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January 2009

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missdotti in the_small_stuff

DYI Solar Heating

In my search for various things, I recall running across some sites that had some DYI solar heating projects. I haven't had much use for those, since I've so far lived in an apartment that is normally ungodly hot year round. With the exception of the few days it's it's way below freezing, of course.

But, now that I am about to move into an older model trailer and will actually have to pay for my heating costs, I am diligently searching for these sites so I can send the specs to my father and brother so that one of them may decide to start building some of these units.

First there's this site. Ultimately helpful in many of my trailer-life endeavors. Although reading the articles make me stare blankly and drool after a bit. I am hoping my brother and/or father can understand them a bit more and will help me out.

My favorite unit, though, belongs to this site. Granted, in Michigan, we have deposits on most of our aluminum cans, so we just turn them back in for a 10 cent refund. But we have some other cans that don't have the deposit. Also, we live right near the Ohio border where they just toss their cans. So getting cans for this project would be very easy. This is also a design that I could see myself being more able to accomplish on my own.

What is cool is that Tim and I went to the trailer today so I could show him around the back of it. We peeked in the shed and there's tons of extra wood lying in there. I also have a couple of aquariums that I no longer use and I could dismantle them for the glass. Barring that, Plexiglases is pretty cheap around here, and I could save myself some time by having it pre-cut. The guy at the hardware store that I normally buy things from likes me (in a fatherly sort of way) and tends to knock a bit off the price for me.

I could easily see a unit like this effectively trimming at least 15% off my heating bill, depending on how big I build it and also how well.

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