Solar Ventilation and Heat Extraction for Your Roof Space

A large roof area can act link a giant solar collector, and this transfers heat into your house. This might be welcome in the depths of winter, but during summer your house can heat up like an oven. This not only creates an unpleasant temperature in your home, but it also means that you need to use more energy to cool it down. Fortunately, there are many options for reducing the temperature in your roof space and venting the hit air. One of these is solar ventilation and heat extraction, which is designed to draw hot and moist air from your roof space. The following guide provides everything you need to know about this type of ventilation system as well as comparisons with other popular heat extraction options.

How Solar Ventilation Works

A solar ventilation systemA solar ventilation system is similar to many other types of ventilation/heat extraction systems. The basic unit consists of a motor and fan which pulls the heat and moisture out of roof space. This is an extremely simply, yet effective, system and can be installed on most houses. The main difference between this and other systems is that the solar system uses energy from the sun to power the motor, which then turns the fan. This is a great way to power the unit as it is operating with free energy from the sun. This means that once it is installed there are no ongoing costs to run a solar heat extraction unit!

The following video shows how this type of ventilation works and how it can benefit your house.

Benefits

  • Reduce the amount of hot air in your home and reduce your energy use for cooling.
  • Remove excess moisture which can damage your ceiling and cause mould and mildew to grow.
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Very effective
  • No ongoing running costs
  • Fully sealed to prevent water leakage

Wind Vents (Whirlybirds) Compared to Solar Ventilation

A whirlybirdOne of the most popular non-solar options are wind vents, also known as Whirlybirds. These are also very effective at removing heat from the roof space. However, they do have some downsides that must be considered. The first drawback of the Whirlybird system is that it is powered by the wind. This works fine when there is enough wind to operate the system, but they can fail to operate effectively on some very still days. Other disadvantages of wind vents is that they have been known to allow water entry into the roof cavity and they can also become quite noisy in some situations. On the other hand, solar heat extraction systems will work when there is no wind blowing and continue to run even on cloudy days. The solar systems also offer a flatter profile and look great on any room. In terms of efficiency, a good quality solar venting system, such as the Solar Star RM1600, is equivalent to about 15 Whirlybirds!

Cost

The cost is one area that Whirlybirds beat the competition, but solar heat extraction systems are becoming much more affordable. In addition to this government subsidies and grants may be available to you if you are installing this technology in your home.

Installation

We recommend that you have your solar ventilation system installed by a professional, but many people have chosen to install the unit themselves. They can be installed on new or existing homes. The existing home installation takes a little bit longer, but can usually be completed in less than a day. Installing lower intake vents inside the house is also a good idea and makes the system even more efficient at extracting heat from your home.