Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and survivalists have proven it right. People surviving the icy weather conditions around the world have come up with different heating alternatives, and a clay pot handle heater is one of them.
A candle heater made using clay pots is a self-made heat radiator that’s one of the best heating systems for survival. In addition, this heating alternative works without electricity, which saves you a lot on your electricity bill.
Candle heaters using clay pots can be easily created at home and are believed to be one of the best space heaters to use during power outages.
Does a Clay Pot Candle Heater Really Heat a Room?
Honestly, the clay pot heaters aren’t as effective as endorsed by many individuals. But they’re definitely good at heating a space. Technically, heating the entire room using clay pots is nearly impossible, as you’ll need a lot of candles to do so, which would consequently involve additional risks.
For instance, one candle can capably heat an area of 2 square feet and to heat an entire room of 200 square feet, and you’ll probably need 100 candles, which is impractical.
Furthermore, on average, the cost of 125 candles is $12.79, which makes the entire procedure expensive as every time you light a candle, it would last for only 4 hours. So, buying a different set of candles is impossible every time you want to generate heat.
This is when you must apply the logic and focus on space heating instead of room heating. Technically, you should not focus on the heat volume but the warmth distribution.
Terracotta pots help exchange the heat generated by the candles, and this makes entire process of generating heat more economical.
The heat is transferred from the candles to the terracotta pots through three types of heat distribution methods discussed below;
Conduction refers to the transfer of heat/warmth from one item to the other when these items touch each other. Generally, the heat from the item with higher temperatures gets transferred to the one with lower temperatures.
The candle heat passes onto the terracotta pots in the terra cotta candle heater.
When air or water begins to heat, the small elements within them start moving faster. Similarly, when you light a candle, the flame forces the particles to move at a faster speed. This heat goes up from the source and combines with cold air to heat the atmosphere.
This is why it is said that candles can capably heat a small area but not the entire room.
Radiation is heating the air through the heat reflected by the high-temperature object.
As far as a candle flame is considered, the amount of heat generated is not enough for radiation, making the use of terra cotta pots even more vital.
How to Make a Clay Pot Candle Heater?
Terra cotta candle heater is a simple DIY heating system, and if you follow the correct method, you can do it yourself. So, let’s take a look at the process of making a clay pot heater step by step.
To establish this system, you’ll need the following;
- One six-inch clay flower pot
- One eight-inch clay flower pot
- Bricks or cement blocks to be used as the base of the heater
- Some nuts, bolts, and washers to fix things together
- One eye hook
- Tea light candles
- To begin with, pick the smaller pot and put the eye hook across its base hole. Following this, use a washer to cover the base hole and tighten the washer using a bolt.
- Next, put the bigger pot over this arrangement, and let the eye hook pass by its base hole similarly. Now use a washer and a bolt to cover the base hole of the bigger pot. Let a portion of the eye hook stay out of the hole, which will radiate heat later.
- Use the bricks or cement blocks to create a base for the heater. These bricks will act as a ground for the pots.
- Now, lighten the tea light candles, and place them on a plate. Put this plate over the bricks.
- Now, cover the tea light candles with flower pots. Put the clay pots inverted over the light tea candles.
- The heat generated by the candle will get transferred to the eye hook through the process called conduction. This heat will be transferred to the end of the hook, which will radiate it further to heat that particular space.
What Risks are Involved in Using Terra Cotta Candle Heaters for Heating a Room?
There are several risks involved in generating heat with a candle terra cotta heater. You need to stay cautious while you put this heating system on. On top of everything, never leave your clay pot heater unattended, even for a few minutes. Let us look at the potential risks involved in the functioning of this heating system.
Typically, terra cotta pots are not glazed; because of this, the melted wax can enter the pores of the clay if not lined correctly. Consequently, the whole pot will become a large candle that can create an extreme fire hazard.
Notably, a pot that has a glazed exterior but the interior is not glazed should be treated like a completely unglazed pot.
Furthermore, if several tea light candles are placed together closely, it can accumulate melted paraffin wax, which can lead to a severe fire risk.
Accumulation of carbon dioxide
You must be thinking that a candle flame uses so little oxygen, so how could it emit carbon dioxide in dangerous amounts?
If you are lighting a pair of candles, you generally don’t have to worry about the accumulation of poisonous carbon dioxide. But, the fact that you are trying to heat an entire room requires a lot of candles to be lit. So, when you are lighting 40-50 candles in a room, you’ll have to be careful about the ventilation.
Moreover, leaving this heating system unattended at night can lead to the accumulation of poisonous gas carbon monoxide.
Tea light candles also produce soot that can hamper the air quality in an enclosed room.
When heating with clay pots and candles, you need to stay alert about the possibility of burns. Negligence culd lead to serious injuries, requiring you to remain alert throughout your candle heater’s operation.
It is important to note that candles can make the terracotta pot extremely hot, and if you touch it with bare hands, it can rip off your skin. Four tealight candles can make the temperature of a terracotta pot go up to 270 degree Fahrenheit (132 degrees celsius), which is too much for your bare skin to bear.
So, keeping your kids, pets, and older people away from the terracotta pot candle heater is imperative. The person who is operating the heater also needs to be excessively careful.
Are Clay Pot Heaters Safe?
Creating a clay pot heating system is simple, provided you know the proper method. And, if you assemble the heater in the correct format, it is mostly safe to use.
Furthermore, safety depends on many other factors, which require you to stay alert. As explained above, several risks are involved in using clay pot heaters for heating. Therefore, you need to ensure that proper safety measures are taken before installing this heating system in your home.
If you stay vigilant and consider all possible risks, you can use this heating system. But, do not depend on it entirely because candles cannot heat an entire room. If you try to heat a full room using candles, you will have to light a lot of them, which will certainly multiply the risk.
Safety Tips: Things to Keep in Mind while Using Terra Cotta Pot Candle Heaters to Heat a Room
Considering the risks involved in the process, a few safety tips demand your attention. Let’s look at these.
- You must seal the hole at the bottom of the pot to avoid the wax from dripping out. Melted wax could result in a severe fire hazard.
- To make the pot safe, coat its interior using a generous layer of decoupage medium.
- Do not leave the heating system unattended for even a few minutes. If you are leaving your home, make sure to put it off.
- You have to be careful about not knocking it off because you remain too close to the heating system. Candle heaters can only heat the surrounding space, which means you’ll always have to stay close to the arrangement. So, be careful while moving your hands.
- Never let your kids or pets come near the candle pot heating system.
- Do not leave the candles burning while you go off to sleep.
- Make sure to keep the pot aside once you have put it off. One knock and the pot can easily break.
- Do not touch the terra cotta pot with bare hands while the heater is working.
- Do not depend on candle heaters for heating an entire room. Keep a reliable alternative handy.
- Do not try to ignite candles during power outages. The absence of appropriate light could result in fire accidents.
Honestly, a small candle heater isn’t enough to heat a room in its entirety. However, it can be labeled as one of the best emergency alternatives.
You can safely use this alternative to warm your icy fingers and a small place around you. It can undoubtedly make you feel warmer and more comfortable without a heating system.
On top of everything, the flower pot used to create the complete setup doesn’t really increase the amount of heat, but it multiplies the usefulness of the heat produced. Terra cotta pots help radiate the heat to spread it further.
Therefore, you can keep this heater handy for situations of emergency. But, to deal with the real winter, you’ll have to consider using more efficient alternatives.