I spend a lot of time in my garage, more than I like to admit. When you spend a lot of time on one specific place you want the most comfurtable conditions. Unfortunately my garage has no heater, making it rather cold during the evening. What could I use to heat up my medium sized garage?
In this Instructable I will cover how I addressed this problem, and how you can make a super simple heater with household items.
The main heating element is ordinary candles, but these doesn't work on their own to heat a garage. The reason is because warm air raises by the cold air pushing it upwards. By using a clay pot and a 90 degree metal pipe we can control the heat, making it a more effective.
Step 1: Materials
The materials used was found in my home, but all of the listed components should be very easy to find in most local hardware stores. This is what you will need:
- Clay pot
- Electric fan (http://www.ebay.com/itm/80mm-DC-12V-2pin-PC-Comput...)
- Battery (http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-1V-2200mAh-LiPo-Battery...)
- 90 degree metal pipe
- Sheet of wood (preferably metal)
- Threaded rod
- Nuts, bolts and washers
- Connector (http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Quality-red-black-200...)
What differs my construction from most other DIY heaters is the fact that you can concentrate the heat to a certain location by moving the metal pipe. The electric fan will pull the warm air outwards, aimed at the place you would like to heat up the most. Since hot air raises the warm air propelled by the fan is heat that normally would be "wasted", that's why this is a very efficient design that performs very well.
Step 2: Fasten the Fan
Step number one is to attach the fan to one end of the metal pipe. Do this by drilling a hole on the side of the pipe and bend a small piece of metal wire to hook it in place. Pull the metal wire through the fan's mounting holes and make another bend to lock it in place. Do this on both sides of the metal pipe to ensure the fan is fasten tightly.
Step 3: Baseplate
A square piece of wood works just fine, however, a metal plate would probably be more safe considering the fire risk. Find the centre and drill a hole slightly larger than your threaded rod diameter. Drill four holes in each corner smaller than the diameter of the bolts you have, these will work as legs to lift the pot up from the surface it is standing on.
Go ahead and paint it in any color you wish!
Step 4: Preparing the Pot
In order to amplify the heat pulled out from the fan you can make multiple holes on top of the clay pot. Drilling clay pots can be a little tricky, it's a good idea to make small holes and then use a slot screwdriver combined with a gentle hit with a hammer to increase the size of the hole. Once it's large enough you can use a 10mm drill to make it circular.
You will also have to drill a hole, slightly larger than the threaded rod, in the centre of the tray where the candles will be placed.
Step 5: Assembly
Push the threaded rod through centre hole of the baseplate and lock it down with washers and nuts on either side. Place the circular clay tray on the wooden baseplate and lock it down with another nut. Place a nut futher up the threaded rod and make the clay pot hang from it. Cut the threaded rod at a suitable length and place the 90 degree pipe on top of the clay pot.
Note: For the heater to work properly there should be a gap between the clay pot and the circular clay base. This will ensure we have a good airflow, and increase the intensity of the candles.
Step 6: Wiring
Remove the green and blue wire from the computer fan, as the black (-) and yellow (+) is the only wires we need. Solder the connector to the two wires and connect the battery.
Warning: Always keep good track of the voltage in case you're using a lithium polymer battery. If discharged too low it could catch fire (some even say explode). You're better off using an adpater you can find on Ebay for only a couple of dollars.
Step 7: Usage
Use as many candles you can fit, I actually ended up using six! They will burn for hours and keep a perfect temperature output constantly.
When measured from the fan, I found the temperature to be around 45°C (113°F), but the pot reaches way higher temperatures. I mainly use it heat up the garage, but also use it a lot in my families conservatory.
In conclusion, this DIY project is very inexpensive and very useful in case you need to heat up a room around your house. However, remember to never leave the heater unattended. Candles fumes can also be dangerous if used during a long period of time. Do not use scented candles and be safe!
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