Heating with Tea lights for 15 cents a day


Cheap way to heat if electricity goes out?



Journalist, YouTuber, and boat owner Dylan Winter created his DIY heater using tea lights and placed inside abread tin and covered with two ceramic flowerpots.

This creative system uses the scientific principles of convection heat transfer and, according to Winter, canheat his home for around 8 hours a day.

His YouTube Channel KeepTurningLeft shows how the method works:

The tea lights are first put into a bread loaf tin and covered with a small upside-down flower pot.

The hole in the top of the upside-down pot is covered with the metal casing leftover from one of the tea lights.

Then the pot is covered by a second, larger pot and the hole in the bigger flower pot is left uncovered.

This system works because the candles produce gases full of heated particles that are captured and channeled through the pots.

As hot gas particles are lighter than the air, they will rise up through the top into the colder area.

What will then be caused is the cold air to fall into the warm areas and create a convection current; then heat is transferred from one pot to another, and then out of the hole.

One does not need a huge amount of money to invest in this economical heating method, either.

Winter began by buying 100 tea lights from Ikea for less than a dollar, a standard loaf tin, and two different sized flower pots.

In the video it is shown four candles are used for the heating system.

Sharing his invention with the world, Dylan explains that the heat from the candles warms the inside of the smaller flower pot, which becomes an ‘inner core’ that gets ‘very hot’

As explained before, a convection of air is then created between the smaller and larger pots and this heated air comes out of the top of the homemade heater.



sounds good enough to try.


9 Responses to “Heating with Tea lights for 15 cents a day”

  1. he only uses one candle, not four

  2. Interesting option. It “looks” like it would be fairly safe, too. I have been cautioned against using candles, depending on the reason (disaster) needed for, as there could be open gas lines (like with an earthquake) or after shocks that could happen and the candles get knocked over. (Or pets.) But if you had a fairly open safe space (kitchen floor?) to set this up in and there was some long term outage, might be nicer than using emergency blankets or pocket hand warmers.

    • denise

      it will obviously not heat a whole room, but might take the chill out of the air, if you are forced to reduce your heat to safe fuel. …it is a nice hand warmer.

  3. Thanks, good to know!!

  4. This hoax appears this time of year. I’ve seen it on other sites. You cannot overrule God’s physical laws. http://www.green-trust.org/wordpress/2014/01/12/the-flower-pot-candle-heater-hoax-or-not/ You would need 19 tea candles to equal a regular 1500 watt electric space heater. And those of you who have used an electric space heater know that it will not heat a room. It will warm you if you sit in front of it. Breathing the soot from 19 wax candles isn’t good for your health, either.

  5. This whole concept is bogus.
    There may well be a convection cell created under the lower pot, however all that tends to do is contain the heat within the insulated flower pot. Eventually, as the pottery heats up it will traNSFER HEAT TO THE ROOM, BUT the amount of heat generated per minute is the exact same as the candle itself – about 40 BTU’s which is basically useless. The system described can not amplify the amount of heat. That would need an additional energy source.
    So it makes little difference between just the candle and this setup. The only difference is that with the pots, the pots will absorb most of the heat for a while sending little into the room, but after the flame is extinguished the pots will still be warm and would continue to radiate a small amount of heat into the room as they cool off. But overall, the room would heat imperceptibly in both cases.
    My assessment:
    Not worth the powder to blow it to hell.

  6. I have seen it before and tried it, it definitely works in a really small room (like a bathroom). And it does work, because using just the candle, radiating heat from a very small point (flame) only, which can’t heat by infrared radiation (source too small) and doesn’t have enough surface to transfer heat sufficiently to the air, versus transferring most of the energy to the inside pot with it’s large surface (in comparison to the flame) and moving the air across the surface (by convection inside the larger pot) and into the room. The difference is – mostly infrared radiation and little convection by using the candle, mostly convection and little infrared radiation by using the pots – results in warming the air of the room much better! If you are about to die of hypothermia, a bathroom full of warm air to all cuddle in is better than nothing.

  7. Will it run my microwave?

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