Our Top Picks Compared
A solar attic fan is a great feature for any home that wants to save energy, be kinder to the planet and maintain a comfortable environment in their attic and around the home.
As the name implies, solar attic fans are powered by solar energy. This means that they use a photovoltaic panel that will protrude through the roof and soak up light. Specifically, the panel is collecting photons and these are being used to ‘excite’ electrons arranged in a specific way. This in turn causes those electrons to begin moving in what is known as a current and this is what is then able to power your appliances – including a fan!
The bottom line is that the best solar attic fans can generate cool air without taking a toll on your energy bill. This means:
- Lower monthly costs
- No risk of power outage
- A cleaner conscience knowing you aren’t harming the environment
While there are many solar installations that the conscientious family home can consider installing, the great thing about solar attic fans is that they offer a lot of benefit while being relatively easy to install. These are generally very quiet and will require very little in the way of wires and set-up.
And here’s another great thing about solar powered attic fans: they are almost guaranteed to work right when you need them most! While other solar powered tools and appliances might be ineffective when the sun is out, the great thing about a fan is that you are most likely to want the ventilation when the sun is out! When it’s cloudy, you won’t need to use your fan anyway!
On top of all this, the top rated attic fans may also qualify for tax credits, meaning they’ll save you even more money.
Why a Fan for Your Attic?
Like any fan, a solar attic fan also has the job of keeping your home nicely cool. It does this by specifically cooling your attic, circulating air in order to keep it cool and thereby reducing some of the strain that is otherwise going to be squarely on your HVAC system.
Remember: hot air rises and so a lot of the warm atmosphere will rise into your attic. If you can cool that space, this will often mean cooling the entire upstairs.
This also has the advantage of helping to reduce moisture. This prevents mold from forming, which has a whole host of benefits. Not only does it increase the lifespan of woodwork and fittings in your attic, but it also helps you to prevent health issues that can arise from inhaling mold spores otherwise.
In winter, it can also prevent a build up of ice. Better yet, it if you have a cold water tank in your attic, then this can help to prevent freezing and bursting a pipe!
Solar Attic Fan Reviews
Amtrak Solar Attic Fan 35 Watt
This is another very powerful solar attic fan with a powerful motor and a healthy 10-year warranty. The device uses an attractive chrome finish but isn’t quite as well made as the Natural Light product and feels a little more flimsy. The solar panel also sits flush against the roof.
However, in terms of price, this is a great way to get started. And with positive reviews and that good warranty, you should still be able to buy in confidence. At 35watts, it’s also still very powerful.
Solar Attic Fan 36 Watt by Natural Light
This solar attic fan is our top pick for numerous reasons. First: this is a fan that looks the part. It has a sleek design that looks neat and tidy on your roof and that won’t draw undue attention to itself. At 36 watts, it is also highly energy efficient and powerful. In fact, this model may even qualify for tax credits.
The product comes with a very impressive 25 year warranty, as well as being made from very impressive materials. Installation is easy with no wiring necessary and there is an included optional thermostat.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan
This is significantly less powerful than the top rated solar attic fans and definitely won’t be eligible for tax credits. At just 5 watts you’ll be doing a lot less cooling but it’s also pleasingly simple to install and according to the manufacturers it can still cool up to 700 feet of attic space. It is quiet and looks nicely finished and thanks to the lower power, it also costs considerably less than some of the competition.
It’s all self-contained in a single unit and once again, this is a good choice for someone just looking to get into the world of solar heating and cooling.
Durabuilt Attic Fan 20-Watt
This solar attic fan from Durabuilt is very similar to the last model on our list, suggesting a common manufacturer. However, it is significantly more expensive and for the extra power it provides (20W). As there are more powerful options out there, this isn’t all that compelling. We consider this one of the less impressive models on the market right now and not great value for money, but with a whole lot of similar product on the site, it was worth mentioning for the sake of comparison.
Solar Attic Fan 30 Watt
This is a very nice looking solar fan that has a more premium feel. It is adjustable to best get the angle of the sun and will protrude slightly above the roof for extra height. It’s also well suited to flat roofs.
