whirly birds on roof

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Whirlybirds

Optimum roof ventilation in homes is crucial in Australia’s climate. There are several ventilation systems to choose from, so it is important to understand your options.
Making the right decision regarding which system to use is specific to each house and O’Boyles understands this can feel like a complicated task.

Whirlybirds, also known as turbine vents, are common choices. These are often found perched high on Australian rooftops, utilising the wind’s power to cool the house below. A great choice for a new metal roof!

Though whirlybirds are a great form of ventilation, there are advantages and disadvantages to them, depending on your ventilation needs. O’Boyles is here to guide you through your ventilation questions and help you decide if whirlybirds are right for you.

What are Whirlybirds?

Hot air is frequently trapped within the space between a ceiling and roof, which can increase a house’s overall temperature. Therefore, making use of an effective ventilation system is crucial. Whirlybirds are cylindrical domes that are installed on the outside of a house and use fins to circulate the air by turning and spinning it. They then remove the air by creating a vacuum as they turn, preventing the heat from moving from into your home.

The Advantages of Whirlybirds

Heat and Moisture Reduction

Insufficient ventilation in Australia’s humid climate can result in dry rot, mildew and mould growing in your house. This can adversely affect your comfort, health and belongings. Not only do whirlybirds cool the house, but they also effectively reduce moisture condensation.

Save Money

Adequate roof ventilation and a reduction in heat transferring into your rooms means that air conditioning units and fans function more efficiently. This means your house is cooler and your electricity bill is kinder on your wallet.

Furthermore, whirlybirds are low in cost. They are powered by wind, so there is basically no cost to run them. O’Boyles will assess the access to your roof, roof plumbing and discuss with you the cost of installation and how many whirlybirds your house will need.

Useful All Year Round

The benefits of whirlybirds are not just evident in summer. Reducing moist air is also important when your heating is on in winter to prevent condensation and dampness inside and outside your home.

Pre-existing Systems Don’t Have to be Removed

You may have other roof insulation materials in your house and be thinking, what if whirlybirds would do a better job than what I already have or do I really need anything else? Whirlybirds can in fact work alongside your existing system by ensuring roof insulation products do not become damp, further increasing their effectiveness.

The Disadvantages of Whirlybirds

There is Some Upkeep Involved

Whirlybirds are installed easily and, for the most part, can be left to their own devices. However, they do require lubrication and occasional cleaning to work at their best. They can also rust and be damaged in storms and can malfunction if debris enters due to the open design of the vent. Whirlybirds that aren’t installed correctly can also become noisy or let water into your roof space.

No Wind, No Win

Whirlybirds depend on wind to spin. Subsequently, if there is no wind, they are unable to work efficiently. This can be a problem in locations that have dry summers.

Electric mechanic whirlybirds are a feasible solution but do cost more to install and operate, meaning that considering other options might make more sense, such as vents that make the most of the sun’s power.

Winter Wind

Whirlybirds don’t migrate, so they will continue to work in the winter. This can mean houses in windy locations will lose heat despite the cooler season, potentially working against their desired heat-regulating effect.

You Might Need a Small Flock

One whirly bird might not be capable of recycling the amount of air in a large ceiling cavity before the house becomes hot. This may mean that several need to be installed depending on the size of your house and the climate it is in. This is worth considering when it comes to budget, installation, maintenance and your home’s appearance.

Are Whirlybirds Right For You?

Whirlybirds have benefits and limitations. Overall, what choice you make about ventilation systems depends on your house, the climate you live in, your desired aesthetic and your budget.

O’Boyles is here to help you decide. We will assess your house and specific ventilation needs and provide you with a cost estimate. We guarantee an installation that will provide optimum whirly bird function and longevity so that you can relax and enjoy the Aussie climate in comfort.

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