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Solar Attic Fans

According to The Home Ventilation Institute  studies, powered attic vents can save up to 30% in cooling needs.  The National bureau of standards stated that “attics can be 40° hotter than the outside air.” Attic Spaces can get up to 150ºF! This heat can back-up into your living spaces. Any home with an attic space (walk-in or crawl space), that is unheated in the winter, needs an attic fan to expel dollar-robbing heat collected during summer days.

Solar attic fans are typically mounted high on the roof towards the back of the house.  They fit in with the shingles and are water-proof.

If installed with a thermostat, the solar attic fan turns on and off automatically at the preset temperatures. It blows out super-hot attic air while drawing in cooler air from outside.  Attic fans come in different sizes. Bigger is not necessarily better. Smaller fans can still cover up to 2000 square feet of attic floor. Static vents for air intake are important since a balanced Installation will prevent the solar attic fan robbing already-cooled air from the house.

 

For example,

Case #1: A 2,500 square foot attic at 150 degrees without a solar attic vent, where the living space is at 80 degrees, leaks approximately 4,000Btu/hr into the living space.

Case #1: A 2,500 square foot attic at 90 degrees due to a solar attic vent, where the living space is at 70 degrees, only leaks approximately 66Btu/hr into the living space.

Conclusion: If you have a passive attic fan, cooling your home may require approximately an additional 1/3 ton of air conditioning to keep your living space at a comfortable or desired temperature.

 

Economics?

Solar Attic Fan Electric Attic Fan
The solar attic fan, on the roof has its own built-in power supply. Compare the cost of the solar attic fan to a conventional attic fan, you will see how the solar attic fan pays for itself in no time! In the summer, a conventional electric attic fan can add up to $5 per month to your bill. Conventional fans must also be wired into your home by a licensed electrician which means electrical permits, inspections, and other added expenses.
Fan Hardware = $300 (retail) Fan Hardware = $120
Cost of Electrician = $0 Electrical Installation = $225
Fan Installation = $250 Fan Installation = $225.00
Electrical Usage 24 Months = $0 Electricity Usage 24 Months = $5/month
(240 Watts/Day which equals $120)
Noise Problems = None Noise Problems - Moderate
Comparison Totals (Over 24 Months) = $550 Comparison Totals (Over 24 Months) = $690
After 36 months = $0 After 36 months = $60
After 60 months = $0 After 60 months = $180

In Summary: Why Attic Ventilation Is Necessary?

During the Summer Season:

·         Temperatures soar to 150 degrees.

·         Prevents attic from becoming a HOT BOX.

·         Eliminates hot moist air which can warp boards.

·         Stops shingles from premature deterioration.

·         Removes unwanted heat that spills down through the attic floor into the living area.

·         Reduces energy costs for cooling.

During the Winter Season:

·         Moisture reduction which helps eliminate damage to insulation, rafters and wood.

·         Proper ventilation helps prevent moisture from condensing.

·         Helps to prevent moisture soaked insulation which becomes ineffective, thereby causing

         excess energy usage.

·         Prevents the attic from overheating which eliminates ice dams at the roof edge.

·         Reduces energy cost for heating.

Sources: The National Bureau of Standards, The Home Ventilation Institute, www.betterinsulation.com.

To download this page in portable document format (PDF) please clik on the following link Solar Attic Fan.

 

 
 
 
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