If you’re looking to ensure that your attic stays well ventilated, a solar attic fan is an excellent solution. Not only do they adequately remove hot air from the attic space and allow it to fill up with cool air, but they also run without the use of electricity, saving you money on your utility bill. It’s an efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly option.
It’s clear to see why a solar attic fan would be a good investment. But before you can upgrade your attic’s ventilation system, you need to decide which solar attic fan is the one for you. No two solar attic fans are the same, and your choice will need to consider the layout of your home amongst other considerations.
Our solar attic fans reviews will help you figure out which will be best for you. We’ll discuss what makes each one unique and the factors to consider when choosing a solar attic fan
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Best Solar Attic Fans
- Available at Different Power Levels
- 20 to 40 Watts
- 1,280 to 2,340 CFM
- Lifetime Warranty
Based on our experience and testing, Remington Solar Attic Fans are the absolute best solar attic fans for keeping your attic cool.
These roof-mounted solar fans come equipped with a thermostat and humidistat for precise temperature regulation. Based on this data, it can increase or decrease the fan speed automatically.
Remington Fans also have an adapter to switch back and forth from solar to electric power easily. The censor is automatic, so your fan will switch back to running on solar power as soon as it detects sunlight.
Another thing that we love about this solar attic fan? The beautiful, modern aesthetic design. The overall finish on the materials makes it look modern and adds curb appeal. It’s definitely a conversation starter and is a significant upgrade from other products on the market.
Check out our detailed Remington Solar Attic Fan Review for more information.
Best adjustable panel
- 32 Watts
- 1560 CFM
- 25-Year Warranty
Natural Light is another brand dedicated to providing customers with quality solar attic fans.
The Natural Light Energy SAF32B Solar Attic Fan is a good option for a roof-mounted solar-powered fan with basic capabilities.
The tilted solar panel is for ideal sun exposure, and the fan runs very quietly. The CFM is nothing to scoff at either, as it could easily keep a 2200 square foot room cool.
The drawbacks of this model would be that it only fits on shingled roofs, and it doesn’t have an electric adapter.
Check out our detailed Natural Light Solar Attic Fan Review for more information.
Best budget-friendly option
- 28 Watts
- 537 CFM
- 6-Year Warranty
The Broan-NuTone 345SOWW Surface Mount Attic Solar Fan is a good choice if you’re looking for something affordable. The plastic materials keep the cost low, so you can get the ventilation system you need at the price you want. Because of the price point and quality of the materials, this solar attic fan also has a shorter warranty than some other options available.
Unfortunately, this model has a pretty low CFM compared to other products that we’ve tested, so it won’t be as efficient. It also doesn’t come with a thermostat, humidistat, or any hybrid electric capabilities.
For a small space, however, it should be an adequate solution in a pinch. Another thing that we didn’t love about this particular product is it leaves a lot to be desired aesthetically. The plastic materials are kind of an eye-sore and it looks cheaper than other fans on the market.
- Available in Multiple Types
- 20 Watts
- Brushless DC Motor
- 900 CFM
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Yellowblue Solar Fans are a strong competitor, and compete closely with Solaro as one of the best technically-sound solar attic fans. Designed by aerodynamic engineering experts and made from only the best materials, these solar fans are sure to improve the ventilation quality of any space.
Yellowblue fans are available in several types. They have the standard gable-mounted, roof-mounted, and portable models, of course. But there’s also a model designed for roofs in snowy areas with “S” tiles, as well as a model where the fan and solar panel come separately. Their tilted model sits atop a 360-degree rotating platform to optimize exposure to sunlight.
Like Solaro, the only drawback to Yellowblue products is that consumers need to contact an independent authorized dealer to purchase. This can be a pain for those that live in remote areas. Fortunately, we are a licensed distributor of Yellowblue products and can help you navigate the process of choosing a product and locating a local installer.
If you’re interested, contact us for a quote for materials and installation.
- 40 Watts
- 790 CFM
- Alloy Steel
- 15-Year Warranty
QuietCool Solar Attic Fans are gaining a reputation in the industry for offering large panels at an affordable price.
