Greenhouse Roof Ventilation


Natural ventilation for a greenhouse or any translucent roof solar structure has always been the ventilation method of choice.
As opposed to forced air by way of mechanical fans, air intake louvers, circulating fans. All of which work to some degree and continue to be used to this day but it is hardly is cost effective.

In today’s world, the high cost of energy has restricted this application since continuing rising costs are now becoming, not so cost effective anymore.

In the early days of sun room and greenhouse construction. Greenhouse roofs were made of clear plane glass. In other cases the use of flexible 6mill poly film was also used extensively for commercial greenhouses. The only choice of ventilation was to employ the use of fans and air intake louvers.

Since the advent of newer technology and creative innovations, operable ridge vents are now becoming the standard as opposed to an option.

The cost factor alone now, makes more sense.


Natural ventilation works very efficiently.

Whenever air passes along the interior roof of the building, this basically creates a vacuum effect thus sucking heated air right out of the structure. If the structure is built with operable side windows and or door vents this allows cooler air to flow in.

This is truly the best method to maintain a steady temperature within your greenhouse or solar room structure.
In recent times, I have visited many home installations with glass roofs that were literally too unbearable to stay in.

The difference in temperature was in some cases 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the ambient air temperature just outside the door, only a few feet away.

One may think logically. That if your greenhouse has operable windows and a large door that you’ll relieve your greenhouse temperature by much.

Regardless of how many opening vent windows you may have the temperature will remain hot for as long as you have an UN-ventilated roof.
Any type of louvered fan will remain running 24 / 7 and will eventually burn out the fan motor.

Building any kind of solar structure room addition should always have an operable ridge vent that allows for natural ventilation.

In the long run, the joy of relaxing in a comfortable ambient environment, outweighs, the discomfort of not having the right ventilation …. .simply because it’s too darn hot…!


Glass roof application, without the use of an operable ridge vent for ventilation is not recommend. Anyone considering building a greenhouse or solar sunroom addition should take ventilation seriously and employ a proactive solution.

When you think about it, its really not that much extra.

The picture shown here to the left is a custom skylight 24 x 12 with a 3-bay thermostatically controlled, lift actuator, ridge vent with screens on both sides….. manufactured by Solar Innovations…

Read this Resource Greenhouse ventilation Information

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Scott Rivers
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I had an Idea for a greenhouse and ralph gave me options based on my budget and timeframe. A great experience and highly recommend Ralph for all your projects!
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Susan Riley
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We have been gardening for years and finally got our greenhouse thanks to Ralph! We are now growing things year round so the winter in colorado does not feel so gloom. I