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Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Attic Fans FAQ

  • What are the cost benefits of installing a solar attic fan?

    How much money you will save is greatly dependent on the price of electricity in your area, the amount of attic space in your home, the efficiency of your attic insulation, the amount of tax credit and rebates available in your area and the amount of ventilation your solar attic vent is able to provide. In our experience, a typical installation will usually pay for itself within 1-3 summers of use verses powered Attic Fans that can cost up to $35 per month to operate.

     

  • Does my roof already have ventilation?

    Static vents or ridge vents will help but generally do not provide sufficient air movement to pull heat and moisture from the attic – especially during the winter or when the ambient air is stagnate. If you have electric fans in the attic, you will benefit from increased air movement in the summer but at a cost of 350 to 400 watts of power per day! Often, electric attic fans have a thermostat that keeps them inoperable during the winter, just when you need them to expel moisture! A solar powered attic fan runs whenever there is sunlight – and, at no cost of operation.

     

  • Is a solar powered attic fan difficult to install

    Solar Attic Fans are extremely easy to install. A homeowner can install one in less than an hour and a professional in less than 30 minutes. An installation video is available on our website and you can receive additional help by calling 866-446-0966. Only basic tools are required and there is no electrical wiring to connect. We would be glad to refer you to an installer in your area if one is available. If there is not one available we would suggest you call a local handyman or roofing contractor. Your retailer does not provide the installation and does not make any arrangements with any installers, so it is best to call US Sunlight at 866-446-0966 to find out what options for installation services you might have available in your area.

     

  • Are tax credits available for installing a solar powered attic fan?

    Absolutely. The fan qualifies for up to a 30% Federal tax credit. There may be additional energy rebates or tax credits available through your local utility. You can obtain an IRS form 5695 through the internet or visit our Tax Credit Info page on our website, download the form and learn about other possible rebates that may apply.

     

  • My current electric fan is noisy and can be heard from inside the home. Is the Solar Attic Fan noisy?
    The solar powered attic fan is extremely quiet. The solar cell provides power to a super-quiet DC motor. There is no harmonic hum that is common with AC motors.
  • What is the life expectancy of the solar panel?
    The Solar Powered Attic Fan has the latest state-of-the-art solar panel designed to last for more than 20 years. While a standard solar panel can last 5 years or less, our solar panel has a 20 year prorated warranty – the longest warranty in the industry!
  • Are there difference in the solar powered attic fans available in the market?

    Yes! It is possible to find several brands and models with different prices and features. But our Solar Powered Attic Fan has some of the best technology available at the best price, to assure that you have a fan that will last for years to come

    • Our Solar Powered Attic Fan includes a commercial grade, hail resistant solar panel with a unique tilt-swivel design. By maximizing the solar panel’s orientation to the sun you can gain up to 25% more power.
    • We offer a 20 year limited warranty on the solar panel and a 5 year warranty on the motor.
    • Our motor warranty is one of the longest in the industry. In addition, our top of line motor has been designed with a simple brush replacement feature, assuring many years of worry-free performance.

     

  • Is a building permit required to install the Solar Powered Attic Fan?
    To our knowledge, no permit is required.
  • Is additional wiring required?
    No. There is no additional wiring or a need for an electrician to install the unit.
  • Can the black housing be painted to match the roof shingles?
    Yes it can, but you should first prime the housing with an acrylic paint. Be sure to not apply any paint to the solar panel surface.
  • Can I replace my existing static or turbine vent with the solar powered attic fan?
    Yes, in most cases the solar powered attic fan will directly replace existing vents making the installation even easier. In some cases, you may need to modify the existing opening, the installation documentation will take you through each step.
  • Will the solar powered attic fan continue to run after dark?
    Yes. With the addition of the Solar Controller, the Solar Powered Attic Fan can be simultaneously connected to your house electricity and will run for 8 minutes every half hour after dark to provide additional ventilation after sunset.
  • Can the solar powered attic fan be used to vent garages?
    Yes it can! Many of our customers are using the fan to reduce the temperate in the garage or storage shed.
  • Will the solar attic fan leak?
    The Solar Powered Attic Fan is designed to not leak and includes an oversized, steel zinc coated roof flashing integrated into the design. Please refer to the easy installation instructions included in each unit as well as the online video.

