January 19, 2010 – The Home-made Solar Air Heater Quest Begins

We may be getting a new heat-pump water heater (this type removes the heat from the surrounding air to heat the water and uses 1/3 the electricity of a regular water heater).  The downside (at least in the winter) is that it exhausts cool air.  It runs more efficiently if it has relatively warm air to work with, so I was brainstorming about cheap ways to get hot air into the basement.  I found some designs for a hot air solar heater – it’s a simple concept.  Anyone who has found a car with all its windows closed to be warm, even in the winter, knows about the concept – capture warm air in an enclosed space and move it to the basement.

So Martin and I are taking it upon ourselves to make an experimental collector.  First step is to make a frame to hold the air collector. The back was an old, grease-stained sheet of paneling from the garage and the sides are 1x4s.

Next we added insulation to the box – adding a layer of foam board insulation, covered with some of the bubble-wrap reflective insulation.  That’s as far as we are so far, keep tuned for irregular updates as we move along.

one year ago…”Shrubbery Windbreaks”