The best options for venting your home

Ridge vent provides alternative to fans

Q: I am having my two-story, 1930s stucco house in San Mateo, Calif., re-roofed. It currently has two layers — composition shingles over cedar shingles — that are going to be removed. One-half-inch plywood sheeting and new composition shingles will be installed. The roof has plenty of soffit vents and I am adding eyebrow vents. I am considering installing an attic fan.

I would like to know your thoughts on a hard-wired attic fan versus a solar-powered attic fan, or am I going overboard in considering one? The electrical connection is not an issue for the hard-wired unit.

A: The straightforward answer is to go with the hard-wired version. Although we’ve gotten some good reports on the solar-powered models, they have drawbacks.