The Solar Star attic fan is a unique roof mounted attic fan that has the solar panel incorporated into the dome portion of the unit. Powered exclusively when sunlight hits the solar panel, the Solar Star does not have thermostats or switches. The installation is fairly quick and easy since there are no electrical hook ups to deal with.
There are two different types of Solar Star Attic Fans – solar gable fan and solar roof fan. Although very similar in the way they work, most experts still agree that the roof mount works better due to the law of physics that heat rises. Although the gable fan is much easier and quicker to install.
These units come fully assembled and provide about 1200 square feet of coverage. They are leak proof and all Solar Star Attic Fans come with a 5 year warranty to resist high impact winds, hail and damage from other foreign objects.
Solar Star Attic Fan Installation Video
When the guys from This Old House installed the Solar Star Attic Fan, they also did one of the things they do best, and thats showing others how its done! As you watch the Solar Star attic fan installation above, you will see every step in the process, from deciding where the vent should go based on rafter location, to cutting the shingles, roof plywood, and all the way caulking the finished job and replacing the shingles when you are done.
Solar Attic Fans are a essential part of keeping the climate in your attic controlled so that adverse conditions do not create problems for your home.
There are at least 3 reasons your home needs a solar attic fan.
The first is that excessive attic heat builds in the summer. Even if your roof has vents installed, they may not be enough to remove enough heat from the attic to prevent it from doing damage. Vents are passive – a solar attic fan actively draws heat out of your attic. Excess heat in the attic will radiate heat back into your living environment, forcing you to use more air conditioning, which will drive your energy costs up. In addition, too much heat in the attic will lead to cupping of your roofing shingles, and will shorten their lifespan dramatically.
Secondly, heat in the attic in the winter will cause snow on the roof to melt. As it runs down in freezing weather, it will reach the unheated overhang where it will refreeze, causing ice dams that can ruin shingles and force moisture under them, leading to rotting of the roof decking.
Finally, heat is not the only cause for concern. Moisture accumulates in the attic when steam is created in the home when cooking or running the shower. Moisture will eventually ruin your insulation and may lead to structural damage, mold, and mildew problems.
When considering energy savings alone, a solar attic fan will pay for itself. Saving your home’s structure and roofing is an added bonus. In addition, solar attic fans are easy to install if you enjoy DIY projects, and affordably installed by the professionals. A solar attic fan will last a lifetime, too, so you won’t need to replace it or your roof anytime soon!
Besides the benefits to your home environment that a solar attic fan creates, one nice feature is that they can be installed by a number of different type of contractors.
When building a home or having your existing home re-roofed, the roofers doing the job are the natural choice. They should have experience and the know-how to install any solar attic fan you select and to make sure that it is positioned correctly, well-sealed, and running properly. If your existing home has a roof in good condition that you want to protect, there are other contractors who should be able to manage the installation of your solar attic fan.
A good bet is to call a contractor you’ve had good experience with and ask them if they can do the job, or if not, can make a referral of someone who can.
Most HVAC contractors have experience with solar attic fan installation since they are sometimes installed in conjunction with a central air conditioning unit in order to pull heat out of the attic and make the A/C run more efficiently for energy cost savings.
Electricians may have experience, too, though there is no wiring involved in the solar attic fan. Good electricians diversify their expertise since increasing use of solar energy equipment is reducing reliance on electricity.
For simple affordability, a quality handyman service might offer both excellent installation and the best rates. When calling these various contractors for estimates, ask about their experience installing solar attic fans, and you should be able to determine the right person for the job.
Solar attic fans are designed with one purpose, to ventilate your attic and make sure the air keeps moving. Attic fans exhaust air and generally rely on a small solar panel to power its motor that is fueled by the sun.
7 Reasons a Solar Attic Fan Makes Sense!
1 – A properly sized solar attic ventilation system will reduce attic temperature to 5-10 degrees F above the outdoor temperature. Ventilating the attic reduces the amount of heat transferred from the attic to the home, decreases the load on the air conditioning system, and extends the life of the roof.
2 – In winter, heat trapped in the attic may melt snow on the roof, which trickles down and creates destructive ice dams in the colder eaves.
3 – The attic becomes warmest when the sun is the strongest. A solar attic fan runs the hardest when the sun is strongest.
4 – Everyday home activities such as cooking and showering create moisture which collects in the attic and promotes mold and mildew growth, reduces the effectiveness of insulation, and attacks the wooden attic structure. Year round fresh air circulation from a solar attic fan removes this moisture and prevents moisture related problems.
5 – Zero operating cost.
6 – Installation can be done by a handy homeowner. No electrician is required.