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Energy Savings from Solar Products
Solar power doesnít have to be an all or nothing proposition for the homeowner, emptying your pocketbook and putting you into debt. There are products on the market that can give you immediate rewards in the form of decreased electric bills. The two products that first come to mind are the solar attic fans and tubular skylights. This article concentrates on the benefits and cost savings of solar attic fans.
Solar attic fans save the homeowner money directly and indirectly. The roof receives direct, intense rays from the sun. Whether itís a shingled roof or a metal roof, heat begins building up in the attic space. Moisture also enters the attic space from daily activities such as bathing, cooking, laundry, etc. Unless this heat and moisture is removed, damage can occur in the form of mold, mildew, and dry rot.
When the attic space overheats, the shingled roof will heat on the underside of the shingles. This causes unnecessary wear and tear on your shingles and you risk wearing them out before the end of the warranty period. Shingle manufacturers are aware of this and require ventilation for a correctly installed roof to be covered under their warranty. This information can be found on the shingle package wrapper. Most shingle manufactures even offer formulas on their web sites, which will assist you in determining just how much attic ventilation is required.
Without adequate attic ventilation, the manufacturer may consider it an incorrect installation. What does this mean?
For example, imagine that you paid $4000.00 for the installation of a 25-year shingle. However, after 10 years it appears as though the corners are curled, and itís leaking. You contact the shingle manufacturer and complain of shingle failure. They examine the shingles under a microscope and determine that the excessive wear was from overheating caused by lack of adequate ventilation. Unfortunately, the warranty only covers correctly installed shingles and yours were not. This results in another $4000.00 for a new roof, or your INDIRECT expense for inadequate attic ventilation.
Hereís a quick check for attic overheating? Climb up a ladder, about 4-5 feet. Be careful! Is the room warmer the further up you go? This is not a good sign. This could mean that the air conditioner is working overtime to cool the inside of your home because the overheating in the attic space causes warming of your ceilings. Particularly when you KNOW that you have adequate attic insulation. That means more electricity usage than necessary, which results in higher electric bills. Thus, another INDIRECT expense!
An attic fan uses about 350-400 watts of power. These fans have the thermostats that are set to start the fan when a certain temperature is reached, usually around 85 to 90 degrees. They will then run as long as it takes to get the temperature back down. It costs $10.00 a month or more just to run the attic fan. The DIRECT expense comes in winter when the temperature outside remains low and the thermostat doesnít cause the fan to run. As a result, the moisture remains in the attic with no place to go.
A correctly installed solar attic fan runs from sun-up to sundown, summer or winter at no cost for operation. With air in the attic space constantly being circulated during the day, attic space temperatures remain lower. That means a cooler attic, less work for your air conditioner, and your shingles donít deteriorate before their life expectancy. Moisture escapes and the risk of damage greatly decreases. Thus preserving the integrity of one of your greatest investments Ė your home. Ultimately this results in lower electric bills and money savings for the homeowner.
The cost of a solar attic fan will vary depending on the manufacturer, the roofer, and the area of the country. Usually under $600.00 including installation is a reasonable rate. Quality and correct installation are paramount. The solar fan with installation will generally cost less than the price of an electric fan. Properly installed the solar fan produces no risk of shorting out and causing fires.
As you can see, the benefits of solar attic ventilation far outweigh the risks. Consider letting the sun cool your hot attic space and save you money!
Planning a home improvement? Lem Burnet has been in the home improvement business for over 30 years. http://www.bhomeexteriors.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com
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