Homeowners can use solar energy to generate electricity and heat water. Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity that powers lights, appliances, and other devices. In addition, solar thermal systems use the sun’s energy to heat water for showers, washing machines, and other household tasks. Finally, home solar energy can help reduce fossil fuel dependence and lower energy bills.
But there are more uses for solar power in your home beyond the ‘usual’. For example, you can also use it to power an oft-overlooked yet vital system known as solar vents. Such systems also play a significant role in effective home maintenance. So, here is an overview of installing solar roof vents and how solar roof vents help cool your home.
What Are Solar Roof Vents?
Solar roof vents are attic ventilation systems that use solar power to operate a fan and exhaust hot air from the attic.
Solar roof vents are a good choice for homes that do not have access to electricity in the attic or do not want to run electrical wiring to the attic. They are also cost-effective and eco-friendly as they do not require additional electricity.
Solar roof vents come in different sizes and designs to match different types of roofs, such as tiles or shingles. They are relatively easy to install, but it’s important to consult a professional roofing contractor to ensure proper installation and avoid potential leaks.
It’s also important to note that solar roof vents may not be enough to ventilate the attic properly. Therefore, it is best to use them in conjunction with other types of vents, such as soffit vents or gable vents.
How Do Solar Roof Vents Work?
Solar roof vents use the sun’s energy to power a small fan that draws hot air out of the attic. The vent typically has a solar panel on the top that converts the sun’s energy into electricity to power the fan. As the sun shines on the solar panel, it generates electricity that powers the fan. The fan then draws hot air out of the attic and exhausts it to the outside, reducing the temperature and making the home more energy efficient. This exhaustion can help to prevent heat build-up, which can lead to damage to the roof and the formation of mould or mildew.
Installing Solar Roof Vents
To install solar roof vents, you will need to follow these general steps:
- Measure your attic area to determine how many vents you will need.
- Locate the areas on your roof where you want to install the vents. It is important to choose locations that receive direct sunlight for optimal operation.
- Cut a hole in the roof decking at each location, avoiding any rafters or other structural elements.
- Install the flashing around the hole in the roof decking to prevent leaks.
- Secure the vent unit to the roof using the manufacturer’s recommended method, typically with screws or adhesive.
- Connect the vent unit to the solar panel using the provided wiring.
- Turn on the vent unit and test it to ensure it is functioning correctly.
Do Solar Roof Vents Work At Night?
Since they rely on sunlight for energy production, typical solar roof vents work only when the sun is shining.
However, specific models from various brands can work after the sun has set. Their operation is two-pronged: they work like standard solar vents during the day when sunlight is available to help generate the required energy. But, at night, these systems rely on a second solar panel with a built-in battery. This secondary feature gains charge during the day but stores the energy it produces in the battery. These reserves then power the system after sunset- thus allowing the vents to continue seamless operation throughout.
Alternatively, you can opt for a model that plugs into a power outlet for night operations.
Benefits of Solar Roof Vents
There are several benefits of using solar roof vents in a home:
- Energy efficiency: Solar roof vents use the sun’s energy to power the fan, so they do not require any additional electricity from the grid. This independence can help to reduce energy costs and make a home more environmentally friendly.
- Temperature control: Solar roof vents help reduce the temperature in the attic, making a home more comfortable and reducing the strain on air conditioning systems.
- Ventilation: By removing hot air from the attic, solar roof vents improve ventilation and help prevent the build-up of moisture, which can lead to mould or mildew.
- Durability: Solar roof vents are durable and require minimal maintenance, making them a long-lasting solution for ventilating attics.
- Tax incentives: Some governments or local utilities may offer tax incentives or rebates for homeowners installing solar roof vents.
- Increased home value: Installing solar roof vents can help increase the home’s value.
Finally, please note that it is best to rely on the expertise of an experienced technician for solar roof vent installation. Therefore, start by finding a local solar installer before undertaking this project. They will provide valuable guidance that produces more satisfactory outcomes.