If you’ve been up in your attic during the summer months, you know how stifling it can get up there.
This is especially true on those hot summer days when the sun beats down on your roof’s surface. It heats up the still and stagnant air inside your attic. On days like that, it’s sweltering.
You might think, so what? It’s no big deal. After all, you probably don’t live in your attic.
But all that hot air up there can not only wreak havoc with any belongings you have stored up there. It also affects your comfort, your energy bill, and the actual structure of your home.
Another thing to keep in mind? Whenever you’re not making the best use of energy, the earth feels the strain of it.
This is where a solar fan can make a big difference. Read on to learn more!
How Can a Solar Fan in the Attic Help?
Current building codes require homes to have a passive vent system. And that’s certainly better than no vent system at all.
However, passive ventilation doesn’t always provide the pressure needed to force the air through the attic and outside. In that case, what you’re stuck with is a hot and sticky sauna inside your attic.
A solar fan in your attic works with your existing passive vents. When placed at the roof’s ridge, it will pull air in from outside and gently force it to move through the entire attic space before escaping through the attic vent.
This means a much cooler attic and a much cooler home.
If you’re still not convinced of the many benefits of a solar fan, here are four other ways these solar attic fans will help you save money and energy. That’s a win for both you and the planet.
1. They’re More Energy Efficient
If you already have an old school attic fan, you might think you’re good to go. As it turns out, though, it may be doing more harm than good.
That’s because powered fans have the potential to create too much negative space in your attic. When this happens, it’ll actually draw cool air OUT of the interior of your house through the roof.
Is your home’s cooling system working overtime to keep things comfortable? If so, you can bet that cool air flowing out of the house through the roof because of decreased energy efficiency.
If run you run it continuously, a motorized attic fan can use up a lot of electricity in a month. In fact, that old attic fan could be burning up to 20% of your monthly electricity usage. If that’s the case, your energy savings may not outweigh your energy costs.
Since a solar fan runs on the power of the sun, it isn’t going to have any impact on your electricity bill. Plus, solar powered fans are only active when the sun is beating down on your house.
In other words, they only function when you need them rather than continuously running all day and night.
So you won’t end up pulling cool air out of your home and counteracting the work of your cooling system. Not only will you save money, but you’ll protect your roof and attic from the damage caused by overheating and condensation.
2. They Help Reduce Moisture in Any Climate
This is good news, whether you’re going solar in the Bay Area, the Great Plains, the Deep South, or New York City. From hot and dry to sweltering and humid, a solar attic fan has you covered in every type of climate.
What if you live in a newer home? True, that newer home was probably constructed with vapor barriers. Even if that’s the case, though, it doesn’t mean that moisture can’t still find its way into your attic.
When it does, it’ll condense on the framing boards, insulation, and roof decking. All this can create some serious problems down the road.
The problem could be even worse if your home is older. An older home that has settled can develop cracks or air leaks around bathroom light fixtures or exhaust fans. This is where mold and mildew grow and thrive.
A solar fan will force out that warm moist air. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew that threaten to rot out your home’s roofing materials.
But what happens on those days with little sun or when the weather conditions are less than ideal? You don’t need to worry then, either.
The way solar panels work is really fascinating. They continue to collect energy even on those hazy days or during poor weather conditions. That way you can be sure you’ll get the maximum cooling effect in the middle of the day, when it’s needed most.
3. One Fan Cools the Whole House Quietly and Safely
Not only does a solar fan lower your attic temperature, but it works to keep the rooms below your attic cool as well. That means you and your family will be more comfortable during those blazing hot summer months.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about moisture collecting up in the attic and slowly eating away at your home’s structure.
Solar attic fans are quiet to operate, unlike conventional electric fans that can be loud enough to keep you up at night.
Another bonus? A solar fan is actually safer than conventional electric fans.
For instance, let’s say you run your attic fan for a few minutes to cool down your kitchen after baking on a hot day. That attic fan is going to pull more air out of the house than can enter through an open window.
When that happens, the air pressure within the house goes negative. The air is then sucked down the appliance flues–a phenomenon known as flue backdraft.
Here’s the problem with that.
Since the air that’s sucked down the flue contains the products of combustion, it has much less oxygen and more carbon dioxide than usual. When that used air gets pulled into the appliances for combustion air, the water heater and furnace can generate dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide in a short period of time.
Then, as the motorized attic fan continues to pull air down the flue, those high levels of carbon monoxide mix with the surrounding air. The air then gets re-burned, making the situation even worse.
Sounds scary, right? But you don’t have to worry about any of that with a solar fan. It gently moves air to provide efficient airflow while keeping your attic pressure at a safe level.
There’s a lot to be said for that kind of peace of mind.
4. You Can Qualify for a Federal Tax Credit
It’s clear that solar attic fans contribute to a more sustainable and green home. You save energy, keep your home cooler, and are being environmentally friendly.
But if cooling your home in an efficient and eco-friendly way isn’t enough of a reason to get a solar attic fan, then consider the tax incentives.
The good news is that the Federal tax credit for solar attic fans has been extended through 2021. You could be eligible for up to a $1,500 credit on the purchase of your fan.
This credit also includes the price of installation, should you choose to hire someone to install it for you.
In many cases, solar attic fans are easy to install. They don’t require any expertise in wiring since they don’t use electricity. And no structural work on your roof is required, either.
But since getting up on the roof can be dangerous and stressful, you can always find an experienced installer through your solar fan dealer. A professional installer will have that attic fan up and running in half an hour or so.
You could also find green contractors in your neighborhood. They can help you with the installation and give you some other greener living tips for your home.
All this means more comfort and less stress for you. Whichever route you choose, you can be assured that the solar fun will run effectively and efficiently.
Are You Getting the Most from the Sun?
It’s hard to deny that the benefits of solar power are numerous. And with all the environmental challenges the earth is facing these days, it’s needed.
By installing a solar fan in your attic, you’ll not only be contributing to keeping the planet healthy, but you’ll also be saving energy, staying cool, and going green. All the while, you’ll be saving money too.
For more great ideas on using solar power and living an eco-friendly lifestyle, be sure to keep checking in with us!