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You are here:Home > Learn > Energy Efficiency Articles > About Solar Attic Fans > How Solar Powered Attic Fans Work

Highlights

  • Active ventilation
  • Extend roof life
  • Lower AC bill
  • No need for a licensed electrician
  • Shop Solar Attic Fans

How Solar Powered Attic Fans Work

Attic ventilation is a proven method of energy conservation. The summer sun can turn an attic into an oven, and you live just inches away from all of that heat. Attic temperatures reaching as high as 165 degrees Fahrenheit are not unusual, and most commercial, electrically powered attic fans don't even switch on until temperature reaches 125 degrees. While attics may have a vent for passive ventilation or insulation, this is not enough.

An active ventilation system, like a solar powered fan, is much more effective since it actually forces the hot air out of the attic. By keeping the attic cooler, less heat will radiate into the living area of your home. By reducing the load placed on your air conditioner, you lower your electricity bill and extend the life of the AC unit.

Apart from energy conservation, a solar powered attic fan has other benefits. Hot air in a hot attic can hold lots of moisture, and during the evening this will condense (like dew) on wood and other building materials. This moisture contributes to the growth of mold and fungus, and can encourage insect infestation. Keeping the roof cooler and drier will increase the lifetime of your roofing materials. These benefits can be large, potentially adding another 10 years to the life of your roof.

Finally, solar powered attic fans do their job better than conventional, electrically powered fans. They use no extra energy; in fact they use the same solar energy that heats the house to keep the house cooler. Their electric motors are virtually silent and they need no extra wiring or additional circuit breakers for installation.

Since they are not connected to your home's electric power system, a licensed electrician is not needed for installation. There are no hidden costs with installation or during operation.

These fans are available in various sizes and mounting configurations.

Compare the various types of solar attic fans here.