Solar Power Attic Fans: Costs and Benefits
A solar powered attic fan offers clear benefits and closed end, reasonable costs. It one of the most practical ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and increase the value of your home.
Lower Air Conditioning Costs:
An attic without a fan can reach 125° F or more. Having something on top of your home radiating heat is no good for keeping cool, and forces your air conditioner to work harder to compensate. With a fan, attic temperature is reduced significantly, growing closer to the outside ambient temperature. Cost benefits are proportional to your summer air conditioning costs. As electricity costs rise, so will the benefit.
Increased Roof Lifetime:
An actively ventilated attic prevents moisture condensation from excess heat, extending the life of roofing materials. The cost difference between a roof that lasts 20 years and one that lasts 30 can be upwards of $5,000, suggesting that extending roof life alone can save you $500 a year.
The actual lifetime extension depends on many factors such as the types of fungus and mold in your region, but even one or two years of extra life are enough to justify an installation.
Lower Installation Costs:
A solar powered attic fan is not tied into your existing electrical grid, eliminating the need for licensed electricians, circuit breakers, and extra power cables. Because it stands alone, the only cost to install a solar attic fan is physically putting it in your roof. In fact, this is simple enough that if you are technically savvy it is possible to do it yourself.
Lower Operating Costs:
Solar powered attic fans present a very one-sided cost trade off: all benefits, no ongoing cost. While electric attic fans will show many of the benefits, they are certainly not free to run, and are not really less expensive initially.
Direct Government Cost Support:
Many states and localities offer very significant incentives in the form or tax credits for energy conservation initiatives.
http://www.dsireusa.org/ for details of the programs in your neighborhood.
Solar powered Attic Fans are available in various sizes and mounting configurations. Compare the various types of
Solar Attic Fans here.