Why is it important to exhaust your attic? No one goes up in the attic, and if it is hot, who cares? Well, actually you should care because your attic can trap moisture and heat. In turn, this heat and moisture could do damage to your house. This will cost you money in the long run, and how much depends on the damage.
In colder winter climates, heat from your living area can migrate up to your attic through such building items as recessed lights, which are not air tight, unsealed vent pipes from plumbing fixtures, and attic hatches. This heat can make snow melt and cause ice dams to form, which in turn can cause water damage to your house.
Courtesy of Solatube International Inc.
On the other hand, these same leakages from your living area in the summer or in warmer climates can cause moisture to build up in your attic creating mold and plywood delamination in your attic.
In all of my previous houses, I always had exhaust fans in the attic for the reasons mentioned above. However, when we built our present house, we went one step further. This house has solar exhaust fans! I obtained prices for both exhaust fans that would run by electricity and exhaust fans powered by the sun. With installation, the prices of the two were identical. However, in the long run, the electrical powered exhaust fan would be more expensive to run since I would have to pay for the electricity that this fan would use.
The solar brand I chose was Solar Star by Solar Tube. They run continuously winter or summer, the cost to run them is nothing, and if there is a power outage, they still operate. In addition, there is no noise generated from the fans. I have had them for three years and they still run great.
My solar fans are on the back of my house which faces south. There are not any trees or other obstructions that would block out the sun’s rays.
I chose to have the solar roof exhaust fans be installed by the person who sold them to me. He had to cut through the sheathing and roof tiles and flash around the fan. Flashing and caulking prevents water leakage. In addition, he sized the amount of fans that I needed based upon the size of my attic. My roof was already installed when we put in the solar exhaust fans so this product is not limited to new construction.
Solar Star does have a product that is made for northern sides of a roof if installing them on the south or west side of your house would be impossible. So, why wait for damage to your house to occur, when you can simply install solar exhaust fans in your roof?