The first thing we noticed out of the box was that this fan features a 40-watt solar panel. In addition, it comes with a preset thermostat, an ultra-energy efficient DC motor, a heavy-duty steel housing, and an included AC/DC inverter. What impressed us the most though is the size of the panel. It’s an absolute beast! But in the case of solar powered attic fans, size of panel doesn’t always matter. It’s all about the CFMs. And this fan just doesn’t provide as much coverage as other products that we tested.
Another big selling point for us is the AC/DC inverter. This allows the fan to run 24/7. When there is sunlight outside, the fan will run only on solar power being powered by the large solar panel on the fan. When there is no sunlight, such as at night, the fan will switch to AC power and continue to run throughout the night. This is great for continuous air flow, providing a number of cooling benefits.
- 20 Watts
- 1750 CFM
- Hybrid and Thermostat Options
- 15-Year Warranty
iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Thermostat Solar Roof Attic Exhaust Fan is a good secondary option to consider. This smart solar Attic fan is your best choice for cooling off your home if you need a thermostat.
Equipped with a powerful 20W adjustable polycrystalline solar panel, this fan is IP68 water proof. Built with a brushless motor, it provides up to 2000 sq. ft. of capacity cooling. The only big cons that we found with this fan is that it can be a little noisy. There also are some reported issues with the shutters not closing properly, but we did not experience any problems with that.
- Galvanized Steel
- 25 Watts
- Ventilates up to 2,600 Cubic Feet
The US Sunlight solar fan is another popular option among homeowners and contractors. This fan has big brand recognition as many large retailers including Home Depot, Lowes, and Costco all carry it. So, getting the product shouldn’t be a hassle at all.
This roof-mounted model features a tilted solar panel to maximize sun exposure. We found that a single fan can ventilate a fairly large attic up to 2600 cubic feet. This is a huge plus.
However, there are some drawbacks. US Sunlight solar fans only work for shingled roofs, so if your roof is slate, flat, or tile, this one isn’t for you. It also doesn’t have the hybrid electric capabilities of some of its competitors. But if you have a shingled roof, it’s a great option for the price.
Check out our detailed US Sunlight Solar Attic Fan Review for more information.
- 16 to 65 Watts
- 1,184 to 2,105 CFM
- Lifetime Warranty
The Roof-Mounted Solar Attic Fan from Kennedy Skylights is another solar fan with plenty of customization options. The solar panel is available in 16, 32, 35, 48, or 65-Watt versions, so you can find the perfect one to suit your needs.
This solar fan is compatible with various roof types, and it even has an aluminum screen to keep rodents from damaging the device. If you want, you can add on features like a thermal snap switch or remote solar panel. Plus, Kennedy Skylights protects your purchase with a lifetime warranty.
These customization options and the generous warranty make this one of the best solar attic fans around.
- Roof or Gable-Mounted
- 10 to 25 Watts
- 800 to 1820 CFM
- 20-Year Limited Warranty
Air Vent, Inc. also has some respectable solar attic fans available on their website. They have both roof-mounted and gable-mounted fans, and the roof-mounted ones have an option for the panel and the fan to come separately.
Depending on the size of your attic, you may decide whether the 10-Watt or the 25-Watt is appropriate for you. Either way, the product has a 20-year limited warranty, so you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
These solar fans can only work with shingled roofs and do not have hybrid electric capabilities.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Solar Attic Fan
Now that you’ve seen how the top 10 best solar attic fans compare, it’s time to consider which one is the right match for your home. The layout and construction of your home will determine what kind of solar attic fan would be ideal. In this section, we’ll discuss the three different kinds of solar attic fans.
If your house has a gable vent, a gable-mounted solar attic fan could be the right choice for you. It allows for easy installation. You just have to attach the unit to your gable and plug it in! It is much more convenient than installing a roof-mounted solar attic fan.
Unfortunately, because of the placement, gable-mounted designs are not as efficient as roof-mounted fans, so there is a trade-off. It’s crucial to get the placement just right to maximize the unit’s exposure to the sun. The gable mounting makes this a bit tricky, but it’s by no means impossible.
If your home is suited to it, a gable-mounted solar attic fan might be just what you need to improve your attic’s ventilation.
