Since attics can get very hot in warm climates or during summer months, it is important to install a fan to keep the airflow going year around. One great idea is installing a solar attic fan, which is a fan for your attic that is powered by solar energy.
However, it is important to find the best model for you since not all are created the same. For this reason, we have created this comprehensive article. In this article, we review the top 4 solar attic fans and provide a value section to help you select the best solar power attic fan for you. Let’s get started.
Buying a solar attic fan can be a big expense, which means that it is imperative to select the best model for you based on your needs and budget. To find the best solar powered attic fan for you, it is important to consider a number of factors, such as attic fan features, your budget, climate, and more. Read on to help you select the best solar attic fan.
How do solar powered attic fans work?
The point of solar fans is to provide ventilation for the attic, which produces warm air within the attic through the roof. This then allows the cool air to spread throughout the house, keeping your entire home comfortable year-round.
Solar attic fans work because they use solar panels. These solar panels use energy from the sun and turn it into usable electricity. That electricity is then used to power the fans within the attic. The ventilation system of this fan provides a steady airflow throughout the attic space by expelling warm air. This is a process called air exchange.
In other words, solar-powered fans work the exact same way as regular fans, except their power comes from solar energy.
The fan will be attached to a medium-size solar panel through the roof vent. The placement for the solar panels is strategic since a roof provides maximum amount of sun exposure, which will allow them to convert more sunlight into energy.
Overall, solar fans are not as powerful as other cooling or air conditioning options, but it is less expensive and better for the environment. The reason for this is that you will not need additional electricity or energy to power the attic fans.
The main benefit of solar-powered attic fans is that they are less expensive than other attic cooling units, such as an AC unit. What additional money you pay for installation will be made up from your energy savings. More so, you will not have to pay for additional electricity since the solar panels create electricity for you. Additionally, solar panels and solar fans require little maintenance, ensuring that you don’t need to pay much for upkeep either.
Another great benefit of solar-powered fans is that they are great for the environment. Since the fans will be powered by solar energy, which is carbon neutral, you will not be putting harmful pollutants into the air or the earth’s atmosphere.
- Safe to use
- Increases value of your home
- Easy to set up
The biggest downside of roof mounted solar powered attic fans is that they require more money upfront. A single fan normally costs around $600, and then you will have to pay for installation as well. This is more expensive than other options. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will save on energy.
Similarly, it can take a long time to recoup your installation costs. In fact, it could take you as long as 10 to 15 years to get back to even from this investment. So, it is not recommended to get solar powered attic fans unless you intend to live in the house for many years after installation.
Like with any other solar panel device, another drawback is that it relies on sunlight to operate. If you live in an area with minimal sunlight during the year, you might not see the benefits you want from a solar-powered attic fan. Either the sunlight simply won’t provide enough energy, or it will take much longer to recoup your investment costs.
- Expensive initial cost
- Long payback period
- Relies on sunlight
- Requires you to change the structure of your roof
Factors to consider when buying a solar attic fan
Whenever you are buying a solar attic fan, it is important to keep in mind 4 factors. These factors will help you to determine which model is right for you and your home.
Factor 1: Solar Fan Type
The first factor to consider when buying a solar attic fan is the attic fan type. Right now, there are two types of solar vents that you have to choose from: a roof mount solar attic fan and a gable mount solar attic fan.
- Roof Mount Solar Attic Fan: As the name suggests, a roof mount solar attic fan is installed on pitched or flat roofs. These attic fans can be installed on garages, lofts, sheds, barns, and any other flat roof. One of the great aspects of this attic fan type is that it stands up to tornadoes and hurricanes without adjustment. Additionally, it receives maximum sun exposure.
- Gable Mount Solar Attic Fan: A gable mount solar fan mounts behind an existing static gable vent. They are mounted on an exterior wall. These solar attic fans are much larger than the roof mount ones, and they receive less solar energy.
Factor 2: Efficiency
The second factor to consider when purchasing a solar-powered attic fan is efficiency. The more efficient the fan is, the greater the savings. On the other hand, more efficient models will also cost more upfront.
It is best to evaluate the efficiency of the model based on where you live. For example, those who live in states with a lot of sun exposure may opt for a model with low efficiency, while those who live in states with less sun exposure may opt for a model with high efficiency.
Additionally, system placement will affect efficiency. A system placed on a roof, for example, will be more efficient than one placed on a gable. The reason for this is that a roof is exposed to more sunlight than a gable.
Factor 3: Materials
When you buy a solar-powered attic fan, the third factor to consider is the materials used. The materials of your solar fan will affect efficiency as well as the durability of the model. The reason that you want to evaluate the materials used is that the system will be roof mounted, exposing it to high amounts of rain, hail, wind, etc.
Make sure that the solar vent is made from marine grade materials. As for the solar vent housing, look for heavy-duty materials as well. More specifically, the housing should be made of aircraft-grade aluminum since this housing will bear most of the direct impact. Finally, the solar vent should also have a protective animal screen made of stainless steel, while the blades of the fan are made from non-corrosive aluminum.
Factor 4: Blade Number
Finally, the last factor to consider when selecting a solar-powered attic fan is the blade number. The blade number will affect how noisy the vent is. As a general rule of thumb, the more blades a model has, the quieter it will be.
