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Install a solar attic fan

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Media Services

Do It Yourself or Not?

9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013

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Use the power of the sun to ventilate your attic with a solar attic fan mounted on the roof. It runs entirely on free energy, so it's passive and an investment that will pay off for years to come. When the fan is mounted at a high point on the roof, you get the most advantage of its power to circulate air and ventilate attic space. Solar fans come in several different designs for different roof profiles. For example, a low profile design is unobtrusive and ideal for most pitched roof applications. For a house with a flat roof, a pitched vent is designed to improve exposure to the sun. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall or have a tile roof, there's a high profile design. The fans come with self-flashing kits designed to provide a leak-proof and seamless installation.

To install a Solar Star attic fan, a carpenter will charge $850, which includes the fan, flashing kit and its installation. You can buy the fan and kit for $700 and install it yourself, assuming you are comfortable working on the roof and have the carpentry skills and tools to cut a hole in your roof safely and accurately. To learn more about the fans, go to http://www.solatube.com, the manufacturer's website.

To find more DIY project costs, and to post comments and questions, visit http://www.diyornot.com and http://www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$850 -- $700 -- 2.5 -- 4.0 -- $150 -- 18 Percent