Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Solar Heat Catcher

I hate being cold and I hate even more giving the electric company and propane company so much of my money every year. This year I'm stepping up my winterizing game to try to give them less of my money and maybe be a little warmer. On top of that I was talking with a customer yesterday whose son lives out west where the blizzard is hitting right now. They are without electric for who knows how long, which also means no heat!!! I'm hoping not to be without heat this winter, but just in case hopefully the little things I do will help us have some heat. On to today's project, my first Solar Heat Catcher. I have multiple ideas I'm going to try out this year, this is the first, simplest and cheapest. Here is where I got my idea from: Lower Your Heat Bills with a Heat Catcher

List of supplies I used:

Roll of aluminum foil
Can of flat black spray paint (next time I'll use a can and brush, much faster and less fumes)
Packing tape or any other tape you have around.

Short list huh, and the only tools I needed were a tape measure and a pair of scissors.

I picked my dining room french doors to try this on first. They are big areas of glass to get lots of sunlight from and covering them more then half way up means the dogs can't see the cats in the back yard and bark at them :) I didn't want to cover them 100% because I still want light to come in, so I don't have to turn lights on during the day.

I started with measuring how much of the window I wanted to cover up, then cut the foil to the size I wanted. The foil is a little skinnier then my window so I did too pieces for each pane and used packing tape to hold the 2 pieces together.
 All ready to be painted 

I painted these is a spare bedroom, I recommend putting plastic or newspaper down and opening a window for ventilation. I used my $.98 can of Walmart spray paint and they were done in no time.
Painted and ready to hang up

It really didn't take long at all for them to dry and be ready to hang up. I only used packing tape to tape them to the windows.
All taped in place

They aren't pretty, but either is writing big checks to pay my heat bills every month. Once I had them up I also took down the worn out vertical blinds that have seen better days. I found two curtain panels to hang up in place of them. One is dark blue and one is gray, but I'm really not into looking fancy :) The curtains will help keep the cold out at night and if the days are too dreary I can keep them shut too. 

Today is a dreary looking day, but not bad temperature wise. I didn't figure there would be any heat drawn in today, but I was wrong. I walked by the window and touched the foil and noticed it was warm. I got the Infrared Thermometer out to see the difference in the foil covered part of the window versus the glass. The foil was about 5 degrees warmer then the glass was. 5 degrees is better then nothing and like I said it's not even a sunny day. I will have to check them on the next sunny day we get and see what the difference is. I'm going to do this same treatment on my sliding glass doors and a couple other windows, but I also have some more ideas I'm going to try out. I'll be sure to blog about them as well. Feel free to share any ideas you are doing to help keep warm this winter.

Stop by my shop and grab yourself a vintage book to curl up and read on one of the cold winter days a head of us. MichellesVarietyShop

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