Solar powered attic fans are cost effective ways of keeping homes cool during hot summer days at a fraction of the cost of more traditional air conditioning systems.
Solar powered attic fans are installed onto the house roof and extract hot air from the attic or loft areas, this air extraction creates a flow of air throughout the house the movement of which generates a cooling effect – at a fraction of the cost of expensive to run air conditioning.
As air heats it naturally rises and will gather at the highest point if it cannot go any further. In a house this tends to be in the attic space. If you have ever ventured into your attic on a summer’s day then you’ll have experienced this effect – red hot is the term, almost sauna like conditions can exist in the roof area.
This heat build up can radiate into the rest of the house creating hot conditions elsewhere.
Solar powered attic fans are installed at the highest point possible, this enables them to extract as much of the hot air as practicable. The process of extracting the air creates ‘air space’ in the attic which is then back filled with air from the house.
Cool air is more dense than warm air, so this sits at ground level, thus as the hot air is thrown out of the roof area by the attic fan, more dense cool air is drawn in at ground level. This creates the sensation of cooling and results in a cooler, more pleasant home.
Solar powered attic fans are powered by the sun and require no mains or battery power so other than the purchase cost and costs of installation, there are no costs associated with the operation of the fan.
Attached on top of a building, solar fans generate their own electricity from sunlight that their built in solar panels gather. This electricity then powers the fan which in turn pulls out hot air. The cumulative effect also removes moisture and heat, extends roof life, and furthermore, lessens electric power usage.
As it is removing hot air from your home the solar attic fan reduces the need for air conditioning, and, in some cases, using solar powered attic fans can remove the need for air conditioning all together.
As with most solar powered devices solar powered attic fans work best when their solar panels are in direct sunlight. On most house roofs this will not be a real problem, The height of the home should mean that the fan will not be shaded or overcast by other buildings, trees etc.
The fans will work at a reduced level if shaded, many homes don’t experience direct sunlight all day due to the rotation of the earth, but fans will still work when light levels are lower.
In addition to the benefits of lower house temperatures that are created by these solar attic fans, the use of solar accessories can have an added benefit to your home in terms of attraction and value if and when it comes time to sell. Most people are more aware of environmental issues and they find green technologies to be of interest and such things when installed in a home can be extra enhancements and inducements to buy.
Solar fans are sized similar to electrically driven fans and use similar components so reliability is not a problem, once installed they require little if any maintenance.
The installation of a solar powered attic fan is reasonably straightforwards. Most devices come with clear and comprehensive instructions from their manufacturers. The fans are generally designed to be used with existing air vents such as soffit or gable end vents.
.Generally installation should take around 30 minutes to an hour and this is well within the scope of do it yourself. There are no wires to connect or install, so there’s no need for electricians or any prior electrical knowledge or experience. This is true of most solar accessories – such as garden solar lights, solar pond pumps etc – and a solar powered attic fan is not much more difficult to fit than these other solar powered items.
You can lower your home cooling fees by as much as 75% by using a solar powered fan.