The Best Solar Attic Fan

Upstairs bedrooms and attics can sometimes struggle to beat the heat, especially in those hot summer months. You’ve heard of attic fans, you’ve maybe even used them in the past. Electric attic fans have been common tools to help handle the heat for a number of years. And of course there is the more expensive air conditioner, as well as the newer air conditioner dehumidifier combo. More recently, the solar attic fan has come to market and we have all the need to know details!

What is the difference between an electric attic fan and a solar attic fan? What type of solar powered fan will work for you? Let’s delve into facts and information about these units.

Summary & Comparison Table

We’re going to cover the top 6 solar powered attic fans on the market. The following table will be a great reference point for you to come back to as you have questions or want to compare basic information between the fans. This table also has links to take you to directly purchase a fan when you are ready.

​Solar Powered Attic Fan

​Our Ranking

​Wattage

​Air Flow Capacity

​Purchase

#1​

Editor's Choice

​36-watt

​1628 CFM

#2

​30-watt

​1911 CFM

#3

​40-watt

​1300 CFM

#4

24-watt

1339 CFM

#5

28-watt

537 CFM

#6

25-watt

​1960 CFM

​What is a Solar Attic Fan?

Attic fans circulate warm air out and exchange it for cool air. The fan, when it works effectively, will keep your attic or upper area rooms from getting excessively hot. This will help keep the rest of your home cool while reducing overall energy costs because your cooling system will not have to work as hard to keep up.

Solar-powered attic fans do the job of a typical attic fan, but they operate wholly on solar power, rather than using electricity. The ability to use solar power rather than electricity is another great way to save money on those electric bills. The solar attic fan operates on a continuous cycle to circulate the hot, stale air out and exchange it to cool the air in the attic.

Solar powered attic fans are considered safer overall. These units are less likely to cause carbon monoxide gases to pull into the home than electric attic fans. Electric attic fans also consume energy and could affect your electric bill, while solar powered units are free to operate after they are purchased and installed.

Solar powered units measure their cooling capacity in CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute. This is the anticipated rate at which the unit you purchase will be able to exchange and cool the air in your attic.

If your home has more than 1,000 square feet, it is recommended that you install 2 or 3 solar powered attic fans for the best overall results. These fans, while energy efficient will work better for smaller areas, but multiple units pair together well. It is possible that if you purchase an Energy-Star rated solar attic fan you could qualify for a tax credit amounting to 30% of your purchase cost. 

Reviews – The 6 Best Solar Powered Attic Fans

Solar powered attic fans are simple to understand the basic concept. Most likely you are already somewhat familiar with attic fans, but could still use further information. We’ve shared with you the basic concept of how these solar units work. In this section, we will break down our top 6, with all of the pertinent information regarding our pick, including the pros and cons to be aware of!

Natural Light 36-Watt Solar Attic Fan

The Natural Light 36-watt solar attic fan is one of the industry’s top solar unit options. All necessary installation equipment is included with the fan. This 36-watt unit cools at an average of 1,628 CFM and can cover an area of about 2,600 square feet.

PROS

  • ​Includes a 25-year limited warranty
  • ​Can efficiently cool an approximately 2,600 square foot area
  • ​Quiet operation
  • ​Possible to self-install, with careful consideration
  • ​Available in smaller wattage models, considering the size of space you need the fan to work for

CONS

  • ​This unit is a higher priced unit but appears to be a good value for the money
  • ​Unit needs full sunshine to operate effectively. Cloud cover of any kind reduces operation.
  • ​Thermostat not included, but would be advantageous to purchase separately
Rand Solar Attic Gable Fan

The Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan is a gable-styled attic fan that operates at 30-watts at approximately 1911 CFM. This unit comes fully set with a thermostat and all necessary installation equipment. The gable is adjustable to catch the best angle for solar power.

PROS

  • ​Can cool attic temperature by up to 50 degrees
  • ​Thermostat for unit included
  • ​Can effectively cool an up to 2,720 square foot area
  • ​20-year parts warranty
  • ​Affordable solar powered attic fan option

CONS

  • ​Does install directly into roof, operates best if your home has a gable vent on a vertical peak
  • ​The thermostat temperature is pre-set and cannot be adjusted
  • ​Fragile motor housing build
Amtrak Solar Galvanized Steel Solar Fan

This Amtrak Solar Powered attic fan is a powerful galvanized steel unit that operates on 40-watts at 1,300 CFM. The unit operates quietly and effectively and also works to reduce moisture levels in the area. The unit has a gable-style solar panel that attaches to the roof and a 14-inch fan to attach to a gable vent.

