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Solar roof ventilation systems are an effective means of diverting heat from a home’s attic space during the hot summer months. Operating without the use of electricity, solar roof vents can be both a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for your cooling needs.

What are solar roof vents?

Solar roof vents are solar powered fans that are installed onto a building’s roof or gable to cool a buildings attic space down during hot days. The mechanical fan is powered by either a mounted solar panel or a solar panel connected to the fan via cables. These roof vents are installed onto the roof of a building in order to remove heat from a building’s attic space.

How do solar roof vents work?

Solar roof vents work by collecting sunlight using its photovoltaic panel which then turns on the fans motor. The fan then disperses heated air in the attic while intake vents replace it with fresh air.

Solar roof vents pros

In comparison to wind-powered turbines (colloquially known as whirlybirds), solar-powered roof vents are ten times more powerful. Wind-powered turbines only work on windy days. The fan on a solar powered roof vent will turn on during sunny days which makes them more effective and more efficient than wind turbines.

Meanwhile, electric mechanical attic fans are usually powered by a building’s main power. This makes solar power the more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. The strength of powered roof vents can also create negative-pressure zones that pull carbon monoxide from combustion appliances into the attic.

Additionally, solar powered fans pull moisture and heat from an attic, preventing damage from mold, wood rot and ice expansion during the winter.

Solar roof vents cons

Given that the fan of a solar roof vent utilises solar power to operate, they only work in the day and their effectiveness diminishes during overcast, cloudy or rainy days. 

A solar powered fan in itself can cost about $USD500 including installation costs. This leads to them being pricier than most other options.

Despite their cost effectiveness, the fans of a solar roof vent move air less effectively than an electric roof vent. Therefore, they cool attic spaces at a lower rate than an electric roof vent.

Best solar roof vents


Technical Details
Size : 15.2 x 14.5 x 9.8in
Weight : 13.47lbs
Fan Wattage : 25W
Panel Wattage : 30W
Material : Steel
Air Flow Capacity : 1960 cfm up to 2000 square feet
Plug Profile : Gable vent
Adjustable solar panel : Yes

The ECO-WORTHY 25W solar attic fan works efficiently in low light conditions. It works even on cold days at a low voltage of 4V. It doesn’t however work in extreme cold or at night.

It is versatile and can be installed on RVs, greenhouses, garage sheds or outdoors with the help of an expert. It is however best installed on a gable vent.

The ECO-WORTHY 25W features a fast, quiet upgraded motor that has low energy consumption. The motor has a lifespan of up to twice that of a regular motor. Pre-installed with the unit is a solar cable for easy set-up.

The ECO-WORTHY 25W’s fan blades are made of 104 stainless steel and have a double punch to fit an installation direction. The fan moves big volumes of air with its capacity of 1960 cfm.

ECO-WORTHY Solar Powered Attic Fan

ECO-WORTHY Solar Powered Attic Fan

Technical Details
Size : 6 x 9.5 x 4.6in
Weight : 2.14lbs
Fan Wattage : 3W
Panel Wattage : 3W
Material : Stainless steel casing and fan blades
Air Flow Capacity : 500 cfm
Plug Profile : Roof
Adjustable solar panel : No

The ECO-WORTHY solar powered attic fan is a versatile, high-performance option that is also low-budget. Its versatility allows it to be used on attic roofs, sheds, garages, RVs and even boats. 

The fan has an air flow capacity of up to 500 cfm that can be switched on or off. The unit also generates little noise while operating.

This solar powered attic fan features a built-in rechargeable lithium battery that keeps the fan running even in low light and cold conditions.  

Its stainless steel casing and fan blades make it resistant to rust and corrosion.

Iliving Hybrid Solar Roof Attic Exhaust Fan

Iliving Hybrid Solar Roof Attic Exhaust Fan

Technical Details
Size : 14in
Weight : 30lbs
Fan Wattage : 30W
Panel Wattage : 20W
Material : Aluminum, nylon and steel
Air Flow Capacity : 1750 cfm up to 2000 square feet
Plug Profile : Roof
Adjustable solar panel : Yes

With a casing made of aluminum and a solar panel made of polycrystalline, the Iliving Hybrid is built for durability and efficiency. The solar panel provides power of up to 20w to run the motor and can be adjusted to the following angles: 9, 15, 30 and 45. The 6-bladed fan has a capacity of 1750 cfm up to 2000 square feet. It is driven by a 1P68 built-in brushless motor.

