Whirlybirds vs Solar Roof Ventilators Comparison

Roof Ventilators

With the country hitting record temperatures of around 47.3℃ earlier this summer, the climate in Australia can often get out of hand. In instances such as this, homeowners often find that even the best of air-conditioning is not enough.  It is exactly in these kinds of situations that roof ventilators are deemed to be most useful.

Designed to remove the hot air inside your home through a continuous circulation of hot and cold air from your roof space, there are two primary types of devices available on the market, wind-powered whirlybirds and solar roof ventilators.

Our blog this week dives into the pros and cons of each device, proving, once and for all, which device is best for your home.


Often referred to as whirligigs, these devices remove accumulated heat through the kinetic energy of wind power. These devices are either electrically powered or are passive wind-driven devices. Given that the latter is more affordable, most people prefer this type to its electrically powered counterparts.

Traditional whirlybirds operate through the motions of the wind. The metal upper part of the device is equipped with engineered fins that scoop up the wind. Through this energy, it powers up the turbine, causing the vent to rotate. This action vacuums the hot air from the inside of your home.

One of the biggest criticism of these devices is its reliance on wind energy. Often, on the hottest days of the year, when ventilation is most required, wind powerful enough to power the device can be hard to come by.

Secondly, devices more suited to the specifications of a home have a somewhat limited capacity, moving around 100 cbm/h at around 12 km.h wind speeds. At this range, a single solar roof ventilator can equal the power of 10-30 whirlybirds.

Industrial whirlybirds are the only devices capable of matching the efficiency of solar ventilators.

These come with a capacity of 2700 cbm/h at 12 km/h winds and 3400 cbm/h at 16 km/h. The problem here isn’t one of capacity, but that of a lack of wind when it is needed the most.

Apart from this, it is also not common for homes and day-to-day commercial building to be outfitted with such industrial devices.

Such wind ventilators, however, work 24 hours a day – a massive advantage over their solar competitors. They also usually come with a 15-year warranty, outranking those provided for solar ventilation systems. They’re also significantly cheaper, make it a lucrative option for families who can’t make an upfront investment required for solar ventilation systems.

Solar Roof  Ventilators

Solar roof ventilators are, needless to say, powered by the light and heat of the sun. On the whole, this makes it a far more efficient performer than whirlybirds. This gives them the unique ability to reduce roof temperatures by around 30℃ and room temperatures by 6℃.

While homeowners can expect to incur a relatively higher initial cost compared to that for whirlybirds, these are often offset by the incentives and tax rebates offered by local governmental schemes. Given that they are also more effective in reducing internal heat, these devices reduce the load on a home’s air-conditioning unit – contributing to lowered electricity bills in the long run.

Solar roof ventilators also take out between 5 to 10 times more air than a whirlybird and come equipped with an inbuilt thermostat, causing them to automatically switch off during the winter. Such ventilators also have a longer lifetime, in spite of their limited warranty.

Despite these impressive features, however, they’re not without fault. The devices are known to be somewhat noisy and often costs 3-4 times the price of a whirlybird. Further, due to their limited warranty, cleaning and maintenance is often a stressful and complicated process. The devices come only in black, making it somewhat unsightly if you’re concerned about the curb appeal of your property.

Key Takeaways

In comparing these ventilation devices, it is clear that despite the strong features possessed by whirlybirds including greater affordability, a better warranty, and technically limitless hours of operation, solar roof ventilators are the far superior device.

Equip your home with the best of cost-saving, cooling technology with a solar ventilation system in place! At Earthsave Solar, we provide you with the best of products and service. Contact us today for superior solar ventilators for your home.

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