Solar Roof Vents Pros and Cons
Choosing the right roof ventilation system can be tricky. Passive systems—like ridge vents—are quite expensive and require a lot of work to install. Active unpowered systems, like whirlybirds, are limited in their effectiveness by the local climate. And powered vents use electricity, which costs money to run.
Solar roof vents offer the best of all worlds situation. They do not require the upheaval of your roof to install, they are active, so they get great results, and they are powered by the sun, so there are no running costs. Being powered by the sun makes them especially suited to life on Australian rooftops, as there is no shortage of that here!
If you would like to know more about the advantages of solar roof vents, keep reading.
A Simple Solution
Solar roof vents are each a complete system, ready to go. They do not need to be installed in conjunction with other systems or connected to external power sources. They can simply be installed into the roof of a property, and the job is done.
You may need to install more than one to get the desired amount of air movement, and your fitter may recommend combining them with a passive ventilation system for the best results, but in terms of getting up and running, you simply need to drop one of these into your roof, and that’s it.
Renewable, Clean, Free Energy
There are plenty of advantages to solar roof vents over other styles, but the marquee feature is solar power. Every day there is more energy raining down on us from the sky than we could ever hope to capture or use. Using solar roof vents, you can catch a little piece of that energy to keep your attic or commercial building sufficiently ventilated.
Once the solar roof vents are installed, you will never have to pay an additional cent on your electrical bill to have them working away. Other than installation costs, solar energy is completely free.
On the subject of saving money on electricity, solar roof vents will also save you money on electricians. While you will likely still need a professional to install your vents (unless you are an expert yourself), it is not necessary to have a qualified electrician connect them up. Since all the electronics—including the solar power source—are self-contained, there is no wiring to install.
Safety and Convenience
In terms of raw performance, it’s hard to beat an electrically powered roof vent. However, being powered by electricity means having that electricity transported up to your vents. That means an additional load on your property, and more wires running throughout your house.
Electric roof vents when installed properly require their own breaker in your service panel, which means new cables will need to be run from the panel—which is usually located on the ground floor of the property, meaning the wires will need to travel the full height of the building. These additional cables represent a significant inconvenience during not only the installation process but also a potential danger in the future, should they be accidentally cut or pulled on.
With a solar roof vent, there are no additional wires involved, as the solar panels are built into the vent itself. This may not be the case if you decide to have some kind of battery system installed with your vents, but even then the batteries can be installed in the attic, minimising the distance any wires will need to travel.
Active Air Movement
While not unique to solar roof vents, it is worth stating the advantages that come with having a powered roof vent of any kind, since this kind of vent benefits from those same advantages.
With a powered roof vent like this, you get far more air movement out of a much smaller vent than with more passive systems, such as ridge vents. Solar roof vents need only be placed in a few select locations on your roof, whereas a ridge vent would need to span almost the entire length of the roof to be effective, and even then may not match a powered roof vent in air movement.
While not a practical benefit, the ethical implications of nudging your property evermore in the direction of green energy should not be dismissed. At a time when society is more conscious than ever of its impact on the planet through the use of fossil fuels, any action that individuals and businesses can take that reduces the demand on those dangerous more destructive sources of energy should be commended.
Granted, a few solar roof vents dotted around your property won’t fix the planet, but you would be helping.
They Might Increase the Resale Value of Your Property
This is more of a residential advantage than a commercial one, but having modern technology built into the property is often seen as a good thing when it comes to selling. Granted, something as small as a solar roof vent will likely only add to the appeal of the home, rather than actually adding any monetary worth. Still, if you’re trying to sell your home, every little helps.
There are many advantages to solar roof vents. And, while most of those advantages are shared with other styles of roof vent—powered vents are as effective, whirlybirds are as cheap to run, and so on—none of those alternatives bring together this specific set of advantages into one product.
You will not only see decreased costs in installation thanks to the lack of any need for an electrician but also a reduced running cost over other powered fans thanks to the renewable energy source. They are relatively unobtrusive once installed, and can increase the appeal of your home should it ever go back on the market. Installation is not nearly as disruptive as something like a ridge vent system and does not require routing electrical cables around your home.
And, of course, they represent you doing something to help reduce our impact on the environment, which is worth commending.