Introduction: Cheapest Heater in the World Version 2. Bigger, Better, Hotter .

Picture of Cheapest Heater in the World Version 2. Bigger, Better, Hotter .

This is the second version of the cheapest heater in the world. It is actually do much more effective. Maybe there are additional uses as you scale up the size . You could maybe boil water or heat up food.


Step 1: You Will Need to Source or Buy the Following Items

Picture of You Will Need to Source or Buy the Following Items

1x clay pot 37cm
2x clay pot 25cm
1 x pot saucer 37cm
6 x clay pot feet
1x nut roof style about 10 cm
2 x butterfly nut
3x washers same hole size as the bolt( M6 )

Step 2:

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Firstly you will need to put the clay feet in the configuration show above in the big tray.

Step 3: Attach Smaller Clay Pots Together to Increase the Heating Element Apacity

Picture of Attach Smaller Clay Pots Together to Increase the Heating Element Apacity

Use the screw and nuts to pass through the hole at the bottom and use the washer as shown to block the holes completely both insode and outside the pots. and align the two smaller clay pots together as shown . this is done to increase the heating element capacity

Step 4: Screw Tight

Picture of Screw Tight

when the two pots are correvlty aligned screw the buttefly nut tight to secure them together

Step 5: Add the Canldes and Extra Feet

Picture of Add the Canldes and Extra Feet

Use the 5 canlde configuration and add the extra 3 feet on the reem of the pplate as shown. next reverse the smaller pots upsite down and use the small inside feet to prop up

Step 6:

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next step is to add the big clay pot and keep repplacing the candles. i use 8 hour one now and i keep it going dailiy....use a thermometer to observe the rise in heat ...ENJOY




vocalpatriot (author)2017-12-08

This is a nice project, but not very effective as a "heater" the btu's of candle flame is far too small to be useful in that way. you be better served to use the pots as a fire pit or fill them with charcoal for heat. but is does make a nice little dim light.

northqueenslander (author)2017-10-31

it's an inverted tagine..... interesting

thundrepance (author)2015-11-05

YOU DON'T HAVE to PAY TAX?? there is no TAX on EITHER of your receipts!

WendyK16 (author)thundrepance2015-12-22


SusanE19 (author)thundrepance2015-11-12

UK do pay taxes. V.A.T. it's called. value added tax. It's included in the price, that's all. I lived there for awhile back in the 90's.

kingofeye (author)thundrepance2015-11-06

So? what do you care?

thundrepance (author)kingofeye2015-11-06

you're angry that i showed jealousy? wow, sorry.

uh, sorry; couldn't concentrate on anything else once i noticed no tax. 8^/

wquoyle (author)thundrepance2015-11-06

Author is in the UK like me, we pay tax on (most) purchases (VAT) but it's all taken care of behind the scenes not added on as a 'sales tax' separately as in the US. I guess because we have just one rate for the whole country, we're not dozens of seperate states all setting their own rates.

thundrepance (author)wquoyle2015-11-06

oh-h-h-h! so that's what is different about value-added tax. thanx!

brightled (author)2015-11-09

This is great for a yurt or teepee but houses today are built so tight I would really worry about the smoke and the candels burning up all the oxygen in the room ,if you connect the hole in the top pot to a small diameter flex hose(metal) and poke it out a window or up a chimmeily flue it would be much safer.....WCH

lojak (author)brightled2015-11-29

There are exactly zero houses in the world in which 5 tea candles would burn up all the oxygen in the room. You're aware you're using a fair amount of oxygen just by breathing, right? A house built that tight would kill you anyway.

