Solar Vents for Roof
The top part of a house, specifically the attic, is one of the most heated portions of a home. While it is usually used as a storage area, some homes use it as an extra room. Since it is closest to the roof, it is important that it is well-ventilated through a roof vent. Roof vents can be useful to ensure an air exchange between the outside environment and the inside of the home.
What Are Solar Vents for Roofs?
There are various types to choose from, such as exhaust vents, power vents, hardwired power vents, off-ridge vents, box vents, ridge vents, cupola vents, hip vents, soffit vents, drip vents, and over fascia vents. However, in an electric form, the vents can add a significant amount to your electric bills. One way to keep the roof area cool without a bill increase is through solar roof vents. These are quite similar to hardwired roof vents, except they are not powered through your grid electricity. It is attached to a hole in your roof and uses its built-in fan to allow air exchange.
Since they are not usually used in the majority of homes, the below section will explain the mechanism of vents. It will also provide tips on how to choose the right product for your needs, and list its benefits and downsides. It will also explain any perceived problems, so you can save time and energy in researching.
How Solar Roof Vents Work
Solar technology is no longer new, and it’s been around since the 1800s. However, it is not until recently that it became mainstream. This is why you will see more devices now that are tagged as solar-powered. A solar-powered roof vent uses a solar panel to collect photons, or light particles, from the sun. These photons are converted into electric current, which is then used to operate the machine. In the summer, the installed fan will extract the hot air inside and pull the cold, fresh air inwards to provide ambient temperature and reduce moisture indoors.
Note that the temperature in this season can reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and this can easily lead to heatstroke. So, this will keep the living space more comfortable and reduce air conditioning costs. In the winter, the fan prevents heat and moisture from building up on the roof through an active air exchange, preventing ice from melting on the roof and keeping your indoor space well-insulated and dry. This will also prevent mold and rot formation due to the decreased moisture level. This all happens without any added electricity consumption, which is why solar vents are more cost-effective than regular, hardwired ones.
Pros and Cons of Solar Vents
Now that you have a good understanding of how solar vents for roofs work, you must be wondering whether changing over to a solar-powered device is a good idea. It is perfectly understandable, considering that it may be more expensive than a regular vent. Therefore, here’s a list of the benefits and downsides of these sun-powered devices:
- Keeps your home cooler during the summer months
Since it reduces moisture and static air indoors by pushing it out of the vent, your home will be cooler and your use of air conditioning can be reduced.
- Keeps your home well insulated during winter months
Since it prevents snow from melting on your roof, it increases the insulation indoors, making your home warmer and more comfortable.
- It doesn’t increase your electric bills
You can have the advantages above with no added burden to your electricity bill. All you need is a good angle, and you’ll have unlimited access to the sun.
- It helps the environment
This is an increasingly popular solution in numerous countries as it effectively reduces the carbon footprint on the planet while providing the same benefits as grid-powered vents.
- It is tax-deductible
Some states offer tax incentives for those going solar, and the costs can be deducted from your taxes for the year.
- It needs the sun
Therefore, solar vents for roofs must be installed in a roof location without shading, so they can function well. Therefore, they may not be suitable for all homes
- Initial expenses may be expensive
Some solar brands may cause more than regular vents. However, in the long run, the installation costs are outweighed by the reduced utility bills.
Solar Vents for Roof Airflow
The most significant benefit of using a solar power roof vent is the increased airflow within the attic space. These devices are also impact-resistant, which means they can withstand hail storms or foreign objects without damage. More advanced models now offer additional features such as adjustable thermostats or humidistats.
This means that the sun-powered vents can help maintain the temperature or humidity indoors, making them even more useful. This feature will also provide further utility incentives by reducing air conditioning consumption. The living space can, then, be made more comfortable regardless of whether it’s the summer or the winter.
Note that the type of solar vent that you may need to use will be dependent on the volume of your attic in cubic feet. This number is multiplied by 10 to determine the volume of air that should be eliminated hourly. The product will usually indicate its CFM in the description, so you can use this as a basis to determine how many vents you’ll need for your attic space.
Perceived Problems with Solar Vents
Sun-powered roof vents can have numerous advantages. Of course, they can also pose challenges, which must be anticipated prior to installation. First of all, cloudy days can be an issue. Since solar panels are light (not heat) dependent, any clouds the sun, cannot be good. However, this does not mean that the machine won’t work. It just may take more time to charge, that’s all.
One other challenge will be the high initial costs. Since someone has to go to the roof to make the install (if you can’t do it yourself), then you will have to pay for a professional to do it. The installer can’t be just a regular handyman as that person will need to know about installing solar panels. The solar-type can also be pricier than a regular electrical vent, so you have to invest if you want to go solar.
The weather can be tricky, and there’s no possible way to control the outside environment. Luckily, it is easy to control the indoor temperature and humidity. Thermostats and humidistats can do the job, but they may not be sufficient for providing protection during both the winter and the summer months. This is when roof vents come in. These vents can expel hot air during the hot, summer months and insulate the indoors better during the cold, winter months. You can easily go for an electric, hardwired vent to make this happen.
However, if you want to reduce your utility costs while also reducing your carbon footprint to help the environment, then you can go for a solar-powered roof vent. This vent can perform the same functions without the added financial burden in the long run as it draws energy from the sun. Just watch out for cloudy days and high initial costs, but the benefits definitely outweigh the downsides. No matter what brand you use, it’s always a better idea to go solar.