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Juan Nelson
  Mar 25, 2023 1:19 AM

There are various benefits to installing solar-powered fans in your home. They include lower energy bills, protection from heat, cold, and humidity, and reduced carbon emissions. Solar-powered fans reduce your monthly energy bill by up to $50 or more each month depending on how much electricity you use at home


If you have a home in a hot and humid climate, chances are you have a fan in your home. Most people know about fans, but when it comes to their function, there are still some questions. Usually installed in the fan of a home, these fans remove hot air or moisture from home by ventilating the outside. When the hot air is exhausted, the roof vents allow fresh air to be drawn in instead. Not to be confused with whole house fans that help cool your home at night, fans typically run during the hottest part of the day and allow for proper attic ventilation. While there are many choices on the market, most people will buy an electric or solar-powered fan.

1. What Is a Solar-Powered Fan?

Also known as PV fans, solar-powered fans use photovoltaic solar panels to generate energy, draw hot air out of the attic, and replace it with cooler air from outside.

Solar-powered fan

Solar-powered fan


Although the name may suggest otherwise, a solar-powered fan looks nothing like a traditional ceiling fan for the attic. Instead, the solar-powered fan is contained inside a square or circular box, and you or a professional will install it into the roof like a vent.

2. How Does a Solar-Powered Fan Work?

Since hot air rises, it is no surprise that the loft is a notorious hot spot in the home. So how exactly does a solar-powered fan keep this space cooler? It's a pretty simple and straightforward process:

  • First, it starts with the rays of the sun. Sunlight hits the fan's solar panels, which are placed on top of the roof.

  • When solar radiation hits the panels, the panels generate energy to power fans and increase circulation in your fan.

  • This increased circulation pressurizes hot air from your attic ceiling to escape to the great outdoors and away from your indoor spaces.

  • Now that hot air has been pushed out of the house, cool air can take its place, resulting in the cooler attic and ambient room temperatures.

How does a Solar-Powered Fan work?

How does a Solar-Powered Fan work?


Source: Pinterest

3. Pros and Cons of a Solar-Powered Fan

Before you invest in a fan that requires you to punch holes in the roof, consider the pros and cons of installing a solar-powered fan.

Solar-powered fans offer many benefits to your home, including the following:

Pros of Solar-Powered Fans

  • Save energy bills: Solar fans help you cut your home's cooling costs over time by providing ventilation that helps prevent heat build-up that can drive up your heating costs.

  • A house that is less hot in the summer: A solar-powered fan performance case study found that a solar-powered fan can reduce attic peak temperatures by about 15 degrees Fahrenheit for attic temperatures at a three-digit level.

  • Roof protection: Since solar fans help remove heat that builds up under your roof during hot weather, your shingles won't scorch and deteriorate in the long run.

  • No electricity bill: The benefits of solar fans do not come with an additional cost to your electric bill as they are completely powered by solar energy.

  • Silent but effective: Solar-powered fans make very little noise compared to other models of fans

  • Installation does not require an electrician: Unless your solar-powered fan needs to be set up where there is wiring, you will not need to pay an electrician to install it like an electric fan.

Cons of Solar-Powered Fans

While solar fans have many perks, there are some downsides to investing in one of these types of fans:

  • The effect depends on the amount of sunlight: If the weather is not sunny or dark outside, your solar fan may need more power. This can be a problem for homes in hot climates at night.

  • Relatively low savings.:If you choose a solar fan, don't be surprised that the savings take years. An annual savings study shows that you'll only save about $40 per year by switching, and that's for hotter climates like Florida. For cooler climates, the savings will be even lower.

  • You can claim multiple fans: Solar fans are less powerful than electric fans so you may need two or three fans for your attic.

  • Higher price tag: The cost of installing a solar fan is 2 to 3 times higher than that of a traditional attic exhaust fan or an electric fan.

4. Installing Solar-Powered Fans for Your Home

Installing a solar-powered fan is fairly simple, but there are some essential things to consider before you proceed. You can take the DIY approach and diligently follow the instructions or hire a professional company to make your job easier.

The steps are very simple and listed below to give you the necessary details on how to install a solar fan:

#1: Make Sure You Have Attic Ventilation

Solar fans pull hot air out of your attic to replace it with cold, fresh air. For this to work, you must make sure that your attic has a workable vent. Most lofts have small openings in the eaves, known as soffit ventilation. The first step is ensuring proper ventilation in the attic before starting the installation process.

Attic Ventilation

Attic Ventilation

Source: Pinterest

#2: Cut Holes in the Roof

Since your solar attic requires optimal sunlight, make sure a spot on your roof receives the best sunlight. South or Southwest is usually preferred. Measure where you want to place the fan and mark a 19-inch opening for the fan. This is where your solar-powered fan will mount and work to remove hot air from your attic. The next step is to cut the measured hole with a moving saw and cut the hole to ensure a smooth installation.

Cut a hole in the roof

Cut a hole in the roof

Source: Pinterest

#3: Install a Solar-Powered Fan

After completing the first two tasks, you need to remove the roofing around the vent. Removing the latch will allow the unit to slide into position easily and efficiently without a hitch. The next thing you must do is fix the fan in the right position. To do this, you have to apply a continuous layer of tri-polymer roofing cement around the hole and place a solar-powered fan over the hole.

Attach the unit to the roof and secure it with appropriate screws and wires. Seal around the solar unit and on the screws to ensure a stable and weather-tight installation. Replace all roofing around the vent with 1 ½ inch roofing nails.

Install a Solar-Powered Fan

Install a Solar-Powered Fan

Source: Pinterest

The process is relatively simple and straightforward but carries some serious risks. The tools required to install a solar fan are heavy and can cause bodily injury if not used carefully. Also, cutting and sawing a roof alone is dangerous, and it's best not to do it without professional help or guidance. Any professional roofing company or solar company like Everything Solar can efficiently install a solar-powered fan in just a few hours.


Installing the best solar-powered fan could be done in just a few steps. You prototype your fan, drill a hole in the roof, and then install the fan and light onto the roof. Sounds easy enough, right?

While the installation process for these fans may seem fairly straightforward, you must also consult with the installer to get the job done correctly. This is because installing a solar fan involves making holes in your roof, which can be one of the most expensive areas to repair if damaged.

You also must ensure that you install the fan properly so your home is protected from the outside elements.

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