Skylight Tubes

  • Will the Skylight Tube allow heat in or out of my home?
    No. The double layer roof lens creates a dual pane effect minimizing solar heat gain and maximizing energy savings.
  • Do Skylight Tubes leak?
    No. The one piece roof lens flashing and double layer roof lens create a completely water tight seal blocking moisture and condensation.
  • Will the Skylight Tube work on cloudy days?
    Yes, the Skylight Tube will pull in and reflect down any available ambient light.
  • How long does it take to install?
    About 2 hours for a professional and about one afternoon for a do-it-yourselfer.
  • Will condensation build up in the tube or fixtures?
    No. The one piece roof lens flashing and double layer roof lens create a completely water tight seal blocking moisture and condensation.
  • Are there any restrictions on Skylight Tube placement?
    With the included 8 feet of flexible tube, the Skylight Tube can be installed anywhere there is a clear path between the roof and the desired location of the light lens in the ceiling. For installations greater than 8 feet, there is also a rigid tube extension available. Contact us for details.
  • Can I install the Skylight Tube myself?
    Definitely. Skylight Tube comes with written instruction in the box, and installation video is available online. If you have any questions, call a customer service representative at 1-866-446-0966.
  • Is an optional light kit available?
    Yes, an optional light kit is available to allow illumination through the ceiling lens during the evening hours.
  • Does the Skylight Tube qualify for Federal Tax Credit?
    Yes, our Skylight Tube qualifies for the Federal Tax Credit (2010 standards).
  • Why is it important to bring in the natural light?
    Natural light is often preferred over artificial light (light bulb, LED, CFL, etc.). It is the most natural light to human eyes, and offers the best environment for extended exposure. There are numerous studies and research highlighting the benefits of natural light over artificial light – psychologically, emotionally, and financially.
  • What are the financial benefits of installing a Skylight Tube?
    Reduced utility bills and reduced dependence on the electric grid.
  • How can Skylight Tube improve my lifestyle?
    The Skylight Tube brings in clean natural light reflecting color in the most natural way, reducing strain on human eyes. Studies also show that decreased artificial light has a positive effect on headache frequency, stress level, and high blood pressure.
  • What type of roof can Skylight Tube be installed on?
    The current model of the Skylight Tube is designed to be installed on shingle roofs.
  • How long is the warranty?
    The Skylight Tube comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
  • Whom can I call to get more product and installation info?
    Call our customer service representatives at 1-866-446-0966 for additional info.
  • Can I get the Skylight Tube installed by professional installer?
    Call our customer service representatives at 1-866-446-0966 to locate the nearest certified installer.

Solar Controller

  • Do I have to connect house electricity to the Solar Controller?
    No. The Solar Controller will be powered by the solar panel when sunlight is available. When sunlight is not available and with no connection to house electricity, the Solar Controller will not function. Attic temperature and humidity will not be monitored. As soon as Sunlight is available the fan , remote and functions of the Solar Controller will operate, including monitoring humidly, temperature as well as the monitoring functions.
  • How can I find out the current status of the fan and attic temperature?

    Click the "Status" button on the remote, to display the following information:

    Attic Temperature

    Attic Humidity

    Fan status - ON, OFF, or Intermittent (during a house electricity cycle)

    Note that the above info will only be available when Solar Controller is powered by sunlight or house electricity. The remote readout will not work when there is no power to the Solar Controller.

  • Does my remote continuing receive information from the fan?

    No, the remote will only gather information when the status switch is selected and there is power going to the control box. If the control box is connected to house power then the remote will display the current condition of the Solar Attic Fan when the status button is selected. If the fan is not connected to the house power and there is no sun powering the Solar Attic Fan then the remote will display nothing when the status button is selected.

    The remote will power off in 20 seconds to conserve power. The remote is receiving If you need additional information you will need to select the status button again to retrieve the most current information.

  • I don't see information displayed on the remote when I hit the status button?

    Check the following:

    The Solar Controller is connected to the AC adapter (house power)

    If the Solar Controller is not connected to AC adapter (house power) is there solar power available?

    The remote control has good batteries (2 x "AAA")

    RF channel on the Solar Controller matches the channel set on the remote control.

    If there items do not work then call US Sunlight at 866-446-0966.

