Heat your home with the the sun and lower your heating bills...

Solar heating significantly decreases the load on your furnace and your fuel bill by blowing sun-warmed air right into your home. 

"I am so happy with the results that I just got off the phone with ordering another batch of Pro-Rib panels in order to match the first successfully installed "Eric Latocki" Solar unit which will set along side the original, as planned!"

~Rory R.

There are so many solar heater designs out there that it's difficult to arrive at a design you can actually imagine yourself building.  Many solar furnace designs work well -once built, but are very difficult to build, including the soda can solar heaters.  You want to build the BEST solar heater out of common sense easy-to-find items that are affordable -and will serve your needs for many years -without falling apart like so many other designs.  And if you're anything like me, you want to get your solar heater done quickly and start heating your home as soon as possible! Not only will you have the best functioning solar heater, you are also provided the absolute best automatic fan controller and filtered wall vent kit available.  (You get our special discount when ordering at the link to the right!)

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Hi everyone, Eric here.  Welcome to my site.  I come from an industrial heating system background and have always been interested in alternative energy solutions.  I had experimented with several designs for solar air heating and found so many flaws/irritations in their design and fabrication.  I knew there HAD to be a better design for a do-it-yourself flat panel solar heater that anyone could build, without the stinky soda cans, heavy glass and wood, and dangerous tools! When I design anything, I want it to be super durable, simple to build, and do what it's intended to do. 

Why the flat panel solar heater design?

The flat-plate solar collector is one of many possible types of solar collectors. It is the most efficient type of collector for use with temperatures between the freezing and boiling points of water and up to about 350 degrees F. when used with air as the working medium. Flat plate collectors are normally used with the flat surface facing south and tilted to an angle appropriate to the intended use.  

"Insolation is the rate of solar energy arriving on a specific flat surface perpendicular to the line of the sun. At sea level, the least possible loss is 29 to 30 percent. The maximum possible insolation is therefore about 70 to 71 percent of the solar constant., or about 320 BTU per hour per square foot. No solar collector, regardless of shape or design can deliver more than this maximum possible value, without energy input from some other source.

A “black body” is any material capable of absorbing radiant energy, and therefore also is capable of re-radiating the energy. A “perfect” black body absorbs and re-radiates 100% of the radiant energy striking it. “good” black bodies are used in solar collectors and they absorb and re-radiate (if not cooled) 90 to 96 percent of radiant energy arriving."  solarexpert.com

My goal is to show you how to build a flat panel solar heater that's much easier to fabricate than so many designs you've seen before. 

Because it's built much in the same way as a real industrial furnace plenum is, it goes together fast and simple.  Again, form follows function.

Here's a fantastic example of what you can do for mounting.  Here, Rory has used unistruts to fasten to his home.  Read below about his project...

I want to thank Rory R. for sending me his photos of his solar heater mounted on his home and operating.  And I love how you painted the flashing to match your home's siding!

"Your Solar designed unit is almost complete! It looks fabulous! The box is built, sealed and I actually get to finish the last drip edge installation with polycarbonate today. I also elected to install the PVC panel....this thing is bullet proof. :-)  ...Will mount the unit on the outside wall with unistrut in the next couple of days.
Got home yesterday and mounted Solar unit on house wall. Although I have not installed your controller, I did install, wire and properly mount an inline 6 inch 240 CFM fan.  I chose to run 6 inch because I had to run 40 feet of ducting from the solar discharge to inside the Greatroom - which is quite a distance.
[After the install]...
This morning, at 10 am:
Inside house temp: 67 degrees
Outside temp: 48 degrees
Static temp at Solar discharge: 200 degrees F.
Solar temp at vent inside house (40 feet away) [Wow!] "with fan running: 110-117 degrees F. 
[Note: Normally, the air coming out of the solar heater will be around 200-220+ degrees F and the closer you have it to the space you're heating the hotter the air will be.]
As a note: I ran the heater to observe the discharge temp at one of the vents: 116 degrees.
Lastly, I am using a Fluke 568 IR Thermometer to measure with - which is an instrument I rely upon.

~Rory R.

Wow is right!  The flat panel design works so well at converting the sun's rays into usable heat that there's no reason every home shouldn't have a solar heater. 

Easy-to-Locate Materials

You will not find yourself rummaging through recycling bins collecting cans or searching construction dumpsters for used glass doors. Nor will you need to buy heavy, expensive glass, plexiglass or lumber.  When you're finished, your solar heater will look professionally-built, just like the one in the photo above.  Your solar heater is 5 inches deep by 4 feet wide by 8 feet tall and very light weight because of the materials I've chosen! 

Awesome Automatic Fan Controllers

The fan is capable of running on 120 Volts or 12 volts for on or off-grid applications.  The fan is housed in a wall vent (pictured below) that matches the inlet vent.  A thermocouple and computer chip controls the fan and increases its speed as the temperature rises inside the heater, keeping constant positive pressure and increasing your fan's lifespan.  If a cloud passes overhead, the fan slows down or stops completely under low sun.  Just plug it in and let it heat your home hands-free. 

 

Solar Heater Fan/vent kits are available at the link to the right.

Another money saving use

Did you know that your clothes dryer is one of the worst money-wasting appliances in your home?  By connecting your solar heater to the rear intake on your dryer, your dryer can pull in sun-heated air instead of consuming gas or electricity. 

High Strength 

This solar heater is designed with rigid yet light weight materials and can take a direct hit from the kid playing baseball across the street to the next hail storm. Because there's no glass, it is very light and 100 times as strong as glass.  The structure of this solar heater is similar to that of an industrial oven plenum and therefore is very rigid.

Portability

Nobody wants to build a heavy floppy solar furnace that's going to fall apart when they need to move or store it.  Because of the light weight rigid materials, you'll be able to bring your solar furnace to the cabin, on an RV trip, or even to the ice fishing house without worry over it falling apart.  

 High quality wall vent kits

Filtered wall vents keep your solar heater and the air inside your home filtered of dust and other contaminants.  Simple to install and simply plug in.

You'll draw in cold clammy floor level air through the heater and circulate it back into the house heated and filtered.

 

Order your wall vent kit with fan and controller is available at the link to the right and you also get it for $20 off the manufacturer's price.

A Solar Heater designed to go together FAST!

I designed this solar furnace to go together as fast and easy as possible.  There's no wood to saw, no glass to hunt for or cut or break!  All your materials for the solar heater will fit on a single lumber cart at the local building center. 

By following my step by step directions and photos, you can pick up your materials with my materials list on Friday and have this heater assembled by the end of the weekend. 

This solar heater design is superior because...

No dangerous tools - No wood and no saws!  A drill is the only power tool needed.  We'll use simple hand tools for the rest.  
Glass free - Instead, we use a stronger-than-glass transparent insulating cover panel that can take a direct hit from hail, baseballs, and rocks without shattering.
Looks great - After building your solar heater, your neighbors might assume you bought yours from a dealer, and then probably will beg you to build one for their home!  Don't.  They'll just ask for more.
Years of savings - You can't escape rising fuel prices.  You can reduce the fuel you use to heat your home for years to come. 

Read the book on your smart phone, tablet or computer.  It takes just one weekend to complete your solar heater and all the parts are easily found at your local building center.  Fan and vent kits sold separately at link to the right.  If you have questions, you can always email me and I'm most happy to help in any way I can.  You can also start or join in on the conversation through our blog post widget to your right.

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ACCESSORIES:

SOLAR HEATER FANS

AND WALL VENTS (Combo Kits)

We have the BEST solar heater fans to integrate with your Solar Air Heater! Includes two beautiful filtered wall vent units (see below). *Starts, stops, speeds up and slows down according to sun's intensity! Nice and quiet and it always keeps the correct air pressure flowing into your home.

Order now to ensure arrival by the time you get done building your solar heater after reading the guide.

Order yours here and save $20 with our special price!

 

"Great set of plans!  I know what I will be building this weekend!"

Durable solar heater with easy-to-find Materials.

Automatic fan controllers are available here.

Filtered wall vent kits make your installation look and work great!