The Benefits of Roofing Solar Powered Vents / Attic Fans
If you have experienced a hot summer and own a home in the Houston Texas area, if so this article is for you. Have you considered cooling your attic for free with a Solar Powered Roof Vent? Consider this, during the day the hot sun is beating down on your roof causing your attic to heat up as well and the air conditioning unit in your attic is running continuously.
It does not make any sense to be paying for electric (utilities) to cool a home with an AC Unit that resides in a hot attic running and running in an attempt to cool this hot air. It is no wonder so many homeowners are dealing with high utility bills. Now homeowners have a great opportunity to change all of this by installing Solar Sun Driven Attic Power Vents!
These Solar Power Vents and Fans are, by far, the best energy efficient home improvement you can possibly choose and the perfect time have these installed is when the roof is being replaced. Consider the benefits of cooling your roof free-powered by the sun for many years to come. That idea in itself is very energy efficient and smart!
Here is a quick list to some of the many benefits:
- Longer roofing shingle life span
- Less shingle granule loss
- Less heat in your attic
- Increased energy efficiency of your A/C Unit
- Extend the life of your A/C Unit
- Faster removal of unwanted attic moisture and dampness
What are solar power vents and how do they help a home?
A solar powered roof vent is an attic ventilation fan running solely off solar power. These types of ventilators fall into the category of active (powered) attic ventilation. How they work is this, the outside air is pulled into and forced through the attic exiting out through the attic vent to effectively cool the attic space. This method of attic ventilation is extremely more effective than passive (natural) ventilation since the air inside the attic is is moved exchanging this air many more times per an hour with a powered vent than with a passive vent.
What are the cost benefits of installing a solar powered attic fan?
The amount of money you will save is dependent on the price of electricity in your area, the amount of attic space in your home, the efficiency of your attic insulation as well as the the amount of ventilation your solar attic vent(s) is able to provide. In our experience, a typical installation of a solar vent typically pays for itself in savings within 1-2 summers of use versus the pricier option of Powered Attic Fans that can cost homeowners up to $35 – $ $85 per month just to run. Now you do not have to pay for this fan to run because it is solar saving you money every month.
What if my roof already has some type of ventilation?
Static vents or ridge vents will help cool the attic but generally do not provide sufficient air movement to pull heat and moisture from the attic – especially during the winter months or when the ambient air is stagnate. If you have electric fans in the attic, you will benefit from increased air movement in the summer but at a cost of 350 to 400 watts of power per day! Additionally, electric attic fans often use a thermostat which keeps them inoperable during the winter, just when you need them to expel moisture! A solar powered attic fan runs whenever there is sunlight and at no cost to operate.
What if there is no sun, will this solar power vent fan still operate?
Yes, the solar powered vent fan will still operate during low sun periods. This will depend on the amount of cloud cover. This solar power vent also has the built in option to naturally draft. This means that these units have been designed to vent through the non-moving fan blades, serving as a solar chimney ventilation shaft allowing hot air to escape 24/7, 365 days a year. This is a wonderful way to cool your attic even when the hot Texas sun is gone late into the evening.
Out with the Hot, In with the Cool!
This natural flow that is created by having a solar power vent mounted high up to the tallest peak of the roof where the HOT air is naturally rising, (red arrows = hot air). Then, cooler air is drafted into the attic space (blue arrows = cooler air) this will result in the entire space being cooler with this fresh air circulation that is drafted (drawn in) by the newly installed solar roof vent.
Is additional wiring required for installation?
This new solar power vent unit is 100% wireless. No additional wiring is needed so you will not need to pay a professional electrician to install these units.
Can the solar powered attic fan be used to vent garages and crawl spaces?
Here in the Houston Texas metro area this is by far one of the biggest benefits as many homeowners have used their garage for a workshop. Yes they can! Many of our customers are using the solar power fan vent to reduce the summer temperature in the garage, storage shed or crawl spaces.
How is a solar powered roof attic fan controlled?
