Attic Ventilation Update

October 09,2018

In previous press releases it has been announced that I have chosen International Solar Solutions as the ideal partner for us in the area of attic management. Yes, I said management. If you are not managing your attic, it is managing you! 

The illustration above shows that 10 of the 36 key Home Inspection points (when buying or selling a home) are related to the attic. Also, the air-conditioner is also a key point of examination. These key points are being addressed directly or indirectly by proper attic ventilation.

We know that proper airflow in an attic and synchronising attic temperatures with outdoor temperatures will bring homeowners years of pleasure in reduced living space temperatures and longer lasting roof materials.

Our friends at International Solar Solutions (iSolar) of Toronto, ON are continuing to introduce the iSolar Attic Fan to many verticals including New Home builders, Roofing Contractors, Home Maintenance Services and Electric Utility Companies. It is a versatile product on many levels. iSolar was able to convince the IESO to re-establish the category of mechanical attic ventilation on their Measures & Assumptions list of approved energy savings devices. iSolar has spent an exhaustive amount of resources proving not only that mechanical attic ventilation is a strong solution, but the solar-powered attic fans can be one of the highest rewarding trends in home energy efficiency. I will elaborate:

iSolar concluded more than 20 technical tests of its products, more than any other manufacturer in this category. Here are some examples:

  • Electricity savings resulting from reduced air-conditioner run-times caused by lowered temperatures in the living spaces resulting from properly ventilated attics. In Ontario Canada, the IESO sponsored a 1000 home pilot that was conducted by Alectra (formerly Hydro One Brampton). Although the detailed energy savings analysis is not yet concluded, it looks promising. Other smaller sampling pilots ranging from 35 to 350 homes with Entegrus and Collus (utilities) have supported iSolar’s claim of 200 to 400 KWh* in reduced air-conditioner related electricity demand over 90 cooling days in an Ontario summer. * Depending on the attic size, number of fans installed and single or two-story elevation)

  • Negative air pressure in the living space has been a concern but has been well addressed by Buildings Knowledge Canada, an independent and respected testing agency. Their findings concluded that attic fans do not cause negative air pressure or draw enough air from the home any more than a bathroom ceiling fan, which has virtually the same CFM output that iSolar’s product has.

Impacts on temperatures are important. Afterall the number one thing consumers want is ideal home comfort with little or no added cost. An independent study performed by the Florida Solar Energy Center showed that for every single degree F° that the thermostat was set higher, while simultaneously reducing attic temperatures (not necessarily via an attic fan), there was an 8.3% reduction in cooling demand. This suggests that a homeowner could set the thermostat at a much higher temperature target, say 77 or 78°F while an attic fan does its work and reduces the incoming air temperature to the desired effect of say 68 -71°F