  • How can I change the attic temperature unit (e.g., C to F)?
    You may select the desired unit on the Solar Controller itself.
  • How can I disable the Thermo Switch?
    The Thermo Switch is located at the back of the remote control. Switch to the OFF position to disable temperature sensor. When the Thermo Switch is disabled then the fan will run anytime there is power available.
  • Can I disable the humidistat?
    No. The humidistat is by default ON all times to monitor the attic humidity, and turns the fan on when relative humidity reaches 75%. The fan will be turned off when relative humidity drops below 65%. If the Thermal Switch is enabled the fan will only turn on when the temperature is higher than 80 degrees and/or the humidity is higher than 75%. If you disable the Thermal Switch the fan will run anytime there is available power.
  • Won't using house power add significant cost to my electric bill?
    No! The Solar Controller is uniquely optimized to run the least amount of time possible using the least amount of electricity possible. Since the ambient temperature is continually dropping after the sun sets, the fan only needs to run in short intervals and since it uses a DC powered motor, the amount of actual energy drain is minimal. The additional electricity required will cost less than $5 per year.
  • Is house electricity required to power the Solar Controller unit?
    No! The Solar Controller and remote controller will work when solar is available and the control box will monitor the humidity and temperature of the attic as well as the status of the fan. in order to run the fan after the sun goes down you will need to connect the control box to house power.
  • Is the Solar Controller difficult to install?
    No, it is as simple as connecting two wires and plugging the control box into a power source. For more information please visit the Installation page.
  • Is additional wiring required to install the Solar Controller?
    In order to connect the Solar Controller to house power you will need an electrical outlet within 8 feet of the solar attic fan. If you decide not to connect the Solar Controller to house power or decide to connect to house power at a later date then everything you need to connect the unit is in the package.
  • Can I install the Solar Controller to my existing Solar Powered Attic Fan?
    The Solar Controller has been optimized to work with any U.S. Sunlight products. We do not guarantee the performance if connected to another Solar Attic Fan.
  • Does the Solar Controller work with the Solar Powered Attic Fan and Gable Fan?
    Yes, The Solar Controller has been optimized to work with any U.S. Sunlight product. We do not guarantee the performance if connected to another Solar Attic Fan.
  • What do I do if I install the Solar Controller and get a failure message?
    Start by disconnecting the controller from the house power and the motor, wait about a minute, reattach to the motor, sync the remote to the controller and then plug back into house power. The problem is that they have been plugging into house power before they sync to the controller.
  • The fan has been working for a few days, and is now reporting a failure
    The connections between 1) motor and solar panel 2) motor and Solar Controller, and/or 3) Solar Controller and solar panel could be loose. Please check and re-connect all leads and ensure the leads are securely connected.
  • The fan only runs on House Power, even when the sun is out

    1. Make sure leaves, tree or other objects do not shade the solar panel

    2. The connections between the Solar Controller and solar panel could be loose. Please check and make sure the leads are securely connected.

    3. Check to make sure all wires are connected properly with red-to-red and black-to-black.

    4. If problem persists, please call U.S. Sunlight Corporation

  • The fan is running very slow, even when the sun is out

    With NO house power connection, the only power source is solar. There are a few ways to optimize solar capture, which directly affects how fast the fan runs:

    1. Make sure leaves, tree or other objects do not shade the solar panel

    2. Tilt and Rotate the Solar Panel or Fan Shroud to capture the maximum sunlight. The best location is to have the panel faces south

    3. Ensure all leads are securely connected

    4.Check to make sure all wires are connected properly with red-to-red and black-to-black.

    5. If problem persists, please call U.S. Sunlight

  • When I click on the Status button on the remote, there is no response

    Always make sure batteries have been installed on the remote. With NO house power connection, the only power source is solar. There are a few ways to optimize solar capture, which directly affects the Solar Controller operation, and how fast the fan runs:

    1. Tilt and Rotate the Solar Panel or Fan Shroud to capture the maximum sunlight. The best location is to have the panel faces south

    2. Ensure all leads are securely connected

    3. If problem persists, please call U.S. Sunlight

    With house power connection, house power is the secondary power source.

    4. Go thru step 1, 2, and 3 to ensure solar capture is maximized

    5. Make sure the power adapter is securely connected to the Solar Controller

    6. If problem persists, please call U.S. Sunlight