I got this idea from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=YaydDmHMo9A but improved upon it I think. Here in the Pacific NW our winters are grey and wet and we have the heat on from October to May. I’m pretty frugal and turn the heat off when I can to save some money, but have been thinking hard about how to be warm for cheap! So voila! Passive solar to the rescue. These can go in the west and south windows of your home.
How it works: Black things get hot in the sun, and heat rises. Leaving a space at the top allows the rising heat to escape into your room.
These will work even on an overcast day. Because these are so light and portable, you can remove them whenever you want and store them under the bed or in the back of the closet.
What you need:
Inside window frame measurments
Wood or PVC to build a frame
Corner fittings if you’re using PVC
Black plastic (trash bags, tarp, roll from the hardware store)
Piece of string and a nail or screw (optional)
Build your frame to the size of your window opening. Be sure to factor in the size of the fittings. A little narrow is OK. Go place it in the window to see if it fits. Crucial – DON’T SKIP THIS STEP.
Your completed panel should look something like this. That white stripe was on the edge of the plastic – whatever! Gives it a racy sporty feel.
Now go put it in your window.
The top needs to angle out towards the room so the warm air can escape into the room. Mine is staying in place because of the curtains. Otherwise, find the center of your frame and tie an 8 inch piece of string to it. Put in a hammer or screw in the center of the window frame. Attach the string to it.
That’s it! Super easy.