Roof Ventilation Blog’s 2018 Residential Ventilation Comparison
Another year, another chart! It’s been two whole years since we looked into roof ventilation alternatives. Glad to have you back with us, though.
We’ve had a wealth of enquiries come through from readers who’ve had their roof whirlybirds cease or malfunction. I can count on a single hand how many came through in January this year alone! Whirlybirds just aren’t cutting the heat. And with all these nasty heatwaves that have come over the hot summer season, it’s the perfect time to look into replacements!
We haven’t seen many new companies or products pop up in 2017. But we’ve seen more interest in solar roof ventilation! We’ve investigated the most prominent solar-powered ventilators on the market, and investigated the ranges available.
One of our findings was that many suppliers still only offer their theoretical capacity for airflow & extraction. A few liberties were taken in order to equate measurements into how many cubic metres of air are extracted per hour—some companies simply don’t make it easy to find the measurements!
It is worth stating that while variety is very much similar to 2016, we swept each product for relevancy & currency. Solar Whiz‘s SW-RAF2100 changed decibel rating, and it seems the Edmonds Airomatic too, had a slight change of decibel rating.
Anyway, onto the chart!
Roof Ventilation Alternatives Break-down
The first image gives us an insight into solar roof ventilation. Solar ventilation isn’t necessarily a new concept, but it’s a stronger alternative to unpowered, ambient ventilation. Some consumers say that it’s simply re-inventing the wheel. However, there are some tyres out there that simply perform better than others at their job.
Compared to the cheap whirlybirds that you might find in a hardware store, solar ventilators are capable of extracting huge amounts of air. A passive ventilator such as a whirlybird relies on the wind—something a mechanical, powered whirlybird doesn’t need. By using sunlight to keep the sun out, a solar roof ventilator achieves what standard whirlybirds cannot.
The Solar Whiz supplies a wide range of models from their smaller SW-RAF700 to the powerful SW-RAF2100. The only significant change we’ve seen since 2016’s chart is the sound increase for their RAF2100 model. It now reaches 60db(A) according to their current measurements. This isn’t the quietest whirlybird alternative, but the sheer power of a RAF2100 seems to make up for it. Solar Whiz claims that their ‘Real-Air-Flow’ line measures their airflow capacity based on actual capacity, not a theoretical roof capacity. Quite the extraction potential! As usual, they continue to offer adjustable thermostats and night operations.
Next we’ve got Solar Star, another leader of the solar ventilation market. Their tidy-looking units come in two distinct forms, the RM1200, and the RM1600. These two ventilators shunt out a respective 1,200 to 1,600m3/h. They, as well as Solar Whiz, pride themselves on being distinctly superior to conventional whirlybird units. And as we know very well, Whirlybirds Suck.
Speaking of whirlybirds, we’ve popped a standard whirlybird up for comparison’s sake. It’s very difficult to get an average estimate of airflow capacity or sound as each whirlybird differs to the next. But these estimates are gathered from cheaper whirlybirds that many homeowners turn to. These sub-par ventilators are capable of extracting heat & moisture—don’t get us wrong! But they’re simply not good enough to make a difference without purchasing an insane amount. This can mean from eight to ten of them for your ‘average’ Australian home.
Lastly, we’ve got the SolarArk SAV20T. SolarArk provides a range of models, but we’ve elected to choose one of the more efficient solar-powered models that can assist homes of any facing. Their traditional units both have PV panels built into the cap. The SAV20T is capable of extracting a theoretical 2718m3/h. Again, this is only theoretical, and we have yet to see what the actual capacity is once hindered by the rest of the parts. Another benefit, however, is the inbuilt thermostat which gives you more flexibility over the ventilator’s abilities.
Edmonds & More Ventilators
Edmonds’ Windmaster is a go-to ventilator for many homeowners looking for a cost-effective heat exhaust solution. In terms of whirlybirds, the Windmaster is perhaps the most reliable of the lot. Edmonds as always does a fantastic job of listing information that can be publicly sourced. That said however, a whirlybird is still a whirlybird. The WindMaster isn’t a reliable ventilator, as you would need several to adequately ventilate a property. It’s worth using the Windmaster as a measurement to inform your decisions for ventilation, however.
The Airomatic is one of Edmonds’ strongest residential ventilators. It isn’t a solar-powered ventilator but instead runs on mains electricity. Mechanical ventilators provide you with dedicated ventilation, capable of extracting air without relying on wind & excessive heat. The Airomatic provides you with a comfortable amount of heat extraction while operating at a generally quiet level, and providing night cooling.
The SMV300 Powervent is one of Skydome’s lesser-known products. Skydome typically revolves around skylighting solutions but offers a fairly powerful mechanical ventilator. They measure the extraction potential in litres, claiming the SMV300 is capable of expelling 15,000 litres of air per minute. Naturally, this sounds like quite a lot! After a quick conversion calculation, however, we discovered they are capable of extracting near 900m3/h. Again, this is only a theoretical capacity, and we don’t know what it is actually capable of ventilating.
Solar Bright Maxbreeze
The Maxbreeze is an interesting product. They don’t offer a very comprehensive guide on their extraction capabilities, though do offer a variety of optional add-ons. The Maxbreeze’s potential is measured by the size of your property, and angle of your roof—something of an arbitrary measurement. In an effort to expose other solar ventilation products.
**(Be aware that this chart outlines information as it has been published by the companies themselves, or else is sourced via brochures handled by their distributors/dealers. It is difficult to get exact measurements of airflow, as manufacturers use different methods measure airflow.)
That wraps up the chart! We’re actively keeping an eye out for new products, so if any pop up—we’ll be sure to give it a look. In the meantime, feel free to download the chart for yourself via the link below:
Download the Roof Ventilation Alternatives Chart 2018.
If you feel like shooting us a question, feel free to contact us. We’ll try and get back to you on the same day!
Happy hunting with your ventilation solutions!