Affiliate Disclaimer: If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission - at no extra cost to you. Learn more

I have a friend whose office is in his attic.

He’s been complaining to me for years about how blazing hot it gets up there, even though he lives in Chicago and not someplace like California.

He’s installed proper insulation, but it’s still crazy hot, and he comes downstairs at the end of the workday sweating like an athlete.

I’ve realized the reason for his major heating and cooling issues: he doesn’t have an attic fan installed. But he’s starting to consider his options, now that he’s got some money put aside for home improvements and the time in which to do them.

He’s ready to read some reviews of the best solar fans to find out more. If you’ve noticed a similar issue in your house, you may want to do so, too.

Quick-Find Table of Best Solar Attic Fans

  • Best overall attic fan
  • Great value
  • Good coverage
  • Best overall attic fan
  • Great value
  • Good coverage
  • Best fan with a thermostat
  • Easy to install
  • Thermostat saves you money
  • Best fan with a thermostat
  • Easy to install
  • Thermostat saves you money
  • Great fan with a long warranty
  • Works for RVs
  • Very versatile
  • Great fan with a long warranty
  • Works for RVs
  • Very versatile
  • Best high-coverage fan
  • Cools over 3000 cubic feet
  • Very rugged
  • Best high-coverage fan
  • Cools over 3000 cubic feet
  • Very rugged
  • Best high-wattage fan
  • Great warranty
  • Very powerful but quiet
  • Best high-wattage fan
  • Great warranty
  • Very powerful but quiet
  • Best for cloudy climates
  • Very efficient and quiet
  • Foldable solar panel
  • Best for cloudy climates
  • Very efficient and quiet
  • Foldable solar panel

Should You Buy A Solar Attic Fan?

A solar attic fan isn’t right for everyone. Some household situations won’t be well-suited to a solar-powered attic fan – particularly those in low-light climates most of the year.

However, a large portion of the population could benefit from using a solar-powered attic fan.

Here’s how:

  • You’ll reduce the interior temperature of your attic without using extra electricity
  • This reduction of attic temperature cools the rest of the home by pulling out the hot air
  • You save on air conditioning costs because of cooling the house through use of the attic fan
  • Solar power reduces your overall footprint and your personal expenses
  • Solar attic fans reduce moisture and condensation build-up in attics which prevents or reduces mildew and mold and prevents damage to the house
  • Solar attic fans also help increase the life of a roof through that reduction of heat, moisture build-up, etc.

How Does It Work and What Exactly Does It Do?

Solar power systems use photovoltaic panels – i.e. solar panels – to draw in energy from sunlight. These panels then convert the sunlight energy into useable energy that translates into electricity. This electricity from solar-powered systems then can run your electronics, appliances, or anything else requiring electricity.

A solar powered attic fan vents your attic by using solar energy from the sun to pull hot air out of the attic and blowing it out into the environment. This reduces condensation, overheating, and the ill-effects of both. It also circulates fresh air throughout the whole home and prevents mold from growing in hidden places.

They Make Your Home More Comfortable

As noted elsewhere, installing a solar attic fan can greatly improve the comfort of your home by better ventilating the attic and the rest of the building. This means your home is cooler, but it also means that you don’t have as much of an issue with stuffy, hot air getting trapped and turning your home atmosphere into stale, malodorous air.

And while you might not think about it, solar powered attic fans actually are especially helpful in winter. Our homes tend to get stale in winter because it’s too cold to open up a window to let fresh air in. Attic fans, however, circulate the air inside, year-round, cutting down on the stuffiness like an open window does.

They Can Help Save Your Roof

Attic fans can seriously help increase your roof’s life-span. Moisture condensates inside the attic and gets trapped inside where damage can happen. This rot, mildew, and mold can destroy your roof years before you’d typically replace it. A solar roof fan, however, sucks much of that moisture out and adds the much-needed ventilation that prevents these build-ups.

Ventilation for your roof and attic can also help prevent ice damming that destroys the eaves of the roof.

