Solar Attic Fan: 5 Clear Benefits To Get One NOW

Are you currently using an electric attic fan or some sort of electric ventilation system at home? Then have you ever thought of installing a solar attic fan? When most people think of solar products, they immediately think “expensive!”, but when we investigated getting a solar attic fan and compared it to conventional ventilation systems, it was obvious which way we were going to go.

There are so many clear benefits for getting a solar attic fan, that you would be crazy not to invest in one. But before we delve into the reasons for buying one, we will quickly explain how a solar attic fan works:

A solar attic fan is a solar powered vertical turbine, that is installed on the highest point on your roof – usually the attic (hence the name). As soon as the sun hits the solar panels, the turbine starts to spin, drawing warm air out of the house. As the sun rises further and the temperature in the house rises, the warm air in the house naturally rises to the attic, where it is then sucked out by the fan. This warm air is replaced by cool air that is drawn in from outside. And your house stays cool!

Video: How A Solar Attic Fan Works

Okay, now that you understand how it works, let’s explain why a solar attic fan is such a good investment:

1 – Easy Cheap Installation:

When  electric attic fans are installed, they need to be wired up to your electricity. This wiring obviously needs to be done by a qualified electrician with an electricity permit and inspection. This costs money, and it can take up to 6 hours to get the system working.

On the other hand, a solar attic fan has its own power source  – the sun –  so no wiring is needed. This means you require no electricity permits to install the fan. All you need to do is follow the accompanying step-by-step instructions. And at most it will take you 2 hours to get it working.

2 – Non-Stop Operation:

With an electric attic fan, to save power, it is usually equipped with a thermostat. This regulates the operation of the fan, so that it only spins once the attic reaches a certain temperature – usually 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The drawback to this is that by the time the ventilation starts the house is already warm (remember warm air rises), so it will take some time for it to cool down.

However, since a solar attic fan uses no electricity, it can operate all day long, from when the sun rises until a little after the sun sets. So air is constantly circulating in your home, regardless of the temperature, keeping your home well-ventilated and cool.

3 – Prolongs Roof Life:

If you haven’t installed an attic fan yet, then maybe it is time you invested in a solar attic fan. The reason?

During cold winter months heat trapped in your attic can melt snow on your roof. As the the water trickles down, it collects and refreezes in the cooler eaves or gutters, leading to costly and destructive ice damming. By having a solar attic fan, it requires minimal sunlight to operate and keep the attic cool.

Furthermore, warm moisture from showering and cooking tends to rise and get trapped in the attic. This leads to mold and mildew that can saturate your insulation and cause fungal decay and destruction of your roof frame and decking. With a solar attic fan, the attic stays well-ventilated, preventing any mildew from growing.

4 – Did We Say Free Energy?

Electric ventilation systems tend to use a lot of power, leading to higher electricity bills, especially during summer months.

Whereas, with a solar attic fan, it requires none of your household power to operate. All it needs is some sunlight – which when we last checked was FREE. So the only cost you have to worry about is the initial investment. After that, it costs absolutely nothing to operate it.

Also, most states offer tax incentives for installing renewable energy technology at home.  This lowers the initial cost of a solar attic fan.

5 – Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:

Electric fans need power to operate. And where does that power come from? Well, burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and nuclear power station – which all emit carbon that pollutes our air and causes global warming.

A solar attic fan, on the other hand, use no electricity, so it helps reduce your carbon footprint, thus helping the environment.

So many people talk about “green this” and “green that”, but very few actually get involved. Now that you know how easy, cost-effective, and “green” it is to install a solar attic fan, you can “walk the talk” and actually live a greener, cleaner life.

A DIY installed solar attic fan starts at around $400 (excl. tax and incentives), which is a small price to pay for free ventilation and reducing your energy dependence.

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Originally posted 2009-01-20 12:14:29.


  1. Joe Mayers
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article!

    *Note to readers -> please give useful comments, otherwise your URL will be stripped.
    Trudy and I love to hear from you, but at least add value by giving a worthwhile comment.*

    Thanks 🙂

  2. Tom Foolry
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow, you’re right, those are some great benefits! One of my favorite things about these solar attic fans (and this applies to other solar products as well) would have to be the first point, about easy installation. This is great because there are no wires for you to worry about. All the power comes from the sun!

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