A thermal switch is often used to control a solar attic fan. This switch only allows the fan to run when the attic is warmer than 80-90 degrees F. Running the fan only when the attic is hot extends the life of the fan motor and results in less heat loss to the attic in winter, but does not allow the fan to reduce moisture build-up in the attic at all times and does not allow the fan to prevent ice dams during the winter in colder climates.
Why would I choose to cool off my attic?
During the summertime months, as the sun radiates heat onto roofs, the roofing shingles or tile become extremely hot. This heat then transfers through the roof and heating up the air inside the attic space. If this hot air stays in the attic space, it will eventually enter into the home living space. Attic insulation does help to slow this process but it does not completely eliminate the heat transfer process. And if your attic is not very well insulated, it will have minimal effectiveness at stopping this hot air from entering your home and making it less energy efficient.
Additionally, a hot attic stays hot long after the sun goes down so the process of heat transfer into your home never really stops. By assisting in the removal of the hot air from your attic with solar vent fans, the process of heat transfer into your home is minimized and your home will be more energy efficient. The less attic heat that is transferred into your home, the less your air conditioner will need to work. When your air conditioner unit doesn’t need to run as much to keep your home cool, you save energy and money.
How long are they warranted for?
Solar power vents have a manufactures warranty that cover your new unit installed. How long of a warranty that is offer depends on the manufacture of the unit. Some solar power vents are warranted for a period of ten years after roof top installation. You should check with each manufacturer to see what their offered warranty period is.
Is a HOA or building permit required for installation of Solar Powered Attic Fans in Texas?
Some projects like home additions and or large renovations will need a building permit. However, no permit is required for installation of solar-powered fans in the Houston Texas and metro areas or in Texas state.
Are solar power attic fans very loud when operating?
This is a great question and is often asked of many Houston Texas homeowners. You can barely hear solar attic fans running even if you stand right next to them. The fan blades used in our solar attic vents are specifically designed to be whisper quiet during operation.
How do ridge vents, turbine vents, or gable vents differ from solar attic vents?
This vent looks like that raised skinny dark line on the roof usually at the peak or top of your roof. The way ridge vents, or gable vents or other vents work is by passive natural draft air convection. As hot air rises in the attic space, a natural draft should be created from air flow. However, as you have probably noticed, if you currently have any of these vents installed on your home, they are only somewhat effective at reducing the temperature of your attic, they will be much more effective combined with a solar attic vent fan.
You see them spinning away on roofs and often wonder how they work? Turbine vents are designed to pull hot air out of your attic when the wind blows. These vents are equally ineffective at removing attic heat due to frequent mechanical problems, low air moving capability, and a dependence on the wind to supply the power needed to induce a draft through the attic.
Solar attic vents operate on the principle of active (forced) draft air convection. Our vents create an air draft through your attic many times more powerful than that of natural draft air convection techniques. By inducing a greater air draft through the attic, these solar attic vents can effectively cool your entire attic and keep it cool throughout the day.
Can an attic have too much attic ventilation?
The amount of ventilation in your attic needs is determined by a variety of factors, but generally, the more the ventilation in an attic, the better it will cool. The attic air is circulated, there is increased air flow, allowing for cooler and fresher air to be pulled in from outside into the attic space dropping the attic temperature to ambient air temperature of outside which is cooler than stagnant attic air.
This in turn will help minimize heat transfer from the attic from entering your living space and warming it up. As the attic fans are circulating the air, they are creating better air flow and pull in fresh air. With great ventilation you will get increased airflow through the attic improving the cooling performance of your solar powered roof attic fan.
Final Thoughts To Consider For Solar Power Roof Vents
As time goes on, new and innovative home improvement products come to the market and present themselves. Some products perform very well and some just become a passing fad. With the increase of many U.S. homeowners planning for solar electric, the popularity of solar power is on the rise throughout the country. Southeast Houston Texas homeowners will be one of the areas of the country that will truly benefit from installing Solar Power Vents and Fans to their home due to our intense Texas summer heat that seems to last about 4 to 6 long and hot months out of the year. Thanks from all of us at, Texas Home Exteriors.