Solar Attic Fans the New Trend in Canadian Ventilation
Using a solar powered attic fan in your attic is gaining popularity here in Canada and other parts of the world. A solar powered attic fan offers clear benefits to your home and the earth, at reasonable costs. It one of the most practical ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and increase the value of your home.
During the peak summer months, your attic’s temperature can rise to a frightening 70°c or more. This heat build-up can then raise the temperature inside your home and increase the amount of electricity used by air conditioners and other cooling equipment.
Installing a Solar Attic Fan will help remove the heat build-up in your attic and bring your attic’s temperature closer to the ambient outside temperature.
The reduction in attic temperature will also benefit your home by preserving and extending the life of the roofing and attic construction materials. Additionally, hot air in your attic can then heat the metal exterior of your HVAC ductwork and consequently heat the air passing through it, causing your air conditioner to work even harder.
You may be asking as to why Canadians are turning to this simple and environmentally friendly appliance. Having a solar powered attic fan offers the following benefits:
- Lower Air Conditioning Costs
If your attic has no fan the temperature can reach 70°c or even more. Having a layer on top of your home radiating such heat is not good for keeping cool, and forces your home to work harder to compensate. With a fan your attic temperature is reduced significantly easing the stress on your home. Cost benefits are proportional to your summer air conditioning costs. As electricity costs rise, so will the benefit of having a solar attic fan.
The amount of money you will save is greatly dependent on the price of electricity in your area, the amount of attic space in your home, the efficiency of your attic insulation, the amount of tax credit and rebates available in your area and the amount of ventilation your solar attic vent is able to provide. Based on experience, a typical installation will usually pay for itself within one to three summers of use verses powered Attic Fans that can cost up to $35 per month to operate.
If your house has static vents or ridge vents it will help but generally do not provide sufficient air movement to pull heat and moisture from the attic – especially during the winter or when the ambient air is stagnate. If you have electric fans in the attic, you will benefit from increased air movement in the summer but at a cost of 350 to 400 watts of power per day! Often, electric attic fans have a thermostat that keeps them inoperable during the winter, just when you need them to expel moisture! A solar powered attic fan runs whenever there is sunlight – and, at no cost of operation.
- Increased Roof Lifetime
An actively ventilated attic prevents moisture condensation from excess heat that results to extending the life of roofing materials. The cost difference between a roof that lasts 20 years and one that lasts 30 can be upwards of $5,000, suggesting that extending roof life alone can save you $500 a year.
The actual lifetime extension depends on many factors such as the types of fungus and mold in your region, but even one or two years of extra life are enough to justify an installation.
- Lower Installation Costs
A solar powered attic fan is not tied into your existing electrical grid, eliminating the need for licensed electricians, circuit breakers, and extra power cables. Because it stands alone, the only cost to install a solar attic fan is physically putting it in your roof. In fact, this is simple enough that if you are technically savvy it is possible to do it yourself.
Solar attic fans are also extremely easy to install. A homeowner can install one in less than an hour and a professional in less than 30 minutes. Only basic tools are required and there is no electrical wiring to connect.
- Lower Operating Costs
Solar powered attic fans present a very one-sided cost trade off: all benefits, no ongoing cost. While electric attic fans will show many of the benefits, they are certainly not free to run, and are not really less expensive initially which makes them unfriendly to the environment.
- Direct Government Cost Support
Many localities offer very significant incentives in the form or tax credits for energy conservation initiatives.
It’s a good idea to go to the city and see what they have available to help you offset the cost of installing a solar roof fan or any other improvements you are thinking about implementing. There are still some grants available in Canada but to get the best information you need to inquire at the city.
- Long life expectancy
There is a company that claims that their solar powered attic fan has the latest state-of-the-art solar panel designed to last for more than 20 years. While a standard solar panel can last 5 years or less, they claim that their solar panel has a 20 year prorated warranty – the longest warranty in the industry! Shop around for the fan that suits your budget, but the longer it lasts – the better for the environment.
- Can be used even at night time
With the addition of the Solar Controller, some Solar Powered Attic Fans can be simultaneously connected to your house electricity and will run for a few minutes every half hour after dark to provide additional ventilation after sunset.
- Designed and Tested for Severe Weather
All Solar Attic Fans are designed and tested to withstand high wind and pressure in the most severe weather conditions. In fact, our Solar Attic Fans can endure a structural load of over 150 psf (pounds per square foot) – that’s a lot of snow!
Another benefit (if you needed any more!) is the fact that the solar powered attic fan is extremely quiet unlike your ordinary electric fan. The solar cell provides power to a super-quiet DC motor so there is no harmonic hum that is common with AC motors. That saves on many types of pollution as well as being green on so many levels.
If you are considering making your home more energy efficient this year as part of a green strategy for 2015, think about installing a solar fan in your attic. The benefits to environment are clear, as well as the comfort of your family make it a truly sustainable choice.