Roof-mounted solar attic fans are efficient and powerful, but they also require a much more complex installation process. For it to work correctly, you’ll need to create a vent hole in the roof, install the fan, and seal the opening. This procedure can take quite a bit of time.
Due to the complexity, most roof-mounted fan users hire a professional for the installation. It makes the costs associated with a roof-mounted solar attic fan a bit more expensive than the other varieties, but the fan makes up for this with its efficiency.
Despite the hassle, roof-mounted models are among the best solar attic fans, as they tend to work much better than other varieties.
Roof-mounted solar attic fans get the most exposure to sunlight, making them the most efficient models. The long-term savings associated with this may also offset the upfront installation cost.
Portable solar fans are an excellent option for those looking for versatility. The fan and the solar panel come as two separate pieces connected with wires. They don’t require any strenuous installation process to set up, and you can put them almost anywhere!
While these work great for ventilating attics, this versatility and ease of installation make them perfect for smaller spaces like sheds and RVs. You can also take them with you on the go to keep you cool when camping.
These features are great, but the caveat is that portable solar fans aren’t as powerful as their gable-mounted or roof-mounted counterparts. They still work well, but they compromise ventilation quality for versatility.
Other Factors to Consider
Besides the fan type, you’ll also want to consider other factors that affect the performance of the solar attic fan.
Make sure that the fan you purchase is powerful enough to ventilate your attic. To do this, check out the fan’s venting capacity and compare it with the size of the space. The venting capacity is the cubic feet per minute (or CFM) of air moved by the fan. The fan’s CFM will need to be 70% or more of your attic’s size in cubic feet.
You’ll also want to make sure the fan has a high wattage, as this indicates that it can produce more electricity. If your desired solar fan doesn’t have a high enough venting capacity or wattage, you might need multiple fans to ventilate your attic.
Also, if you’re particularly interested in any special features, such as a humidistat or thermostat, make sure that these come with the model you are purchasing before you buy it.
What is the Best Solar Attic Fan?
Although there are plenty of good options to choose from, the Solaro Aire and the Yellowblue Solar Fan are two of the best solar attic fans. Both are USA-made, and Solaro products come with a 25-year warranty, while Yellowblue fans come with a limited lifetime warranty. You really can’t go wrong with either one.
Ready to improve your attic’s ventilation by installing one of these brilliant fans? Get a free attic inspection and solar attic fan quote.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a solar attic fan?
A solar attic fan is an active ventilation system that is typically installed on the roof of an attic. These types of fans use solar panels to collect energy from the sun to propel fan blades, which provide constant air flow to an attic space.
Solar attic fans also help extract excessive heat and moisture in an attic. This helps protect your roof and insulation systems, while providing added comfort to the home.
Are solar fans worth it?
Solar fans are worth the cost of materials and installation because they can provide year-long benefits across multiple climates.
Most people think of the primary benefits being with cooling and energy savings from the summer months. These benefits can be heightened in more hot and humid climates. But there are also a number of other benefits that solar fans provide in cooler environments and during the winter.
Constant airflow and ventilation can help remove excessive heat build-up and moisture, which can damage insulation and structural elements of your home, such as your roof. Read our post on Do Attic Fans Really Work for more information.
Do solar attic fans work well?
Yes, solar attic fans generally work well.
Conventional scientific knowledge states that warm air rises, and cold air sinks. For this reason, attics store most of the heat inside a home. On hot summer days, these spaces can reach a staggering 160 degrees, even if the temperature outside is only 95oF to 97oF.
When an attic is not insulated well, homeowners may experience high energy costs, mold growth, and cold winters. One of the most effective devices to address these problems is a solar attic fan.
Attic fans have been around for a long time. These devices can mitigate the effects of heat transfer from ceilings into attic duct systems.
A Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) assessment confirms that photovoltaic attic fans can reduce peak summer air temperatures by over 20oF. However, their effect is not as pronounced in well-insulated attics.
And, because of their solar component, they drastically reduce energy bills and environmental impact. You also won’t ever have to worry about losing your power source.
We highly recommend solar attic fans for homeowners with insulation challenges.
Do solar attic fans save money?
