When it comes to solar energy, most people consider it synonymous with solar panels, and the generation of electricity. But really few people know that solar air heating can save you money, and not for electricity.
Solar air heating is quite common in countries such as Australia, China, Greece or Israel, but the United States have a lot to pick up in this area. The name pretty much speaks for itself, as solar air heaters are simple devices, which typically consist of an absorbing medium, insulation to prevent heat loss and a way to transfer the heat into the living space. Sounds too simple? Well, that’s just how it works, no hidden secrets; in fact, they’re so simple, many people choose to build them themselves instead of buying from professional companies. The absorbing medium can be nothing more than a painted aluminum sheet, the insulation can be silicone and the transportation medium usually consist of regular pipes. I’ve even seen people build them from soda cans painted black, and working just fine at dirt cheap prices.
However, they are rather complementary heaters, being able to supply only a part of the necessary heating. Typically, they account for 25%, but if built in very suitable areas, such they can go up to 50%, and even more. It is very useful both in households and in industrial buildings; many use it to heat their chicken coops or garages.
So in the long run, using a simple measure like a solar air heater can save you a lot of money in the long run, while not requiring any maintenance or big efforts; you help the planet while also helping yourself. Whether you feel confident and want to build one yourself and spend as little as possible, while also enjoying great quality, or you want to just buy one and spare yourself of the work, I cannot recommend a solar air heater enough. Having built a couple myself, I can tell you that with a minimum of care and thoughtful work you can get great results as well, so personally I would encourage that course of action, but the choice is yours – and so are the benefits.