Roofing, HVAC, and Your Comfort

By ZCI General Contracting
April 25, 2024
ZCI General Contracting is local, honest, and experienced.

You rely on your roof to protect your Ohio home against the elements and your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable. Two completely unrelated systems, right? Wrong! Many homeowners are unaware of how the condition of their roofing can affect their HVAC system and vice versa.

For example, if you’re sweating in the summer despite your HVAC being on, it could be that roof issues are interfering with the way your HVAC system manages heat and humidity. Let’s look a little deeper at the connection between a high-quality roof in Ohio and your home’s HVAC system to help explain how a damaged or poorly installed roof can interfere with home comfort.


Have you ever noticed how summer clothes tend to be lighter in color? This is because lighter colors help keep you cooler. Dark colors absorb heat, and this concept applies to your roof. Darker colored roofs will absorb heat, bringing it into your attic space, causing your home to heat up if your attic and roof don’t have proper venting and insulation. In fact, dark roofs can reach temperatures as high as 150° F or more if your roof has direct sunlight. As a result, your HVAC system has to work harder, increasing energy bills and, in many cases, failing to keep your home as cool as you’d like. This is especially true in your upper floors because the heat rises.

The solution: It helps to avoid those dark roof colors and instead install a roof in lighter tones to help reflect heat away from your home. When higher temperatures hit your roof, they won’t be absorbed, keeping your home cooler. However, you can also speak to us to discuss investing in metal roof surfaces designed to help reflect light and release any heat that does get absorbed back out from the attic. Proper insulation in the attic and attic ducts during HVAC installation will also help contain heat transfer to keep your home cooler if you love your dark roof.


If your roof isn’t sound and properly insulated, it can lead to ice dams in the winter that cause structural damage. This occurs because poorly insulated attics release heat through the roof, not only putting pressure on your HVAC system to work harder but also melting snow and ice on your roof.

As the ice melt trickles down your roof and hits the colder eaves, it freezes, forcing your shingles up and allowing the water to get under the shingles and into your attic. Damage from ice dams is a common occurrence , along with attic insulation and structural issues. It’s definitely something you want to avoid.

The solution: Have your attic inspected to ensure it has proper ventilation and insulation to prevent heat from escaping in the winter. You also want a roof inspection in Ohio in the spring and fall to spot ice dam damage and have it repaired before the change of weather leads to even more serious issues.


Another common issue is having HVAC ducts in your attic or crawlspace. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, then heat, and cold traveling in the ducts can be made hot in the summer and cold in the winter. This impacts the temperature of the air delivered to your living space. Roofs themselves aren’t designed to manage heat gain and loss. Instead, it’s proper attic insulation and venting that does that. Your roof does have to be installed and maintained properly to keep every inch tightly sealed to avoid air and water leaks.

The solution: Have your attic inspected for potential air and water leaks that can contribute to heat loss/gain. Leaks can damage existing barriers installed on your ducts to keep them from working efficiently. Again, an attic inspection is essential to ensure your ducts have the right barriers free of damage to protect the air inside and help maintain the right temperature. This way, you ensure the air in your ducts reaches your living space at a comfortable temperature.


As mentioned, although a leaking roof, in theory, won’t impact your HVAC system, it can if the water and moisture damage your attic insulation. It can also lead to mold and ongoing moisture that interferes with the intended insulating value.

The solution: Same as above.


You’ve probably never given any thought to where your bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen fans are venting. It’s a scary thought, but many vents lead into the attic instead of through the roof or an exterior wall to carry exhaust outside. And that’s a bad thing as all that warm, moist air gets trapped in the attic or crawl space, leading to a long list of woes from mold to structural damage.

This happens, in part, because it’s far easier than cutting out a hole in the roof. However, this isn’t the only issue with these vents. The opposite is true in that the installers that do vent through the roof can also cause issues by not installing the roof side of things properly. This causes leaks. So, both approaches cause issues because both mean the vents are not installed properly. Those exhaust fans are necessary to vent the excess moisture from the room and/or expel unfavorable fumes.

So, how do incorrectly installed vents impact your HVAC and roof? In most cases, roofs are under-ventilated. This can be due to a few issues, from a lack of soffit or gable intakes to insufficient or improperly placed exhaust vents. Even a properly vented attic in Ohio will have the same outside temperature in the winter and over 120° F on hot summer days, creating the perfect storm for moisture-related damage.

The solution: Your exhaust vents must vent to the exterior of your structure. If not, you’re decreasing the lifespan of your roof and jeopardizing its integrity. If you have existing vents in your attic that need to be run outside, you’ll want to call a heating and air company, like our friends at JBH Heating & Air, to get help. If the damage is already done, and your sheeting and truss already have growth and rot, then feel free to reach out to us at ZCI General Contracting for expert roofing repair and replacement!