Vulcan Vents vs Brandguard Vents
All houses need proper ventilation. If you pay attention to the homes in your neighborhood, you’ll notice that they’re all equipped with vents for this purpose. Allowing for consistent airflow—especially in the attic and crawlspaces—is crucial for preventing the growth of mold and mildew, keeping heating and cooling costs down, and promoting pleasantly fresh and breathable air inside your home. However, not all vents are created equal. If you live in a fire-prone area (including certain parts of California, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, and other states), there are only two types of vents for your purposes: fire-safe, and not. Both allow for proper ventilation, but only one will prevent embers from entering your home in the event of a wildfire. Ember and fire resistant vents are designed for exactly this purpose.
There are many different types of ember and fire resistant vents out there, because there are many different areas of a home that might require a vent. Dormer vents, foundation vents, eave vents, and gable vents are just a few types, all named for where they’re installed. If you’re building a new home in a fire-prone area in California, building codes require you to use these vents in your new construction. If you’re remodeling, building an addition, or simply want to upgrade to these safety vents as a home improvement project, they can be easily retrofitted by a professional. There’s just one thing you’ll have to decide, and that’s which brand to go with. Let’s compare and contrast the two most popular brands: Vulcan Vents and Brandguard Vents.
Which brand works best?
Of course, this is the key piece of information that homeowners in fire-hazard zones want to know. Which brand of wildfire vents will prevent the intrusion of flames and wind blown embers in the event of a nearby wildfire? The good news is that both will do this job extremely well. According to Fire Safe Marin, both “performed better than their mesh equivalent in resisting the entry of embers.” Vulcan’s use a 1/16-inch mesh screen and Brandguard’s use a similar mesh screen, and both are highly rated for keeping dangerous fire matter out.
However, there’s another important factor to consider. In non-fire times, the vents have another important job: Allowing sufficient airflow into your home to prevent mold and mildew growth, help you save on HVAC costs, and keep the air inside your home fresh and breathable. So how do these two brands stack up in the airflow category? This detailed test shows that Vulcan Vents take home the gold in this category. In the experiment, the control—fan-induced airflow into a space with no vent at all—was measured at 100 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Once the vent was installed, fan-induced airflow into the space was measured at 99 CFM. That means Vulcan Vents provide essentially the same level of airflow as if there were no vent at all—maximum airflow, in other words—but coupled with the protection that these fire-safe vents provide to your home.
How do you choose the right brand for your home?
Since you’ll need an expert to install or retrofit your ember safe vents anyway, you should ask them for what they recommend. Any installer likely has years in the business and has tried both brands of vents. As for Ember Defense, we’re a premier installer of Vulcan Vents. So if you work with one of our experts, they’ll get you set up with a set of top-rated Vulcan Vents you can trust with the safety of your home.
So the bottom line is to ask the experts—but if you want to go in with a little bit of advanced knowledge about the differences between the two, read on.
What you should know about Vulcan Vents
Vulcan Vents was founded in 2007 when a vent-technology company approached a sheet metal company based in Loomis, CA, and the two collaborated to start producing Vulcan Vents using G90 galvanized steel. Their patented vents were created to solve the problem of homes burning down due to the embers getting inside of the home through the venting. Vulcan Vents was one of the first companies to make a product that satisfies the new building code that was aimed at protecting homes from fire.The patented design of Vulcan Vents consists of two main parts that offer protection. The first part of the vent is a stainless steel ember mesh that blocks dangerous embers for the entire life of the vent, with no activation required. The second part is the intumescent honeycomb. This component is designed to block radiant heat and flames. When the vent reaches a certain temperature, the intumescent coating will expand and seal the vent shut, effectively blocking heat and flames from igniting the inside of the home.
. Vulcan Vents have been rigorously tested and approved by a variety of highly accredited organizations. The team that created them worked with CAL FIRE and the WUI (Wildland-Urban Interface) building code committees. They also collaborated with the National WUI committee in Washington, D.C. plus several fire-safety councils on the west coast. These were the first vents to be listed on the CAL FIRE Building Materials Listing program, and the first (and only, to date) WUI vents to be approved by the International Code Council (ICC). They even have a listed, 1-hour fire rating!
What you should know about Brandguard Vents
Brandguard Vents was founded in 2003 by a firefighter working in San Bernardino, California. They have a patent for their vents, which are made from galvanized steel, zinc-aluminum, stainless steel, or copper. Each one is designed to be installed on homes in high-severity fire areas to protect them from encroaching wind-blown embers and flames. They sport a baffle design which prevents airflow, keeping embers out in the event of a nearby wildfire.
Which vents on a home need to be fire safe: Soffit vents, gable vents, foundation vents & dormer vents.
If you want to do the most to protect your home from wildfire damage and destruction, it’s best to replace all vents with fire-safe ones from one of the preferred manufacturers. (You should also take recommended home-hardening measures for best results.) Fortunately suppliers offer all types of vents you could need, no matter the design of your home. Vulcan offers soffit, foundation, dormer, eave, gable, and continuous vents. Brandguard offers soffit, foundation, dormer, eave, gable, balcony, and sub-flashing roof vents. Both can be installed on new construction, but only Vulcan Vents can be retrofitted to existing construction.
Outfit your home with a fire-safe Vulcan Vent today
Whether you have an existing home in a fire-prone area, or you’re building a new home in an area that’s at risk for wildfires, you’ll definitely need to choose high quality, fire-safe vents during the construction process. Vulcan Vents offers both retrofitted vents for existing homes and new construction. Remember, ask your local installation experts for which vents they think would work best for your unique home.