Affordable DIY Solar Heating System
Mother Earth News recently featured an extensive article covering instructions on building your own small-scale solar heating system for as low as $30. The 9 page tutorial includes step by step instructions from Don R. and George Waterman of Springfield, Missouri, and is based on their experience installing the system on their 30×40 insulated workshop. According to Don, the system successfully supplies enough power to keep the building’s interior comfortable in near-zero degree weather.
“We think that’s pretty good performance for a total installation cost of $30. As a matter of fact, it’d still be darned good performance if we’d have bought everything new and spent, perhaps, $100 on the solar heating system. The bottom line, then, is that for very little cash outlay we’re tapping a meaningful amount of the sun’s energy for use in our family workshop. The question I’d like to ask you, then, is: Are you sure you don’t have a workshop, playroom, or other enclosed area that you need heated only during the day … for which this very simple, low-cost, nonstorage sunpowered system that can be largely constructed from scrounged materials wouldn’t be ideal? Once it’s up, you know, all you have to do to keep this solar furnace working for years is [A] supply its blower with a small amount of electricity, and [B] replace that plastic every two years. Which is a pretty inexpensive way to heat in this day and age!”