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Louvers, Vents and Insights: Keep Your Metal Building Ventilation on Track

Louvers, vents and related metal building accessories can serve up quite a few questions when it comes time to begin construction. How do you know which accessories you need — or how many to incorporate into a design? How can you make sure you’re placing them in a way that provides the airflow your steel buildings need?

Continuous ridge vents on top of a metal building

Louvers, vents and related metal building accessories keep indoor environments safe and healthy.

Of course, the easiest way to ensure you have the right louvers, vents and accessories, installed the right way and in the right places is to consult with a metal building accessories pro. Around here, however, we’re big on arming our friends and colleagues with information to tackle such projects better informed.

Our ventilation experts have pulled together helpful insights surrounding your louvers, vents and steel buildings. Read on for info aimed at making it easier to ensure quality airflow inside your steel buildings, and placing your future projects on stronger footing.

Understanding Your Louvers and Vents
Louvers and vents are both crucial elements of your metal buildings’ ventilation efforts. They go about encouraging healthy airflow and comfortable spaces in different ways. And, although they can offer benefits in and of themselves, they work best when they work in tandem.

Here’s a high-level look at how louvers and vents carry out their work, and the options you have available.

louver vent, louver, louvers, ventilation, ventilation products

Metallic Products adjustable louver

Designed specifically for use with your pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) wall panels, louvers feature horizontal blades mounted into frames, and they largely resemble window blinds. Their job is to encourage healthy airflow within your steel buildings, making for healthier, more comfortable indoor environments.

Louvers carry out their work without electricity, and require little to no ongoing maintenance following installation. Metallic Products’ wall louvers are made of galvanized steel, and are both self-flashing and self-framing. In other words, they don’t require additional trim.

There are two main wall louver varieties offered:

  • Fixed louvers feature 45-degree blades that are welded in place and remain open. These are ideal for ventilation in areas that are difficult to reach, or ones where you don’t require too much control over airflow. In addition to our traditional rectangular shapes, Metallic Products also offers architectural louvers which offer added visual interest with triangular and oval shapes. They also come in a range of sizes, colors and finishes.
  • Adjustable louvers feature blades that open and close with help from a hand crank or motorized operator. Their operable nature makes them a quality fit for easy-to-reach areas, and for operations which require your team to have more control over airflow. Metallic Products’ adjustable louvers come in a range of sizes, colors and finishes.

Metallic Products Note: Interested in learning more about this tool of the trade? Our “Everything You Need to Know About the Metal Building Louver Vent” blog post offers tons of great information.


Metallic Products continuous ridge vent

Unlike louvers, which reside within your metal building’s wall panels, vents are typically housed on rooftops. There are a wide range of metal building vent options to choose from, and your ideal pick will vary based on factors such as your structure’s build and age, the amount of manufacturing or production work you carry out on the regular — and even where your building is located. Let’s take a look at the various metal building vents available.

  • Continuous ridge vents are located at the peak of your metal buildings’ rooftops, and their job is to keep moisture and air quality in check. They move fresh air through a structure and remove hot, stale air, heat, fumes and related contaminants. They’re great for structures of all sizes.
  • Low profile ridge vents perform the same work as their continuous ridge vent counterparts, but feature lower, more streamlined silhouettes which do a better job blending into a structure’s look.
  • Round vents are ideal for ventilating warehouses, light industrial buildings, attics and other areas where only low-volume air movement is needed. Attached dampers make it easy to adjust airflow to a structure’s specific needs.
  • Apex vents usher stagnant, stale air out of a steel building, and replace it with air that’s fresh and clean. They’re a low-maintenance way to ventilate standing roof seams on buildings of all sizes.
  • Turbine vents operate with help from wind power. Their spinning blades draw hot, stagnant air up and out of a space, keeping metal buildings healthier and more comfortable.
  • PreVent ventilators are a low-profile, virtually maintenance-free ventilation option that allows the natural release of stagnant air, heat and moisture inside your building.

All Metallic Products metal building vents are available in a wide range of sizes, colors and finishes to ensure your finished product suits your individual structure, ventilation needs and roof pitch, too.

How Do You Know How Many Louvers, Vents and Accessories You Need?
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering exactly what your steel building’s ideal ratio of louvers and vents might be, rest assured you aren’t alone. Incorporating ventilation accessories into your steel buildings can be complicated.

Although there isn’t a magic number of louvers and vents that will keep your building properly ventilated, there are guidelines.

In general, for every 2,400 square feet of space, you’ll want to incorporate a 10-foot ridge ventilator. However, more ventilation might be required if your building has a lot of people working inside it, or if you carry out a high volume of production and manufacturing processes.

Remember, cross ventilation is also crucial. Experts recommend incorporating both roof vents and wall louvers into a metal building’s design in order to keep the air inside fresh — and to move stagnant, stale air and fumes out. As we mentioned, these ventilation accessories work better when they work together. (If you’re interested in diving deeper into how it all works, check out our post about hygrothermal dynamics.)

Our best advice is to consult with a steel building ventilation accessories provider at the start of your building project. In other words, building ventilation shouldn’t be an afterthought. By pulling a company into the mix early on, they’ll be able to offer insight regarding your project’s specific ventilation needs, the number of louvers, vents and related accessories you’ll need — and the easiest, most efficient way to help your metal buildings breathe.

If you have questions about any of the above, or if you’re interested in talking with our ventilation experts about an upcoming build, feel free to contact the Metallic Products team. We’re here, and we’re ready to help you find the airflow solutions that make sense for your steel buildings. We look forward to hearing from you!