solar roof ventilation

Let’s start with the most important question. How much should a solar powered roof ventilator cost?

While solar panel manufacturing costs are reducing, a quality motor and solar panel will always be the most expensive components of a solar roof ventilator. Customers should expect to pay between $500 and $900 for a solar roof ventilation product that will last. When compared to the recommended 2-4 quality whirly birds (@200 each for a quality whirly bird) for a standard home, a single Solar Star is very worthwhile.


CAUTION – There are many imported products that are making false air flow claims in the market place. Any air flow performance should be tested by a NATA approved testing house to ISO5801. Any performance claims that cannot provide clarification of this testing should be regarded as false.

There are many performance claims made on the market, but solar powered roof ventilation is going to make a substantial difference compared to wind vents. What are the most important things you need to review when purchasing roof ventilation?

The best way to know if you are getting value is understanding the wattage of the solar panel and the diameter of the extraction fan. While there are other variables this will provide you with the simplest and easiest comparison between solar roof ventilation systems.


While it’s standard to offer 10-15 years warranty on a solar panel, ensure you read the fine print. Most will exclude components, usually offering 1-3 years on the motor.


With many imports being shipped directly from overseas, consumers need to be careful selecting product for harsh environments such as Australia. A single, one-size-fits-all flashing creates similar issues with leaking as in traditional low-quality skylights. Consumers should always look for roof flashings that are tailored to the contours of their roof.

Market prices

Wind vents can range from $80 – $350 per unit.

The average air volume is tested at approximately 80-100m3 per hour which is relatively inefficient. Often these products will have similar performance to a static cap. They have been popular in the Australian market as they are cheap to give away with insulation and roofing packages.

The main pricing differences with wind vents, is all about quality.

What should you look for:

  • Do they include a fan blade? this will absolutely help improve air extraction
  • What’s the diameter of the product – for domestic homes, ranges are from 250-350mm diameter
  • Warranty – life or the bearings is the biggest issue with wind vents. You can see many low- quality wind vents with seized or noisy bearings on Australian homes

Budget Solar roof vents $100 – $250 per unit

When looking for any solar powered product, be prepared to spend extra for a quality system.  Budget solar powered roof vents achieve low prices through poor quality motors and solar panels. Both of these lead to very poor performance, offering little to no benefit over a standard wind vent and often have a warranty no longer than a year. If you have only allowed for this in your budget you should stick to a quality whirly bird.

Quality solar roof vent $500 – $900

We have already discussed how to select the correct product type but what are some other common questions and requests?

By how much will roof ventilation reduce the temperature in my home.

This is a question that is almost impossible to answer, as there are many variables such as; insulation and roof material, tiles with sarking and colour bond roof materials will hold in more heat. Tiles without sarking will allow more cross flow ventilation. They best way to check how ventilation will work for you, is to put your head up into the roof cavity and feel the temperature. Your roof cavity can easily reach 60deg+ so exchanging this air with cooler air from outside, will have a major impact.

How many eave vents do I need?

There are many recommendations but variables such as sarking or no sarking on a tiled roof can have an impact. The best way to tell is by opening the man hole in the ceiling. If you are still feeling substantial air being drawn through the man hole after the ventilation is installed, you probably need more eave vents

Do they run at night?

Most operate exactly like a whirlybird but instead of operating with the wind, they operate with the sun.  A whirlybird will not operate on a hot and still summer day, and a solar roof ventilator does not motorise at night.  A wind vent has similar performance to a static cap and like a static cap, a solar roof ventilator will still allow natural air convention at night.

Battery backup – these are often requested by customers, but you should be aware of the pit falls and weigh up the extra costs.

  • Batteries often only have a 1-year warranty. Depending on the quality, these should be checked and replaced every 1-2 years
  • Batteries do not often deal with extreme temperatures – in fact there have been many recalls for roof space battery operated products due to fire hazards.
  • You divert a lot of sun energy to charging rather than ventilation

Over cast and rainy days

The Solar Star will still operate enough to pull moisture from your roof cavity but there is little need for it to run at full capacity. Roof ventilators draw air from outside, the conditions of the outside air will determine the impact on your home.

