Your Questions About Solar Powered Attic Fan

Ruth asks…

Do solar powered attic vent fans work well?

I live in Texas and it gets ridiculously hot in the attic. I'm trying to improve the ventilation in the attic but the problem is that in the summer the winds in my area are pretty much non-existent, I would like a powered vent fan but as I understand it the power consumption defeats any savings in cooling so a solar powered vent fan seems like the ideal solution. Has anybody had any experience with these? Can anybody recommend a brand? I live in the Dallas area.

ssadmin answers:

We sell a good number of the Natural Light solar attic fans. They receive great reviews, here's an example, “As soon as we installed our fan in Hawaii, the temperature in the attic dropped 50 degrees and since installed, we have not had to use our air conditioning unit. The bedrooms are about 10 degrees cooler now. Great product. The motor is quiet and it's been working for three years without a hitch. … Our unit works even when it's cloudy. It operates on UV rays!”

You can see them at http://www.altestore.com/store/Lighting-Fans/Solar-Attic-Fan/Natural-Light-SOLAR-ATTIC-FAN-W-20-Watt-Panel/p2435/ .

They are not recommended if you have a ridge vent, as they won't provide proper air flow, but if you have gable and/or soffet vents, it works great.

Thomas asks…

Solar Powered Attic Fan ?

anyone has these install , how did it work out for you? , does it really cool down your house enough to be noticeable during the summer ? Is it worth the price?

ssadmin answers:

We got one aound year 2000. It worked great at cooling the house. It cost about $425 at the time. Two years later, I was up on the roof, and found that the fan wasn't turning. I discovered that the motor was fine, but the amorphous silicon panel had burned out. But yet, the house was staying reasonably cool. My guess is that simply having a large hole near the ridgeline is enough to vent the attic through convection – fan turning or not.

When we got our roof redone last year, I asked for one of those whirlybird-type fans – you know, looks like a turban, turns when the wind blows? Works great. More like $50.

Nancy asks…

Anyone have experience with solar powered attic fans?

Thinking of adding one to help cool down the house. Live in S. CA. Anyone have any advice or experience to share?

ssadmin answers:

They can help if you also increase amount of air going into the attic at the eaves (soffit).
You may have to install baffles to keep the insulation from getting blown back.

Another idea for reducing the heat of an attic is radiant foil. It goes on the underside of the roof with a proper amount of spacing. Works well.

Solar screens for your windows (especially west facing windows) is also a very cost effective way to reduce the cooling load in your house. 90% of the load on a house is solar heat gain from sun on the windows and sun hitting your attic.

William asks…

Do solar powered attic fans take the heat out in the winter too?

ssadmin answers:

You can shut them off

Sandra asks…

Price range for a Solar Star attic fan?

I've been working to get my home to be the most energy efficient it could be and I want one of these fans! It's a solar powered attic fan and eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. I see through the website that its only sold through local dealers. Anyone know how much it costs?

Thanks

ssadmin answers:

The Solar Star attic fan is the way to go! I know there are other fans out there, but they aren't as sleek in design and become an eye-soar on your roof.
As for cost, after taxes the DIY kit runs just under $300. It’s roughly $425 with ($127 off with the federal tax credit). But you ALSO get 30% off the labor so it’s best to have someone else install it and they will guarantee the work…definitely worth it! After taxes, it’s about $100 to have a Premier Dealer install it for you.
Solatube also has the new eChoice Daylighting System that offers a 30% tax credit, too. May also be worth looking in to…
Hope this helps. Good luck with your updates!

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