Your Questions About Solar Powered Attic Fan

Mandy asks…

Do attic fans really cool down a house?

Im thinking of buying the solar powered attic fan that Costco has to save on the AC but really need to know if they make a big difference (solar or electric ). It costs $369 so I need to know if it's worth the investmen. Thanks

ssadmin answers:

You will not notice the difference your self. But your AC will. It will take some of the strain off of it. When your attic is oven temp the heat is at your ceiling. If you have ceiling fans you push it around the room causing it to end up near your thermostat. Effect is your AC runs more. If you get the heat out of the attic, your AC will be able to shut off more often thereby reducing your cooling bills, and repair bills on the AC. Place a thermometer in your attic and read it on a hot day. The temps are usually around 130 degrees. Now turn on the attic fan and come back in about an hour. You will notice a change. It may not be 80 in the attic now, but it will for sure be cooler.

Nancy asks…

which is better for an attic fan. for it to be electric or solar powered.?

ssadmin answers:

Solar will only work during the day but you also don't have to run an electrical supply to the unit. I just installed two solar powered fans on a roof and they work great in direct sunlight. I live in northern Michigan and the solar panels get covered with snow and won't work. You just have to decide which unit will work best for you. Regards, Dale

John asks…

Can I connect 2 solar panels in parallel if they have different Open Circuit voltage ( e.g 22V and 14V)?

Want to power a solar powered attic fan.
One panel rated at 5W the other at 10W.

ssadmin answers:

Likely you can not connect them in parallel and may risk damage if you do. Consider the analogy between electric current and water flow. Voltage is equivalent to water pressure and electric current is equivalent to water flow rate. If you connect two tall water towers in parallel, water will flow from the taller tower (higher voltage) into the lower tower (lower voltage). You will likely drive electric current the wrong way through the 14V unit perhaps causing resistance heating and damage.

Mary asks…

Attic ventilation choices, which is the better one?

We bought a home and took posession last week. We were checking everything out to do small repairs before the big move. We climbed up to the attic and it was like an oven. The temperature outside was about 80 while the attic about 100 degrees!

The attic area is about 1100 sq feet. And the house is located in the San Fernando Valley in LA a super sunny area.

I was looking into attic fans that don't use electricity to cool the attic off. At first I was very interested in solar powered attic cooling fans, like the top right on the picture. But I have read that they don't really do the job. And they are expensive, at $300 or more for one.

I remembered the old fashioned wind turbines like the one on the picture bottom left. They are unsightly but cost only about $45 and I hear they are very efficient at reducing attic heat. On the downside, they make your house look like a barn or a factory. (no probs, it's a HOA free neighborhood, we can do as we please)

With the cost of a single solar powered model we could install up to 4 turbines, but they are a bit ugly. If there are folks who are knowledgeable or have experience in this what do you recommend?

thanks

pictures —–> http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2009/03/06/solarstar-roof-mount-atticfan-4_OtkkV_1822.jpg

ssadmin answers:

I think this one might help you and if your not looking for it, you might not even see it on the roof since it blends in. I have one on my house and it works great.

Http://www.roofvents.com/universal_dormer.html

Maria asks…

Attic fan- before I invest – has anyone actually measured to see if it changed the temp? 2 part question thank?

1) this will be the lowest of the line solar DC fan around 800 CFM and about $250. I am measuring 114F in the attic right now and want to do everything possible to lower the electric bill. Like I asked, has anyone physically seen a difference to justify buying?
2) I have a “pyramid” (sorry) roof with 3 static vents on 3 sides of the roof. Would I need to intake or exhaust the air from the powered vent?

ssadmin answers:

I have personally installed some attic fans and they do a good job clearing the heat from the attic. They do this pretty quick and the purpose is to allow you to cool off your house with the ac and not have the attic heat to worry about. Just give it a spin for about 10 minutes.
The one i installed goes directly mounted over the luver vent that you are talking about. You should only need one of them but more is always better sometimes.
Remember that you dont want to spend more money than the 250 for the unit and electrical use for the fan and the AC. I am sure that you can install the unit yourself in about 30-40 minutes. There are only 2 wires and a ground wire. You cant mess up. If you want me to walk you thru then send a response to me on this site. I will get an email and answer all your questions.

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