Solar attic fans have become increasingly popular among homeowners who want to harness the natural power of the sun to cool and ventilate an overheated and stuffy attic space. However, electricity-powered attic fans have been on the market for some time, and up until recently these powered fans were the most popular choice for attic ventilation and cooling. Some homeowners believe powered attic fans are the better choice because they provide more powerful action, however, this has recently been proven not to be the case. Here we look at why solar powered attic fans are usually the better choice to keep your attic, roof and your whole house more balanced in temperature and resistant to damage.
More Energy Efficient
Recent research and evaluation of the effectiveness of attic fans has shown that powered attic fans may actually do more harm than good. Powered fans can create too much negative space in your attic that ends up drawing cool air out of the interior of your house through the roof and weakening the energy efficiency of the cooling system in your home.
Furthermore, electricity powered attic fans can use up to 180kWh of electricity a month if run continuously. With the average U.S. home using 950 kWh of electricity a month overall, a powered attic fan can represent a huge 18% of monthly electricity usage. This means that the energy savings may not outweigh the energy costs.
On the other hand, solar powered attic fans such as the Solar Star attic fan run on solar power alone, adding nothing to your electricity bill. Because solar powered fans are active when the sun is shining, they only function when you need them, without pulling air out of your home and counteracting your cooling efforts. With a Solar Star attic fan, you can actually work towards energy savings, while protecting your roof and attic from overheating and damage.
Effective When You Need It
Solar Star attic fans function when sunlight is hitting the panel that powers them. This means that solar powered attic fans are working hardest when you really need them too – during hot sunlight – and not drawing air out of your attic when you don’t need it – such as during the cooler temperatures at night.
While solar powered attic fans can be useful even on sunny days when the weather is cooler, if you want more control over your solar powered attic fan, you can choose to install a thermostat switch. Solar Star attic fans can be fitted with a Solar Star Thermal Switch which turns off the fan when the temperature in the attic is cooler than 65° F. This function allows you to decide when you want attic ventilation and when you don’t.
Valid for Tax Credits
As well as being better for the environment and saving you money on electricity, another one of the ways a solar powered attic fan is a better choice is that it can qualify for Federal and possibly even State tax credits for the purchase price and installation cost of the solar attic fan. This is just another benefit of harnessing solar power to make your home cleaner, greener and more energy efficient.
For most homes and attic spaces, a solar powered attic fan is the better option over an electricity powered attic fan, providing better energy efficiency, functionality, and value.