When you plan to ventilate your attic, you should think of air circulation, safety, and the type of fan to install.
Among many options, solar attic fans can be a suitable solution to reduce energy usage. Fun fact: it’s now the number one choice in Canada. Even though they might cost more due to installation costs, it’s worth it for the long term.
Fortunately, there are solar-energy utilizing attic fans that are cost-effective and low maintenance – better than regular fans. We will teach you how to choose the best solar powered attic fans and provide reviews of our top selections from the market.
- Top-rated Solar-powered Attic Fans
- How Do These Solar Fans Work?
- Is a Solar Attic Fan Worth It?
- More Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdicts
Top-rated Solar-powered Attic Fans
Our top rated attic fans (solar-powered) vary in quality, features, price, pros, and cons. Here is a table comparison that shows the primary differences between the products. Following that are detailed product reviews of the solar ventilators.
|Product Name||Watts||Venting capacity||Highlight features|
|Natural Light Solar Attic Fan||36W||2,625 sq. ft, 1,628 CFM||Adjustable solar panels, 25-year warranty|
|HQST Solar Powered Roof Mount Adjustable Attic Fan||30W||2,625 sq. ft||Adjustable, detachable solar panels|
|Amtrak Solar’s Powerful Attic Fan||40W||2,250 sq. ft||Galvanized steel and crystalline solar panels, not noisy|
|ECO-WORTHY Solar Powered Attic Ventilator||30W||2,200 sq. ft, 1,960 CFM||Semi-foldable solar panels, works even in the cloudy days|
|Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan-8||8W||700 sq. ft, 435 CFM||Functions under low light conditions, portable and lightweight|
1. Natural Light Solar Attic Fan
Natural Light is one of the leading manufacturers of solar fans in the US. Natural Light Solar Attic Fan gets first in our list due to its overall astounding quality. Its solar panels and fan motors are powered by the 36-watt DC motor to move warm air and moisture out of the attic every day.
Although it’s not specifically for flat roofs or side-wall installation, each solar panel is adjustable to a 45-degree angle. As an attic ventilator, it has a coverage of up to 2,625-square footage attic space. It rotates up to 1,628-cubic feet per minute (CFM) under the full blasting heat of the sun.
You can feel the significant cooling effect in the rooms because of its effective cooling mechanism. The installation of this fan is easy and convenient – you can easily mount it on pitched fiberglass asphalt shingle roofs. For tile roofs, you need to purchase additional tile roof flashing kits.
For optimal safety, you can attach thermostats and fire safety switches (sold separately). Although this 36-watt solar powered attic ventilator is quite expensive, it comes with 25 years warranty. All the necessary installation hardware and tools are included in the package, too.
2. HQST Solar Powered Roof Mount Adjustable Attic Fan
If you are looking for a solar attic fan with the same coverage as the Natural Light fan, the HQST Solar Powered Attic Fan is a cheaper alternative.
It is an all-in-one solar unit that reduces attic temperature and moisture to prevent attic damage. The 30-watt solar motor functions to sustain robust wind blow for optimal warm and cold air exchange.
The solar panels are adjustable up to 45 degrees. These solar roof panels can even be disconnected from the unit and mounted in maximum sun exposure.
This solar powered fan by HQST lasts for many years without maintenance because of heavy-duty rust-resistant aluminum. Additionally, this roof mounted attic fan comes with a provision for an optional snap on thermostat for colder climates.
The HQST Solar Attic Fan comes with an optional one-time installation for a minimal additional fee. You can conveniently mount it on pitched fiberglass asphalt single roofs. It automatically starts functioning under the sun, so exercise caution during the installation period, and once it’s installed, it stays efficient.
Moreover, the package comes with one HQST fan blade, one HQST 30-watt solar panel, and a one-year warranty to guarantee your purchase. The fan blades measure 14 inches, and the size of the fan is 20.9 x 20.9 x 9.8 inches.
3. Amtrak Solar’s Powerful Attic Fan with Thermostat
Budget-conscious homeowners should get the Amtrak Solar’s Powerful Attic Fan – it’s affordable but does not lack quality and practicality. This solar-powered attic fan has the highest quality materials such as galvanized steel and 14-inch fan blades.
The fan motor has thermal protection to ensure optimal efficiency and longevity. It can ventilate up to 2,250-square foot attics and even garages, greenhouses, and gable vents.
The fan blades of this model are more massive than the older one from the Amtrak fan. Nevertheless, they are guaranteed high-quality because Revcor, a number one fan blade manufacturer in the US, made them.
These high strength fan blades get powered by a 40-watt solar motor and have 12-volt compatibility with the premium crystalline solar panel. The fan quietly operates too.
Another plus point for the Amtrak Solar’s Powerful Attic Fan is its easy installation: the unit comes with a set of pre-drilled holes, Z-brackets, and wires for a do-it-yourself installation.
It can be installed behind the gable vent where the temperature increases up to 160 degrees. Aside from the tools for assembly, it also comes with a 25-year warranty. For a very affordable price, this solar attic ventilator is worth it.
4. ECO-WORTHY Solar Powered Attic Ventilator
Another budget-friendly solar attic fan comes from ECO WORTHY. Although it is as inexpensive as the Amtrak’s, it has notable features as well. The 30-watt powered brush-less motor efficiently ventilates attics and garages. This vent fan helps reduce air-conditioning system loads and cuts operating costs.
