Which is Better – A Solar Roof Vent or Whirlybird?

A corrugated metal roof with four roof vents is shown from above. In the background, there's a two-story building with large windows and surrounding green foliage.

There’s no denying that having the right ventilation in your house or commercial property is important. But how do you go about choosing the right ventilation system? How do you know you’re getting the best results for your money? Fortunately, in today’s article, we’ll be discussing the difference between solar roof vents vs. whirlybirds and which one is better for you. Continue reading to find out more about these two ventilation methods, which one is better, and how you get the best ventilation all year round.

What is the Difference Between Solar Roof Vents vs. Whirlybirds?

A solar roof vent is a vent powered by the sun making it a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. It will help extract hot air from your roof cavity in order to keep the rest of your house cool. A roof vent is an ideal option during the hotter months of the year when the heat is unbearable in your home. On the other hand, a whirlybird relies on the wind to extract the heat from your home. It’s environmentally friendly but its design means that when there’s no wind, the heat won’t be extracted from your house. Of course, it’s also budget-friendly but it can be completely ineffective at times. Here is a breakdown of similarities and the differences when comparing the two systems:


Both systems are reasonably easy to maintain, therefore it will be more beneficial to look at the results that each of the systems would provide for your space.

Aesthetics and Home Value

A whirlybird will stick out on your rooftop while a solar roof vent has a much flatter design, so it won’t stick out and affect your home’s rooftop aesthetics. If the look of your house is important to you then a solar vent is likely the best option for you. It’s important to note that a lot of people are also going solar as it also adds to your home’s value.


Some people may be concerned with the amount of airflow a whirlybird can provide. Installing a whirlybird doesn’t guarantee that your home will have regulated temperatures, while a solar vent does. The solar operation of the roof vents mean that it will keep working consistently to regulate temperatures. A typical 250mm diameter wind vent product (whirlybird) is quite inefficient and will typically move 85-100m³ of air per hour. Having 1-4 wind vents will still impact your home, but to achieve good ventilation results you need at three air changes per hour (five is even better). Based on that calculation, most homes would need 6-8 wind vents, while a single Solar Star system will exceed that level of ventilation even on a cloudy day.

Which is Better – A Solar Roof Vent or Whirlybird?

There’s no denying that both ventilation systems can do the job however, you want to make sure that you’re getting value for money. As already stated, with a whirlybird you would have to rely on the wind to work the system – cost free, but inconsistent. On the other hand, a solar roof vent can consistently work even with only a bit of sunlight, which is guaranteed no matter the weather conditions. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting hot during high temperatures or cold during winter as a solar roof vent will regulate the temperature in your home on any day. Our recommendation? Choose a solar roof ventilation system. Solatube’s Solar Star roof ventilation system has a high-performing, solar power design that is easy to install. Quickly installs with no wiring, assembly or mess. Say goodbye to uncomfortable summers and freezing cold winters with a unit that takes less than an hour to install! In terms of value for money, the cost of installing three quality wind vents approximately equates to the installation of one Solar Star.

Why Correct Ventilation is Important

Why is it so important to pick the right system? Correct ventilation is important for the following reasons:

  1. If your house changes temperatures drastically with heat or cold air trapped inside of your roof cavity, mould can start to grow. This is extremely dangerous for everyone in your home because it can cause lung problems or breathing issues. Additionally, mould will ruin the integrity of your roof’s structure.
  2. You will end up spending more money using your cooling systems in order to offset the temperature problems, resulting in increased electricity bills.
  3. Proper ventilation improves comfort. You may not even realise how much of a difference there will be with the right ventilation until you install the correct ventilation system. The correct ventilation system will remove heat trapped in your roof cavity to optimise the temperature in your home.

For more information on solar roof vents, contact The Skylight Shop Melbourne today for a free quote! Have the best living space possible with the right ventilation system.