DesignEnergy Systems

The Benefits of Using a Solar Heat Catch

When the weather starts getting warmer we can all start preparing for heating bills to jump up over the next couple months. Whether your heating system runs on electricity or natural gas, you can still expect it to get pretty high. If you heat your home with wood stove, then you may be saving money but you will have to spend near endless hours cutting enough wood for the winter.

However, there is an easy to build, cheap device that you can install that will help offset some of your monthly heating bills. A solar heat catch installs right in any of your homes south facing windows and is made out of cheap and recycled parts.

A wooden housing unit is built which holds in place repurposed soda cans. These soda cans are what do the solar collecting and ultimately heat your house for you. At the top and bottom of each can is a small hole, the cans are then glued together at these holes. When they are all together and placed inside the housing unit they are painted black. This helps them absorb the heat from the sun, and as it rises through the cans it gets even hotter before entering your home. Finally, a piece of fiberglass or glass is placed over the hole structure to focus the sunlight and then placed in your window.

While you prob won’t be able to heat your entire house this way, it can help offset some of the costs.Or you can or heat a small area like a shed. Once installed you can start enjoying all the benefits that come with making a solar catch, such as:

Saving Money

Once you install one of these solar heat catches it will begin saving you money every day from then on. They help lower your utility bills the second they are installed. And, since you can make them from recycled parts and reclaimed wood you don’t have to pay for a costly consumer version.

Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Since you are partially heating your home with solar energy, that’s less work that your heating system has to do. The less work your heating system has to do, the less fossil fuels you are releasing into the air.

It Keeps Trash Out of Landfills

All of the parts for your new solar heat catch come from reclaimed and repurposed material. Materials that would otherwise find their way to a landfill can find a new purpose heating your house for years to come.

No matter how you heat your home, by installing a couple solar heat catches you can take some of the strain off your regular heating system. They are an easy way to reduce your heating bills while also reusing what might ultimately become garbage otherwise. If you are concerned with making less of an impact on the environment, this is one device you can make that helps out in two ways.


  1. A picture would have been helpful.

    “as it rises through the cans it gets even hotter before entering your home”. Where is this heat source coming from. If it’s from the can itself, then the can loses energy which causes energy in the house to heat it back up, losing energy, coming to equilibrium. You can’t create heat from nothing. If it’s from the sun, then the capture of the light itself is the most you can hope to achieve. Basically what you describe here is thermodynamically impossible.

    This heat sink isn’t so much about capturing light and further heating it, it is simply painting a heat conductive material black, so that you capture as much light as possible, and onto a surface that can hold a little heat, and then radiate some of the heat to the house. However, any discussion of this can further heating the air up – beyond the energy from the captured light, is scientifically impossible and brings the whole article into question.

  2. this idea sounds like someone’s fantasy. i would like to see a photograph of a working model, with accompanying data regarding heat flow. i would also like to see some kind of data regarding what would be the carbon footprint of this idea. thanks for trying, and thanks for what you do. this is not something that i would even think about implementing. not practical.

  3. My husband & I built a solar passive octagon home. Almost all the windows face south and our wood floors are stained black. After the daily solar collection into the home I then close the heavy insulated drapes against the night. It stays amazing warm, even in winter months when it 32 degrees or lower the home maintains a temperature of 60 degrees or more.

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