They Save Energy and Are Eco-Friendly

Obviously, solar power is more eco-friendly than using standard electric. It uses energy from the sun that doesn’t harm the environment, unlike the non-sustainable power plants that so many people must rely on. Plus, as long as there’s sunlight, there’s energy.

They’re Quiet Running Compared to Traditional Fans

If you can remember your childhood home, you might remember those noisy fans anytime you went up into the attic. You’d have to shout over them to be heard. Solar powered fans don’t typically make that kind of racket, which means your attic may become more useful as a part of your home apart from a space to toss old boxes.

They Can Help You Save Money

Finally, solar powered fans can save you money. The only costs involved are the up-front purchase of the fan and anything regarding installation. Obviously, you’ll need to do some maintenance, as well, but those costs are pretty low.

Since you don’t need electricity to power the fan, you can let them run automatically year-round, keeping your home more comfortable. That means the house will be better heated and cooled, so you don’t have to spend as much on electricity bills for air conditioning and heating, which also saves you some dough.

Are Solar-Powered Attic Vents Effective?

Honestly, it all depends on your situation whether or not these solar-powered fans are going to be worth it or not.

First off, it will depend on whether or not your attic is properly insulated or not. If you’re up to code for the area – i.e. you’re well insulated – you’re going to invest a bit upfront but have some pay off as the solar power runs the ventilation for no additional cost.

The second thing that affects this is your location. If you’re in an area that receives enough sun, yes, your fan will be effective. If, however, you’re in a highly overcast climate, you may have some difficulty getting your vent to run well enough to make a difference.

If those two things are in place, though, solar powered vents are extremely effective. They’re intuitive, as in they run on their own as they have power, and they’re low-cost and reasonably low maintenance.

How Many Solar Powered Attic Vents/Fans Do You Need?

The size and number of vents you’ll need all depends on the size of your roof and home. The best way to think about it is probably square footage versus wattage.

  1. Multiply the length of the attic by the width and height.
  2. Now, multiply the square feet of the attic by 0.7 to get your minimum cubic feet per minute.
  3. Add 20% if you have a steep roof, or 15% for a dark roof. Typically, solar attic fans are rated between 800 and 1,600 cubic feet per minute (CFM). And that means, generally 1 solar attic fan is good for an attic up to 2,200 square feet.

Reviews of the Best Solar Powered Attic Fans

I’ve pulled together a list of what I believe to be the absolute best top six solar powered fans on the market.

I looked at how easy they are to install, the overall cost, the durability, the wattage, and the square footage the fans can ventilate to figure out which ones fit this top-notch list.

How We Chose the Attic Fans

I wanted to make sure I was only recommending the best options for solar powered attic fans, so I dug around for several hours looking into solar attic fan review comparisons before investigating them myself. I found dozens of reviews by everyone from professionals who use solar power for everything, and homeowners who are just getting into solar power.

I came up with a list of about 25 options that loads of people recommended and had at least 3.5 stars – “above average” – and had to narrow down from there. Knocking out any that didn’t stand out from the crowd, I was down to about 15 at this point.

From that list of fifteen, I eliminated any that didn’t meet all my standards, including prohibitive price or difficult installations. Then, I looked into them for myself.

After all that, here’s my list of the six best solar powered attic fans.

#1. Natural Light Solar Attic Fan (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Natural Light is pretty much the best manufacturer in the business. Their products are made of the highest-quality materials, receive rave solar attic fan reviews, and are reasonably priced for just about anyone.

  • Size: 27.2 x 27.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Wattage: 36-watts
  • Placement: Roof w/ 45-degree pitch
  • Thermostat: No
  • Coverage: 2625 square feet
  • Warranty: 25-years

Natural Light is known for producing the highest-quality equipment. These fans, in particular, are top-notch and made with the best materials you can get.

You can easily install this fan and don’t have to know all the tricks and tips of running wiring like with some other options.

The kit comes with everything you need for installation, which makes it all the easier. No hunting down this or that.

You might want to grab the snap-on thermostat though. This thermostat is great for cold-weather climates.

