Saving Stuff

Save on heating bills with a plant pot heater and home made candles

Published: 24 February 2016

I've been told that I'm soft because I can't stand a bit of cold and like to have the living room warm enough that I don't have to have loads of layers on.  I'm really not a fan of the cold and if I was to have my way I'd probably have the central heating on too much, and that's not exactly very great for the environment or the bank balance is it?

The solution is something rather simple, very efficient and of course cost effective.  A lot of people probably don't know that you can keep a room warm with just a few candles.  In fact my partner discovered it quite by chance and I just had to try it out.

A simple plant pot heater The plant pot in plant pot heater

This is really easy to make and there's a link to a well know video on YouTube at the end of this short article who prefer something more visual.

Basically you buy two of those terracotta plant pots from your local garden centre.  The bigger the better really.  This is your main outlay because they're not particularly cheap.  The important thing is that they should fit one inside the other with a gap of about a centimetre or two.  You will need a bolt about 2 inches long, a couple of nuts and 4 washers to fit the heater together.  It's straight forward, just arrange as in the diagram and don't over tighten the nuts as it may break one of the pots.

The candles

You'd generally use ordinary candles or a handful of tea lights with this heater.  But tea lights don't last that long and candles aren't particularly cheap these days.  The solution to this is to make a homemade 100 hour emergency candle.

Here's our plant pot heater You'll need some old jars, some blocks of lard and some wicks.  Honey or jam jars work quite well.  You don't want anything too big because Ideally you'd get two or three candles under the heater.  The wicks can be bought from eBay.  It is possible to make them yourself but they're cheap enough to buy.  With the wick in the jar simply pour melted lard into the jar leaving a centimeter of wick protruding.

Using the plant pot heater

The plant pots need to go on some sort of base with the candles underneath and in the video the person uses bricks.  Instead of this I used an old baking tray with some holes drilled in the front to let air circulate.  I also lined the bottom with some tin foil to reflect any heat back up to the pots.  It takes a good half hour or so to start getting warm but it retains heat very well and will help maintain room temperature saving you money on your heating bill.

Remember, don't leave candles unattended!

Source: How to make a plant pot heater