Solar Roof Vents

Solar roof vents are another affordable way you can save money and help the environment with solar energy. Both solar attic fans and roof vents help to cool your attic in the summer, and to reduce moisture build up, ice dams, and mold and mildew in the winter.

The most effective solar powered roof vents use solar power and fans to create active attic ventilation, exchanging outside air with the air from inside the attic on a regular basis.

picture of solar roof vent

How Do Solar Roof Vents Work?

This type of roof vent powers the fan inside by using solar energy rather than electricity. The sunlight shines down directly on the roof vent, that energy is transformed into power that in then in turn makes the motor inside the vent spin, which then works to dissipate the heat that builds up in the attic of your home.

Moisture from the bathrooms or just moisture buildup from high temperatures and humid conditions can cause mold to develop in the attic, which translates into a hefty bill when it comes to cleaning it out and making sure the mold has been eliminated.

A roof vent helps to remove that potentially damaging moisture! It's such a simple concept and yet it could save you a lot of money in both cooling costs and maintenance costs. It's an excellent preventive measure homeowners can take to protect their home.

Benefits of Using Solar Power Roof Vents

  • Reduce your home's cooling costs up to 30%

  • Prolong the life of your roof

  • Affordable

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Requires no electrical wiring

  • Needs no battery backup, since when the sun does not shine, the roof does not get hot

  • Can use both wind and solar energy

  • Most operate very quietly

  • Most brands are durable and can withstand severe weather

  • Some brands offer a lifetime repair or replacement warranty

  • Some are built to maximize sun exposure in less than ideal circumstances

  • Helps to cool the attic and prevent moisture buildup and helps inhibit mold development

  • Better chance the shingles on your roof will last the amount of time they are rated to last

  • Could lengthen the number of years your AC unit will operate efficiently

  • They can work synergistically in conjunction with radiant barrier attic insulation to cool your home.

Different Types of Solar Power Roof Vents

Solar attic fans and roof vents come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on the slope of your roof, and the materials used in your roof, they can be installed under the roof, mounted on the roof, on the wall, or in the gable vents of the attic in older homes that have adequate airflow.

Some brands contain optional thermal switches so that the fan shuts off when the temperature becomes cooler, thus prolonging the life of your solar vent.

Some companies even make custom vents that are specifically designed to maximize the solar energy for that home.

Some solar vents are flat, with the solar panel on the top. Some turbine solar fans fit into existing vents on the roof.

Most turbine vents, gable vents or ridge vents are designed to passively exchange air in your attic, but may not have enough power to actively cool your attic to reduce the temperature.

That is why some of the most effective ones contain fans, which can actively move the air.

The less expensive solar powered roof vents are powered by 10-watt solar panels, which may not provide enough power depending on your attic. The 20 and 25 watt solar panels, though more expensive, provide more airflow and therefore more cooling and ventilation.

When properly installed, they can keep an attic very close to ambient room temperatures, and can keep ceiling temperatures up to 15 degrees cooler.

Solar Roof Vent Limitations

There are some situations in which solar roof vents or fans may not be the best choice. They are designed to work best for enclosed attics, so if you live in a home with drop ceilings or other features that allow a free flow of air from the house to the attic, they will not work as effectively.

Your vents must be in a position to receive direct sunlight or else they won't operate efficiently and possibly not at all.

Some homeowners who have purchased solar vents for their roof have said the vents do work sometimes on cloudy days if the UV rays are strong enough, but most times they won't work on overcast or cloudy days.

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