42 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Solar Roof Ventilator

  1. Trevor Wuoti

    Interesting, seems it should be powered by 240 volts using existing solar panels and activated by temperature differential switches.. I am interested in the technology.

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Trevor

      You can call us on 13 16 19 and we can put you intouch with the local Premier Dealer in your area to discuss further

  2. Rodney

    Hi after a price please contact me via email

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Rodney

      If you can provide your postcode we can pass your email details to the local Premier Dealer in your area, as to provide an accurate price, they will need to understand your specific home requirements

  3. Shane

    Are cyclone rated?
    Is so to what std rating?

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Shane

      Yes these are cyclone rated, best idea is to call the local Premier Dealer, on 13 16 19 and type in your postcode they can discuss about the installation process for this.

  4. Steve Janson

    Please put me in contact with a supplier/ installer in or near Kippa-Ring (Brisbane) QLD 4021.
    Thank you.

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Steve

      Brisbane Skylights is the local Premier Dealer – 3245 5548

  5. Amanda

    What is the maximum flow rate?

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Amanda, its approximately 1000 cbm/hr but we do not publish flow rates due to the number of false claims in the market. Unless a product has been tested to ISO 5801 the air flow rate it likely to be a completely false claim. This is the reason we have written the article above as product with the same wattage motor, same diameter, and same motor RPM are claiming double the air flow performance which Is physically impossible.

  6. jack

    Hi does the cell solar panel rust ? and what is the warranty like . I read you have 5 years warranty for the solar star. What happens if say in year 4 it stopped working?

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Jack,

      Hi Jack
      The Solar Star’s metal body is warranted for 10 years and this covers eventuality of rust. We do suggest caution if your property is in close proximity to the coast, as additional installation precautions and regular maintenance (fresh water rinses) may be required to extend the life of the product. Otherwise, if the Solar Star ceases to work within a 4 year period it will be covered under warranty and will be fixed or replaced. We recommend purchasing and installing the Solar Star through a Solatube Premier Dealership in your area to ensure correct installation and ease of warranty servicing should it be required. For further warranty information, please refer to our Product Ownership and Care document under this link on our website:

  7. Alan Williams

    Do you have any photos or video of the installation of your Solatube product. My roof is the same as Monier cement tiles. Do you have any installation products which can help to install Solatube so it’s waterproof (no rainwater leakage down into the ceiling cavity). Thank you.

  8. Dave Jordan

    Is it possible to compare Enviromax ventilation with Solar Star

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Dave
      It’d about 500 to 1000 cbm/hr but the enviromax is a plugged in power solution. The enviromax is a 250mm diameter fan product while the solar star is a 350mm diameter fan

  9. Duy Vu

    – how many unit for 200m2 house?
    – do you sell eave vents?
    – does unit come with battery setup?
    – does it have temperature sensor? I mean does it stop work when teach a certain of heat.
    Many thanks

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Duy
      Size of home – 186m2 – 1 x RM1600, 223m2 – 2 x RM1600
      We have a thermal switch available, it will stop the SolarStar working during the colder months when the temperature in the attic falls below 18°C and will turn on the SolarStar when the temperature in the attic is greater than 29°C. In some cases it may be more beneficial to allow the SolarStar to work through winter.
      Has no battery back up, as it works on solar and passive vents at night just like a wind vent.
      I would suggest you type in your postcode on the website which will provide information on the local Premier Dealer for further information

  10. Graham Constable

    Hi, how does your product compare to the SolarKing Ventilation System performance and reliability wise? Also, how noisy is your system when mounted on a colorbond roof? I want to install a system to remove the hot air from the roof space above my two young kids’ bedrooms. Many thanks.

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Graham

      To get a true comparison of air flow performance the product needs to be test to ISO 5801. As Solar King have not had their product tested to this standards there is no way to verify their performance claims. In house testing show that product with the same dia, performs within 20% of each other.

      Our product carries the longest solar ventilator warranty available and our product is far quieter than other systems on the market.

