4 DIY Solar Air Heating Ideas

Jonathan Deesing | February 29, 2016 | Seasonality

Spring may be on the horizon, but those cold winter-like days may continue to linger around over the next few months. Solar power is a great way to heat and power your home with clean, natural energy. However, if you don’t have solar panels on your roof, you can still create heat for your home, garage, or other indoor space through solar air heating. These four build-it-yourself devices are affordable, simple to construct, and generate heat through solar power!

Solar Air Convection Heater

In a convection heater, air currents circulate through a heating element, heating the air and causing it to rise. Examples of convection heaters include electric heaters, hot water coils, or steam coils. A solar air convection heater harnesses energy from the sun to heat the air. Instructable offers great steps for creating your own solar air convection heater. Or check out the video below for step-by-step instructions from one YouTube DIYer:

Soda Can Air Heater

This great idea combines green energy and recycling! Soda cans are installed on the outside walls of houses, where plenty of sunlight can be absorbed. The idea is to draw air from the ground level of any room and pass it through the heating panel of cans. The air is heated and returned to the same room, but near the ceiling.

Cans are situated in columns and have large holes cut in both ends. The outside of the cans are heated from the sun, and as air passes through, it heats up. The heated air is then released through the other end of the can into the room near the ceiling. Build It Solar has detailed instructions and photos to walk you through creating your own soda can heater.

Window Box Solar Heating


Crunched for time? This DIY window box solar heater can be constructed in just a few hours! It’s an inexpensive project that can last for several seasons if well-constructed.

When the sun shines through the window box, its rays pass through the glass on top, strike the upper surface of the divider, and warm the aluminum foil covering that divider. The foil heats and warms the air near it, which rises up the face of the divider and exits out the opening at the top to heat your room.

Solar Sponge Air Heater


The solar sponge air heater is another DIY option that can be built with supplies from your local hardware store. The design is similar to other heating systems in that it collects cold air, heats it, and releases it in a predetermined space. However, this design takes advantage of dead space in the collector box, which is the box that absorbs solar radiation and converts it into heat.

SolarSponge.com offers an excellent photo and visual description of how the air is designed to flow through this air heater.  Air goes through the bottom, and internal channels push air around the box, heating it up and releasing it at the top. This design is strong enough to withstand harsh weather, like rain or hail.

Check out the links above for a better understanding of how these systems work and how to devise a system of your own!

Have you tried a DIY solar air heating project? Do you have any tips you have to share? Please comment below!

For more DIY solar ideas, visit our Pinterest page.

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