Solar powered gadgets are the rave, in this tough economy. As a result, you can easily reduce the strain on your HVAC system and save on energy bills, by investing in one of the best solar attic fans for proper ventilation. A solar powered attic fan is an eco-friendly appliance that removes excess humidity in your attic during winter and keeps it cool in summer, by using solar cells to harness the needed solar energy. Besides, they are easy to install, with some requiring just a bit of wiring or none.
Best Solar Attic Fan Reviews
However, if an attic fan is new to your ears, then you can use this solar powered roof vent review to know why it is beneficial to your home attic as well as the size you need. Moreover, this solar attic fan review highlights DIY installation points as well as a buyer’s guide. So read on…
Solar Attic Fans Vs. Electric Attic Fans: Which One to Choose?
Attic fans are your number one solution to overheated attics. Most people prefer them, as they are inexpensive, in terms of installation and maintenance, especially motor-powered solar attic fans that use the photovoltaic solar panel as a power source.
However, they are most effective when used in overheated and highly insulated attics not poorly sealed spaces. This prevents the hot air from escaping into the living space to increase your cooling bills. Proper insulation also prevents heat transfer through the construction ceiling materials.
As for which cost-effective attic fan to use, solar powered ones are the best. This is because they do not require complex wiring and some come assembled for easy installation, unlike electric attic fans. Besides, they never consume any electrical or fuel power and make use of solar energy.
Moreover, their capacity is never affected when they are needed the most, as attic overheating usually coincides with high solar. Their capacity has a range of 800-1600 CFM, which is less than electric attic fans, but remember it does not consume any electrical power and therefore highly cost-effective.
A solar attic fan has a lengthy warranty some up to 25 years while electric attic fans usually have a smaller coverage up to a year warranty on parts.
As much as solar powered fans for the attic are expensive, you can take note that the cheap electric attic fans will cost you high power bills, as they consume a lot of electricity.
What Size Solar Attic Fan Do You Need?
Before, you buy any solar attic fan you should know the size your home attic needs. Here is how you can go through the whole process:
- Attic Size– This is got by multiplying the width by the length of the attic floor in feet.
- Fan Size– You multiply the square feet of the attic space by 0.7, to get the minimum CFM that the fan should be rated to move. If you have a steep roof, you can add 20% to the CFM and 15% if you have a dark roof. Attic vent fans usually have a CFM rate of 800-1600, making one fan suitable for a 2200 square feet attic.
- Fan Location- Here you can opt for a gable installation or roof installation, jut right in the middle of the main part of the attic.
- Intake Air Vents- You can find out if you have the required vent space by dividing CFM by 300, to get the minimum number in square feet, of the intake vent space for your fan size.
- Fan Thermostat– Set the thermostat to cut in-between 100°-110° Besides, humidity sensors are also helpful in cutting the fan on when moisture rises in the attic.
- Ridge Vents– Ridge vents usually remove hot air from the attic. As a result, it will not make any sense to install a solar powered attic fan, as it will draw in air from the ridge.
What to Look for While Buying Solar Attic Fans?
A lot usually goes into buying a quality solar powered home attic fan, apart from price. You have to note that you will be buying for your specific home attic needs and that depends on your home construction and design as well as the wattage of the solar powered roof vent.
In this section of this solar attic fan review, you will get to know some top features and qualities required of a highly efficient solar powered attic fan.
- Material Construction– Since the unit will be placed outside, it is important that it is made from durable marine grade materials for longevity. Besides, a sturdy material construction will protect against high temperatures and UV.
- Nature of Roof– These types of solar powered attic fans come in different models and designs. This means that some models can only fit in some roof designs, so check on the installation requirements and specifications before you buy any.
- Wattage– In terms of watts, you will have to consider your attic size, as the solar powered fans can be found in different watts from 10 to even 40 watts. By knowing the attic size in square feet, you will get the correct wattage that can handle its ventilation. Likewise, 10-15 watts can cover spaces of 1200-1600 square feet while 25 watts can vent a 2300 square feet attic.