The power is relatively good too at 30W. Overall, it’s a very sturdy option and has positive reviews right now. It’s on the more expensive side though and it doesn’t come with the same authority as Natural Light products – nor the same warranty!
Why it is So Important to be Efficient With Heating and Cooling
We are constantly being reminded by the media and the press, as well as by politicians, about the problems facing our atmosphere and environment. Specifically, we will be hearing about the energy crisis and global warming and these are buzzwords that crop up all the time.
It is only right that they should be so prevalent however, as they are not only highly important, but also very relevant to almost everything we do – and every decision and action you make can have a direct or indirect impact on the environment. Here we will look at how your heating and air can have such an impact as well.
There are many aspects of heating and air, and these include your HVAC systems, as well as furnaces and other aspects. These affect the environment for one simple reason – they use up energy. This then means that when you turn on your air conditioning, you actually use up energy that comes from a power plant. And chances are that that power plant got its energy from burning fossil fuels. These fossil fuels are finite and in fact are in short supply (relatively) and this is where the risk of an ‘energy crisis’ comes from – because there’s a chance that they will all get used up and then all of our modern luxuries will be lost to us.
At the same time though these fossil fuels create carbon emissions which are released into the atmosphere when they are burned as fuel. This carbon is thicker than our oxygen and that means that it can keep the heat of the sun in for longer. This then means that the heat from the sun is getting in but it is not getting out and being released into the atmosphere. That results in a gradual increase in temperature due to what is known as the ‘greenhouse’ effect.
And so, by choosing to use the top rated solar attic fans, you can actually save considerable amounts of power and also know that you’re doing something very good for the planet.
Top Ways to Save Energy on Your Heating and Cooling
A solar attic fan is just one way that you can consider the environment while handling heating and cooling around your home. Here are some more green options for keeping your climate control right!
Of course, we need our heating and air and these installations are necessary – even if you have the best solar attic fan. However, how we use them is crucial due to the damage they can do to the environment. The first and most important port of call then is to have efficient systems installed by professional contractors to make sure that you use as little energy as possible. Whatever systems you use for heating and cooling in your home, you should find they are rated for efficiency and this can help you to make sure that you aren’t wasting more energy than necessary.
Furthermore, you should also get regularly maintenance. This will prevent them from becoming less efficient as they get clogged with dirt etc. and that will mean that they remain using as little energy as possible. Likewise, do what you can yourself, whether that means changing filters or anything.
How to Use Your Heating and Cooling Less
Meanwhile you should also of course try to minimize your use as much as possible which will also be kind to your bank account. Don’t run the air con when it is already cold then and open windows when it is hot. Likewise, if it’s cold, then you could consider putting on an extra layer of clothing rather than turning up the temperature.
Many of us don’t give much thought to the temperatures of our homes in fact but rather just keep them on a steady setting. While this might be a convenient way to keep our homes running, the truth is that we’re probably wasting energy. Try turning your heating down a single degree and see if that leaves you too cold. If not, then try turning it down one degree more and seeing how that feels. Keep doing this until you feel too cold. Then turn it back up one and leave it at that setting!
Using things like Hive in order to control the temperature of your home more precisely (and remotely!) can also be a good strategy to help keep your property at the ideal level.
And remember, you can adapt to cooler temperatures too. Just look at Wim Hof (which is not to say you shouldn’t be sensible regarding your health).
If you want to go one step further then you can consider getting alternative green energy solutions. We’ve already seen the power of a solar attic fan, but there are many other options besides. This means using things like geothermal heating and cooling – a system that works by running water through pipes deep underground. At this level underground the surrounding soil is hot enough that it can heat up the water to boiling temperatures completely free. Likewise, it might mean using solar heaters for outdoors, or even choosing to use a wood burner!
Whatever you decide to do about your overall ‘energy budget’ on heating and cooling, choosing to use a solar powered attic fan is a great way to save a lot of energy and keep your home healthy and cool all year round.
This is the perfect example of a small change you can make to improve your efficiency thanks to solar. Add a few solar chargers, consider a solar heater and you can gradually reduce your reliance on the grid less and less – without even needing a solar panel array!