PROS

  • ​A high-power operating fan
  • ​Efficiently cools an area of about 2,250 square feet
  • ​25-year warranty
  • ​Necessary installation equipment included
  • ​Does not have to be cut into your roof for installation
  • ​Affordable price option

CONS

  • ​Requires some simple wiring for installation
  • ​Operation is semi-noisy
  • ​Requires gable vent to attach a fan to
  • ​Slight cloud coverage can hinder the fan’s efficiency
Ultra-Low Profile Natural Light Solar Fan

The Ultra-Low Profile unit operates on 24-watts at 1,339 CFM. The unit is designed to effectively cool a 2,100 square foot area. This unit has a small, modern design that is not large and wieldy on the roof. The make of the unit is not as hard on the roof as some units can be.

PROS

  • ​Small, sleek design that does not stand out or look tacky on your roof
  • ​Effectively cools a 2,100 square foot area in an efficient manner
  • ​Sturdy, well-made unit that requires no wiring
  • ​25-year warranty on the module, housing, and motor
  • ​The strong build of the unit allows it to effectively cool significant areas at low wattage

CONS

  • ​An expensive unit, but of stellar quality
  • ​Because the unit is small, choose carefully where you install it so that it gets the best sun exposure during hot days
  • ​Does not come with instructions, but they can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website
Broan 345SOWW Surface Mount Solar Attic Vent

The Broan Solar Attic Vent operates on 28-watts of solar power, with a rate of 537 CFM. The unit is a one-piece small unit with a sleek appearance. This Broan unit has simple installation and works well for large-sized areas.

PROS

  • ​Small, sleek unit that does not stand out on the rooftop
  • ​Comes in black or a weathered wood finish
  • ​Corrosion resistant aluminum screen
  • ​5-bladed fan permits maximum airflow capabilities

CONS

  • ​Unit is a bit on the more expensive side of the spectrum
  • ​Unit operates at 537 CFM, which is significantly less than competing models
  • ​Works best in 100% sunlight
Eco-Worthy Ventilator Gable Solar Attic Fan

The Eco-Worthy Ventilator gable unit operates on 25-watts for the fan and 30-watts for the gabled solar unit at 1,960 CFM. The unit is lightweight and easy to install, despite its size. This unit comes ready to install and use. The wiring is already complete and ready for total installation.  

PROS

  • ​The solar panel can be installed on the roof or onto the side of your home, whichever you prefer and will offer the best sunlight for the solar power
  • ​Unit is ready to use with minor installation
  • ​Fan blades move fast for maximum airflow
  • ​Affordable price with great quality

CONS

  • ​Fan and gables must be installed fairly close together due to the wiring range.
  • ​Does not have any connection for a thermostat
  • ​Square footage coverage is unclear but operates at maximum efficiency and a high CFM
  • ​Warranty is only about 1-5 years

​How Are Solar Powered Attic Fans Installed

Most solar powered attic fans are self-installed. They do require some care as you install them. As you can see from the above reviews and descriptions, some models are installed directly into a hole in your roof, while some models have a solar powered gable that sets on top of your roof or is attached to an exterior wall.

Many of these solar powered units do not come with instruction manuals but offer downloadable instructions as well as instructional videos on the manufacturer’s websites. Because they are relatively simple to install, you may be able to install without the instructions. If you are unsure about installation, you can hire someone to help install your unit.

​Summary & Conclusion

There are many different styles of solar powered attic fans – from large solar panels with fans for gabled vents to small, modern designs. It is important you determine what will work best for your home. These units can even have a positive effect on the winter months as the solar power allows them to effectively circulate unnecessary moisture out of your home.


While many of the aforementioned units boast square foot coverage of more than 2,000 square feet, it is highly recommended that if your home exceeds 1,000 square feet you consider installing multiple units for maximum efficiency. It is recommended that you consider installing at one unit for every 1,000 – 1,500 square feet for optimal efficiency. The units will work for the large areas but may work more quickly and efficiently when paired with multiple units. Note that these fans are distinct from whole house fans, which may also be installed in your attic.


The verdict is out and the numbers reflect that these solar powered units can effectively cool an attic space, which leads to more efficient cooling within your home. The best part about the solar-paneled units is that they do not operate on full electricity. Essentially your electric bills can be cut down for both the solar powered attic fan but also for more efficient cooling from your air unit.


Remember that there are multiple options and you need to decide what will work best for you. If you are considering the units that attach directly into your roof, make sure that you have an installation area that will provide adequate sunlight for the units to work at maximum capacity. You may need to consider that those cloudy days could hinder the efficiency of the unit. If you are considering the gabled unit, remember it will stick out more and the design can be awkward in size.


Solar powered attic fans have quickly become one of the most energy-efficient methods for helping to effectively cool homes that have attics or upstairs rooms. These units can also be great for garages, outbuildings, and some of them are even made to work effectively in RVs.  Are you ready to try out a solar panel in your home yet and see how it can work for you? Don’t wait, start saving on those utility bills today!

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