13 May Why Solar Attic Fans Just Make Sense in the Bay Area
Adding better attic ventilation is one of the most overlooked ways that you can lower your cooling bills during the summer. Most Bay Area attic ventilation is done by passive vent systems. These systems consist of underside intake vents and roof top exit vents. Warm air travels out through the upper vents and is replaced by cooler air from below. And, while this works adequately to keep temperatures from reaching wood warping temperatures, it is not highly efficient.
During the day the sun heats up the air in your attic. If it is not properly vented, the temperature can easily exceed 140 degrees. The hot air in your attic radiates through the attic joists down into your upper living areas. To combat this heating, your air conditioner must work harder and more often, resulting in higher utility bills.
Even if you have a fully functional passive attic vent system, the temperatures inside the attic can easily be 20 to 30 degrees higher than in your living spaces. Many homeowners have opted for electric fans that can help speed up the circulation of air through the attic. These units do prevent your air conditioner from having to work as often, but at the expense of adding another electrical draw to your grid.
Solar attic fans simply make more sense. Solar attic fans are completely powered by the sun. Since the sun is the major factor in heating the attic space, the fans will only work when they are needed and won’t draw any energy from your grid. They can easily be installed in place of your existing vents and need no wiring like traditional electric fans.
In addition to reducing the temperature in your attic, a solar attic fan has the following advantages:
- Reduction of cooling load on the air conditioning unit, saving you energy and money
- Utilization of a clean, renewable energy source – the sun
- Reduction of moisture and mold
- Increase in fresh air circulation, providing better indoor air quality
- Cooling of roof, which extends the life of roofing materials
With over 270 days of sun in the Bay Area every year, utilizing solar attic fans just makes good sense. After installation you could see up to a 30% reduction on your home cooling costs every year.