SacredDemon (author)brightled2015-11-18

I see your concern for sure, however from the video I think that a lot of the heat is coming out of the top hole and that would all be lost if directed out of a window?

cyberdove (author)2015-11-15

lighting candles without anything else will do the same thing.

ridalyn (author)2015-11-06

I would add a thermoelectric layer to this and use it as a charger for my cell phone out at the hunting cabin or camp site.

kingofeye (author)ridalyn2015-11-10

i ve done that too and its coming in version 3 .keep an eye for power producing cheapest heater in the world

custerb (author)2015-11-07


Adrienne JohnM (author)custerb2015-11-08

I'm thinking about a clay oven for bread or pizza Some primitive people still use clay for constructing cooking devices

Ethan8or. (author)custerb2015-11-08

I'm not sure that would work, but it could!

kingofeye (author)2015-11-08

I bet you any money you havent even tried to make one . You talk about fires to spread fear.This is safer than your kettle . You are officially "TROL OF THE DAY"

kingofeye (author)2015-11-06

Home candles are not harmful .please dont write things to scare people

Please read this:

There are many studies on the matter, most candles have a lot of things added for a cheaper candle production.

Lead core wicks are not used any more I believe, and the rest is about heavy incense candles, as used in far east and by hippies, not tea lights. Plus no-where does it say 'very toxic'. Plus a bit about particulates and carbon monoxide, both of which are negated by the efficient method described. There is a school of thought here in the UK that scaremongers do more damage then the things they try to scare about.

Dude. As someone who worries a great deal about indoor air quality, I have to say this is pretty suspect information. One of major aspects of this study was lead-core wicks, which are not used in the U.S. anymore. The whole thing was done in 2001. Fourteen years out-of-date information should not be trotted out as current.

jstork11 (author)2015-11-06

Maybe a mini mass rocket stove without the bench or just a small mass to store heat would be better. Once they are burning, they burn very cleanly. If you remove enough heat. you could easily vent the gases out through the window. There is a fellow on the net that built one out of a water tank and vented the gases through an aluminium dryer vent hose put through a piece of cardboard in his fireplace. A piece of tin and a bit of insulation would be safer.

JonP3Po (author)2015-11-06

In the winters of AZ, I do have to bring some of my plants inside, and a 400 or 1,000 watt High Pressure Sodium Vapor Lamp, paired with air circulation, takes over some of the responsibility of heating. Orchids don't appreciate candles, but I do appreciate the fact that radiated heat can be appreciated.

jriddell (author)2015-11-06

This is just silly. There is no more heat in one of these candles (which don't produce enough BTUs/hr to heat very much) than there is in the typical fossil fuel wax. A hair dryer would cost less and produce more heat - and you wouldn't have to keep the window open because of carbon monoxide.

jriddell (author)jriddell2015-11-06

Some facts for those willing to read...

tim_n (author)2015-11-04

You may be converting the heat to radiant heat with the flower pot and concentrating it in a certain area, but this is a very expensive way of heating a room. A 70-100w reptile heater would run for much less an hour and produce the same heat.

Or you could have bought a £9.99 1500w halogen heater and it'd cost you about £0.21p an hour and feel 100x better.

kingofeye (author)tim_n2015-11-05

Hi Tim ....maybe you missed some parts of my instructable.....the total cost is about 8p a day.............this heater has been used for over 3 years with very sutisfactory results and i challenge you to prove otherwise.........i mean you could even turn the oven on an dopen the door if you are that way inclined but definetely this set up i describe not only works but it is money saving and can be made with recycled pots ........... .

tim_n (author)kingofeye2015-11-05


£2.99 per 100 tea lights = 2.9p a candle. 5 candles cost 14.5p. Assume generously that they last 5 hours. That's 2.9p for an hours heat. Each candle produces about 34w of energy an hour giving you a total of 2.9p for 170w.

A unit of electricity (1,000w) is 14.9p where I live. 14.9p / 1000 * 170 = 2.53p

Therefore even at £2.99 a bag, mains electricity is cheaper and produces the same heat output.

If you think that putting a flowerpot over the top will produce more energy, then there's no proof I can provide because you need to understand both maths and physics.

If you're able to provide your location above sea level, the room temperature and humidity for your approximate 15-20m3 of air volume, I can show you how 170w will not heat that volume of air up by 1.5'C an hour.