The 12-volt solar panel has a 3.2-mm low-iron, transparent tempered glass. These polycrystalline solar panels are semi-foldable up to 350 x 350 x 38 mm and open at 707 x 350 x 18 mm.
The fan blades are aluminum alloy, while the coverings are strong 304-stainless steel. Overall, the unit comes with complete installation flashing kits that consist of adjustable brackets, one 16-feet solar cable, and a pre-installed eight-inch solar cable.
The ventilation system coverage of this solar fan is up to 2,200 square feet with 1,960 cubic feet per minute ventilation power. As the fan operates at low voltage (4 to 17.2 volts), it can function even in cloudy days. It’s highly recommended since it’s reliable and requires little maintenance. The life span of the motor is more than 10,000 hours.
5. Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan-8
If all of the above-mentioned solar attic fans are too large and expensive for your attic, then the Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan-8 will fit your space and budget. It is an all-new version of Rand solar fans designed for small attic spaces. It effectively ventilates attics and significantly cuts your electric bill.
An eight-watt motor powers this Rand attic ventilator. The ventilating mechanism has coverage of up to 700 square feet and a capacity of 435 cubic feet per minute. The brushless motor functions even in low light conditions since it requires minimal energy.
Installing a solar attic fan such as this one is easy; it does not require any wiring, and the package comes with the necessary tools for set-up. Additionally, the Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan-8 weighs only 5.55 pounds and measures 19 x 19 x 6 inches. These measurements prove that the unit is easy to transport and install.
What homeowners need to understand is that this solar-powered fan is not powerful for full house attic ventilation. For larger spaces, consider installing two to three units or the 30-watt or 40-watt models. As a mini solar attic ventilator, it is best used for small spaces.
How Do These Solar Fans Work?
First, you need to know that solar panels harness energy from the sun and transform that into electricity, which then gets used to power solar attic fans.
The general purpose of a ventilation attic fan is to reduce the warm air within the attic through the roof. It helps to spread out cooler air throughout the house, keeping your living space fresh all the time.
Although it doesn’t have the same cooling power that an air conditioning unit has, it is less expensive and utilizes less power than the AC units. The solar panel fan does the same job, except that it draws energy from the sun (refer to image below). That’s where the electrical energy comes from, and that’s what can power the fan.
The fan is attached to medium-sized solar panels through the roof vent. You install these solar panels on the roof where there is maximum sun exposure, where they can then transform sunlight into solar power.
We can describe the ventilation mechanism of this type of fan simply. It provides a steady airflow throughout the attic space, expelling the warm air and giving room for the fresh air. This process is called air exchange. As a rule of thumb, the attic should never be warmer than the outside by 10 to 25 degrees.
Although most solar attic fans operate only during the day, there are now some models with batteries. Users can charge these batteries during the day so they can run at night. Other models also operate even in low-light conditions such as overcast and cloudy weather.
The ventilator uses solar power, a natural energy source. It does not require an additional power supply, making it more cost-effective than an electric attic fan.
Is a Solar Attic Fan Worth It?
The quick answer is yes! The solar attic fan’s initial cost is more than that of the regular attic fan. However, in recent years, the price can be decreased to 70 percent. Still, at around $300, these solar panels are not cheap. A solar panel model for a 3,000-square foot house may cost up to $200.
The solar attic fan has allowed homeowners to decrease their carbon footprint and power consumption, making it eco-friendly. Compared to electric-powered attic fans, the solar-powered ones don’t emit greenhouse gases that are harmful to the environment. Studies show that it reduces the attic temperature by up to 30 percent and the AC utility by up to six percent.
Moreover, solar attic fans are easy to install. It takes a couple of hours to set it up. And, it does not have wires to run the motors. All it takes is handyman skills and some tools. The most challenging part is looking for the most suitable place to install the unit.
Ideally, buy this type of attic fan with a complete installation package. Some come with pre-drilled holes, brackets, and other tools for a do-it-yourself installation, while some provide installation service at an additional cost. There are also instructional videos online from DIY channels and manufacturers.
Once installed, it requires minimal to zero maintenance. Seal the attic fan tightly to prevent air and water leaks.
More Frequently Asked Questions
Curious about these solar-powered attic fans? Read the short Q & A below.
What are the benefits of solar attic fans?
Have you noticed how the names Natural Light and ECO-WORTHY project eco-friendly vibes?
The planet is dying, and the least you can do to slow that down is to switch to solar-powered appliances. What’s a better way to make use of all the free energy supplied by the sun than hoarding it as much as you can to your advantage?
How do I install a solar attic fan?
Three words – read the manual. Each brand has its unique needs and specs, so it’s always best to follow their official instructions.
The manufacturers spent days writing their guides for nothing.
How do I take good care of my solar-powered equipment?
We suggest cleaning the fan blades regularly with a wet cloth when you notice it accumulating dust. It’s always nice to have a well-kept fan since it’s doing all the hard work of cooling your indoor air.
We have thoroughly reviewed five solar attic fans, each with pros and cons.
Among the list, the Natural Light’s attic fan generally stands out. Its powerful motor is efficient for ventilating large attic spaces, and you can install it in different ways. Although it is quite expensive, it is worth the investment. It comes with a long warranty, so your purchase is secured while cutting your air conditioning costs.