What you don’t know about a solar attic fan could be costing you money

While insulation and radiant barriers get a lot of attention, attic ventilation is critical to a healthy, energy efficient roof. Without it, your attic could actually cost you money. That’s where ridge vents or a solar attic fan come in.

Ridge vent vs Solar attic fan

Which is better for your roof? A ridge vent or a solar attic fan? That depends on your roof.

Ridge vents are an ideal solution to ventilation in an ideal attic. As warm air rises in your attic, fresh air is drawn in through soffit vents. What makes ridge vents so effective is how they run the length of your roof providing continuous venting.

But, what if your roof doesn’t have continuous runs? Hip roofs, which break the roof line into shorter runs, create a problem for use of ridge vents. Typically, ridge vents need two feet of clearance on either end. If you have a six-foot hip roof, that means you only get four feet of venting. This can make keeping a 2-to-1 soffit-to-ridge vent ratio difficult. These situations are perfect for a solar attic fan.

Powered completely by solar energy, a solar attic fan improves attic air circulation resulting in a healthy, energy-efficient home. Even when its fan isn’t running, the solar attic fan 14-inch opening allows passive ventilation. As it pulls hot air and moisture out of your attic, a solar attic fan can actually extend the life of your roof. During the summer, your attic is cooler helping cut the load on your HVAC system. Of course, proper ventilation also helps reduce moisture year-round.

Which should you choose?

That’s a choice best made with the advice of a competent roofer or insulation specialist who understands the importance of proper ventilation. One thing is certain, though, without proper ventilation, you attic will not only cost you money, but can create an unhealthy environment for your family. Unless you’re certain there’s proper ventilation, it’s a prudent step to have your attic and roof inspected.

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