Also please note that candles do not burn efficiently and produce a lot of rubbish in soot and other chemicals. They aren't good for your health which is why the number of lung issues diminished with the introduction of electric lighting and electric/gas central heating. Adding ventilation to a super insulated house is unlikely to help getting more 'C in air temperature.

I don't see the benefit other than a fun project. It's certainly neither cheap nor good at heating airspace. It'll make it easier and more pleasant to warm your hands when you're in a shed or at a writing desk though.

If you're in the room at all, that'll have an effect as will you doing star jumps for 4 hours (Should you feel inclined)

Anyway, keep posting

richardgreco (author)tim_n2015-11-05

You missed a critical step in your analysis:

1. Buy 100 candles @ buy 1 get 1 free.

2. Return original purchase but keep the free bag.

3. $0.00 per candle/100 candles is approximately $0/candle.

4. $0.00 per candle/34 W per candle= $0.00/W (giver or take)

5. Wait. I think I just invented a perpetual energy device!

JonP3Po (author)richardgreco2015-11-05

I like the way you think.

JonP3Po (author)JonP3Po2015-11-05

I think the bottom line is that according to physics, a candle produces a limited amount of heat and it doesn't matter if you trap it in a clay pot. The clay pot does not make the candle produce more heat. Circulating the air will distribute the heat to where the human resides in the lower half of the room, but clay or any substance for that matter, will not amplify the heat output of a candle.

richardgreco (author)JonP3Po2015-11-06

I was just joking. This is akin to warming your hands over a nice cup of tea. Lets make a cup of tea hot, not tea kettle hot, I'm talking microwave hot. Now, dump that cup of tea in a bathtub of cold water. Jump in, guess what, still cold. The specific heat of air (lets not get to technical here because it changes) is about 1 J/gK. density of air is 1250 g/m3. The equation to find energy for a given change in T: is = specific heat *mass of air *change in temp.

Some quick calcs. on average room size, a modest change in room temp will yield ~1000kJ. As everyone knows, a joule (J) is a measure of energy, where a W (Watt) is a J/second.

I'll leave it to the reader to prove to themselves the above. My question to the curious is, how long do you think it would take to raise the room temp. a modest level?

Hint: 170W=1000kJ/time. Solve for time.

And I am completely ignoring heat loss here.

Another important note on this conversation. The human body radiates as much power (W) as this device, roughly. Human body is ~100-130W.

cazrcon (author)richardgreco2015-11-06

most places want a receipt and on that recipt it will show you got free ones. so they will want free ones back too!! thus you back to square one and have no candles. actually you are worst off cause you wasted time and energy to get to this point thus resulting in a negative energy and time wasted

ringai (author)tim_n2015-11-05

tea light candles can last 3-7 hours.

The heat from the candle burning is stored in the thermal mass created by the clay pots and then radiated into the room. They'll heat a room for hours even after the candle dies.

I also think you'll find that consumer candles don't actually pump out toxins the way you're concerned about.

And then there's the thing about electricity. It's great until the lines go down ;-)

Ron-Ray (author)ringai2015-11-06

If you think that tea light candles don't produce toxins, just try this and look at the inner most flower pot after only a couple of hours... the pot will be covered with carcinogenic soot and lead emissions. Beeswax candles with cotton wicks are free of toxins, but are terribly expensive. I believe that tim_n has in detail showed that this is a "fun project" at best- and an expensive health and fire hazard at worse.

Are Your Candles Toxic?

mankysteve (author)ringai2015-11-05

Try holding a spoon over a candle flame and see uow cleanly it burns. Thw pot doesnt increase the amount of heat produced by rhw candel juat extend the time period it is released

hey genius, try holding the spoon not directly over the candle. to find out that heat from the candle is vertically polarized. therefor the lampblack, will collect at the top of the pot and not given off into the room air.

what this method appears to be doing, is converting all the diverse wavelengths into directional single wavelength infra-red by secondary emission of radiation. infrared, is not vertically polarized and is capable of being directional to the direction tangent of the surface.

tim_n (author)ringai2015-11-05

I think 5 hours is very generous for a tea light that costs 3p. If you have something that is bigger, it will cost more.

