Why Buy a Solar Attic Fan when an Electric Fan is Cheaper?

Why would you spend $300-$400 (assuming you’re considering Remington Solar) for an attic fan when you can buy an electric attic fan for less than $100?

Honestly, before we got into building our product, I needed to be able to effectively answer this question ourselves. Do we simply have to appeal to the “environmentally conscious” folks to justify our fans? Is there some quirky appeal to “going solar”?

Absolutely not.

Here’s why.

Did you know that all electric fans you buy at big box retailers use “brushed” motors? The friction within the motor will stop the motor within 2 to 3 years. Ask any roofer. All roofers will tell you that for the most part, they have never seen an operating electric fan on a roof. And then guess what happens after the fan stops…you have a dead vent that isn’t really capable of venting hot air. So what you actually get is a hotter roof and attic than you started with.

When you compare a $100 electric fan with a Remington Solar attic fan with a life-time guarantee (with brushless motors), then you have a different situation. You have a product on your roof that will last as long as you own your home.

TRUE STORY: My own home in Dallas Texas. August in Dallas in 2012 was brutal. I mean really brutal. Something like 100 days over 100, and most of the time well over 100. I have a one-story 1926 tudor-style 2,300 sq/ft home. Air conditioning service guys couldn’t be in my attic more than 5 minutes. Laser temperature readings were 150 degrees plus. Interestingly, 10 years ago, I added 18 inches of insulation. All that insulation was now laying flat on the floor…having been “cooked” down to poly-fibers. Then, I added 2 25-watt solar attic fans. (We didn’t have the 30 watt fans yet.) The changes have been truly dramatic. The temperature of my attic has never been more than 9 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. I have been truly amazed and pleased with our own product. It really works, as long as you size it properly. You can’t put a 20-watt fan on a 2,000 sq/ft house and expect it to work. You’re dealing with simple thermodynamics and airflow. But just get the right fan and have good soffit (air intake) ventilation, and you’ll be in good shape.

By the way, installation costs are also a significant part of your overall costs. The Remington Solar attic fan doesn’t even have an on/off switch. There’s nothing to wire. Installation in the Dallas area runs about $150. Many customers install themselves. So keep in mind your cost of wiring.