The attic is typically a quite problematic area in the home. Have you noticed how through the warmer months of the year the attic is hot enough to fry bacon in (without a pan)? During summertime, heat from the sun radiates to the shingles of the roof, from there to the attic, and from the attic to the entire home. Unfortunately this problem cannot be solved by simply waiting for the sun to go down, as the attic stays hot for much longer after. Having insulation slows the progress without eliminating heat entirely. A solar attic fan will ventilate the attic area without running up the energy bill or running the money out of your pocket.
Types of Ventilation: Passive v. Active
Passive Draft Air Convection
The type of ventilation an attic house fan provides plays a major role in the efficiency of the system as well as the energy usage in your home and what it costs. Gable vents, ridge vents, and dormer vents fall into the category of passive, or natural, ventilation. What this means is that as the hot air in the attic rises, it should pass through the vents to produce a natural draft through the attic. However, this method is not effective in lowering the attic temperature. Turbine vents are just as unsuccessful in properly ventilating the attic, as they are not capable of moving much air, experience mechanical issues regularly, and depend on wind to provide power.
Active Draft Air Convection
Attic solar fans are placed in the category of active attic ventilation. Air coming from outside is pushed through the attic and out of the vent. Through this method, attic air is exchanged more frequently every hour as opposed to the method of passive ventilation. These fans are capable of providing cool air to the entire attic space all through the day, as they bring on more of an air draft throughout the attic. In addition, the process of active draft air convection allows the solar attic fan to provide the attic with cool air during the entire day.
Choosing the right Solar Ventilation Fans
Solar ventilation fans can be placed in two categories of performances: 10 watt and 20 watt or higher fans. While the 10 watt solar attic fan is less expensive than the higher wattage fans, it is capable of moving only 850 CFM at the most. These fans are ideal for attic spaces that cover 1200 square feet at the most. If you have an attic that covers more square feet, you can choose to either purchase many low wattage solar attic fans or install a higher wattage fan for the attic.
The amount of air moved by lower wattage fans is fairly minute when compared to the maximum 1550 CFM of airflow the higher wattage attic solar fans can handle once fully exposed to the sun. These solar ventilation fans are more suitable for the average home, since the attic covers more than 1200 square feet. The DC motor on the solar attic house fan is powered by a small panel. The 20-25 watt panel is activated once it has been exposed to sunlight.
Environmental and Financial Benefits
The common attic house fan is generated using residential energy. Solar ventilation fans are powered entirely by the sun. This lessens the burden on your energy supply at home. The attic will continue to stay well ventilated, as these fans minimize the amount of spaces that require cooling. Having a well-ventilated attic allows you to better control the temperature in the home. The need to change the thermostat settings will be greatly reduced, as the attic will no longer be releasing warm or cold air into the rest of the house, allowing you to save energy in the home.
Energy savings in the home translate to savings on the energy bill. The money saved is the money that has been used to power a fan in your attic that is not really providing enough ventilation. The solar attic fan costs absolutely nothing to operate. The fans move a maximum 1550 CFM of attic air once fully exposed to the sun. While the exact amount of savings is dependent upon factors including climate, electricity rates, and attic size, the average attic solar fans pay for themselves after a period of 1-2 summers.
Solving the problem of proper attic ventilation does not have to be a difficult task. A solar attic fan is powered entirely by the sun. The energy provided by the sun does not add to the burden on your energy supply. By reducing the amount of energy used, you are also decreasing amount of emissions from your home. In addition, attic solar fans ventilate the attic without costing you a penny. You can rest easy knowing that the attic is not sending burning hot air into the home, and the energy bill is no longer burning a hole in your wallet.