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Solar Attic Fan

Is a Solar Attic Fan a Good Investment?

A solar attic fan is a great benefit to your home and your wallet. Having a properly vented attic helps keep your home cooler, helps to lowers your utility bills by reducing the load on your air conditioning system, and helps prevent the harmful effects of condensation buildup which can lead to rot, mold and mildew. Proper venting cools your roof, helping to extend the life of the materials and increases fresh air circulation, which reduces vapor build up generated by everyday activities like showering and cooking.

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Benefits of a Solar Attic Fan

Excess moisture trapped in your attic can cause a variety of problems from rust to rot to increased bacteria and mold counts. A solar attic fan helps to draw moisture out and away from the interior of a home, creating a drier, less humid environment in the attic. Passive vents have been a part of building codes for years but they rely on nature to provide sufficient air pressure and air movement, so the majority of the time your attic is stagnant and continues to build up heat and moisture. On the other hand, a solar attic fan is a near perfect solution. The solar attic fan is a simple and environmentally sensible solution that can save you money and is powered completely by free solar energy.

Solar Attic Fan A solar attic fan is installed near the ridge of your home's roof and is then connected to a set of low powered photovoltaic solar cells that provide the fan with enough electricity to get the fan spinning when the sun is shining. Solar attic fans are fully operational right out of the box and are completely wireless. Once installed, your solar attic fan will turn on whenever the sun is out, drawing fresh air up through your soffit vents and blowing hot, stale and humid air up and out of your attic at the same time. Solar attic fans decrease the temperature of the attic area and can help to decrease the interior temperature of the home as well. Depending on the size of the fan, it is estimated that a solar attic fan may be able to reduce the temperature in the attic by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Solar Attic Fan Benefits

Lowers Attic Temperature and Reduces The Load On Your Air Conditioner
By code, attics must be vented, allowing hot air to rise and flow out of the vents. While standard vents do create air flow, they do not do anything about reducing the temperature of the attic. Even turbine vents, which pull hot air from the attic when the wind blows do not do the job of reducing attic temperatures most of the time and on a hot summer day when there is no breeze, the turbines do nothing and the attic heats up. On the other hand, a solar attic fan can reduce the attic temperatures by up to 50°F and because it uses solar energy to work, it works when it's most needed.

Solar attic fans also help to cool your entire home, not just your attic. No matter how much insulation is in the attic, heat can still transfer into adjacent living spaces. In fact, extra insulation can actually add to temperature increases since heat is trapped in the insulation. Proper ventilation evacuates this excess heat build-up. As the heat is exhausted, the work load of the air conditioning system is reduced, thereby saving energy and extending the life of the air conditioning system and providing a potential saving in utility costs. Air conditioning systems are a major source of power usage in the average home. The higher the interior temperature, the harder the air conditioning system needs to work to cool the inside of a home. By reducing the gap between the current interior temperature and the desired temperature, an attic ventilation fan helps to reduce the amount of work that a cooling systems needs to perform to make the interior climate of a home more comfortable.

No Wiring and No Switches
One of the main benefits of a solar powered attic fan is the ease of installation. Since the energy source is the sun and not electricity, there is no wiring, switches or thermostats needed for installation. Though a solar attic fan will cost a little more initially, when you consider the fact that they are self-powered with out the use of electricity, and have the potential to significantly reduce your energy costs as well, it will pay for itself in time.

Solar Attic Fans Are Virtually Maintenance Free
Besides ease of installation, the other reason many homeowners choose a solar attic fan is the fact that they require almost no maintenance once installed. The photovoltaic cells can provide the fan with power for up to 50 years without being replaced, so once you have your solar attic fan installed it will pretty much take care of itself.

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Installing A Solar Attic Fan

Installing a solar attic fan is very easy and can be done is just a few easy steps without any wiring.

    Solar Attic Fan
  1. Using a razor knife, cut a 4 inch slit through the shingles and tar paper at the 3 and 9 o'clock position of the flashing. This allows for the sides of the flashing to be inserted under the shingles.

  2. Insert a reciprocating saw blade sideways at the 3 o'clock position and cut up and around to the 9 o'clock position. This process removes the nails that will prevent the flashing from sliding up underneath the shingles.

  3. Caulk the underside of the flashing with the provided caulking material. Two concentric rings of caulking material is sufficient.

  4. Slide the flashing under the tar paper and shingles and force the flashing up until the shingles come in contact with the raised portion of the flashing. The bottom side of the flashing will be on the top of the shingles. Secure the flashing with 4 hex head screws at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock positions, making sure that at the 3, 9 and 12 o'clock positions, the screws are placed under the shingles. At the 6 o'clock position, caulk over the screw head since it will be exposed to the weather. Use the remaining caulk to seal the areas where the 4 inch slits were made and around the area where the shingles meet with the raised area of the flashing.
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