Solar Box Heater
Solar energy can be used to heat your home in several ways including this easy DIY solution. The idea here is to put solar box window heaters in south facing windows during the winter to supplement your heat needs. The beauty of a solar box window heater is you can make one of these for about $100.
How Solar Box Window Heater Work
The basic idea here is that the cooler room air is drawn into the lower chamber and warmed as it passes over the black heat collector. As the air warms it rises and enters back into the room through the upper chamber.
The heat collector should be spaced in the center of the box so there is about 3″ to 4″ of space above and below the heat collector. The heat collector could be made from almost any material and painted flat black. A more efficient heat collector can be made from a thin aluminum plate painted flat black, mounted 3/4″ of a inch above a heavy foam board. You can use some 3/4″ shims between the aluminum panel and the foam board.
It is important that the bottom and sides of the box be well insulated to improve air flow and prevent heat loss. It is also very important that the entire box be weather tight to prevent moisture from entering as the moisture will reduce the efficiency of the box. The top of the box should be a clear top, either a sheet of clear acrylic plastic or better yet an insulated window pane.
This is one home improvement project that could help offset your winter heating bills and also help out the environment. This winter I may sit down and try to design one and build it to see how well it works. Some of the more efficient solar box window heaters can produce a steady 120 degree air flow on a sunny day.
If you found this interesting you may also like DIY Solar Panels.