Solar Power Roof Ventilation

With summer just around the corner, many customers are looking for options to cool their home.  Roof ventilation has always been a popular option but what products are best for my home and how do I know it will help?

Firstly, roof ventilation should not be considered for only cooling your home, its most important feature is creating a healthy roof cavity. By having roof ventilation, not only do you cool your roof cavity, but you also remove moisture that causes most roof cavity issues, such as ceiling mould, wood rot and a habitable living space for all your creepy crawlies.

The first question customers usually ask is “will Solatube roof ventilation work on my home?”

The simple answer is YES. The process of roof ventilation is all about how much hot air is trapped inside your roof cavity and how quickly you can exchange with cool air from outside the home.  Every home has an element of “trapped” hot air. Remember it will also help with all those moisture issues above.

The second question that I am asked is “how much will it cool my home and how many do I need?” 

While the air outside your home may be 30 degrees, your roof cavity can reach up to 50-60 degrees.  By exchanging this air, you can have a dramatic effect on the temperature inside your home.

There are a lot of different variables when ventilating your roof cavity, which is why manufacturers struggle to provide how much their product will lower the temperature of your home.  The more hot air trapped in your roof, the more difference roof ventilation will make on your home.

So what are variable impacts on the performance of roof ventilation?

1) Roof type – if you have a tiled roof with sarking (insulating material directly under the tiles), or colourbond steel roof, hot air is more likely to get trapped inside. Tile roofs with no sarking will allow more airflow.

2) Eve or gable vents – these are vents that allow cross airflow that can help cool your roof cavity. A mechanical fan will further help extract more air.

3) Insulation – this will help lower the effect of heat transfer into the home lowering the effect of roof ventilation.

The third and final question is “which product should I choose?”

There are a few areas that customers should be and usually are concerned about.

1)   Effectiveness – exchanging the hot air within your roof cavity with air from outside is the most important element.  This makes the airflow of your roof ventilator most important. So do I choose a wind vent or solar powered mechanical vent?

  1. Mechanical ventilation will typically extract more air than a wind vent
  2. Mechanical ventilation will still operate on hot days when there is no wind.

2)   Life span – with many imports entering Australia, longevity is becoming more of an issue. While many manufacturers offer long warranties, many also have exclusions on motors. Make sure you look at the warranty across the whole products particularly on the motors. The difference is usually in the type of motor. Brush motors usually require the brushes replaced every couple of years.  Brushless motors will tend to last longer often receiving a longer warranty period.

3)   Aesthetic – how will our solar power roof ventilation blend in with your roof.

How the product looks on a roof will vary from person to person, especially if it’s on the front side of the home.  The value of roof ventilation should be assessed on the amount of airflow, longevity of the product and the price.

18 thoughts on “Solar Power Roof Ventilation

  1. I got a caravan, got anything to suit? And as one of the units would be in the bathroom can i get one addapted to run off 12v or 240v that is switchable between the solar power and powered options?

    1. Not at this stage john, we use a plastic guard on the underside of the solar star to protect the roof cavity from birds and rodents from getting in the roof cavity. This does not comply in bush-fire rated areas.

    1. We want to ventilate bedrooms of a second storey with a flat roof. Could a single unit be connected to multiple bedrooms through a duct system?

      1. Hi Philip

        The Solar Star is designed to draw heat out of the roof cavity, we have introduced a whole house fan that is ideal for cool wing the home particularly rooms on the 2nd storey, here is some more information for you.
        If you would like a consultation to discuss both products, please provide your postcode and we can put you in touch with the local Premier Dealer in your area.

    1. Hi Colleen,

      In a lot of cases this should be fine, however we recommend checking with the local dealership and installer as there are factors that will influence the installation technique – profile of steel sheet, pitch, curvature etc.

    1. Hi Zara,

      Can you provide your postcode, so we can pass on your details to a specification rep to make contact and provide a solution. Kind regards

  2. The most point I am worry about the water leaking, if not seal properly or after years there will be hole or gap on the seal, then the rain water will go inside the roof.

    1. If installed by Solatube Dealer it’s very reliable and will come with installation warranty, the same flashing design Solatube has been using with our skylight range for over 30 years, we offer tailored flashing kits specific to the different roof types, rather than ‘one size fits all’ flashings that are predominant on the market place.

  3. Hi,
    Regarding the Solar Star,
    Does it still allow warm air inside the roof cavity to escape at night, even though it does not run during the night?
    My bathroom ceiling exhaust runs into the ceiling, so that will be ideal.

    1. Hi Mike

      The Solar Star passive vents at night similar to a wind turbine through natural air convection.

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