Your solar attic fan helps prevent heat from transferring to your living spaces, preventing your air conditioner from having to work so hard. This reduces your energy bills and can save you money.
If you’re looking for a solar attic fan to help with moisture control, a gable-mounted model is your best option. These fans are easy to install and are less expensive than ceiling-mounted options. Ultimate Radiant Barrier can help you install your first attic fan.
When the sun beats down on a home’s roof, it heats up and that heat gets trapped in the attic space. This overheating forces air conditioning systems to work harder, which raises energy costs. A solar attic fan improves attic ventilation and helps to minimize the load on your air conditioner. The fans can be installed without a building permit or complicated electrical wiring and blend into the attic space.
A properly installed solar attic fan is designed to draw hot air out of the attic through soffit vents, which are typically found in the eaves of most homes. It also allows cooler air to be drawn in through static roof and gable vents, keeping the attic air temperature more stable. This constant air exchange prevents shingle and insulation damage due to overheating, which reduces the need for costly repairs.
Moisture that accumulates in attics often leads to rot, mildew, and mold, which can destroy the structure of your home and create health problems such as respiratory irritation. A solar attic fan eliminates this problem by constantly exchanging wet attic air with dry outside air. Moisture buildup can also damage insulation and lead to ice damming in the winter.
Solar attic fans are a great way to lower your electric bills and save money on attic maintenance. With regular use, they can pay for themselves in energy and attic repair savings over time.
Unlike whole house fans that need electricity to operate, solar attic fans do not produce any greenhouse gas emissions during operation. These units run from sun-up to sundown, summer or winter, for an average of 25 years with very little maintenance required.
The cost of a solar attic fan depends on the size of your attic and the number of fans needed for proper attic ventilation. A professional carpenter will be able to recommend the best size and number of fans for your home. Generally, one or more fans are recommended for attic spaces over 1,600 square feet, while smaller attics might be able to get by with fewer.
In addition to cutting cooling costs, solar attic fans keep moisture away from the interior of your home. Moisture can damage your roof and insulation, encouraging rot or mold to form and even damaging the walls of your home. This can result in costly repairs or replacements that will be a drain on your household budget. Solar attic fans reduce the amount of moisture that builds up beneath your roof and keep it from entering your living spaces, reducing moisture problems in your home.
Unlike traditional electric fans, solar attic fans use energy from the sun to power them and don’t require expensive electricity for operation. During the day, they work to vent hot air out of your attic and introduce colder, drier air into the house. This will help to eliminate a significant amount of moisture, protecting your roof and interior of your home from damage, preventing harmful mold or rot from developing, and saving you money on energy bills all year round.
Traditional electric fans can leak conditioned air into the attic, forcing your AC to work harder to cool your home during the summer. Solar attic fans eliminate this problem by directing the stale air from the attic out through your soffit vents, allowing a steady flow of air that will lower your home’s temperature and keep you comfortable throughout the summer.
Solar attic fans also provide the same benefits as whole-home fans that you would purchase from a large box store, but they don’t require your windows to be opened and don’t consume as much energy daily. They will continue to operate during the winter to maintain optimal attic temperatures, ensuring your roof is dry and preventing future maintenance issues.
Ice Dam Prevention
Ice dams are a major problem that can cause significant damage to roofs and houses. They can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and even leak into homes. Luckily, they’re easy to prevent with proper ventilation and insulation.
When warm air from the living space rises into the attic, it heats the wood and shingles directly above it. The resulting snow melts and flows down towards the eaves and gutter. When it hits the part of the roof that isn’t warmed, it freezes into an icy dam that can block water from draining. Over time, this ice can damage roof structures, sagging ceilings, and mold and mildew.
Solar attic fans prevent ice dams by dispelling hot air from the attic and introducing cool, dry air into it. This keeps the attic from becoming too warm, which can heat space under the shingles and shorten their lifespan.
A well-designed and installed solar attic fan is more effective than simply adding more insulation to your attic. If you have leaky soffits and ductwork or old attic insulation, it’s best to seal these air leaks before installing additional insulation.
In addition to air sealing, gable-mounted solar attic fans can help reduce ice dams by eliminating the heated space in between the shingles. While preventing ice dams is the main reason for installing solar attic fans, they can also help keep the gutters and soffits free of debris and improve your home’s appearance.
Choosing The Right Solar Attic Fan
When selecting a solar attic fan, make sure it’s properly sized for your attic to maximize performance. Many brands offer a calculator on their website to help you determine the size of your attic and choose the appropriate model for your home. You should also consider how much sunshine your home gets each day and whether you want a portable or fixed unit.
Aside from gable-mounted and roof-mounted models, several other manufacturers sell a variety of different products. For example, one company offers both a portable and fixed solar attic fan, while another company offers both a gable-mounted and roof-mounted option that includes a solar panel.
Despite their insulation, most attics tend to reach temperatures of 160 degrees or higher on hot summer days. This heat radiates down into the home, causing high energy bills and promoting mold growth. Solar attic fans can mitigate this problem by circulating hot air out of the attic and replacing it with cool, fresh air. As a result, homes will be more comfortable, and energy usage and costs will be reduced.
Most homeowners think that their home’s insulation is enough to keep the sun from heating the attic space. However, attics tend to get hotter than the rest of the house due to prevailing wind patterns, which can cause heat to rise through the roof decking. Oftentimes, this heat is so great that it can raise the temperature of rooms and hallways on the first floor, forcing the air conditioner to work overtime. Solar attic fans help reduce the heat transfer from the attic to the living spaces by reducing the amount of time that the air conditioner has to run.
Solar attic fans are a great solution for those looking to reduce their home’s carbon footprint and become more energy efficient. When paired with other energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, it is possible to achieve up to a 30% reduction in your annual energy consumption, further lowering your energy bills.
There are several different types of solar attic fans to choose from, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. Ideally, you will want to select a gable-mounted fan or a roof-mounted one. These models offer the best ventilation and are capable of moving more air than their portable counterparts.
Also, make sure to consider a fan with a high CFM rating. The more air that the fan can move, the more efficient it will be. Another thing to consider is that the attic fan must be properly sized for your attic space. You may need a professional to measure and install the fan for you. Finally, you should be aware that there are federal tax credits available for those who invest in solar power systems, including solar attic fans, for their homes. The specifics of this credit can change year-to-year, so be sure to speak with a tax professional for the latest information.