- Fan Features– You can also check on useful features like a built-in thermostat, number of blades and their material construction, level of adjustment of its solar panel, mesh or stainless steel protection features against rodents and birds that might get into the motor and spoil it.
- Noise Level– You should check for the noise level of the fans in decibels, in the product specification or just look at the number of fans the solar powered unit has. The more the fan blades, let us say five the smoother and quieter the sound. Few fan blades usually produce irritating and choppy sounds, as they work harder during
- Warranty-Different brands have different warranty coverage, so do not expect all of them to have the same level of back up. The warranty can range from a year to a lifetime. Since most come with separate warranties for the motor and solar panels, ensure your fan has at least 5-years coverage while the solar panel should have a minimum of 10-15 years’ worth of coverage.
- Requirements on Solar Attic Fan– Do a thorough research on some of the requirements of installing your model of solar attic fan in your home. These can range from remote control use and installation points/location. The more you know the better you will pick the right unit you can operate and maintain with ease.
1. Natural Light 36-Watt Solar Attic Fan
This is one of the best brands and models for a solar attic fan. A very large unit, that guarantees plenty of power for your attic and even upstairs ventilation.
This attic fan has a 36-watt adjustable solar panel that powers the fan DC motor. Besides, this motor is highly efficient when it comes to removing hot air and attic moisture, every single day no matter the climatic condition. You can adjust its solar panel up to 45° from flat.
Moreover, it is easy to install, no wiring needed. After which it will move up to 1628 CFM.
This solar attic fan mounts on a 3/12-12/12 pitch roof. This means you cannot mount it on a flat roof or on the sides of the wall. Nonetheless, Natural Light has other models for sidewall mounting and flat roof mounts.
It is safe and eco-friendly to use and has a featured optional Snap-On thermostat for colder climates and fire safety switches, you can buy separately. Besides, if you are mounting it on a tiled roof, you can opt to buy Tile roof flashing kits and a Turret extension.
2. ECO-WORTHY 25W Solar Attic Fan
If you are looking for versatility in a solar fan then this solar powered attic fan can work well in the attic and garage, keeping the cold humidity at the right levels and cooling the areas during the summer heat.
It is one of the best solar attic fans as it can auto-work at a low voltage, cooling your roof as well as reducing your energy bills tremendously. Besides, it can also reduce the load on your home air conditioning system.
Moreover, its 30W poly foldable solar panel has angle mounting brackets and one piece of a 16-feet solar cable that eases its adjustability for efficient collection of solar energy. You just direct it to the sun and connect the attic fan connector to its wire.
Additionally, the 25W solar powered gable attic fan is also very efficient with a brushless motor for a quiet operation.
The attic gable vent comes with a pre-installed 8-inch solar cable with a connector for ease when it comes to connecting with the solar panel. Likewise, it can vent up to 2,200 square feet area, providing up to 1960 CFM.
3. Brightwatts 24-Watt Solar Powered Attic Fan
This is one of the most durable solar attic fans in the current market, with galvanized steel construction materials. Moreover, it can easily protect your attic from moisture build-up and any heat damages.
This solar powered roof vent cannot overheat, as it has a thermally protected brushless DC motor. Besides, it is easy and quick to install, as it comes fully assembled. It can ventilate an area of up to 1200 square feet with up to 1000 CFM.
In relation, this gable fan has a fan blade diameter of 15.25, with 17 volts, 2.0 Amps, and 24 watts.
Moreover, it has a wind, hail, and ice resistant solar panel with a power cord for a quick and easy set-up. Besides, when it comes to power supply, this solar panel has highly efficient polycrystalline cells for efficient powering of the fan motor.
4. Amtrak Solar 40-Watt Solar Attic Fan
This solar attic fan can be conveniently placed anywhere in the attic or gable, the RV, garage or greenhouse. It is very easy to set with quick connect wires, so no need for electricians, permits or inspections.
Besides, the motor fan is 12V DC that auto-turns immediately the sun hits the solar panels and auto-shuts at night.
Moreover, it can keep the house well ventilated for the whole day, as long as the sun is bright. In addition, the fan comes with four mounting tabs with galvanized steel metal blades for optimal performance while the top-quality crystalline solar panel has four mounting brackets for easy direct towards the sun.