If you're in an area that requires decent heating for your survival and you can't rely on electricity you get a backup generator running on oil or a wood stove.

I think you'll find candles put out all sorts of soot. Paraffin wax is a petrochemical.

The argument has nothing to do with thermal mass. It's about the amount of energy put out. 170w of heat is 170w in heat. It doesn't matter how long you distribute it, you can only get out what you put in.

ElizabethGreene (author)tim_n2015-11-05

You're absolutely right about the overall efficiency of this. The bit that makes people swear by them is subtle.

If you place your hand a meter from a 100 Watt lightbulb you'll feel a trivial amount of heat. If you place your hand a meter from an infrared lightbulb, you'll "feel" significantly more heat. The amount of power absorbed per square meter is the same, but the perception is radically different. These "Heaters" are really black-body radiators. They absorb the light and the vertical column of convected hot air from the candle (or other heat source. I.e. an incandescent light would work just as well with no CO.). Both of these heat sources are usually lost. The light doesn't feel warm, and the hot air goes to the ceiling or gets blow out by drafts. In the clay pot, this normally lost energy is absorbed and emitted at largely at IR wavelengths. People intercepting the emitted IR feel it as warm. Objects absorbing the IR feel warmer to the touch.

That's the trick of it. They convert a visible light candle into an IR candle. No magic. Still cool.

Excellent point! This is exactly why propane, heaters, with the red glow, appear to work better. In fact, one could say the do work better because the energy isn't being wasted in heating the air; but, in directly applying the heat onto the person warming them up; and in turn, the other objects in the room also warm up and re-radiate the heat in the longer wavelengths. Excellent point. By this fact alone, I think it does in fact make it not cheaper to heat a home; but, a cheaper way to heat the body, and the objects in the room. When heat is in the air, it can dissipate and flow out due to small leaks. As long as one takes into consideration the CO and CO2 issue, this would be nice. Present propane heaters for home are up to 98% nowadays. Below 40°F when HVAC loses huge amounts of efficiency; using an efficient propane heater is the best way to heat a house at outside temperatures below 40°F which huge savings to the pocketbook. Wavelength is everything.

mankysteve (author)tim_n2015-11-05

This post is full of win

GordonS6 (author)tim_n2015-11-05

Absolutely correct, Tim. The clay pots do nothing to improve the amount of heat produced by burning paraffin. As for cost effectiveness, forget it! There are a lot more efficient and cost effective ways to heat a small room, or better still, heat the occupants of the room by using thermal clothing!

kingofeye (author)GordonS62015-11-05

there is an natural air circulation when you scale it up to this size that sucks in the cold and puts out the hot air................on several cycles of repetition you will find the overall temerature has been increased significantly


kingofeye (author)tim_n2015-11-05

hI Tim..

i will keep posting and hopefully people will read before they comment.....maybe re read the bit about the oil candle upgrade and the reason i said i say this works and runs very cheaply ..anyway ..bless

IamTheMomo (author)tim_n2015-11-05

And if you have suffered through a New England blizzard and not had electricity for a week, is it still a nice thing to have on hand? I don't believe anyone would think this is for day in, day out normal home heating, but if you build a blanket tent over some chairs in a room, it will keep you from freezing to death.

thejaq (author)IamTheMomo2015-11-05

If you are that close to the precipice of death, the heat output of a burning tea candle is not going to save you. To suggest that it is a viable life saving option is wrong and dangerous.

ChrisB13 (author)thejaq2015-11-06

Actually, 4 years ago our power went out for a week in a blizzard in New England and I kept my pet bearded dragon alive through the grace of tea lights, although my configuration had a baking tray upside down where the under tank heater normally was, and a blanket covering most of the tank.

So I can personally vouch for tea lights ability to save lives, although not human.

For the record, the room was about 28f before I lit the candles and 58 after. The inside of the tank was 76.

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