      Another major difference that most people do not take into consideration is the flashing type, we tailor our roof fixing components to each roof profile while other companies offer a 1 size fits all so they can offer a cheaper generic product. Unfortunately, this often cost more in the long run. One size fits all roof profile fixings are the reason skylights and ventilation have a bad name for leaking.

      1. Tommy

        I can not find a specification on the noise for the unit. Is there one specified? Without that how do I know how much noise it generates?

        1. Ruth Buckley

          Hi Tommy

          The Solar Star has not been tested for noise. A standard installation will mean there is no noise inside the home and you’ll need to open up the manhole and look inside the roof cavity to hear it , the brushless motor itself is very quiet under solar power and most of the noise is from air rushing through the unit. We recommend to view and listen to a Solar Star on display at one of the Premier Dealer Showrooms.

  11. Wai Kong Chui

    Are your solar roof ventilators sold in Malaysia? Who is the distributor?

  12. Joe

    Hi. I’m getting a new roof as an insurance job following hail and looking into solar roof ventilators. Can you advise how many I would need for a 350m2 house with a 27 degree pitch please. It’s a big home on acreage in southeast Queensland. Thank you 😊

  13. Sharon

    Hi we’re looking for a quotation for your solar roof ventilation systems. In nsw 2753. Also installation cost.

  14. Chris


    Interested in your product. Could you advise number for your agents in Brisbane (Birkdale 4159) QLD.

  15. Karen

    Renovating home in nsw 2153. Need quote for roof ventilation and solatube.

  16. Seamus

    Do you have a dealer in the Newcastle area?

  17. Russell Martin

    Hi, I am interested in installing solar ventilation system. postcode 2153 and I have 2 roofs
    I have called and emailed 2 other companies with no reply.

  18. Michael Roberts

    I was originally assured that 2 x RM1600s would fit on my roof (after sending pictures through). When the installer came out he said they wouldn’t fit and then he advised that 4 x RM1200s would instead be appropriate because of the available space. Then I was quoted for 4 x V-Aero 250s without any information why this was changed yet again from the revised suggestion (4 x RM1200s) and what the difference between the different solar fans were. This is not very good customer service.

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your feedback, we have passed on your comments to the Dealership and will ensure that their training is improved to ensure customers are fully aware of the various product offerings. Kind regards

  19. Kevin

    I’m a little unclear regarding these solar vents as there is much referred to for summer and heat. But during winter, if they Draw hot air out of the house, that would initially drop the heat temperatures, no?
    Is it recommended to have a thermostat, as In winter steam build up from hot water will also enter the roof during the winter?

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Kevin,

      You raise some important points. Most customers choose a SolarStar fan to minimise excessive heat build-up during summer, and these fans do this very efficiently. However, good roof ventilation is equally important in winter when condensation is a lot more prevalent. Good ventilation will prevent ceiling insulation getting damp and will go a long way in keeping the roof space dry and healthy. Older homes with poor insulation may benefit from having a thermostat installed to keep some of the warmer air in the roof – we do offer a thermostat option – however you may find that you will get more value from the fan by having it run through the entire year.

  20. Mike Pratt

    I have had insulation put in our roof and it is still getting hot is some rooms.

    I bought a remote thermometer and noted that the ceiling space often gets to 50C degrees and up to 60C. I am considering a ceiling ventilation system.

    We have 90 sq meters on the first and 60 sq meters on the ground floor. The roof is a pitched tiled one. No sarking.

    You say your units cost in the $500 – $900 range. What sort of cost are we looking at for installation?

    I was also wondering if we should put in a vent to allow air into the ceiling or just allow seepage through the tiles. What sort of cost would the vents be?

    With thanks.

    1. Ruth Buckley

      Hi Mike

      Installation costs range from $200 – $450 the best idea is to speak with the local Dealer, they can provide a quotation. If you type in your postcode to this link will take you to the dealer in your area. It is recommended to have eave vents to expel the hot air. Eave vents are not a Solatube product, so you would need to source yourself.

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