Building codes throughout the U.S. require providing some sort of ventilation in attics in order to prevent or reduce damage to roofs caused by moisture-laden air being trapped in attics. While building codes do not require any sort of fan in attics to increase ventilation, a solar attic fan is a great way to accomplish this without increasing your home energy costs. Solar fans can be installed when new homes are being built, of course, but they can also be easily installed in existing homes.
There are numerous benefits to installing an attic fan, especially one that runs on solar power, including:
There are really no disadvantages to having a solar powered fan in your attic. Of course, there is a cost involved in purchasing and installing a fan, but it’s an affordable option for most homeowners.
Our favorite solar powered attic fan is the 20-watt fan from Natural Light. It cools an attic of up to 1800 square feet. For larger attics, you may need the 30-watt version or you can choose to install two 20-watt fans.
An optional thermostat can be purchased so that the fan only operates when the temperature rises above 70 degrees, but many homeowners prefer to have their fans run all the time. That’s because there are benefits to having good air circulation in your attic beyond simply helping to keep things cool. For instance, while household mold is less likely to grow in cool areas, some strains do grow well in cool places. Good air circulation and ventilation can help prevent the growth of mold, though, which is important since household mold can lead to numerous health problems and is also costly to remove.
You can purchase the solar attic fan of your choice and hire a local roofer to install it. That way you are assured of getting a quality fan and you are also assured it is installed correctly. Unless you have excellent carpentry skills, it’s probably unwise to attempt to install the fan yourself since improper installation can actually cause leaks in your roof or other problems.
The Natural Light 20-watt fan is a good choice for most homeowners and is reasonably priced. To learn more about our favorite solar fan, just follow the link.