Best Solar Attic Fans

Last Updated: 26 March, 2019 by David West

A solar attic fan is a great addition to your home. It can help you increase your house’s energy efficiency and save you money on heating and cooling your home.

 

We all know that during the hot summer months, air conditioning can make up a large portion of your energy use. Many of us put our thermostat up as high as we can stand to try and save money and resources, but that can lead to a lot of misery.

 

And your energy expenses aren’t likely to go down all on their own. Temperatures are getting more extreme all the time. In fact, the summer of 2018 was one of the top five hottest on record, and the summer of 2019 could be even hotter.

 

Solar attic fans help dispel hot air that rises into your attic or roof area. This can help you save money by making sure your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home during long, hot summer days.

 

And because they are solar powered, you don’t have to hire an electrician to install them. These fans can run with the energy gained from the hot summer sun, without the need to draw on conventional power sources in your home.

Editor’s Pick For Best Solar Attic Fan
GBGS Solar Attic Fan
GBGS Solar Attic Fan
Top Rated Solar Attic Fans on Amazon
Natural Light 36-watt Solar Attic Fan
Natural Light 36-watt Solar Attic Fan
HQST Solar Attic Fan
HQST Solar Attic Fan
Natural Light Ultra Low Profile Solar Attic Fan
Natural Light Ultra Low Profile Solar Attic Fan
Best Budget Attic Fan
Amtrak Solar 70-Watt Solar Attic Fan
Amtrak Solar 70-Watt Solar Attic Fan

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.

1

GBGS Solar Attic Fan

The GBGS fan is the top pick of our solar attic fans review because of its quiet operation, adjustable solar panel, and temperature sensing motor.

 

The GBGS fan runs on a 24 watt DC motor which is whisper quiet, and provides up to 1750 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of ventilation. DC motors are highly efficient, which means they can typically still run even if the solar panel is not operating at maximum efficiency due to some cloud cover.

 

The solar panel of the GBGS model is hinged onto the top of the fan, and has a bracket system that allows the panel to be positioned at several different angles. This can help you get ideal placement for your solar panel for maximum photon absorption.

 

Additionally, this model has an internal thermostat that prevents overheating of the motor. The sensor cues the fan to start automatically when the temperature in your attic reaches 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and to run until the attic has cooled down to a much pleasanter 65 degrees.

 

Consumers who tested this model reported a difference of up to twenty degrees in their attic before and after the installation of this attic fan. Others reported that the amount of time their air conditioning ran was drastically lower.

 

The GBGS fan is made with a steel exterior, and high-grade aluminum fan blades so that the system will remain durable & functioning through many seasons. There is even a 20 year warranty on the solar panel, so you can expect that this attic fan is one that will be helping you save money and lower your energy use for a long time to come.

PROS:
  • Temperature sensing for optimum performance
  • Quiet, efficient motor
  • Durable steel and aluminum construction
  • Adjustable solar panel for maximum efficiency
CONS:
  • High profile on roof may not be aesthetically pleasing
2

Natural Light 36-watt Solar Attic Fan

This attic vent fan is one of the best solar attic fans reviewed because of its popularity online. It has a high efficiency fan and an adjustable solar panel which makes it very popular among Amazon reviewers.

 

Like the GBGS model, it has a hinged solar panel with a bracket for adjusting the angle. This helps to make the device more efficient, by allowing you or your installer to gauge the ideal angle for the solar panel to rest at for maximum sunlight.

 

The sunlight collected allows the 36-watt motor to power the fan and vent the attic of hot or moist air. This cools your home and lowers the amount of money you’ll spend on air conditioning, but it also lowers the humidity of your attic, which can prevent mold or mildew growth, and help prolong the life of your roof and make your whole home safer and healthier.

 

While this Natural Light model does not have a thermostat or temperature indication system built-in, there is a separate thermostat unit made by the manufacturer that can be purchased separately. This can prevent the unit from venting warm air in the home during cold winter months, so if you live in a cold climate, this is recommended.

 

The Natural Light fan also includes a whole-unit warranty of 25 years. This is one of the best advertised warranties for one of the best solar attic fans. This can give you peace of mind that the system will function well, and if issues arise, the company will stand behind the product.

PROS:
  • Adjustable solar panel
  • 25-year warranty
  • Durable, weatherproof construction
CONS:
  • Thermostat must be purchased separately
3

HQST Solar Attic Fan

The HQST is a great addition to our solar attic vent reviews. It is a slightly lower cost alternative to the two top rated solar attic fans, but it still provides efficient power, and many of the same features, albeit in a slightly pared-down framework.

 

This fan has a 30 watt solar panel with an adjustable bracket. The bracket doesn’t adjust as far as some of the other best solar attic fans reviewed, but it still has a 45-degree range which will be suitable for most needs.

 

This solar fan has sturdy aluminum construction which helps it weather the elements and temperature extremes of your rooftop. And like the higher-rated attic fans it is competing with, it has a straightforward installation system with no wiring or electrical work needed.

 

However, the company only offers a 1-year warranty on this model. Additionally, some consumers complained about the lack of built-in temperature sensing, which caused the system to run at inopportune times. There is a thermostat available, but like the Natural Light model, it must be purchased separately.

 

In our solar attic fan reviews comparison, we determined that this is a quality solar vent fan, but the lack of temperature sensing and the paltry warranty keep it from being the best of the best.

PROS:
  • Adjustable solar panel
  • Durable and weatherproof construction
  • Less expensive than top rated solar attic fans
CONS:
  • 1-year warranty only
  • No built-in thermostat
4

Natural Light Ultra Low Profile Solar Attic Fan

A second top rated solar attic fans option from the Natural Light brand, this low profile vent fan provides options for those who are worried about the aesthetics of their roof with a protruding fan and solar panel.

 

The Natural Light fan has an array of solar cells mounted directly on the flat, circular vent hood. This helps to keep the profile of the fan low, and can offer some additional protection from the solar panel becoming disconnected or damaged in extreme weather.

 

The solar panel has a 24-watt capacity and the parts are made of powder-coated commercial grade aluminum. The venting capacity is about 1350 CFM, which the manufacturer claims will provide sufficient coverage for an attic space up to 2100 square feet.

 

Like the other Natural Light model, it does have an optional thermostat and fire-safety regulator, but these are not included and must be purchased separately. The fire safety cutoff and the thermostat are available online, and cost around $25 each.

 

Additionally, while the solar panel positioning keeps the fan from standing out, its lack of adjustment capability means that it may not run optimally if you don’t take care to install the fan in a south-facing area of the roof.

 

This attic fan has a 25 year warranty which covers all parts, including the motor. This is one of the best warranties when we make a solar attic fan reviews comparison. This is a brand, and a model which will likely last as long as the rest of your roof, and will provide positive savings and conservation.

PROS:
  • Low profile for less visual impact
  • 25-year warranty
  • Durable aluminum construction
CONS:
  • Solar panel is not adjustable
  • Thermostat is not included (sold separately)
5

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.

PROS:
  • Low-cost
  • Installs without significant structural changes to your home
  • Easier installation than conventional models
  • Great for outbuildings, greenhouses, and RVs
CONS:
  • Not as powerful or efficient as conventional models
  • Fan construction is largely plastic
6

PROS:
CONS:

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

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.

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