DIY Easy DIY Projects

Genius! Cozy Up Without a Space Heater

Stow away that energy-wasting space heater! Instead, warm drafty rooms with this earthenware contraption for the bargain price of four cents an hour.

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With the cold season in full swing, many heat-starved homeowners crank up the thermostat, sending their energy bill skyrocketing. Others rely on a space heater that detracts from their home interior’s square footage and style while running up the energy bill an extra 18 cents per hour on average. Chilled by both of these cost- and energy-inefficient prospects, video blogger Ben Galt opted to DIY his way to a warmer home by turning two spare terracotta planters, tea light candles, and miscellaneous hardware into an ingenious heating element. Both easy-to-build and friendly on the wallet, Ben’s new terracotta pot heater can warm drafty rooms for a fraction what it costs to buy and run your typical space heater.

To make each of side of the homemade heater, Ben placed a 5-inch terracotta pot inside of a 6-inch pot and connected the two pieces using a metal rod, nuts, and washers. Only after threading several additional nuts and washers inside the two did he slide a planter dish onto the rod to hold tea light candles. That design decision is essential to its success: More than just secure the pieces, the metal hardware stores energy from the candles and radiates it upwards into the doubled-up pots, then outwards into the room. By his calculations, four tea light candles in this contraption could heat the room for a mere four cents an hour—that’s a savings of 14 cents per hour, or over $1,200 per year compared with a traditional space heater!

While a terracotta pot heater is not necessarily a new design, Ben made one key alteration by incorporating a chain and a two-armed stand. Suspending the two pots keeps the flames away from furniture and flooring, unlike the conventional models that sit on top of a loaf pan and overheats or damages furniture. Plus, the adjustable planter dish (the candle base) makes it easy to lower for replacing spent candles without scalding your fingers and raise to minimize heat loss. Recreate this clever DIY heater to maximize your comfort no matter the outdoor temperature, and you’ll gain a stylish new tabletop décor piece to boot!

FOR MORE: YouTube via Ben Galt