You should note that this attic fan is always at its highest speed only when the sun is bright and not when the weather is cloudy.
5. HQST 30W Solar Attic Fan
This solar attic fan comes with a 30W inbuilt solar panel for proper ventilation of the attic, at any time and weather. This unit can lower the temperatures in your attic as well as stop any damages due to moisture. Its fan blade is 14 inches, providing airflow of 860 CFM.
Moreover, it is easy to install, you just do it on a pitched fiberglass asphalt shingle roofs and adjust its solar panel accordingly for better sun exposure. The solar panel is adjustable up to 45 degrees. Besides, you can also detach it and mount it manually for efficient exposure to the sun.
This solar powered attic fan normally starts working immediately the sun hits its solar panels, so you should be careful while approaching it. You can use a hard hat, safety glasses, and gloves when operating it, to prevent unnecessary hazards.
In addition, it has an optional Snap-On thermostat feature for effective use in cold climatic conditions.
6. Durabuild 20W Solar Powered Attic Fan
The more you spend on an attic fan the better its features, take for instance this one here. You can easily use it to control the attic temperatures, moisture as well as mold. Besides, it can also enhance the life of your roof by draining moist air all over it.
It has a 24V motor that is powered by an industrial grade, thermostatically controlled, 20-watt solar panel. This means if the space that needs ventilation reaches 85°, the motor will auto-start to cool it to 65°, before auto-shutting. Likewise, it can ventilate up to 1850 square feet.
This solar attic fan has a durable grade 5 ASB impact and UV resistant shroud. In addition, the solar panel and shroud are easily adjustable for maximum sun exposure.
Furthermore, it has a wire mesh to keep the rodents out and may qualify for local/federal tax rebates. The attic fan has a 5-year limited warranty while the solar panels have a 20-year warranty.
7. Brightwatts 24-Watt Premium Solar Attic Fan
This Brightwatts solar attic fan comes fully assembled for easy installation. It does not require any wiring, nor does it need an electrician to set it up. Besides, this unit has been tested 110mph sustained wind with 8 inches of rain per hour, thus no water entry.
Its fans can vent up to 1200 square feet attic area, in up to 1000 CFM. In addition, it has a built-in thermostat with highly-efficient blades measuring 15 inches in diameter. Likewise, they are all durable with a heavy-duty powder coated galvanized steel construction.
Moreover, it has highly-efficient polycrystalline cells as well as high-impact tempered solar cell casings for resisting harsh weather, like hail and ice.
This solar powered roof vent comes with a 10-year warranty and a convenient solar panel power cord.
8. GBGS 20W Solar Attic Fan
This is one of the best solar powered attic fans, due to its versatility when it comes to roof installation. You can install it in any normal sloped roof, slate roof, flat concrete tiles, wood shake roofs or asphalt shingles. Besides, it is very easy to install and comes with a 14-inch air duct for the garage.
Moreover, it can increase roof durability by draining moist air. Its 24V waterproof brushless motor works well in humid areas and is powered by a 20watt thermostatically controlled solar panel. Additionally, the motor auto-turns when the temperature is 77° and auto-shuts when it cools to 65°.
In addition, you can adjust the solar panel in four different angles, and horizontally adjust the solar brackets to 90° for proper sun exposure.
Furthermore, this solar attic fan can cool your house, lowering your energy bills. It ventilates up to 1750 CFM and has a smooth-air deflector in its shroud for enhanced performance and smooth airflow.
Its fan blades are durable aluminum and the whole material construction is galvanized steel. Besides, the motor has a 10-year LIMITED warranty while the solar panel has a 20-year warranty.
9. Rand 20-Watt Solar Powered Roof Vent
This solar powered roof vent can cut your summer cooling costs drastically. It can cool your attic temperatures to 50°, reducing the moisture and water vapor in it. This, in turn, increases the lifespan of your roof.
Moreover, it can be placed in the gable or roof. The choice lies in you and the model construction of your house. Besides, it is a quick-connect fitting between the attic fan and the solar panel.
