Welcome to the DIY Solar Air Heating Building Guide & Video site!
You're probably here because you're in search of the best DIY solar air heater design that you can build successfully on your own. You've likely seen many solar air heater designs on the Internet and might be unsure about which method to follow. I've made this decision easier by designing a better performing solar air heater that is easy to build.
I'm Eric Latocki and my DIY Solar Heater Building Guide & Videos explain the building process. It looks as great as it performs so you're going to be excited to install it on your home or space needing extra heat. This heater unit took about 5 hours to build and the mounting frame takes a couple hours to depending on the mounting method.
With my past fabrication experience in the industrial oven and heat treating industry, I learned how to build heat-transferring plenums from scratch with large cutting and bending machines. My goal is to help you to build your own plenum without heavy machinery and with commonly available materials.
I also found a fantastic automatic Bluetooth-enabled fan and controller that increases and decreases the fan speed according to the sun's intensity. You'll find this in the guide and materials list.
This heater meets the following criteria:
is simple enough for the average person to quickly build
provides an easy-to-locate material and tool list
uses no glass, wood, soda cans, or power tools
uses readily-available, long-lasting materials
strong, rigid, and lightweight design
safe for family and pets
high performance heat output
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Concepts from past industrial heating systems are incorporated into our design.
My guide offers you a design that closely mimics what we would have fabricated in our factory as seen above. This design also follows the "Flat Panel" design that even the US government acknowledges is the most efficient mode for solar air heat capture.
As a professional industrial heating system fabricator who has built countless heating systems, I designed this solar heater with the same design features we incorporated into those industrial systems like I had a hand in fabricating below.
I simply substituted materials our company would have hand-fabricated in-house with commonly-available materials that provide the same functions. The materials I selected almost dictated themselves into the design, making me always say:
"This thing almost builds itself!"
I designed our solar heater from brand new materials easily found at your local big box building stores; Home Depot, Menards, as well as Amazon. You shouldn't have to spend more than a day locating your materials.
There are very few materials, very little cutting, no dangerous saws, and no nonsense, easy-to-find, long-lasting, lightweight materials. This solar air heater is durable, rigid, will stand up to insane weather and be your heating buddy for many many years.
You won't get left behind.
To ensure that you have the best experience and help should you need it, I decided that instead of sending readers to a static PDF guide, I'd create a group that would offer quick help to our builders. I also wanted to be able to instantly share live guide updates quickly and easily.
You're not just getting the guide and video, but gaining access to our members-only group that lets you chat with other builders and myself, ask questions, and share your own ideas and solar heater projects.
Get up close and watch over my shoulder as I build this unit in just one day. I designed your Solar Air Heater with extreme simplicity in mind. I've included tons of detailed step-by-step photos and step-by-step video. This guide and video make building your solar heater fun, fast and virtually mess-free. You can build this in the comfort of your living room or outside on a flat surface.
But I've seen so many solar panel heaters.
I can't be too harsh of a critic because not every DIY-er out there has experience in plenum building, so I applaud any and all designs. Yes, they all work to absorb the sun's rays and heat air. However, if you find yourself standing up to your ankles in soda cans, you're doing it the hard way.
There are many designs on the Internet that require materials that are inferior in function, longevity and look unprofessional once complete. Your neighbors might roll their eyes and probably give you grief about that soda can "contraption" you just planted in your yard.
In the past, we never built industrial ovens or heating systems from odd materials and neither will you. Our solar air heater uses NO cans, NO wood, NO nails, and NO heavy breakable glass. In fact, our solar heater's front panel is 200 times stronger than glass, ultra light weight, and you don't even need to cut it.
What do I need to build this solar air heater?
I've really done a lot with the materials list to make it extremely easy to locate everything. The DIY Solar Heater Building Guide includes a fantastic full Material and Tool List with links for you to easily pick up and/or order what you need. You can print it out or simply open on your phone when you go to the store. It even includes pictures so you can easily identify everything. The main materials can be purchased in one trip.
How hot can this heater get?
Temperatures exiting the unit can be well over 200°F. A home furnace typically blows 140°F. The temperature here has reached about 230°F and has buried the needle.
Will this work off-grid?
The Automatic Wall Vent Fan Controller Kit runs on a 12-volt motor and comes with a standard US wall plug. It arrives fully assembled. Simply plug it into your inverter from your solar panel or wind generator to heat your cabin, RV, ice fishing shack, animal shelter, or greenhouse for a completely off-grid heating source.
Sold separately, our group gets their discount link to The Automatic Wall Vent Fan Controller Kit inside the members area.
If I run into trouble while building, where can I get help?
You'll be able to ask any questions during your build and get quick answers from me directly. I am available over Skype, Zoom, or over the phone to help you where you need. You can also ask questions through the conversations inside the group area. You have the choice to keep your group membership or opt out at any time and still keep your guide. The guide and video are very clear and it is doubtful you'll have any difficulty.