Have you seen the articles saying that a solar powered attic fan is a waste of money? Those kinds of articles are written by people who don’t understand how they work, are trying to use these powerful machines in the wrong situations or have simply bought an inferior model. When you get the right one and use it correctly, it will improve your home’s comfort and save you money.
The trick is to choose one the best solar powered attic fan choices out there and not a cheap, flimsy imitation.
Perhaps some of the people who are opposed to solar attic fans don’t think they provide a good return on investment, but that could be because they overpaid for the product in the first place — or got an inexpensive and cheaply made product that doesn’t do the job well. There are models that cost nearly a thousand dollars and others that cost nearly nothing.
But there is a sensible compromise, and I’ll tell you about it.
My Solar-Powered Attic Fan Review
If you want the best value and performance, I recommend the Natural Light Systems Solar Attic Fan with 25-Year Warranty — available from Amazon. No wiring is necessary to install it since it’s completely solar, and there’s a two-and-half-decade warranty on the solar panel, housing and fan motor. Everything comes fully assembled and ready for you to install simply and easily.
If you do as much research on this topic as I have, you’ll find that there’s no better value in solar-powered attic fans on the market. This one offers smart engineering, high quality and solid construction. You’ll find that one of these units is a sensible alternative to a gable attic fan, a wind turbine ventilator and other types of venting fans.
This unit has a single fan, not several small fans as some inferior models have. The housing is made of heavy stamped aluminum and has no seams, meaning it’s a leak-proof unit. When installed at some pitches, the flange may not be adequate to prevent leaking, so you may want to consider that when installing and add additional flanging or caulking to prevent problems down the road.
The hardware is sturdy stainless steel, so you shouldn’t expect any problems with corrosion, especially if you make sure you keep the water out.
The panel can be adjusted to take the best advantage of the sun. It can sit flat against the unit or be raised if necessary. If you don’t have easy roof access, you may want to carefully consider the positioning before you complete the installation. The adjustment is done with Phillips screws, so that’s simple enough.
I’m sold on this unit not just because it works in getting the hot air out of my attic but because it does so as quietly as possible. I can’t imagine another unit making any less noise than the nearly undetectable hum of this solar attic fan. You might detect a slight whooshing sound if pay close enough attention, but this’s outside near the unit, not in your home.
The coloring is neutral to blend in with most rooms, and that’s a big plus.
If you’re like most of the homeowners who use this powerful and useful fan, you’ll want to spring for just a few dollars more and get the thermostat. This useful addition is discounted when ordered along with the fan itself.
The idea is to mount the unit on a southern exposure and let it take in all the sun it can for its power. In the shade, it simply doesn’t get enough power and won’t work. The more sunlight there is, the better it works.
Some Additional Thoughts
There are those who don’t like solar-powered attic fans because they don’t think they’re powerful enough to do any good. But that’s simply not the case when they’re installed corrected and used for the right reasons. They are intended to pull hot air out of the attic so that your AC system doesn’t have as much trouble cooling your home. If you home is perfectly insulated, this may not be necessary, but if it’s like most home, this will really help.
In addition, this type of fan does, in fact, remove warm air from the attic, meaning that it successfully maintains a more usable temperature in the attic if you actually use the space or store temperature-sensitive items there.
So what do I think of solar-powered attic fans? I think they’re better than most people give them credit for being — and they can really make a difference in the inside temperature of your attic. If you need to use your attic for something or you’re having trouble keeping your home cool and you think attic heat is the cause, getting one of these is a smart investment that could save you lots of money and increase the livability of your home.
Click here to see the discounted price of the Natural Light Systems Solar Attic Fan on Amazon, the best place to get all your home heating and cooling appliances and accessories. Shipping is free in many cases.