How to Ventilate a Shed: Important Things to Consider

A ventilated shed is another term for a healthy garden building. This means there’s a proper air movement inside, less mildew and a lower chance of mould growth.

For consistent temperature control year-round, especially during the winter months, ventilate. Problem solved! But for a much healthier shed, you’ll need this mega-guide – just thank us later.

Find out how to properly ventilate your garden building – just keep scrolling.

Key Takeaways for Ventilating a Shed

  • Signs of insufficient ventilation include stale air, fumes from chemicals, moisture build-up.
  • Lack of ventilation can also trigger health problems and even respiratory diseases.
  • For larger sheds, excess heat is likely build up if ventilation is poor.
  • Good and adequate ventilation is key to preventing these common issues.

Key Terms for Ventilating a Shed

  • Stale air – the air smells, as do the items being stored. When breathed, it can cause respiratory issues and even eye irritation.
  • Chemical fumes – the vapours from gasoline, fertilisers, and other chemicals. Without consistent airflow, this triggers them, which also are dangerous to your health. Let alone that, some chemical fumes might even be flammable!
  • Excess moisture – indications of mildew and mould growth, which can damage the items stored inside. Inhaling mould can result in headaches and other health concerns.
  • Condensation – the same with excessive moisture, it signals for mould spores and dampness in sheds. It causes wood to rot, metal tools and siding to rust (mainly in metal sheds).
  • Heat build-up – heat in sheds makes working inside uncomfortable.

Insulation, a vapour barrier, and effective ventilation are more important than ever.

Types of Ventilation

There are two common types of vents, and these are wall vents and ridge vents.

Wall vents for shed
(Image Credit)

1. Wall vents

A wall vent is a type of air vent that lets movement of air consistently flow in as well as dirty air out. This gives the walls and stored items the natural ventilation they need to stay in shape.

In short, wall vents allow regular air circulation in and out of your shed.

Ridge vent idea for shed
(Image Credit)

2. Ridge vents

Depending on your shed style, you may need a ridge vent. Ridge vents are usually the ones you see installed at the peak of a sloped roof (ridge roofs).

They allow air to escape through the ceiling, making it ideal for high ceilings and attic areas. If you own a larger garden building, we recommend using multiple ridge vents.

Other ventilation options available:

The more options you have, the better! By knowing these different methods for ventilating, it’ll be easier on your end to find the right way to keep a healthy shed airflow. 

Note: The climate you live in and how you plan to use your shed will also be factors you need to consider.

Venting skylight for sheds
(Image Credit)

3. Venting skylight

A venting skylight is an excellent choice for adding that extra light and air. This style of vent accessory invites extra light for you to work in, as well as good circulation for your shed.

BillyOh Expert Tongue and Groove Apex Workshop
BillyOh Expert Tongue and Groove Apex Workshop

4. Window

Naturally, a window or two is extra ventilation, particularly during seasonal weather. They create airflow, provide sunlight, and make your building look more inviting.

Silver coloured wind turbine for sheds
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5. Turbines

Besides passive ventilation (airflow), turbines can be useful if your shed experiences condensation. This includes causing mildew build-up or if you keep a variety of chemicals inside.

The turbine works by vacuuming out the humid climate when hot air rises. The hot air is then replaced by cooler air coming in through the lower areas of the building.

Gable vents for shed
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6. Gable vents

Power gable vents are another excellent option for getting extra airflow. A gable vent allows more control for times when you want less movement of air inside.

Suppose it’s wintertime; it gets much colder, and your shed doesn’t need that additional airflow.

BillyOh Planthouse Tongue and Groove Pent Potting Shed
BillyOh Planthouse Tongue and Groove Pent Potting Shed

7. Natural ventilation

This method relies on the movement of air by the wind. Or temperature difference that creates air movement as hot air rises and cool air falls.

Drilling 2″ holes in the gable ends at the roofline is a great way to do this. Cover the natural vents with steel or aluminium window screens to keep the bugs out. A ¼” mesh screen will also help keep rodents at bay.

How to Ventilate Your Shed

Now that we’ve covered the ventilation options, which should give you a starting point, let’s look at how you can ventilate your shed.

1. Open the doors and windows

This is probably the basic way to keep your shed ventilated – keep the doors and windows open. By doing so, you’ll get the air in and out, carrying the excess moisture out of the building.

This technique also works amidst a hot climate; it cools the space down. But it’s not always practical to keep both open at all times, especially at nighttime. Yet, it’s definitely a great start.

2. Installing vents

Vents, in general, are one of the convenient ways to improve proper ventilation standards. A great example of this is wall vents, which are also known as ‘passive ventilation fixtures’.

This means they keep air channelling through your shed securely. They can also work without needing external power like electricity or wind.

Moreover, they help keep sheds cool in the summer and damp-free in the winter. This makes them worthy of investment.

Going back to vents, they simply keep everything nicely ventilated and refreshed. Most are shaped like grills (ventilation grilles) and are backed with a mesh to keep out the bugs.

For installation, place them high up on a gable wall to maximise the amount of air running through. Also, be sure to keep them clean to let the air pass through easily.

Electric fan for shed ventilation
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3. Adding an electric fan

If you have a larger shed, you’ll need better ventilation. A smart way to do this is by installing an active ventilation system.

This system gives the fresh air a boost to draw it into the shed and put the stale air out. An electric fan, for one, is a better option for more heavy-duty ventilation needs in airtight buildings.

The blades rotate, drawing fresh air in and keeping it circulating. You get the stuffiness from the inside pumped out through the fan.

If you opt for this method, be sure your shed provides a power system for the fan to operate.

Chicken whirligigs for shed ventilation
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4. Whirligigs

Whirligigs are vents with turbines powered by the wind. The breeze pushes the turbine around to pull fresh air into the building.

Like electric fans, a whirligig is an active ventilator. This means it actively pushes air into a shed to keep things cool inside.

But rather than electricity, it’s powered by the wind, making it more sustainable and cost less to run.

How to Ventilate a Shed: Round-up

Air circulation, as well as additional airflow sources, are important for sheds. When you know which type of ventilation suits your needs best, and most importantly, how to do it in your shed, you can let your outbuilding breathe.

We recommended finding at least two ways to keep the air circulating so you may also breathe easily. We hope this post has answered your questions on how to ventilate a shed!

For more, feel free to check our FAQs below.

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FAQs

Yes, unless you want your building to experience mildew and fume build-up. By ventilating your shed, this guarantees the inside will have proper airflow, which is, you may now know, very important.

Through wall vents installed low down on the side of the shed, high up in the roof, or end walls of the shed. As the hot air rises, these ventilation routes let the unwanted air escape through.

There are simple yet effective steps to do this, and these are:

 

  • Keep the interior dry
  • Provide adequate ventilation
  • Combat excessive moisture when building
  • Properly insulate your shed
  • Use a dehumidifier

Passive ventilation makes use of natural forces like hot air and wind to encourage airflow through your shed. The result is that moist stale air is extracted and replaced with a fresh, clean one.

 

Most passive vents are a form of natural ventilation.

Gable vents offer passive ventilation for roofs and attic spaces. When the outside air is moving perpendicular to the gable vents, they work like two windows on opposite sides of a room:

 

  • Cool air into one side
  • Hot air out on the other

Most experts favour a ridge vent more than a gable one as it's much more effective. For one, the combination of a ridge vent and a soffit vent gives you an airflow like the way a chimney works.

There are many ways you can improve proper ventilation in your shed. This includes the ventilation options we've put together in our list above.

 

Ventilate by installing vents, fans, using air filters, or as simple as opening the doors and windows.