Solar Attic Fan To Prevent Mold

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.

Benefits of Solar Powered Attic Fans

There are numerous benefits to installing an attic fan, especially one that runs on solar power, including:

Solar Attic Fan
  • Reduced home cooling costs 
  • Your attic will be cooler, as will adjacent areas
  • Reduced moisture in the attic
  • Extends the life of your roof
  • Decreased risk of water damage to roof
  • Decreased risk of ice damage to roof (prevents “ice damming,” a condition in which thick ridges of ice along the roofs edge prevents water from melting ice from running of the roof, instead causing water to back up under shingles and leak through the roof into the house)
  • Decreased risk of toxic mold growth in attics (toxic mold is associated with numerous health problems in both people and pets, including allergic reactions, respiratory infections, chronic sinus problems, headaches and migraines, rashes and hives, asthma attacks, joint and muscle pain, and chronic fatigue)
  • Solar fans run quietly
  • Solar fans are safer to use and install than electric fans, since there is no electrical wiring involved
  • No increase in home energy bills with a solar fan
  • In fact, an attic fan can save you a significant amount of money over the years, since the costs of repairing roof damage and removing household mold are significant
  • You may qualify for a federal tax credit if you purchase and install a solar fan in your attic (check with your accountant for details)
  • Some states also offer tax credits for the purchase and installation of solar fans (again, check with your accountant)

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 Attic Fan

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.

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