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Learn about Solar Air Heater

Solar Air Heater

A solar collector that uses sunlight to heat air, that is transferred to the interior of the building for space heating or ventilation. This is a supplementary heating system that provides heat when the sun is shining, reducing the need to run your other heaters.

You need a sunny wall that faces toward the equator (south in the northern hemisphere or north if you are in the southern hemisphere). Somewhat eastward or westward will work reasonably well too. The installation requires that two holes about 4 inches in diameter be made through the wall. These will have ducts installed and then sealed around the openings to prevent air and water from leaking outside. You can purchase solar air heaters for a do-it-yourself installation, or hire a solar contractor to supply and install the unit. A typical unit will completely heat the room it is attached to, on sunny days. Some units come with a small solar photovoltaic (PV) panel to run the fan that moves the hot air. A neat sustainability bonus - while others plug into a wall outlet.

Provides free, clean heat from the sunlight that would otherwise just be hitting the wall of your house. Simple technology with a simple thermostat control that needs little maintenance. When it's not needed in summer, you just turn it off.

Large commercial buildings are using the bigger cousin of the solar air heater, a technology with the trade name SolarWall, to use sunshine to preheat their ventilation air. The largest one in Europe to date is a solar ventilation heater the size of 16 tennis courts, installed on the side of a distribution warehouse in 2013. It saves 11,000,00 kWh per year, enough energy to power over 500 average homes.