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Solar powered attic fans can be a great way to save some money on cooling costs as well as support solar technology.
Although the initial cost for a solar powered attic fan is greater than other fan types, eliminating the need to call an electrician as well as future electricity savings can make this a prudent investment for many homeowners.
Image courtesy GreenThinkers.org
In residential construction there are four solar powered attic fan options ranging from 10 watts to 25 watt models. In this case bigger isn’t necessarily better, nor will it get you better results.
Instead you should choose the solar attic fan that best matches the square footage of your house. A 10 watt model is adequate up to 1200 sq. ft., a 15 watt can handle up to 1600 sq. ft, and a 20 watt attic fan can service up to 1800 sq. ft. The largest solar attic fan for residential construction, the 25 watt model, is appropriate for a house that is less than 2300 sq. ft. For larger homes more than one attic fan might be required.
Choose the Best Location For Your Attic Ventilation Needs
Like other attic fans, solar powered models can be installed in a gable, in front of an existing vent or directly through the roof. Depending on the design of your particular home and your own experience, many homeowners can install this type of fan themselves. Tom Silva of This Old House shows you how in the preceding link.
Electricians Need Not Apply
Even if you do require a professional to install your solar attic fan, the cost is often less than installing a traditional fan because an electrician is not needed.
Check For Tax Incentives
Solar powered attic fans range from $200 to $800 depending on the model required, but are still an excellent investment if your home does not already have an attic fan installed. Not only can it reduce your cooling costs by up to 75%, but a good attic fan will also protect the roof, one of the most expensive items in your home, from excess moisture. Also, local and state governments sometimes give tax incentives for homeowners that install solar attic fans.
Solar Power Offers ROI
A solar powered attic fan can offer an amazing return on your investment, but only if you live in the right area of the country and have the right model installed. This means not only having the correct size, but also one with a thermostat that can store energy for cloudy days. For this reason it’s a good idea to shop around and examine the benefits of different models from various manufacturers.
I have a lot of hands-on experience in the home construction industry, with a good deal of experience in sustainable building. I’m mostly interested in home restoration and home renovations.