Do you ever complain about your home feeling too hot in the summer? Attics can reach temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or more during the day. This trapped heat can seep into the home, causing the interior temperature to rise to uncomfortable levels. An attic is also bombarded by moisture buildup from everyday activities such as cooking, showering, and laundry. In the winter months there could be as much as 28 gallons of water rising into the attic, potentially leading to mold, mildew and wood rot. Solar attic fans are designed to reduce the temperature and draw moisture out of the attic space to extend the lifespan of the roof, maintain the overall integrity of the attic as well as making your home more comfortable to live in. Energy Star-rated solar attic fans still qualify for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the purchase and installation costs, making it a very worthwhile investment. This article discusses how a solar powered attic fan works and the benefits of installing one in your attic.
Solar attic fans are powered by UV rays from the sun and use that energy to pull superheated air and moisture out of your attic to be replaced by cooler, dry air from outside. Depending on the size of the fan, it is estimated that a solar attic fan is able to reduce the temperature in the attic by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). The solar panel component of an attic fan is best placed facing due south to maximize contact with direct sunlight. If you decide to install a solar powered attic fan yourself keep in mind that you have to cut holes in your roof, so make sure you aren’t cutting into anything important.
Most solar powered attic fans have separate units for collection (solar panel), ventilation (fan) and control (thermostat) making the system versatile when it comes to installation. A solar powered attic fan can sit on top of the roof over an opening in the attic. Gable-end models work the best, as they are able to move much more air than roof-mounted mushroom top units. The solar panels themselves are sleek and inconspicuous so you are sure not to have any complaints about its presence on your roof.
An attic has many components which include roof, insulation, vents, ducts (HVAC) and radiant barriers. Depending on the type of roof, extreme heat can cause it damage and premature deterioration. A hot attic can also reduce the lifespan of your HVAC system, affecting the overall comfort of the home. By pushing the hot air in the attic outside, a solar attic fan contributes to keeping the inside of a home cooler and more comfortable.
Air conditioning systems are a major source of power usage in most homes; often the greatest expense. The greater the interior temperature, the harder the air conditioning system needs to work to cool the inside of a home. By reducing the amount of superheated air in your attic you minimize the pressure on your HVAC system to cool your living space – especially if you have two or more floors in your home. The less the HVAC system has to run the less energy it takes to power the HVAC system saving you money on energy bills and expensive repair and replacement costs. And the good news with solar attic fans is that once installed they do not cost anything to operate. And now that the HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard, that startling noise when the system kicks in is also reduced. The greatest benefit of all though is a more comfortable home.
Solar powered fans can make a real difference if you regularly use the space adjacent to your attic. This can apply to the upper floors of your home and even to your garage. For example, do you spend a lot of time in your garage doing laundry, working on your car or maybe you have a pool table there? Installing a gable-end fan above the garage will make the space noticeably cooler.
Utilizing the abundance of sunlight, many Florida universities are conducting research on solar energy. The Florida Solar Energy Center is a research institute of the University of Central Florida. The Energy Center has published “Performance Assessment of Photovoltaic Attic Ventilator Fans” that discusses “the potential ventilation impact on cooling”. Click here to read that Assessment.
With all that said, every home is different and all the components of the attic system need to be evaluated to insure they work together for maximum efficiency. If your primary motivation is saving money on your utility bill, you’re likely better off choosing a different attic-related project. The main advantage of installing a solar attic fan is that it will help to reduce the interior temperature of a home thus increasing the overall comfort of the home.
Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is a certified installer of solar powered attic fans and they install nearly two hundreds units of their Smart Air Ventilation™ solar fans across the country each month. With one of these installed in your home you won’t hear yourself complain about the temperature in your home again!
Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is located in Olympia and serves all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Pennsylvania. The company specializes in the installation of insulation and solar products that are durable and maintenance-free, saving you money and making your home or business warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is proud of its superior products and service and always strives for positive reviews.