Is a solar-powered attic fan worth it?
For most homeowners, a roof mounted solar attic fan will be worth it. These devices are great for the environment, increase energy savings, and increase the value of your home. With that being said, you might want to forgo purchasing a solar attic fan if you intend on moving any time soon. Since they are a large investment that take a while to reap the benefits from, you should intend to stay in that house for 10 years before moving or selling.
How many solar fans do I need?
Solar attic fans are less efficient than traditional options, but that does not mean you should forgo them. Instead, this means you should anticipate buying two, not just one. Although extremely small attics may benefit from a single solar fan, most attics will require two to reach ideal temperatures and results.
How do you install a solar fan for the attic?
Every solar attic fan will come with different installation requirements and techniques. Consult your user’s manual to learn how to install your solar fan correctly.
1. iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Exhaust Solar Roof Attic Exhaust Fan – Best Overall Option
If you are looking for the best attic fan powered by solar power, then you should consider the iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Exhaust Solar Room Attic Exhaust Fan. This model is our Best Overall Option because it is all-inclusive, comes with an adjustable solar panel, features a smart thermostat, and has a large cooling capacity.
Notably, the iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Exhaust Solar Room Attic Exhaust Fan offers some of the most features on this list. It comes with a smart thermostat, a 1p68 waterproof brushless motor, a 15-year warranty, and an adjustable solar panel. These features allow the solar attic fan to work well under high amounts of heat and moisture.
Since the solar panel included with this attic fan solar system is adjustable, it can be roof mounted at several angles. It can adjust to 0, 14, 30, and 45 degrees, ensuring that you capture the sun’s rays at any angle.
Finally, the iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Exhaust Solar Room Attic Exhaust Fan also comes with a non-stop Day/Night running AC/DC adapter kit. Although this is sold separately, it is an impressive feature of the kit. This will allow you to blow away hot air, day or night.
- Comes with numerous features
- Features a 1p68 brushless motor
- Comes with a 15-year warranty
- Solar panel is adjustable
- Has a Day/Night AC/DC adapter kit
- Simple installation
- Must purchase Day/Night AC/DC adapter kit separately
- Fan slows on sunny days
2. Remington Solar Store 30-Watt Solar Attic Fan – Best Upgrade Option
The next attic fan solar system on our list is the Remington Solar Store 30-Watt Solar Attic Fan. We have named this product our Top Upgraded Option because it is high-power, weather-resistant, and fights heat and moisture, and it has a price-tag to match.
The Remington Solar Store 30-Watt Solar Attic Fan includes a 30-watt solar fan with a thermostat and humidistat. These features make it highly functional, which maximizes both cooling power and energy savings. More so, the humidistat allows you to know if there is any excess moisture in the attic, which can cause water damage.
Another notable feature of this kit is that it includes a brushless motor. This motor creates little to no friction, which causes the attic fan to be much quieter than other models.
The Remington Solar Store 30-Watt Solar Attic Fan is also hail and weather resistant. This is an incredible quality to have in a solar panel since it will be exposed to some of the most treacherous elements. This ensures that your solar panel system will last many years, making this model one of the most durable fans for the attic.
This claim is backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a limited Lifetime Warranty. This model is designed for lifetime use, allowing you to reap its benefits for many years to come. If you are not satisfied with this product in the first 30 days, you will get a full refund.
- Built-in thermostat and humidistat
- Includes a brushless motor
- Hail and weather resistant
- Comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Clicks when not in direct sunlight
3. Amtrak Solar Attic Fan – Best Value Option
If you are looking for the most affordable attic fan solar system, then you will be interested in the Amtrack Solar Attic Fan. We have named this model our Value Option because it is affordable while still being durable, functional, and efficient for providing solar-powered air conditioning.
The Amtrack Solar Attic Fan is highly powerful and efficient thanks to its 50-watt power solar panel. It has the ability to cool and ventilate your attic, all while protecting against moisture. The motor even is protected with thermal protection, further ensuring high efficiency and functionality.
More so, of all the solar attic fans on this list, the Amtrack Solar Attic Fan is the only one suited for roof or gable vent installation, which allows this model to mount onto virtually any roof type. This means that you can use this model on your home, greenhouse, or RV alike.
- Roof mount offers versatility
- 50-watt motor
- Must request the thermostat
- Less efficiency due to gable mount
If you are looking for the best attic fan solar system, then you should consider the iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Exhaust Solar Room Attic Exhaust Fan. Of the solar attic fans, this option is the best because it easily ventilates hot air, as well as heat and moisture, allowing it to be one of the best solar attic fans. More so, it is roof mounted, allowing it to maximize sunlight exposure for air conditioning purposes. All the while, it is less expensive than the Remington Solar Store 30-Watt Solar Attic Fan.
However, if you are looking for attic fans powered by solar power on a budget, you should consider the Amtrack Solar Attic Fan. This model is very affordable, yet it is high powered and efficient. The main drawback of this model, however, is that it is not roof mounted. Instead, it is gable mounted, meaning that it does not maximize sunlight exposure.
We hope that this article has made the process of selecting the best solar attic fans easier and less stressful.