Nifty idea for a little room heater. And it does work!
It got above zero today, so I went out to the greenhouse and dug through my terra cotta pots. And I didn’t have a rectangular tin pan, so I grabbed a tin coffee can to play with. I think it would definitely work better with what he did as I didn’t have a good air flow between my pots, but here is what I created… You can tap the pictures to enlarge them.
Coffee can with lots of holes drilled into it for air. Four tea lights – I got about 2 hours out of mine. Two different sizes of pots. I used a bolt with a couple of washers in the hole of the bottom pot.
First pot on with the bolt in it.
Finished! And yes it put out heat. It took about a half hour to warm up. In a small room where you wanted maybe a 5 to 10 degree warm up, this would work.
Where I can see this being really handy is warming up a bathroom before taking a shower (unless you’re using an off-grid, outdoor shower, that is).
Or, if you are trying to save money on your heating bills and have your thermostat set at 60 or 65, warming up a small room that you are working in, it would be handy.
Or, for all those days in the spring, summer and fall when you don’t want to turn on your furnace yet, but just need it a bit warmer until the sun comes up or you go to bed, this could be a wonderful little heater!
Or for a camper or a boat, like he is using it.
Or, if you are working outside in an unheated building and want something to warm your hands up, it would be excellent for that.
I do not think this would be very good to heat a car in an emergency. The WE2s comment on just the tin coffee can, some sand or kitty litter for weight, and candles would be a better idea. I think the pots would break if not brought to room temperature first.
I’ve seen this video before. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has tried this, to see how well it works.
Im gonna try this as soon as its above zero outside, I am not going to the garden shed in this cold,
But it looks like a great idea. I make my own candles, I bet I could make small one myself and save even more money.
If you watch the video, this guy is in Great Britian and I don’t see snow on the ground. So I’m thinking it is probably about 40 outside and it is a small room.
I too would like to hear from anyone who tried it. Once it gets warmer I may dig around my garden shed and try it.
We’ve not tried this, but like most of you we’ve seen several videos on it. I do know my dad’s wife bakes in clay pots (that aren’t finished?) and swears that it bakes better because of the distribution of the heat etc. I also have been told that if you carry a metal coffee can filled with sand or kitty litter in your car, and put 2 or 3 candles in it and crack the window, you can keep yourself plenty warm if you’re stuck in snow. I’ve just put the clay pots on my shopping list, along with more tea lights so we can give it a try. Not an expensive project if it’s not what it says it is.
I too am going to try this this weekend when I have the time. All these things are valuable tips and very welcomed.
(Unglazed) terra cotta clay pots can hold and radiate a lot of heat for a long time. I haven’t tried this heater trick, but I do know that using a really big clay plant pot saucer instead of an expensive “pizza stone” in the oven works like a charm :)
I made one of these up for my wife as a Christmas present. I made it for her to use at work, but alas she cannot burn candles at work. We have used it in our bathroom since I gave it to her. A tea light is good for several hours in a 7 x 14 room raising the temp only a few degrees makes it ok to shower and dry off. It takes at least 45 min to heat up and start heating an area, so plan ahead. I made it with three pots and put the heavy bolt through them like another video suggests. The metal collects the heat faster and then warms the pots. make sure the smallest pot is large enough to let air in and out or the candle will burn out quick. I switched to only two pots 6 and 8 inch and it warms well. the top of the bolt gets up to 210 deg F or so and the outter pot top gets to 94-95 deg F. Great fun to build and break down making it work for you. Useless in large rooms.
Sounds like a real winner for a car survival kit! Thanks Tony P for sharing your experience!
FYI, I bought one of those clay baking dishes at a used store last summer, mine is glazed on the insdie, and now it is one of my favorites – pretty too! LOL :-D
I did try it and posted my experiment below the video. It works!
I’ve got the pots on the shopping list…one of these days. I’m thinking…wonder if one would work sitting at the base of Mr. WE2’s solar window box? If the box would pick up the heat, circulate it along with the sun generated heat, and blow itself into the room? If it would, we’d probably raise the temp. at the Roost several more degrees.
I haven’t tried this, but heat rises (assuming a somewhat sealed solar box) – a 50-cent used computer fan and a couple surplus 50 cent calculator solar cells MIGHT be enough to get the ‘leftover’ warm air at the top of the boxes down toward floor level, where it might do more good :)