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Smarthome Solutions and Projects

Keep Your Attic Cool in the Summer and
Mildew-Free in the Winter


During the summer your attic can rise to temperatures of up to 160 degrees! A result of this is that your air conditioner will over compensate in an effort to cool the entire house down which in turn leaves you with a huge and unnecessary electricity bill. In the winter the warm air from your home rises up into the attic throughout the day and eventually interacts with your cool and damp roof. This creates moisture in the air and can lead to the formation of mold and mildew without you even knowing.

  • Solar powered means $0 operating costs
  • Great for year round use and not just summer
  • Can be installed by an above average DIY'er or professionally done
  • May qualify for IRS Tax Credits and area specific rebates

See Our Recommended Solar Attic Fans


click image to enlarge

Watch step-by-step instuctional videos here

Required Tools

  • Ladder
  • Reciprocating saw or jig saw
  • Power drill with a 1/2" - 1" drill bit
  • Hammer and roofing nails or self-taping galvanized screws
  • Caulk gun with waterproof roofing sealant
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • String (10 inches)
  • Permanent marker, sidewalk chalk or crayon
  • Roofing knife or box cutter
  • Flat bar
  • 4 wire-nuts and electrical tape (if remote mounting)
  • Step 1:

    fig1

    Make sure that you have the proper intake ventilation to maximize the solar fans effectiveness. Remove or block any static vents or if there is an existing turbine vent, simply remove it and use the same hole for installation.

    Step 2:

    The solar fan should be positioned to face south or southwest for optimum performance. The solar panel should also be positioned so that it receives sunlight for extended periods of the day. The solar fan should be positioned 18-24 inches from the roof peak. If you are installing multiple roof fans they should be positioned at least 15 feet apart.

    fig2

    Once you have a general idea of where you want the fan, work from inside the attic and mark a position at least 18-24 inches from the roof peak and centered between two rafters. Drill a screw through this mark into the plywood so that it can be located from the roof.

    Step 3:

    fig4

    From the roof, locate the screw and tie a piece of string to it and attach your marking pen. Adjust the length of string so that it measures 6.5 inches from the screw to the tip of the pen. The knot should be tied so that it moves around the screw freely and won't wind around the screw. Now, mark your circle on the roof shingles. The result should be a 13" diameter circle.

    Step 4:

    fig5

    Using a power drill equipped with a 1/2" - 1" drill bit, drill a pilot hole anywhere along the inside of the circle. Insert your sawblade into the pilot hole and carefully follow the pattern until the hole is complete.

    IMPORTANT! - Do not cut through any roofing rafters or framing members. Only cut through the roof sheeting and shingles. Also, make sure there is no wiring or waterlines in the area you are cutting.

    Step 5:

    fig6

    All roofing nails or staples located within 5" of the hole will need to be removed so the solar fan can slide between the felt papers and shingles. Once done, make sure the shingles in the area lift freely. Do not attempt to force the unit into place, if it does not slide easily, there is most likely a nail obstructing the flashing.

    Position the solar fan that it is directly below the cut hole. Begin sliding the flashing of the solar fan into place underneath the shingles on top of the felt paper at the mid-point of the hole. Continue sliding upward until the unit is positioned directly over the hole.

    Use 4 roofing nails or self tapping galvanized screws to secure the solar fan. The unit should be secured along the bottom flashing. Apply waterproof sealant to the nailheads. Secure any loose shingles that may be loose with roofing nails and apply waterproof sealant as required.

    fig7fig8

    Step 6:

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    Now that the unit is secure and in place, the solar panel should be positioned so that it faces directly at the sun during it's highest point of the day. To tilt the panel, remove the screws from the sides of the bracket assembly and lift the panel to the desired position. Once in place, re-attach the two screws through the left bracket to the side of the solar panel.

    To rotate the shroud, remove the screws from each of the four brackets at the base of the shroud. Rotate the shroud to the desired position and re-attach the screws to the bracket.

    fig10

    That's it, you're done! Now your solar fan will begin operating whenever the sun is shining on the panel.

    Note: The solar panel can also be mounted remotely from the fan unit. Please see the instructions included with your unit on the proper way to do this.




     
    Step-by-step instuctional videos


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