Earth Day tech: solar-powered attic fan

AtticfanBack in 2005, we turned in our gas-guzzling truck and took stock of a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. We increased our gas mileage from 13 to 30 mpg as a result. Sure we could have gone with a vehicle that gave us even more fuel efficiency, but in our neck of the woods, we need a vehicle with AWD, if not 4WD, so this was the best “earth-friendly” choice we could make.Today I grabbed something else along these lines, just to do my little part for Earth Day. I’ve been waiting to see a solar-powered attic fan readily available and now I’ve found one. This nearly-silent unit set me back $180 and will get installed later this week. It only pushes 500 CFM, which is much less air movement than an electric powered unit, but since we don’t have an attic fan at all right now, it’s better than the current situation. This fan will run automatically whenever the sun hits the 10W panel; no thermostat or switch. That works out well, since the attic is heating up the most when the sun is shining. Hopefully, the unit will save me electricity in the long run. Not because the unit uses no electricity, but because I expect the air conditioning to run less in the summer due to lower heat in the attic. Here’s hoping!