Additionally, its 20-watt polycrystalline silicon solar panel comes with a conveniently adjustable angle bracket for better sun exposure.
This solar attic fan covers up to 1813 square feet with its 1274 CFM vent capacity.
10. ESM Products 30W Solar Attic Fan
If you want a non-corrosive solar powered attic fan that can last for years, then this should be one of your top picks. It has surface oxidation features and five attic fan blades, each measuring 12 in diameter, with balanced hub Protective Animal Screen.
Moreover, it can easily lower your attic temperature and reduce moisture level, to a conducive and workable one. Besides, it can vent up to 2800 square feet space with a single attic fan. Additionally, it has a thermostat and comes with a 7-year warranty.
It comes with a user instruction manual for easy set-up. Besides, its 30W crystalline solar panel comes with a durable rust-free bracket.
DIY Guide: How to Install Solar Powered Attic Fans?
A solar powered roof vent is very easy to install, some need a bit of wiring while others do not. Depending on the model and its design as well as placement area, it is a DIY project you can read through and install.
Likewise, most of these units come with a thorough and detailed user manual for effective installation, use, and maintenance if need be. Here is all you need to know for a DIY attic fan installation.
Supplies and Tools Needed:
- Solatube Attic Fan
Here is a systematic guide to a DIY solar powered fan installation, for your home attic.
- Choose fan model-You will find that this unit comes in separate parts you can easily connect for proper attic ventilation. There is the fan and solar panel. If you want top-quality, and better results opt for a solar panel with double the output required by the solar powered fan unit.
- Determine your angle of installation- These types of fans are best placed facing due south. For instance, a flat-pitched roof only needs a flush-mount. With the set-up angle ready, you can now connect the wiring/wires to the terminal box, which is located on the underside of the solar panel. Besides, there is a graphic print out of the wiring on the underside of the panel, for an easy DIY installation.
- Connect wires, if need be and tighten the watertight connector– A watertight connector is supposed to keep the moisture away from the wires that will be added. It is usually added outside of the terminal box/junction.
For the wiring, strip the 14-gauge wire and strand it through the opening of the junction box. After which, you can connect the red wire (+) to the positive terminal, and the black (-) one to the negative terminal.
Then add the water tight-lid to the terminal box and tighten it, before tightening the watertight connector.
- Location of rafters and drilling the brackets– Locate the rafters using a The Z-shaped brackets will be drilled into them to hold and adjust the solar panel accordingly. You can add butyl sealant under each bracket before drilling it into the roof. Besides, use stainless steel hardware when it comes to connecting the brackets to the inside edges of the solar panel.
- Run and secure the electric cable– Run cable from panel to the near end of the fan vent, securing it for safety, at 18-inches interval. You can then run it through the attic fan.
- Measure and cut a brace– With the panel in place, you can now install the fan in its Measure a 2 by 4 brace and make your cut, then use a drill and screws to secure it within the attic opening.
- Connect wires– Use wood screws to secure your solar powered fan to the brace. Strip the 14-gauge cable that was passed through the opening, connect to the fan wires, and test. If there is enough generation of solar power, the fan will work and start removing hot air from the attic.
- Add temperature controller- If you are to add a temperature controller or thermal switch. Put a standard plastic electrical box near the fan and feed the panel cable into the electrical box. Then connect one temperature controller wire to the solar panel wire and the other to the fan wiring system, and then secure it with a wire nut. Secure/shelter the controller in the box and set the temperature that will activate the fan.
You should note that different solar powered fans for the attic have different installation guides, so make use of the instructional manual or the internet for a safe and effective installation.
Conclusively, the best solar powered attic fans do not come cheap but since they do not use any costly power, you can always invest in a durable one. Nonetheless, if you have no idea where to start, you can do some research, read reviews like this solar powered roof vent review, to gain more knowledge before you purchase it.
Otherwise, it is the best thing that can happen to your home attic. It can reduce your bills while keeping your attic moist-free and cool. This also helps your roof stay put for long. So feel free to share the message and remember the best solar attic fans have a huge worthy price tag on them.