Choosing The Right Solar Roof Vent
Consider the type of vent when choosing the right one for you. There are two types to choose from.
Roof-mounted fans are installed on flat and pitched roofs by cutting a circular hole into the roof. These types of vents may require the help of an expert if you lack the necessary skills.
Gable mounted vents on the other hand are placed behind existing gable vents. The installation of gable vents are made more difficult if you dont have existing vents.
Also consider the construction quality of a unit when making a choice. Your unit will be exposed to conditions such as UV radiation, rain, hail and even snow, tornadoes and hurricanes depending on where you live.
Ensure the casing of a unit is durable to withstand such extremities. Thermostats are also a useful feature that turn the vent fan on or off depending on the ambient temperature and can prolong the life of the fans motor.
How Many Solar Roof Vents Do You Need
Youd need more than two solar roof vents to move the hot air in a 1600-square foot home.
And you would need more than that number if your solar roof vents are not properly maintained. When not taken care of properly, solar roof vents wont last as long as they are expected to.
To avoid needing to buy additional solar roof vents, heres how you can maintain them and increase their lifespan:
Theyre Quiet Running Compared To Traditional Fans
If you can remember your childhood home, you might remember those noisy fans anytime you went up into the attic. Youd have to shout over them to be heard. Solar powered fans dont typically make that kind of racket, which means your attic may become more useful as a part of your home apart from a space to toss old boxes.
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What Are Solar Roof Vents And How Do They Work
No matter how many square feet of attic space you have, airflow is essential during the years cold and hot times. Thats because even in wintertime, heat rises and fills attics, causing roof surfaces to heat up.
Why is a hot attic such a danger during the winter? Warm roofs melt snow and can cause it to turn into solid ice sheets on the side of your house. Thats bad for paint, siding, wood, metal, whatever covers the exterior of your home.
Attic vents to the rescue! An attic that is properly ventilated defeats the dreaded heat buildup that leads to so many problems. One of the main problems of over-heated attics is excessive energy bills.
When attic heat rises, it makes your air conditioner system run more often than it should, which leads to higher utility bills. But with proper attic insulation, warm air has somewhere to go.
Why We Recommend Solar Fans
Solar fans dont require any electricity, wind, or attic pressure to spin. The sun does that! A solar fan is able to actively pull more air into your attic than a turbine can. A solar fan doesnt rely on the wind, and it actually has a more powerful motor in it, so it keeps the temperature of your attic regulated regardless of wind conditions. Solar fans are a true active roof vent, and can lower your attic temperatures by up to 25 degrees!….might we add they look a bit better on your roof as well
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Understanding The Effects Of Heat And Humidity On Your Home
With 90° plus temperatures and sticky humidity, Florida residents often escape to the inside of their homes and air-conditioned comfort. For those whose homes arent properly insulated, or have no air conditioning, what happens? Well, attics trap solar heat, which then readily transfers to living spaces, forcing those with air conditioning to adjust the thermostat down, which in turn causes utility bills to go up.
Without proper ventilation and air exchange, trapped Florida humidity can damage insulation, deteriorate your roof, cause fungal decay, and delaminate plywood. Attic ventilation in the form of a solar attic fan can help, and since it is powered by the sun, you wont use additional electricity. In result, solar attic fans remove excess heat from your home.
Ever A Good Idea To Install A Powered Roof Vent
I know these powered roof vents get a bad rap, but is it ever a good idea to install them?
Such as if the attic floor has been air sealed. This way the powered roof vent should not be pulling conditioned air from the house, rather its pulling mainly from the soffits or other areas of easy entry.
Also assuming, the power roof vent is temperature controlled and electric efficient.
Zone 4 represented
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So Are Solar Attic Fans Or Roof Vents Really Worth It
Like many green home renovations, the answer is: it depends. Certainly theyre not recommended if you have combustion gas appliances, like gas-powered water heaters, since the potential for backdrafts in these homes is high. But if your goal is to make your home as energy efficient as possible, regardless of the cost, they may be a positive addition. This is particularly true if youd like your attic to be coolerfor instance, if youre storing valuables there that wont stand up well to high heat and humidity.
Additionally, if you live in a home that suffers from excessive heat in the attic, installing a solar-powered ventilator is one potential solution to reduce interior temperatures and protect your roof.
Shop For The Right Kind Of Vent:
Based on the size of your home, the size and shape of your attic, the local climate, and your financial restraints, be sure to consider all ventilation options before your purchase a system. Thats the smartest way to ensure that you dont end up with a mismatched attic ventilation system. With all the solar products out there, be sure to buy the correct solar powered roof vent before installing it.
Best Solar Roof Vents
Air Flow Capacity : 1960 cfm up to 2000 square feet
Plug Profile : Gable vent
Adjustable solar panel : Yes
The ECO-WORTHY 25W solar attic fan works efficiently in low light conditions. It works even on cold days at a low voltage of 4V. It doesnt however work in extreme cold or at night.
It is versatile and can be installed on RVs, greenhouses, garage sheds or outdoors with the help of an expert. It is however best installed on a gable vent.
The ECO-WORTHY 25W features a fast, quiet upgraded motor that has low energy consumption. The motor has a lifespan of up to twice that of a regular motor. Pre-installed with the unit is a solar cable for easy set-up.
The ECO-WORTHY 25Ws fan blades are made of 104 stainless steel and have a double punch to fit an installation direction. The fan moves big volumes of air with its capacity of 1960 cfm.
The Bottom Line: How To Buy The Best Solar Fan Today
In our opinion, you really cant go wrong with the Remington Solar 20-Watt Solar Attic Fan. With an unmatched lifetime warranty, an innovative design, hybrid functionality, in-built thermostat/humidistat, and the hundreds youll save on utility bills, Remington Solars 20W model offers incredible value for money. Itll certainly prolong the lifespan of your roof and your air conditioner.
Even more impressive is that this fan is rated to withstand Texas windstorms, so you know youre getting one of the most durable fans on the market. Its not a cheap option, but its certainly worth it.
But, if youre looking for something cheaper, the ECO-WORTHY is a great option as well. And if you want something even more durable and more premium, the Florida-rated solar fan by Natural Light is an absolute winner.
And if you want what everyone else is getting, you should definitely check out the iLIVING Hybrid. Its affordable and does its job well. No wonder its a top seller!
For more in-depth reviewed solar gear for your home, check out our best solar pool heaters of the year, if your pool is too cool. Or, check out our best pure sine wave inverters to buy, if you do some off-the-grid living and need to power more sensitive equipment.
Whatever your solar needs, Your Energy Blog has you covered!
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Cons Of Solar Roof Ventilation
The effectiveness of solar roof ventilation is weather-dependent. The system requires direct sunlight to operate, so the motor will slow on overcast days. On windy days, it can pull in uncontrolled air from outside, making your home even colder in winter or even warmer in summer.
For solar roof ventilation to work effectively, you really need good insulation in the ceiling and walls. And although many solar ventilation companies claim that the temperature inside the roof will cool dramatically, roof ventilation is not an air conditioning system, so it wont cool a space lower than the temperature of the air drawn in from outside.
Although you can recoup the cost over time through energy savings, solar roof ventilation is very expensive and can put a lot of homeowners off. Because solar fans operate with lower power output, you wont be able to move as much air as other options, meaning that you may need to double your investment. Depending on the size of your home, you may need 2-4 fans to maximise the effectiveness.
How Many Solar Attic Fans Do I Need
The short answer is, It depends. The long answer is that the number of fans youll need is determined by a few different factors. The square footage of your home, pre-existing ventilation, the pitch of your roof, insulation and sealing of the attic, and whether or not you have vaulted ceilings all come into play.
For example, youll need one fan per 1,200 square feet if your roof has a low slope. If your roof has a higher pitch, youll need two attic fans to cover a 1,200 square foot space. For very high slopes, youll need two units to generate adequate ventilation in an 800 square foot space.
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Natural Light Solar Attic Fan
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Natural Light is pretty much the best manufacturer in the business. Their products are made of the highest-quality materials, receive rave solar attic fan reviews, and are reasonably priced for just about anyone.
- Size: 27.2 x 27.2 x 11.5 inches
- Wattage: 36-watts
- Placement: Roof w/ 45-degree pitch
- Thermostat: No
- Coverage: 2625 square feet
- Warranty: 25-years
Natural Light is known for producing the highest-quality equipment. These fans, in particular, are top-notch and made with the best materials you can get.
You can easily install this fan and dont have to know all the tricks and tips of running wiring like with some other options.
The kit comes with everything you need for installation, which makes it all the easier. No hunting down this or that.
You might want to grab the snap-on thermostat though. This thermostat is great for cold-weather climates.
The solar panel is adjustable to a 45-degree angle, which also makes this a really versatile piece for unique climates.
- Coverage: 2500 square feet
- Warranty: 12-month
Remington solar attic fans are specially equipped for noise dampening. For anyone who might have a workable space in the attic, this is going to be important.
Plus, this fan typically lives up to its advertising as a simple one hour install, which means just about anybodys going to be able to do it, even the less handy folks in the crowd.
The motor is strong, by the way, and really does cover up to 2500 square feet comfortably.
Do Solar Attic Fans Save Money
Yes, solar attic fans do save money! We all know the old adage, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually isnt. While thats usually true, it isnt in the case of solar attic fans. According to a recent study, solar attic fans can help you save money in various ways. They can:
1) Extend the lifespan of your air conditioning unit by reducing strain.
2) Protect your roof by eliminating excess heat and moisture.
3) Lower utility bills by requiring less electricity to cool your attic.
4) Cost much less than installing a secondary air conditioning unit in your home.
Installing a solar attic fan has pros and cons, but its well worth the initial cost when you consider that youll save hundreds of dollars annually.
Furthermore, solar products purchased in 2021 can be used to claim a 30% federal tax credit as well, so itll practically pay for itself in a few years .
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The Issue With Turbines
Roof Turbines are a cheaper alternative to attic ventilation. They can perform like an active roof vent when the wind is blowing, or there is an excellent static pressure in your attic, but most of the hot months in Texas do not promote the spinning and performance of a roof turbine. Its important for these roofing eye sores actually spin so they create the CFM or cubit foot per minute airflow they need to change your attic temperature.
How Helpful Are Solar Attic Fans
Asphalt shingles are constructed to withstand the abuse of the sunrays for decades, but they are subjected to higher temperatures when the roof decking is allowed to overheat. The solar attic fan will definitely extend the life of your roof shingles and prevent it from damaging. During colder months, solar attic fan removes the moist warm air that is produced using heaters. This hot moist air can rot the underside of the roof sheathing. The hot moist air helps mould and mildew to grow on the interior walls of your attic. Cold air in your attic will not affect the temperature in your adjacent living rooms if properly insulated. Even if you use vapour barriers to keep moisture from entering your attic, there are air leaks around the ceiling light fixtures and bathroom exhaust fan, that allows unwanted moisture into the attic. The sign of the moisture is rusty roof nails sticking through the roof deck.
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The Cons Of Solar Attic Fans
While there arent many, solar attic fans do have a few cons, like these:
- More Costly than Traditional Models Solar attic fans are most costly on the front end than traditional attic fans, but the initial expense is ultimately made up in energy savings over time.
- Most Homes Need Two In most homes, youll need two solar attic fans to move the air needed and enhance utility savings.
- Solar Attic Fans Require Direct Sunlight Solar attic fans require direct sunlight to work as their energy source is the sun. Your solar panel will need to be in direct sunlight to operate, which means cloud cover, shade trees, and even dust can hinder operation.
What Is Solar Roof Ventilation
Solar roof ventilation provides a great alternative to whirlybirds. As the name suggests, solar roof ventilation uses solar energy to extract hot and dry air in the roof, helping to cool the roof space and your home at the same time.
The fan extracts hot air out of the roof space and replaces it with cooler ambient air pulled in from outside. The extractor fan can also be used to push out hot air from rooms inside the home.
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Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
SHGC is the successor to the shading coefficient used in the United States and it is the ratio of transmitted solar radiation to incident solar radiation of an entire window assembly. It ranges from 0 to 1 and refers to the solar energy transmittance of a window or door as a whole, factoring in the glass, frame material, sash , divided lite bars and screens . The transmittance of each component is calculated in a similar manner to the shading coefficient. However, in contrast to the shading coefficient, the total solar gain is calculated on a wavelength-by-wavelength basis where the directlytransmitted portion of the solar heat gain coefficient is given by:
) is thus the portion of absorbed and re-emitted energy across all assembly components beyond just the glass. It is important to note that the standard SHGC is calculated only for an angle of incidence normal to the window. However this tends to provide a good estimate over a wide range of angles, up to 30 degrees from normal in most cases.
SHGC can either be estimated through simulation models or measured by recording the total heat flow through a window with a calorimeter chamber. In both cases, NFRC standards outline the procedure for the test procedure and calculation of the SHGC. For dynamic fenestration or operable shading, each possible state can be described by a different SHGC.
Control Of Solar Gain
Uncontrolled solar gain is undesirable in hot climates due to its potential for overheating a space. To minimize this and reduce cooling loads, several technologies exist for solar gain reduction. SHGC is influenced by the color or tint of glass and its degree of reflectivity. Reflectivity can be modified through the application of reflective metal oxides to the surface of the glass. Low-emissivity coating is another more recently developed option that offers greater specificity in the wavelengths reflected and re-emitted. This allows glass to block mainly short-wave infrared radiation without greatly reducing visible transmittance.
In climate-responsive design for cold and mixed climates, windows are typically sized and positioned in order to provide solar heat gains during the heating season. To that end, glazing with a relatively high solar heat gain coefficient is often used so as not to block solar heat gains, especially in the sunny side of the house. SHGC also decreases with the number of glass panes used in a window. For example, in triple glazed windows, SHGC tends to be in the range of 0.33 – 0.47. For double glazed windows SHGC is more often in the range of 0.42 – 0.55.
Different types of glass can be used to increase or to decrease solar heat gain through fenestration, but can also be more finely tuned by the proper orientation of windows and by the addition of shading devices such as overhangs, louvers, fins, porches, and other architectural shading elements.
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