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What Are the Different Types of Solar Attic Ventilators?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 23, 2024
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The different styles of solar attic ventilators include units that mount flush with the existing pitch of a roof line, and gable mounted units. The purpose of this type of equipment is to circulate warm air, which rises naturally to the top of a house, to outside of the attic and away from the home using a solar powered motor. This can greatly reduce the amount of money a family spends on energy costs each year cooling their home. As the hot air is moved to the exterior, the lower floors stay cool naturally and the central air conditioning units work less. These systems can be installed by home contracting professionals or by the homeowner personally.

The most commonly available type of solar attic ventilators is the type of fan that mounts directly into the roof and sits naturally with the existing pitch of the shingles. This fan is available in a wide variety of design features to suit the budget and personal style of any consumer. The size of the ventilator is typically dependent on the amount of attic square footage the unit will be cooling. The top exterior of the unit, which sits just above the roof line of the home, is comprised almost entirely of small solar panels, which are used to power the circulating motor. The fan is housed beneath these panels and exposed to the interior of the attic so that it may suck hot air into the ventilator housing and pump it out of the home through the open vents located along the roof line.

Homeowners who prefer not to cut into the existing roof line may wish to purchase the gable fan style of solar attic ventilators. This type of fan mounts into the A-frame area naturally created at the peak of a roof. The ventilator is designed inside a ready to install frame that can be attached to the outlining woodwork of the A-frame. A screen or mesh netting can be fitted onto the exterior of this type of fan to prevent small animals from entering the attic space when the unit is not in use.

All styles of solar attic ventilators can be purchased with panel tilt assemblies. This type of bracketing allows the exposed solar panels to be mounted onto any portion of the roof that is convenient to the ventilator housing, and tilted in the direction where it will receive the most sunlight. Maximum direct sunlight is typically achieved by western and southern facing roofs. Homes which are situated on an opposing angle can be fitted with a tilt assembly so that the panel can still receive western or southern sun, regardless of the home's original design.

The Solar Panel Guide is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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