used 12 - 14" of blown cellulose over 6" of fiberglass. Seems to work very well.
--
Larry
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wrote

I think the OP was questioning the installation of more soffit vents on the side of the house that doesn't have any.
NJBrad
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wrote (with possible editing):
...snip

Right, but my point was that if the insulation is in the ceiling rafters, and there are eave vents, it really doesn't matter. Soffit vents (and ridge venting) are a must if the insulation is in the roof rafters.
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Larry
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Maybe I should have included that the insulation is in the ceiling rafters..not in the roof rafters. For proper ventilation does there need to be soffit vents on the back side of the house/roof? Cg
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If it runs parallel to the floor, it's a joist. Otherwise it's a rafter. You only usually have "ceiling rafters" when you have a vaulted ceiling in which case they double as the "roof rafters."
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(with possible editing):

No. It certainly wouldn't hurt, but they're not necessary. Ventilation has to occur over the cold side of the insulation and that's provided by your eave vents. If it isn't enough, you can improve it by adding an attic fan in one eave and enlarging the vent or adding a second one in the opposite eave.
You can improve the efficiency of your insulation (increasing the "R" value) by simply adding more insulation over the top of the existing stuff.
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