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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 

I did a quick search and couldn't find anything about this....

If i come out of my solar panel into the basement, can I tie the warm air into the home heating ductwork?

A little background, I live in an old 2 story farmhouse built in the 1920's. We have added hard pack celulose insulation throughout the walls and foam in the ceilings. All new energy efficient windows and doors a few years back. Full basement under most of the house and crawl space under new master bedroom.

is it possible to feed the solar output directly into existing ductwork? If not, I may run some new ducts upstairs to my kids' rooms which are always colder than the rest of the house.

Without it, I am thinking that my basement will get much warmer and the heat will radiate up gradually but it would be nicer to disperse directly throughout the house.




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Posts: 2,446
Reply with quote  #2 

Yes, you can route collected heat into a forced air system. With many newer forced air systems the fan full-time at a very low speed that kicks up to high as the furnace kicks on. If the furnace doesn't have a continuous running fan, you would have to mount a switch that would activate a fan(not necessarily the furnace fan) as heat is detected. Keep in mind, most solar air heaters are more like space heaters, so while the amount of heat added to a single room feels great, when added to the entire house the warm feeling would be minimal. 

A larger collector unit, such as a 4'x16', 8'x8' or larger, can do a great job of warming a smaller house as a supplemental heater, but you still need a primary source of heat. A smaller unit would be more appropriate for a single room. So size the collector to the space. If in doubt, build larger! It's not often a person will oversize a collector, and complain about too much heat!

Greg in MN

Posts: 565
Reply with quote  #3 
You would also need a strong damper to prevent air from flowing out to the collector at night when the furnace is running.

Kevin H


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Posts: 542
Reply with quote  #4 
If you use the existing duct work with the furnace then as Kevin said you need a damper. Actually you may need two, one for the intake and outtake.
It would be best to have them automatically open when the solar heat comes on and closed when it shuts down to isolate the two systems.

It may be simpler to run them separate if you can.

Warming the basement would be the simplest and should still help out. It all depends on if you want to heat a specific area or not.

Bert K.

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