The solar panel is adjustable to a 45-degree angle, which also makes this a really versatile piece for unique climates.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#2. Remington Solar Attic Fan 30-Watt – Best Solar Attic Fan with Thermostat

Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Remington has a number of attic fans that run on solar power, and their 30-watt option is absolutely fantastic for any space up to 2500 square feet.

  • Size: 24 x 24 x 12 inches
  • Wattage: 30-watt
  • Placement: Roof
  • Thermostat: Yes & humidistat
  • Coverage: 2500 square feet
  • Warranty: 12-month

Remington solar attic fans are specially equipped for noise dampening. For anyone who might have a workable space in the attic, this is going to be important.

Plus, this fan typically lives up to its advertising as a simple “one hour install,” which means just about anybody’s going to be able to do it, even the less handy folks in the crowd.

The fan is a 24-volt, comes with both a thermostat and humidistat built in – which saves you about $40 – and it uses the high-quality polycrystalline solar panel that comes with it.

The motor is strong, by the way, and really does cover up to 2500 square feet comfortably.

The fan can also reduce the risk of ice-damming in winter.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#3. Amtrak 40-Watt Solar Attic Fan – Great Vent Fan with a Long Warranty

Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

This 40-watt Amtrak solar attic fan is one of the best solar attic fans with 25-year warranty that I could recommend to you. It’s got power, stability, durability, and the warranty to back up those expectations.

  • Size: 32 x 15 x 6 inches
  • Wattage: 40-watt
  • Placement: Roof or gable
  • Thermostat: Yes
  • Coverage: 2250 square feet
  • Warranty: 25-years

The Amtrak 40-Watt, 14-inch solar powered fan comes highly recommended by tons of review sites and loads of real-life users. It’s great as a gable vent, for a garage, greenhouse, or even RV. But the size and quality of it work for an attic perfectly well up to 2250 square feet.

The kit comes with a 40-watt solar panel and high-volume fan, along with four Z-brackets for easy installation.

The only possible downside on this one is that it’s a little noisier than some of the other solar powered options. That means this is going to be best used in attics that don’t have active living spaces in them.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#4. Broan 28-Watt Solar Powered Attic Fan – Best High Coverage Attic Fan

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

The Broan 12-inch diameter 28-watt solar attic fan is great for a low-profile option needed for your home. It mounts in the roof, has a one-piece aluminum 5-blade fan, and is specifically pitched for maximum airflow in your attic and home.

  • Size: 2.6 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Wattage: 28-watts
  • Placement: Roof
  • Thermostat: No
  • Coverage: 3222 cubic feet
  • Warranty: 12-month

You get huge coverage with this fairly small fan, at over 3000 cubic feet – significantly more than most other options.

The housing for the solar powered roof fan is molded UV-stabilized, rugged ABS plastic that’s tough enough to handle hail and other intense damaging weather conditions. It’s designed to prevent ice-damming in the winter so you can use it anywhere that gets enough sunlight to power it.

The low profile means you cut fewer shingles while having a much more attractive look on your house. Plus, bonus, you can easily paint it to color match the roof without damaging the plastic housing.

The aluminum, heavy-gauge screen keeps birds and bugs from getting in, and the tempered glass on the solar panel is rugged and able to withstand just about anything. The fasteners are stainless steel and galvanized steel brackets allow you to easily install without fear of corrosion and need to replace any time soon.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#5. Amtrak 70-Watt – Best High Wattage Attic Fan

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Another winner from the Amtrak line is the 70-watt fan. This is one of the most powerful options on the market – apart from commercial sized fans – and works for larger square footage spaces than the average 20 to 40-watt varieties. If you’re looking to cool a much larger space, this is your go-to.

  • Size: 31 x 27 x 4 inches
  • Wattage: 70-watt
  • Placement: Roof or gable
  • Thermostat: Yes
  • Coverage: 2500 square feet+
  • Warranty: 25-years

The Amtrak fan is easy to install with quick connect lines – and you don’t have to cut holes into your roof. This makes it a stellar option for anyone needing a quick install and anyone who wants to avoid making too big of a change to the roof line.

The Amtrak 70-watt comes with 25-feet of extra wire, along with the brackets you need to install with ease. The fan’s a 12-volt fan with 14-inch blades.

