I didn't know much about attic fans until recently, but it seemed like a good solution for one of our major heat problems: hot air from the attic dropping down into the house on summer nights and turning our house into an oven. Attic fans help suck hot air out of the attic and keep cooler air cycling through. Getting a solar attic fan means we don't have to hook it up to our electrical system, saving us money and, you know, saving the planet.
Our solar attic fan is made by Solatube. It doesn't have a thermostat, so it just automatically turns on when the sun hits it. The stronger the sunlight, the faster it spins. There are other varieties that are a bit more expensive and have a thermostat, but we felt that it was better to get a simpler system with less parts that might break. This fan is really simple, and comes with a 5-year warranty for the solar panel. We bought it from a small distributor in Sherman Oaks.
The attic fan was quite easy for Dakota to install. He just cut a circular hole in the roof, slipped the flashing under the shingles and screwed it all down. I'd say the whole project took him about 45 minutes last Monday.
Dakota installed the fan on the front of the house, because that part of the roof gets the most afternoon sun. I was worried it would look ugly or weird, but the fan has a really low profile, so you can barely see it. It's also completely silent. I don't even know it's there. Of course, I hope I notice its effects once the weather starts getting hotter.