Broan Introduces Solar-Powered Attic Ventilator
At the 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Broan-NuTone introduced its Solar-Powered Attic Ventilator (SPAV), which offers top-of-the-line performance and maximum energy efficiency in a part of the house where sweltering temperatures can increase the air conditioning load and lead to higher energy bills.
“Too often, attic ventilation is overlooked as a place for energy savings,” said Karen Formico, Broan-NuTone’s marketing manager for specialty products.
“Proper attic ventilation can actually help keep a house cooler in the summer and can eliminate uneven temperatures, preventing ice dams and moisture build-up in the winter. If winter ventilation is not desired, the unit also comes with the option to add a Cold Weather Thermostat that will disengage the fan when temperatures fall below 50 degress.”
Powered by the sun, the Broan SPAV begins working in the morning at first light, removing moisture from the cool overnight air and ventilating the attic before the heat of the day can build up. A standard powered attic ventilator (PAV) must wait until its thermostat detects a high temperature and signals the ventilator to begin working. According to Formico, by that time the moisture has already seeped into the insulation and the ventilator must work harder to cool the air and run all day when energy costs are higher.
The Broan SPAV is completely solar-powered, requires no electricity or fuel, emits no pollution and costs nothing to maintain. It qualifies for a federal tax rebate of up to 30% of the total cost of the product and installation.
Tax and energy savings can pay for the higher cost of the SPAV over traditional PAVs within one year. “Also, home owners should keep in mind that within five years, a traditional PAV could cost double the initial investment after factoring in utility costs,” said Formico. In the Broan SPAV’s first five years, the average home owner could save hundreds of dollars on energy bills.
With 20-kilowatt output, a single Broan SPAV can do the work of two lesser performing products. Its high-end, whisper-quiet direct current motor is highly efficient and emits no ambient noise. The solar panel is made of high-strength tempered glass that can withstand golf ball-sized hail and hurricane-force winds up to 140 miles per hour; also, it won’t discolor or warp like laminate covers, ensuring continued top-of-the-line performance.
The product’s highly sensitive solar panels are able to power the ventilator even when the light is low. Because the solar panels are so sensitive, they can lie flat on a roof, while other SPAVs must be conspicuously propped up on the roof in order to absorb the sun’s rays.
Available in black, brown or weather wood to match most roof colors, the trim is designed to blend in with the roof’s shingles for a sleeker profile. The SPAVs are easy to install and can be retrofitted into most existing attic ventilation roof openings in a matter of minutes. The ventilators are capable of being remote-mounted and gable-mounted, allowing the solar panel to receive optimal sunlight while placing the ventilator in a more convenient location. For flat or steep roofs, the SPAV can be curb-mounted to create a solid platform and better manage water runoff.
Headquartered in Hartford, Wis., Broan-NuTone is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Leading Suppliers of NAHB.
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