Many households use their attic for the storage of various items: seasonal decorations, the kids’ old toys, essential souvenirs, and other items that you might not use often. Without an attic fan, that space can get incredibly hot, especially during the summer months. That heat is more than just a nuisance; it can also damage your stored items and even your roof. Over time, the transfer of heat between the interior of an attic through an asphalt roof can wear out or warp the shingles.
A hot attic can also increase cooling costs for the rest of the house, as trapped hot air can warm the ceilings in your home’s interior and demand more from your air conditioning system. When you decide to get an attic fan system, or consider upgrading your current system, consider a solar-powered attic fan. As with any home improvement item, solar attic fans have some pros and cons to consider before you invest.
Pros of Solar Attic Fans
The biggest benefit of a solar attic fan is that it runs on power from solar energy. This will result in lower electric bills compared to standard attic fan models, and will further reduce your home’s carbon footprint on the environment.
Besides the energy that is saved by the fan being solar-powered, having a cooler attic space will also decrease energy demands and costs for the rest of your house.
Works Hardest When You Need It
Because solar attic fans use the sun rays for energy, they function most effectively on the hottest and sunniest days – days when you most need the assistance of a solar attic fan.
One benefit of solar attic fans that may appeal to homeowners concerned about curb appeal—most solar-powered attic fan models tend to give a better appearance on the outside of the home compared to other powered or passive models.
Cons of Solar Attic Fans
Higher Upfront Cost
One drawback to solar attack fans is that they do present a higher up-front cost compared to standard models. However, given the high energy savings, you will likely quickly recuperate those increased costs.
Require Direct Sunlight
As noted, solar attic fans save money by using solar energy for power, rather than electricity. However, this method may not work for all homeowners. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to rely on solar power. You will want to consider how much direct sunlight the solar panel will be exposed to, and also how much cloud cover you can expect, before you commit to a solar attic fan.
Solar-powered attic fans are not as powerful as standard, motor based models. However, this may prove a benefit, as more powerful models can cause an excess of negative pressure in smaller home spaces, and pull air-conditioned air out of the home, making it warmer. Solar powered fans are more powerful than passive flow models and more effective while adding nothing to electricity costs.
Should You Choose A Solar Attic Fan?
Making the right choice for your home requires a detailed analysis and inspection of your home, which can be provided by a solar attic fan specialist. This allows you to find the right option for your home, based on the region of the country you live in, and your home’s unique layout and requirements.