The fan is high-efficiency, high-powered, which means you’re going to notice the difference, assuming you have enough sunlight to keep it powered.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

#6. Eco-Worthy 30-Watt Solar Fan – The Best Solar Powered Fan for Cloudy Days

Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

The Eco-Worthy 30-Watt is one of our absolute top choice fans of all. It’s highly efficient, extremely durable, and can power the fan on even low voltage.

  • Size: 27.8 x 13.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Wattage: 30-watt
  • Placement: Gable
  • Thermostat: No
  • Coverage: 2200 square feet
  • Warranty: 25-years

The EcoWorthy fan is a high-efficiency model, with a brushless motor that keeps things as quiet as possible. It works automatically at low-voltage, too, meaning it’s a great option for areas that don’t get as much sunlight year-round as somewhere like Florida.

A unique aspect of this solar fan is that the panel is foldable. The shell of the fan is high strength 304 stainless steel, the panel is polycrystalline, and the motor life has a span of more than 10,000 hours.

The fan is remarkably quiet and extremely efficient. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ones to install that we can find.

The kit comes with 16-foot solar cable and mountain brackets, so you’re all set to go as soon as you bring it home.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Solar Attic Fan Pros and Cons

As we’ve mentioned before, solar attic fans are not for everyone. You’ll read some solar powered attic ventilator reviews that praise them to the end of the universe, while other solar power attic fan reviews tell you to run screaming in the other direction.

Instead of taking a generic look, however, it’s best to consider your specific circumstances to understand if solar attic vents fans are right for you.

Pros of Solar Attic Fans

  • You don’t have to pay for electric to run them
  • You can install them and do general maintenance and they’ll last for many, many years
  • They run automatically, if set on the proper settings, so you don’t have to worry about them
  • They make life more comfortable in your attic and home
  • They’re generally less expensive and easier to install than an entire standard ventilation system

Cons of Solar Attic Fans

  • They don’t work well in low-lit environments
  • They are not a cheap replacement for existing roof fans
  • They may not be as powerful as standard electric fans

How to Install Your Solar Powered Attic Fan

The basic steps for this process are here, but for a more in-depth look, we found a great video to help.

  1. From inside the attic, mark the right location for your solar powered vent. This needs to be between two roof rafters.
  2. Next, drive a nail through the center of the location where you want to install the vent.
  3. Install the roof brackets – according to the instructions that come with them – and the fall-arrest system on the roof.
  4. Use a dowel compass to draw the outline of the vent’s flashing on the roof.
  5. Cut the shingles along that outline, using a utility knife.
  6. Remove nails and shingles in the circle where the vent will be installed.
  7. Onto the roof sheathing, use the compass to draw the hole for the vent.
  8. With a reciprocating saw, cut the hole in the roof.
  9. Remove the shingles around the vent opening.
  10. Apply a continuous bead of the tri-polymer roofing cement around the hole for the vent.
  11. Place the solar vent into the hole and screw the flashing into place.
  12. Add more caulking to the flashing.
  13. Replace the shingles around the vent with 1 1/2-inch roofing nails.

When Should You Install the Fan?

There are two main factors to timing on your installation.

First, you should install it first thing in the morning before the sun goes high and gets too hot. If you finish installing it soon enough, you’ll even see the blades start to move about an hour after the fact when the sun hits and starts to power the panel.

Secondly, the season of the year is something to consider for installation. Summer and winter are going to be the worst times to try for an install. Spring and autumn are ideal, as they aren’t too hot or too cold for your outdoor work. However, if you do need a new fan now and it happens to be winter, you can still safely install it.

Solar Powered Attic Fans May Just Be the Thing For You

Solar powered attic fans can make a huge difference in your heating and cooling bills, as well as save your roof from damage and reduce your carbon footprint.

They’re not the cure to all things, especially if you live someplace without much direct sunlight, but they can reduce your monthly costs and improve your general house comfort.

These solar powered attic fans I’ve recommended are great options – all reasonably priced – and worth looking into if you’re ready to install one.

Last Updated on

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *