The Best Solar Attic Fans Reviews
There are many quality solar fans on the market, but our solar attic vent reviews give a comparison of some of the top rated solar attic fans.
When making our recommendations, our best solar attic fan reviews were intended to give you a clear picture of the pros and cons of each type of fan. There is no single item that will work for everyone’s situation, but we created our solar attic fans reviews comparison to consider several factors: price, ease of installation, quality of materials, and quality and maneuverability of solar panel.
Here are our top rated solar attic fan reviews to help you pick the best solar attic fan for your home.
Amtrak Solar 70-Watt Solar Attic Fan
The Amtrak Solar’s option for a solar powered attic fan is different than competitors, but it may be just the thing if you have limited resources and don’t want the mess and hassle of installation that cuts a hole in your roof.
Most other solar fans are installed by sawing through the shingles and plywood of your roof to create a hole for the fan apparatus. The Amtrak Solar fan fits into an existing gable vent, and the solar panel is mounted outside the vent to provide power.
This is unlikely to provide as consistent and efficient power to your attic as the conventional solar attic fans reviewed, but it does offer a realistic option to lowering your home’s electrical costs for those who, for one reason or another, cannot purchase a typical installation system.
This might be the best fan for you in certain circumstances. For example, this is an option if you are a long-term renter, and cannot make structural adjustments to your home. It also works as a stopgap if you cannot currently afford the cost of purchase and installation of a conventional system, but want to do your part to lower costs and energy use right away.
It is also a good system to install in an unconventional building such as a greenhouse or shed. Or if your home’s roof is made of unconventional materials that do not work with a typical installation system.
The solar panel is powerful, at 70 watts, and can be installed with relative ease. The necessary additional wiring (so you can mount the panel outside & run the cord inside to the fan) and brackets are included.
And the Amtrak Solar solar fan boasts a 25 year warranty, one of the best of the fans reviewed. You can also request a free thermostat attachment through the manufacturer, but it does not come included with the system. It’s nice that the thermostat is available without additional cost, but it is an inconvenience to have to separately request it.
The Amtrak Solar model isn’t going to beat the efficiency of some of the top rated solar attic fans head-to-head. But for those with special circumstances or limited resources, this might be the right fan for you.
- Installs without significant structural changes to your home
- Easier installation than conventional models
- Great for outbuildings, greenhouses, and RVs
- Not as powerful or efficient as conventional models
- Fan construction is largely plastic
Choosing the Best Solar Attic Fan
When you’re thinking about purchasing a solar attic fan, you’ll want to carefully consider your options, and think about which model will work best with your home and your resources. Now that you have these solar attic fan reviews comparison is easier.
Think about your home’s roof and attic, and consider some of the following factors before you choose the fan that is right for your home.
Installation of the Solar Attic Fan
Most of the solar attic fans reviewed here are installed by cutting a hole in your roof and installing the device so that the flashing is below your shingles and above your roof’s deck. It doesn’t necessarily take a professional roofer to install this type of system, but there are a few specific tools (like a jigsaw) that are needed, and cutting a hole in your roof is not an ideal first home project.
If you are inexperienced in home repair or remodeling, then it’s best to either hire a qualified installer, or choose one of the less conventional models of attic fan that hook into the existing vents on your roof gable. An installer can help you prepare your site and might be able to certify or warranty their work. In fact, in certain areas, you can purchase installation through major retailers like Amazon when you order your fan. There is an additional charge, but it’s nice to have a pre-vetted installer lined up by the major companies that sell the solar fan.
The advantage of a solar fan is that whether you install yourself, or get the help of a professional, you don’t have to worry about positioning the fan near an electrical outlet, or running cords or wires throughout your attic.
The power source is attached directly to your fan. That means the job is simple enough for a handy homeowner to complete themselves, and is a reasonably cheap installation for a homeowner who prefers to outsource to a professional.
Your Home’s Roof Construction
The construction of your roof can affect your available choices. Most of the solar attic fans reviewed in this article are designed to be installed on a pitched roof with asphalt shingles. If you have a different roof configuration, you will want to carefully review the specifications for your selected attic fan to make sure it is compatible with your roof type.
We suggest that prior to making a purchase, you go up into your attic (if possible) and inspect it to get a feel for where the fan would be ideally placed. You can check the distance between your rafters and compare it to the size of the fan you are planning to purchase, as well as getting a feel for the size of the attic.
If your home is particularly large (and especially if it is all on one story) you may need to purchase two attic fans. Check the measurements of your space and compare those to the specified capacity of the fan. Most top rated solar attic fans will take care of an attic of around 2,000 square feet, but individual capacity varies between models.
You may also want to consider the aesthetic or visual appearance of your roof once the fan is installed. If you have a strict neighborhood or municipal code against anything protruding from the roof, you may need permitting, or you may need to choose a model that has a low profile.
Always check with your local municipality or neighborhood association before installation to make sure you have the necessary permissions or permits.
And remember, for best results, you should install your solar panels so that they are south-facing. This allows them to have better light absorption throughout the day.
Motor & Moving Parts of the Solar Attic Fan
The more powerful and high-quality the motor, the more likely you’ll have a long-lasting and efficient system. You may want to check our solar attic fan reviews comparison of the power of the solar panel and motor to make sure it will hold up to your needs.
You should also consider the construction of the fan and casing or vent hood. High-quality steel and powder-coated aluminum are some of the most durable materials commonly used in these fans. Fans that have a limited number of plastic parts are more likely to go the distance.
Sensors and Shut Off Features of the Solar Attic Fan
A high quality solar attic fan will have either a built in or an optional temperature sensor. If a fan runs 100% of the time that sun shines, that may cause issues.
On long summer days, the fan could be venting relatively cool air, but the long runtime may stress or overheat the motor. In this case, a thermostat would notice the cool temperature, and stop the motor so it could cool itself. On winter days, venting warm air from the attic every time the sun shines may actually cause your heat to come one more frequently, rather than less.
Having a temperature sensor helps to alleviate these concerns, and we recommend that you choose a fan that either has a thermostat installed, or purchase a thermostat to go with the solar fan. This is especially important if you live in climates with cold winters. These solar attic vent reviews will help you see which fans have that option, and which will require additional installation or purchases.
Compare and Choose the Right Solar Attic Fan for You
Once you have considered your individual situation and read our solar attic fan reviews comparison of these fans, you’ll be able to choose the right fan for your home’s needs. Enjoy a cooler summer without the stress of a high electric bill by upgrading your home’s ventilation system to include one of these solar fans.
Once you’ve made your selection from our solar attic fan reviews, you’ll be on the way to lowering your utility costs. The clean, green solar energy generated by your new fan will help you conserve energy and become part of the solar revolution.