The 8 Best Solar-Powered Fans of 2023

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The 8 Best Solar-Powered Fans of 2023

There are a variety of situations where you want to cool off an area that doesn't have an electrical outlet nearby, like a shed or greenhouse, or a space that's tough to access, like an attic. You can always buy a portable power station as a solution for some of these scenarios, but if you're looking for a more permanent fix for your home, consider investing in a solar-powered fan.

Solar-powered fans harness the sun's rays to provide clean energy — and help reduce the cost of your home's electric bill, particular during the hottest months of the year. There are large models designed to be installed on a roof or in an attic that can help make your AC run more efficiently, and portable solar-powered fans designed for outdoor activities such as camping. Read on for our top recommendations, plus what everything you need to know before you shop.

Looking for more ways to cool down? Check out our stories on the best outdoor ceiling fans, tower fans, pedestal fans, and oscillating fans.

The best solar-powered fan for your needs depends on where you plan to use it. There are options that are powerful enough to cool homes or outbuildings, such as sheds and greenhouses, providing HVAC savings. Permanently installed solar-powered attic fans, like our best value pick, can significantly reduce AC costs—in some cases by up to 30 percent—just by moving hot air out of that space. These list area of coverage in cubic or square feet, as well as the amount of airflow they create, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

You’ll want to consider installation requirements, how far away from the fan the solar panel can be mounted, and how the fan is controlled. Most solar-powered fans have integrated batteries to run at night, and some connect to your home's electric system. Additional features include integrated thermostats, lights, multiple settings, and remote control.

If you’re looking for a personal fan, there are a variety of compact models that can be used for outdoor activities like camping that are lightweight and portable. These are designed to cool small areas, like a family tent or picnic table, and usually have limited settings, so you may want one with an integrated battery for a cool breeze after sunset.

To find the best solar-powered fans for a range of applications, we looked at dozens of products from different brands. We aimed to include a variety of both portable and permanent models within a range of prices, evaluating each product on its cooling abilities, installation requirements, and special features. We read dozens of reviews for each model to get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses, and we prioritized fans with long warranty periods, especially for those on the more expensive side of the spectrum.

This solar-powered fan is designed for permanent installation and can be used for multiple applications, like cooling a loft or chicken coop. The fan comes in either 12- or 14-inch diameters, and it features five stainless-steel fan blades in a heavy-duty casing. It’s ideal for spaces up to 1,500 cubic feet, and the fan motor is said to have a lifespan of more than 10,000 hours.

The fan comes with a 50-watt solar panel and 16.4-foot waterproof connection cable, and the panel can be folded and angled to better capture the sun’s rays. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have a built-in battery, so the fan only operates during the day.

If you need to cool a large space, we recommend this solar-powered fan, which offers coverage up to 4,200 feet. It has a built-in thermostat switch that turns the fan on or off automatically based on the temperature. The unit comes programmed to turn on when the temperature is above 77 degrees and off when it’s 65 or lower.

Its solar panel can be wall- or gable-mounted, and it comes with a 32-foot cable to connect the two components. The fan also has a traditional plug-in power supply, which automatically takes over if the solar panel isn’t producing enough power to keep the fan running.

Have an outbuilding like a greenhouse or shed that you want to keep cool but don’t want to wire? This exhaust fan is our pick. Powered by a 20-watt solar panel, this model features two five-inch fans mounted to an acrylic panel, suitable for spaces up to 200 cubic feet.

The kit comes with a waterproof solar panel that’s roughly 14 x 7 inches, and an 11-foot cable allows you to mount it quite far away from the fan itself. However, the two fans can’t be separated, and there’s no built-in battery, meaning the fan only runs during the daytime.

Greenhouses require some form of ventilation, and this option is our favorite, with enough power to cool up to 2,250 square feet, plus it's easy to install.

The fan features sealed ball bearings for quiet operation, as well as a thermal-protected motor, and it comes with a 15-foot bale to connect it to the solar panel. There's also mounting tabs for the panel, and the quick-connect wires make for easy DIY installation.

The fan can be reversed, if needed, to pull fresh air into the greenhouse, and it’s also backed by a 25-year warranty. The only downside is that no built-in battery means daytime-only operation.

This solar-powered camping fan features a built-in hook and can also be used as a lantern thanks to three fold-out LED lights. It even props on its side.

The solar charging panel is on the back, and it can last for up to 20 hours per charge, depending on which of the four speed settings you use. It even juices up smartphones and other devices via USB cable, which comes in handy when you’re out in the wilderness.

If the chicken coop lacks electricity and you want to go solar, consider this well-priced, permanent model. The small fan has a weatherproof design that keeps out wind and rain, and it connects to the solar panel via a 16-foot cable. It operates fairly quietly so as not to disturb your birds, but it only works on sunny days, as there’s no battery to store excess power.

If you have a gable-style roof, this model can help keep your home cooler by pushing air out of your attic. The fan is 14.5 inches in diameter, and it’s powerful enough to cool down spaces up to 2,400 square feet.

It has a built-in thermostat that automatically turns the fan on at 83 degrees and off at 72 degrees, and also comes with a standard plug that allows it to operate during the night, if needed.

The solar panel measures 14.5 x 23.5 inches, and it can tilt up to 60 degrees, letting you angle it toward the sun. But if you're picky about aesthetic details, you may not love the lime green color.

You can push hot air out of your attic in the summer with this roof-mounting solar fan from QuietCool. It’s powered by a 40-watt solar panel, and it includes an AC/DC inverter that allows it to operate even on cloudy days or at night. The fan and solar panel are contained in a heavy-duty steel housing, and the solar panel can be rotated 180 degrees and tilted 60 degrees for optimal sun exposure.

This fan has a built-in thermostat that automatically turns the unit on when your attic gets too hot, and it’s backed by a 15-year limited warranty. However, it can be somewhat challenging to install without the right tools, so you may need help from a professional.

Chris Meehan is an internationally published writer, author, and editor with more than two decades of professional experience. He has authored multiple adventure guidebooks with Falcon Guides and his work focusses primarily on the nexus between sustainability and outdoor adventure. He is an experienced gear reviewer, tester, and travel writer who has explored multiple continents. 

Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product reviewer specializing in home, kitchen, and pet products. In her four years as a product tester, she's tested hundreds of items firsthand, and her work appears in publications such as Forbes, USA Today, The Spruce, Food52, and more.

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