There’s a lot of debate on whether or not solar attic fans can save homeowners money on cooling costs.
As evident by the FSEC study, high-quality solar attic fans can provide significant cooling benefits to an attic. This cooling benefit becomes more noticeable based on geography and time of year. For example, warmer States like Florida, California, and Texas can recognize longer periods of cooling benefits simply based on climate conditions. Other more moderate climate States see similar cooling benefits during hot summer months.
Correlating the cooling benefits from a solar attic fan with direct energy savings is a little challenging. This is because of the many different variables that impact energy consumption, including how well insulated the attic is. Other variables include air sealing, home occupancy levels, utility costs, and other energy consumption dependencies.
With all that being said, in theory, a solar attic fan should be able to provide some energy savings, especially when combined with proper air sealing and insulation. Solar attic fans help remove excess heat in an attic. This helps prevent heat from sitting in an attic and ultimately radiating into the cooler, conditioned living environments. The less heat that transfers into your living space, the more comfortable you will be. This decreases your dependency on using other powered HVAC systems, thereby reducing your monthly utility bills.
Beyond energy savings, which will be somewhat minimal, solar attic fans can provide other cost savings over time. By properly ventilating your attic, you reduce potentially damaging heat and moisture build-up. If your attic is not properly sealed, a good ventilation system is critical to prevent costly mold growth and damage to structural roofing components. These types of problems can result in remediation and repairs that cost thousands of dollars. So, actively combatting them with a ventilation product that’s 100% powered by the sun is a great way to stay ahead of the game.
Do solar attic fans work on cloudy days?
Yes. Ordinary daylight is all that’s required. As long as the product is placed so that the solar panel is not obscured by hedges or under a roof overhang, it will gather sunlight and transform it into DC power.
How to size a solar attic fan?
To determine what size solar attic fan(s) you need for your attic, you first need to know the size of your attic in square feet.
To determine the size of your attic, multiply the width by the length of the attic floor in feet. For a single story house, this is usually the same as the square footage of the house itself.
Next, multiply the square feet of attic space by 0.7 to get the minimum number of cubic feet of air per minute that the fan should be rated to move. Example: 1,000 sq. ft. attic x 0.7 = 700 CFM minimum fan rating
Add an additional 20% (CFM x 1.20) if you have a steep roof, and 15% (CFM x 1.15) for a dark roof. Attic fans come in all different shapes and sizes. Be sure to check the CFM rating of the product that you are interested in prior to installation to determine how many you need.
What is CFM?
CFM, or Cubic Feet per Minute, determines the amount of air that a fan can move while operating at the highest speed. The larger the attic, the higher the CFM must be in order to efficiently cool that space. CFM for attic fans is a critical measurement for sizing and installation.
Is there a tax credit for solar attic fans?
Solar powered attic fans are eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit on the purchase price of the fan, installation and sales tax. Additional incentives may be available through certain State, municipalities, and utility companies.
Where should I place my solar attic fan?
Ideally, you want to put your solar attic fan on a south or west facing slope.
Aim to put your fans on a central or “middle” portion of your roof. Keep in mind that you want to draw cooler outside air from a soffit (or gable) and flow that through your attic. Make sure to keep your fans approximately 5 feet away from ridge vents (or other open vents).
How to tell if your solar attic fan is working?
Most quality solar powered attic fans are whisper quiet in operation. This is an attractive feature for homeowners, but can also open up the question on whether or not it’s even working.
The best way to tell if your attic fan is working is to go up into the attic and inspect it yourself during the day. Your attic should feel cool and comfortable (close to the outside temperature) when you enter it.
You should also be able to see the fan blades rotating. As always, please use proper safety precautions when entering your attic. If you need assistance, it’s best to request an attic inspection to check your fan to make sure it’s running properly.
How long can I expect a solar powered attic fan to last?
The lifespan of a solar attic fan will depend on the product and manufacturer.
The best solar fans typically come with a 25 year, or limited lifetime warranty. These are a number of cheaper solar fans on the market that last on average for 3-5 years.
Replacing a cheap solar fan every few years however becomes cost prohibitive. We would recommend buying and installing a fan with a better warranty for savings and peace of mind.