How to Install a Soffit Vent in Existing Vinyl Siding

Soffit vents are an important part of your house's heating and cooling system.

In addition to being a storage space, your home's attic is an important part of the overall energy efficiency.In addition to being a storage space, your home's attic is an important part of the overall energy efficiency.
These vents, also referred to as "under-eave vents," draw fresh, cool air up through the eaves to replace overheated, stagnant attic air that should filter out through the ridge vents. Soffit vents can be installed onto existing vinyl siding. The process of installing soffit vents to existing soffits involves marking and cutting a hole for the vent, inserting it into place, and fastening the vent with screws.

Create a cardboard template and make it about an inch smaller on each side than the outer edge of the soffit vent. It will be used to mark the hole into which the body of the vent will nest. The lip of the vent will rest on the outside of the hole so that the screws will be driven into the soffit and hold the vent in place.

Position the soffit vent template. Use a tape measure to center the vent. Whether you are using a rectangular or a circle-shaped soffit vent, set it into the soffit about midway between any studs. Locate studs by looking for lines of nail heads, or by using a stud finder.

Trace the positioned template with a pencil.

Drill a hole into the soffit on the inside edge of the pencil line you created from your template. Then cut away the opening with a reciprocating saw.

Cut out any insulation blocking air flow in the attic with a utility knife. If you have blown insulation, you may have to assemble a box around the vent with wood blocking to keep insulation from clogging the flow of air.

Push the soffit vent into place and mount it to the soffit with corrosion-resistant screws. Tighten the screws down until the vent is held securely in place.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • Reciprocating saw

About the Author

Robert Howard has been writing professionally since 2004 and writes a weekly column for the "Synthesis," a Chico, Calif.-based newspaper. He maintains a blog and has published articles and works of fiction in a variety of different print and online magazines. Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego.