What Do I Need To Know About Installing A Solar Fan
Install the fans solar panel on the area of your roof that will get the most sunlight between noon and 8 PM. This is the hottest part of the day when you can collect the most solar rays. Make sure trees or other homes dont cast shadows on the panels during this period.
Solar fans are very simple to set up, so an electrician wont be necessarythats the good news. The bad news is that you will have to cut a hole in your roof, perhaps several of them if you are putting in several.
If youre confident in doing so you can do this yourself, but it is highly recommended that you hire a roofing professional to do it. If you install the sheathing wrong you could end up with leaks or having heat escape in the winter.
To get the most out of a solar-powered fan or to determine if you might need to install more than one, take some heat and humidity measurements every evening for a few weeks before you install the fan. Then do the same thing after the fan is installed.
Take note of any significant differences to see if the installation was worth the money. If you notice a slight difference for the better, but youre still not where you want to be then this will also help determine if you should install a few more.
When Is The Best Time To Install The Fan
I had decided to do the work early in the morning while it was cool on the roof. Within an hour after installing it, the sun hit the solar panel and the fan blades started to spin. It was almost magical to see the solar attic fan work.
You’re a pretty clever guy to get the sun to do double duty. It makes perfect sense to make the sun cool your attic space, since it is the source of the problem in the first place.
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Why Install A Solar Attic Fan
According to the Building Envelope Consultants, a poorly ventilated attic can lead to premature roof failure, poor indoor quality, and even damage to rafters and sheathing due to moisture.
A solar attic fan will remove heat during warm weather, and will reduce moisture during cold weather using free energy from the sun.
And if you have any interest in installing a solar attic fan, now may be the time to do it.
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They Help Reduce Attic Humidity In The Summer
In the summer, humidity is higher because warm air holds more water. This elevation in ambient moisture promotes the growth of mold and fungi in the attic. If left unchecked, the growth will damage your attic space and its content. But with the coolness and air circulation solar attic fans provide, you can avoid this.
Cut The Hole Into The Roof Sheathing
Using the sawzall, carefully cut out a hole following your pencil trace.
Before it is completely cut through, grab onto the screw in the center of the cutout.
You dont want the cut out to fall into the attic and possibly damaging your drywall ceiling.
When you are done, pull out the circular cutout.
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How Does A Solar Powered Attic Fan Work
Solar Powered Attic Fans workattic’sattic fanfanattic
Energy Star-rated solar attic fans still qualify for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of your purchase and installation costs. “But you’ll likely need two fans to make an impact,” says Danny. “Possibly three if your house has more than 1,600 square feet of air-conditioned floor area.”
One may also ask, how do I know if my attic fan is working? How to Test an Attic Fan Motor
Moreover, how does a solar powered fan work?
Solar–powered fans use a solar panel to generate the electricity needed to turn the fan motor. One common application is for attic ventilation. Because the solar panel provides the most energy when the sun is hottest, the fan moves more air at the time of highest need. Solar panels consist of photovoltaic cells.
Do solar powered attic fans save money?
Save MoneyMany of the above benefits will directly or indirectly save you money. While the energy savings from using a solar attic fan are typically moderate, consider the value of protecting your roof and prolonging the life span of your air-conditioning unit.
Dollars And Sense Is A Solar Attic Fan Worth The Cost
Accurately sized and properly installed Solatube Solar-Powered Attic Fan can trim your energy bills by as much as 25 percent. Also, remember that the federal government is offering a 30 percent tax credit for systems that rely on solar photovoltaic technology. Consider those savings alongside what you stand to save from month to month. Right now seems like a fine time to start protecting your attic and roof from year-round stresses while also enhancing your familys comfort!
If you are looking at transitioning your home to a more sustainable and cost-friendly ventilation system, call 888.SOLATUBE or visit Solatube.com to find your local dealer
This post has been brought to you by Solatube. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.
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Solar Attic Fan Kit Well Suited For Gable Vent
Choose a Fan
A solar attic fan is well-suited for gable ventilation. The separate units for collection, ventilation and control make the system versatile. The kit includes a 40-watt solar panel, a thermostat/controller and a 12-volt DC powered 11-inch diameter fan. For best results, select a solar panel with double the output required by the fan used.
Does The Fan Spin At Different Speeds
Yes, the solar powered attic fans spin at different speeds.
If the angle of the sun is lower in the sky or the sun’s rays are trying to cut through thin clouds or haze, the fan spins slower moving less air.
The single solar-powered attic fan I have has not lowered the temperature in my attic at all. I took precise before and after temperature readings.
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Decide Where To Install The Fan
It is recommended to install solar attic fans 24 inches from the top or ridge of the roof.
This is because the warm air in the attic is already naturally rising towards the ridge.
If you install the solar attic fan lower on the roof, you wont be catching most of the rising hot air.
The City of Portland recommends that solar attic fans are installed on the southern portion of your roof, and away from any overhanging trees.
How Effective Are Solar
If you add the right size attic fan and the right number of attic fans to your home they can make a tremendous difference in lowering the temperature in your attic and in your home. Want to keep your house comfortable year-round while protecting the attic and roof from a battery of hazards? An attic fan may be just what youre looking for.
Its midsummer, and for hours and days, the sun has been beating on the roof of your home. Measurements have shown that, given the right weather conditions, typical roofing materials can reach up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. That heat eventually transfers from the outside of the roof to the sheathing. From there, it penetrates the insulation and roof framing materials, raising the temperature of the attic to a precarious extreme.
But summer isnt the only season during which the attic faces a threat. In winter, when windows are shut tight, theres considerably less ventilation for the humidity generated by cooking, laundry, and showers. With nowhere else to go, that moist air accumulates in the attic, where it can bring about a battery of risks.
Indeed, no matter the time of year, there are good reasons to give extra attention to your attic and the stresses that it undergoes.
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Why Do I Need An Attic Fan Anyways
Here in Dallas, the attic at my house was hitting 130 degrees F when the outside temperature was at about 100 degrees F. Some people report their attics reaching temps upwards of 150 degrees during the hottest days of summerlooking at you Phoenix!
An attic fan is going to drive excess heat out of your attic. This is important because the wood and insulation that connects your attic floor to the ceiling of your house is going to act like an oven and will retain heat after the sun goes down and radiate into your home, making AC units work hard.
There is actually a little debate on this subject between homeowners and builders. Some believe a fan is greatly needed and a home is incomplete without one, others believe that an attic fan isnt doing that much work and roof vents are just as good.
My thought is that if you live in a very hot or very humid location, then they are a necessity. If you live in a more mild climate then roof vents are probably okay.
A fan will also keep airflow moving and dry out some moisture if you live in a humid location. And its not just natural humidity you need to worry about. Showers, tubs, dishwashers, and cooking will also give your home a humidity bump. Attic fans will lend a huge assist in dropping the moisture in the air, staving off mold and mildew.
What Does The Attic Fan Do
- Do you know the story of the wind and the sun? As the story correctly represents, too much of sun makes it extremely difficult for us even to stay indoors. Countries in the tropical regions are facing the issue of having to live in increased temperatures. In addition, countries like Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa have extreme temperatures exceeding 50 0C.
These temperatures are unbearable to human skin. The natural room temperatures in tropical countries are considered to be in the range of 260°C 280°C. The temperature thats felt on the skin in tropical regions is much higher than the nominal room temperature.
Not only the temperature alone but there is also another factor that makes the surrounding heated and uncomfortable to be in. That is the humidity. When the humidity is high, we tend to feel the temperature more on our skin. We tend to sweat a lot. Humidity makes us feel the temperature is higher than it is.
This phenomenon is not only present in the tropical regions of the world. In the summertime, most countries face the difficulty of having higher temperatures and high humidity levels.
People use attic fans to get rid of this uncomfortable feeling.
Attic fans reduce the chance of sweating due to high temperatures indoors. It does not have any magical powers, but it does it by forcing the airflow from the inside of the attic to the outside of the house.
All the moisture added to the air is heated. We know that heated particles only go one way.
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Solar Energy Is Available When It Matters
When the skies are cloudy, and it appears like it is about to rain, the temperature falls, and the demand for cooling falls. On such days, you may have little or no need for a solar attic fan. So, the absence of the sun would be of less concern.
But on sunny days, when the temperature rises, the need for cooling presents itself. Since the sun will be available to power solar attic fans, you get to keep your home cool when it matters the most.
This is unlike turbine attic fans. These types only work when there is wind. So, if there is no wind on a hot day, they would be non-functional.
Are Solar Attic Fans Any Use In Winter
Solar attic fans are a very effective way to cool your home during the hot summer months, but does this mean they are of no use the rest of the year?
In fact, solar attic fans can do an excellent job year-round. Heres why.
The reason most homes are built with some loft ventilation is that its healthy for your attic to have airflow year-round. This is to prevent problems caused by the buildup of moisture in your attic. A good airflow makes sure that you avoid issues like condensation, mildew, and damp patches.
Ice damming is another problem that affects roofs in winter. Meltwater gets into the eaves of your roof and re-freezes. An ice buildup passes back through the shingles of your roof and then melts in your attic causing water to leak onto your ceilings.
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Solar Powered Attic Fan
This solar panel produces enough electricity to power a spinning fan in the round ventilator on the roof at the top of the photo. See it? But the fan only works when the panel is basking in sunlight. The fan does not lower the temperature in the attic at all. I feel solar fans are a waste of money. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter
“But after seeing my solar-powered attic fan work, I have a long list of cons.”
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Attic Fan
. Subsequently, one may also ask, how much does it cost to install an attic fan?
Attic fan installation costs between $300 to $600, with most homeowners spending $550 to install a fan . There are certain factors to consider that influence the final cost.
Beside above, does a solar attic fan save money? Solar Attic Fan ReviewsEven though electric attic fans can lower your air conditioning costs, they cost more money to run than what they save you. Meanwhile, solar attic fans are free to run, lower your electric bills, and have few costs beyond purchase and installation.
Thereof, is solar attic fan worth it?
Solar Attic Fans Are They Worth It. The short answer is – it depends”Â¦. Often the property’s HVAC system duct-work is routed through attic spaces, which, even though they are insulated to protect the house below, will still get very hot when in the direct sun or the heat of high summer.
Do electricians install attic fans?
Roofers are the most qualified to install attic fans mounted on your roof line. Roofers charge between $45 and $75 per hour. If your fan is electric or solar powered, you will also need to hire an electrician to wire the fan to your home’s electric supply, or to properly mount and connect the solar panels.
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Add Butyl Sealant Under Each Z Bracket
Locate the Rafters and Drill the Brackets
Use a hammer to locate the rafters. The panel will be held securely to the roof by Z-bracket mounts that will be drilled into the rafters. The Z-brackets will also elevate the panel from the hot roof surface, making it work more efficiently.
Stainless-steel hardware should be used to connect the Z-brackets to the inside edges of the panel.
Add butyl sealant under each Z-bracket before drilling the brackets into the roof .
Solar Attic Fans May Prevent Ice Damming
During winter, attics with poor ventilation and insulation may suffer ice damming as warm air leaks from the interior.
The leaking air will melt the snow on the roof. Then when the melted snow refreezes, it will form ice at the edge of the roof. As more snow melts, the ice at the roofs edge holds the water back like a dam. This water retention may then damage the sheathing and walls of the home.
In the presence of an attic fan, it would prevent this. The fan will facilitate ventilation, preventing warm air from accumulating in the attic in the first place.
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My Solar Fan Is Working But Its Not Cooling My Attic At All
Here is a negative to any attic fan, not just solar-powered ones. One fan usually wont be enough to make a difference, especially if you live in a very hot location. A 12-inch fan just isnt going to move enough air to cool 800 to 1,000 square feet of attic space.
One homebuilder told a Phoenix resident that his large attic would need at least 15 solar-powered fans to combat the broiling Arizona sun, and even then it would only make a dent.
In these cases of houses located in very hot places, luckily humidity isnt typically an issue. But to assist the solar fans in their cooling duties, a homeowner may want to supplement them with electricity-powered fans and may want to consider spraying their attics with spray foam insulation that has a very high R rating.
Solar Attic Fans Pros And Cons
When it comes to energy cost and consumption, solar attic fans trump other attic ventilation fans. But this does not rule out the fact it is more expensive to buy than other attic fans. Still, it may turn out to be a beneficial investment weigh solar attic fans pros and cons yourself.
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