The Iliving Hybrid Solar also comes with a smart thermostat with a preset of 65f – 130f.

It is compatible with additional accessories like an AC/DC adapter kit and features like a power on/off switch and a screen guard. All of these are sold separately.

Remington 30W Solar Attic Fan

Remington 30W Solar Attic Fan

Technical Details
Size : 22 x 22 x 11 inches
Weight : 30lbs
Fan Wattage : 30W
Panel Wattage : 20W
Material : Aluminum, nylon and steel
Air Flow Capacity : 1750 cfm up to 2000 square feet
Plug Profile : Roof
Adjustable solar panel : Yes

The Remington 30W’s fan makes no contact when operating due to it’s brushless motor therefore it does not generate noise. Additionally this reduces wear on the motor that results from friction. The motor produces 24v – 38v. The solar panel can be adjusted to the following angles – 0. 15. 35 and 45.

The motor is powerful enough to move large volumes of air despite being quiet. Its fan has a capacity of up to 2200 cfm across 2,200 square feet. 

Built into the solar attic fan is a smart humidistat and thermostat that can be operated using a smartphone. It is compatible with additional accessories like a 110v hybrid adapter that allows it to function at night or in cold weather. The adapter is sold separately. The unit is also hail and weather resistant, and is waterproof.

Amtrak 50W Solar Attic Fan

Amtrak 50W Solar Attic Fan

Technical Details
Size : 25 x 22 x 6 inches
Weight : 12lbs
Fan Wattage : 12v dc
Panel Wattage : 50W
Material : Alloy steel, aluminum finish and crystalline solar panel
Air Flow Capacity : 2000 cfm up to 2200 square feet
Plug Profile : Roof, attic
Adjustable solar panel : No, but is compatible with mounting brackets to make it adjustable

The powerful and versatile Amtrak 50W works on sheds, cabins, garages, greenhouses, RVs as well as on home buildings. 

The fan is multidirectional with a reversible  push and pull operation mechanism that has 10-inch blades that run quietly and precisely. The Amtrak 50W is equipped with a high torque, ball bearing motor. The thermally protected motor is ensured to operate efficiently and not heat up. The high-quality crystalline solar panel allows for optimal power production. 

The unit is compatible with a thermostat that can easily be added onto the fan. Customers can request a thermostat for free that comes with connectors and an instruction manual. The solar panel can also be mounted onto a bracket that allows it to be adjusted.

How effective are solar roof vents?

Solar roof vents are more effective than wind powered turbines as their fans are powered by electricity generated by solar power. On the other hand, given that they require solar power to operate, some units function less effectively during overcast days and cold weather. 

While being environmentally friendly, solar power roof vents are typically less powerful and effective than mechanical roof vents. 

How much do solar roof vents cost?

A typical solar roof vent can cost around $300USD. Installation costs can bump that price to around $500USD. Certain manufacturers provide a warranty on their products of up to 5 years to a lifetime. Larger homes may also require more than a single vent.

Are solar roof vents worth it?

There are many factors to consider if a solar roof vent is worth the investment. Under the right conditions, a solar attic vent is estimated to save around $100USD to $150USD a year. Initial investment and maintenance costs over the unit’s expected life should also be considered to work out the cost-effectiveness of your system.

Choosing the right solar roof vent

Consider the type of vent when choosing the right one for you. There are two types to choose from. 

Roof-mounted fans are installed on flat and pitched roofs by cutting a circular hole into the roof. These types of vents may require the help of an expert if you lack the necessary skills. 

Gable mounted vents on the other hand are placed behind existing gable vents. The installation of gable vents are made more difficult if you don’t have existing vents.

Also consider the construction quality of a unit when making a choice. Your unit will be exposed to conditions such as UV radiation, rain, hail and even snow, tornadoes and hurricanes depending on where you live. 

Ensure the casing of a unit is durable to withstand such extremities. Thermostats are also a useful feature that turn the vent fan on or off depending on the ambient temperature and can prolong the life of the fan’s motor.  


Solar-powered vents can be an effective way to cool down your living space and prevent damage to your attic from weather-related damage. Factors such as the size of a fan, installation fees and additional features should be considered when opting for a solar roof vent. However by harnessing the power of the sun, solar roof vents save both the environment and your money in the long term.

For more on solar powered items, read:

The 2021 Guide on Solar-Powered Security Cameras

Solar Pool Heater – Is It Worth It And What Are Your Options?

Solar Backpack – What You Need To Know Before You Buy One?  

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