You are the one who believes in the conservation of electricity and as such you take extra care in switching off of the lights which are not required. You have shifted to CFL bulbs and removed the entire conventional bulbs.
You have stopped using your air conditioner to cool your home and instead are using the normal fan or you have set thermostat at 66°during the night. All these efforts are laudable, but have you ever thought of using the alternate source of energy, could be because of paucity of funds, you cannot invest in the Photovoltaic (PV) array or hot solar water system.
The answer to all this is solar air heater. You must determine the window which you will allocate to build the solar air heater, a double hung window can be an ideal choice, it should face south to south west, and should get sun light for the greater part of the day.
You will have to build a frame which is 1 ½” than the clear opening and 36″ to 48″ tall, use treated wood for long life. Ensure that the solar air heater is fixed well and well secured in the window. You must seal all the joints very well, cut the rigid insulation back to fit the frame leaving a gap of around 5 ½” at the top.
Place two spacers in the middle and at the edges which should be around 2″, now add the horizontal rigid insulation between the arms and the bottom and one in the middle of the arms. Make it strong and secure using adhesives on all the four sides.
Cut the corner bead and secure with roofing nails to the insulation with fins pointing outside. Paint the entire interior of the solar heater with black spray paint; apply the compressible foam weather stripping along the face of the entire frame.
You may use silicon sealant that will prevent you to remove glass in future. Insert a piece of the weather stripping between the aluminum angle and the glass. Your solar air heater is ready to be installed. You must make it weather proof so that the heat is not lost.
Once you have opened the window and place the heater inside. Lower the sash and install foam weather stripping along the line where the sash meets the heater. Now cut the air conditioner foam weather stripping as per the width of the sash and insert the same between the sashes at the bottom of exterior sash.
The gaps should be filled between the heater and the window jamb with expandable foam. Now install insulating window film over the window, securing the bottom of the horizontal piece of decking. Now finally cut a piece of rigid insulation to fit the top opening of the heater to prevent any heat loss. You can use an old bath towel also for this purpose.
To keep water out you can also add a piece of aluminum flashing at the top of the solar air heater. Now this installation your solar air heater is ready and installed.
DIY Solar Air Heater Guide
Are you looking for a step by step guide on making your own homemade solar air heater? If you are, check out the Solar Heater Guides web site for a comprehensive manual on making your own DIY air heater using the power of the sun with a limited budget.