Solar attic fans: a ventilation solution for backyard agriculture

A domed greenhouse with a solar attic fan installed.

While solar attic fans are often touted as sustainable ventilation solutions for homes, their benefits also extend to the growing trend of urban backyard agriculture. 

Recent years have seen a drastic surge in backyard horticulture amongst those with a green thumb. Homes and Gardens magazine, for instance, reports a 200 per cent rise in the number of online searches for backyard greenhouses since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Fueled by concerns over food shortages, this “greenhouse renaissance” has seen a significant rise in demand for greenhouse manufacturing as more and more homeowners seek to grow their own food.

A green ventilation solution for greenhouses

In general, greenhouses are excellent solutions for growing plants in climates that are otherwise unsuitable for their growth. However, their enclosed construction means that moisture and humidity can often get trapped inside. Unless air is regularly circulated in and out of a greenhouse, plants may die once the indoor supply of carbon dioxide runs out. 

In these environments, solar attic fans have proven their effectiveness in controlling indoor moisture and humidity, protecting plants from outbreaks of harmful disease and fungi. Solar attic fans also circulates a steady stream of carbon dioxide into greenhouses to keep plants alive, while facilitating pollination. Although larger fans like iSolar Solutions’ 40W-INT and 18W-INT models are typically used in larger greenhouses, smaller solar attic fans like the bestselling 20W106-FLEX have been successfully used to ventilate smaller outdoor structures.  

Because solar attic fans rely solely on solar power, homeowners are spared from added costs to their monthly electricity bills. They also avoid the complexities of having to wire an outdoor structure to the local electrical grid. 

Keeping backyard chicken coops cool

Professional chicken farmers have long recognized the importance of ventilating their coops. Toxic gasses like ammonia can build up inside over time without adequate air circulation. Chicken coops are also notorious for moisture buildup, and are havens for mould and mildew growth without proper ventilation. 

Like greenhouses, chicken farming has been making significant inroads into urban areas. A growing number of North American cities have now been allowing backyard chicken coops to be built. In fact, the allure of self sufficient food production has led to a spike in backyard chicken farming since 2020. 

In these environments, solar attic fans present homeowners with a sustainable option for keeping their backyard coops healthy and dry. Chickens, for instance, require at least one square foot of ventilation per animal inside a coop. Traditional methods of ventilation like drilling holes into exterior walls or adding windows may not achieve adequate air circulation. This is especially true in regions with inherently hot and humid climates. Solar attic fans like the 20W106-FLEX are capable of moving up to 400 cfm (cubic feet of air per minute). This far exceeds the minimum 5 cfm of ventilation per chicken needed to keep a backyard coop healthy. 

Interested in learning more? 

To find out more about how a solar attic fan can improve circulation and indoor air quality in your outdoor structures, please contact the experts at iSolar Solutions for more information.

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