Rooftop fans are commonly on the roofs of various commercial and industrial buildings. Alternatively, roofers will install them on an exterior wall. They work by pulling hot air out of an attic and cold air into the attic from outside (a similar concept to a vertical discharge unit). Many find it an efficient way to ventilate an attic, but is it one of the best options?
High-quality roof ventilation is essential for your business to have excellent air quality and control moisture. Our rooftop fan guide will determine if they are an option that can help you achieve these outcomes.
What Are the Most Popular Types of Roof Ventilation?
Before focusing on rooftop ventilation specifically, we need to detail the other popular types.
Here are some further details on natural and mechanical ventilation systems.
Natural Ventilation Systems
These systems are the simplest and the cheapest because they rely heavily on natural airflow. To facilitate a natural ventilation system, your business needs sufficient windows, doors and vents to allow natural cool air to enter.
The advantages of using a natural ventilation system are:
- It is energy-efficient because of the lack of need for mechanical systems.
- They are a sustainable way to ventilate a building’s interior.
However, despite these advantages, there are better ways to ventilate a business than natural systems.
For example, you cannot consistently control the airflow because natural systems depend on optimal weather conditions. For example, they are not adequate during extreme weather conditions like storms.
Mechanical Ventilation Systems
Unlike natural systems, mechanical systems generate air using fans (or other systems) distributed across the buildings.
The advantages of using a mechanical ventilation system include:
- The airflow is much easier to control than a natural system.
- It is better if your area is subject to various climate changes.
- It can filter air to improve its quality in a building.
However, some aspects hold mechanical ventilation systems back, including their high energy consumption levels and high costs for installation and maintenance.
What Are the Advantages of Using Rooftop Fans for Ventilation
While natural and mechanical systems have upsides, rooftop fans have various benefits.
Here are the main benefits of using rooftop fans for ventilation and how they compare with other systems.
They Can Remove Heat from Your Building Effectively
Controlling the airflow can be a significant concern when using a natural ventilation system; this is not a problem when using a rooftop fan.
By removing hot air from rooms in a building and pulling cold air in, they keep your business cool. This is a constant process, so you get consistent airflow across the company.
The rooftop fan process also uses less energy than a mechanical system, making it more sustainable. They are significantly more sustainable during hot weather because they can expel it from the business instead of countering it with air conditioning.
They Can Improve Air Quality in Your Business.
As well as keeping the air cool in your business, rooftop fans can improve its quality.
Stale air is unpleasant to live in and can contain multiple airborne contaminants. Because of this, rooftop fans continuously remove it from rooms, leaving a fresh and clean environment for you to inhabit.
It can also be helpful for your health as it removes volatile compounds and allergens from the air in the building.
Furthermore, if you have an air purification system, you can integrate rooftop fans with them.
It Can Control Moisture on the Roof and in Your Business
The final advantage of rooftop fans is that they can control moisture in your business. If mould begins to grow in your business, it can cause substantial structural damage, so moisture control is essential.
By removing the hot air from certain areas of the building, rooftop fans also remove the humidity, which is one of the main causes of mould buildup. Also, the air from outside is drier; mould loves damp weather conditions, so dry air can prevent it.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Rooftop Fans?
Although rooftop fans can be beneficial for a residential building, there are a few drawbacks you should know about, including:
- The cost of rooftop fan installation can be expensive. For example, your roof may need a costly structural assessment to determine if it can support a rooftop fan system.
- The installation can be complex. For example, if an installer incorrectly creates the fans’ openings, rainwater can seep through and cause leaks.
- The fans can generate noise; when running at higher speeds, this can be disruptive. The noise can also create vibrations, which you may notice at higher speeds.
- Rooftop fans require regular maintenance to ensure they are still working correctly. You also need to clean them often to remove dust and dirt.
What Types of Roof Mounted Fans Are Available to You?
Now you know the advantages that rooftop fans can get you, you may want to jump straight in and purchase one.
However, before you do, we must explain the different fan types.
Roof Exhaust Fans
These rooftop fans remove stale air from the interior of a building and expel it outside. They use a negative pressure mechanism to draw out the air.
The most common use for these is for industrial buildings and commercial kitchens, but they are also helpful in a bathroom.
Supply Rooftop Fans
These rooftop fans force dry air into an interior to improve air quality and regulate temperature.
Many industrial and commercial buildings use these rooftop fans. They are instrumental in buildings with a lack of fresh air.
Mixed Flow Rooftop Fans
These rooftop fans control airflow more than the other fan types because of the combination of aspects from centrifugal and axial fans. If a building needs a compromise between air pressure and airflow, this type is the one to buy.
HVAC systems in industrial and commercial buildings often use these.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Rooftop Fan?
Before you choose a type of rooftop fan for your building, here are some things you must consider.
- Think about how many rooftop fans you will need for the size of the building. A larger building will need more rooftop fans. Also, consider where the best places are to put the fans and if the fans are suitable for the rooftop types (consider the material of tiled roofs).
- Determine if you need fans that can deal with extreme weather conditions. Thankfully, most rooftop fans will have this capability.
- Consider if the workforce will be able to hear the noise from the fans. Buy a model with lower noise levels for a quiet office space.
- Check the energy efficiency levels of the rooftop fan product. Most products will be energy efficient, but it is still worth checking.
Final Thoughts on Whether Rooftop Fans Are Excellent for Roof Ventilation
Rooftop fans offer many benefits to a building that some other fan products can’t. The main benefits you need to remember include:
- They can remove excess heat from the building.
- They can help to improve the quality of air in the building.
- They can control moisture levels to prevent mould buildup.
Remember that before buying a rooftop fan product, you must consider your specific needs. Consider what products will work for your building and if you need to make considerations concerning the workforce (the noise level, for example).