Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 16, 2009

Terracotta Pot Candle Heater

at 9:43 am. Filed under DIY Hacks


Doyle sent in about an interesting product that he makes. It is a Terracotta Pot Candle Heater. He sells the units but also provides all the details for us DIY people to make our own. It consists of nuts and bolts which provide the metal mass along with 3 terracotta pots and a metal base. I haven’t made or used one of these but it seems like it would be the perfect device to put in an office or a den just to keep the chill out of the air.

By looking at his Web site I can see that Doyle is a serial inventor! Have a look at the recycled tin can solar furnace and his Heat Stick to see a few of his other ideas.


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23 Responses to “Terracotta Pot Candle Heater”

  1. Posts about Home Depot as of October 16, 2009 | Home Depot Zone Says:

    […] the fire with 3 carloads of belongings and moved into Cory’s parent’s house 30 minutes away. Terracotta Pot Candle Heater – hackedgadgets.com 10/16/2009   Doyle sent in about an interesting product that he makes. […]

  2. Danny Says:

    Would’nt just burning the candle in the normal way provide just as much heat? And with the bonus of seeing the cozy flame… I guess this maybe distrubutes the heat over a longer time.

  3. James Says:

    Danny beat me to it: The candle is going to heat the room the same amount whether or not you trap the heat in a series of clay pots. It’s like a warm oven – you can either keep the oven door closed and it will cool slowly, or open the door and allow it to cool quickly. The same amount of energy will be released.

    That said, I love the device that takes warm air from the ceiling and draws it to the floor. It’s just crying out to have a solar powered fan added.

  4. John Says:

    @ Danny, @ James:

    The difference here is how the heat is distributed, which is *very* important.
    Remember, the only important thing in this context is the *personal perception* of heat. Concentrate the heat near the user, and they’ll notice a significant difference.

    Normal candle burning will result in a small amount of IR emission, but most of the heat will immediately rise straight up to your ceiling via gas convection. Instead of wasting all the heat as warm air sitting at the ceiling, this radiates much of it as IR directly to your skin and immediate surroundings (and of course, some will still be transmitted through a more broad general convection.) These are typically meant to be used on the corner of a desk within a meter or so of the user, and they really do make a difference in taking the chill off within a localized area.

    “And with the bonus of seeing the cozy flame… ”

    The candle flame is still visible, the pots usually rest on a stand a few inches above the flame.

  5. Heaters Says:

    This is very interesting. I always love finding new things that people come up with that actually work. I will have keep to keep this on my favorites to blog about sometime. I like how the heat will travel through the metal and out the pots. Very cool idea.


  6. Local Fortuna inventor featured on Hacked Gadgets « Capdiamont’s Weblog Says:

    […] Article on Terracotta Pot Candle Heater by Hacked Gadgets. A simple idea, by using materials in a different way to achieve personal warmth, without cranking the main heater up. […]

  7. Old Candles Says:

    I got my first Woodwick candle about four days ago, I still suck at it knowing how long to burn it but I think I’m learning.

  8. links for 2010-08-27 « Where Is All This Leading To? Says:

    […] Terracotta Pot Candle Heater – Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog (tags: diy heater) […]

  9. paul hughes Says:

    i think i would like to make this for heating a tent if you use a large i bolt istead of just a bolt there will be a circle on top to hand it or carry it this way you can set it on a small alcohol stove like a sterno and heat it then hang it in the middle of the room so the heat isnt touching the bottom i think i will test it outside first wondering if the heat from mthe stove could mae it crack but my mother used to set these pots on the kitchen stove to heat the kitchen and we got the enjoyment of painting them this is a cool project to do with the kids

  10. Ann Duncan Says:

    Followed this design exactly. Wasted some good candles (would NOT burn parafin candles, too toxic!) This does NOT work. I repeat, do NOT waste your time/$, this does NOT work. It warms up the terra cotta pots, and if you put your hands up to them, it warms your hands. But that is about it, folks :/

  11. Jethro Says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the pots cracking, they are fired at 1600 degrees in a kiln

  12. Fran Says:

    I would like info on purchasing one but cant find anywhere on here how to do that..Can someone help me find it…

  13. Kevin Says:

    I just put one of these together for the greenhouse. I was told by a few people that it doesn’t make any difference and didn’t create any more heat. But! I am left wondering if the bolt and pots conduct the heat better than air does. Does the air cool down quicker when the flame is naked. Is the heating area multiplied with the use of the pots and nuts and bolts? I’m left believing that this device does make a real difference to the heating capacity of a tea light…..!

  14. Dave M Says:

    This doesn’t “create” any heat but there may be some useful gain in that it acts as a heat sink and prevents the heat given off by the candle from going straight to the ceiling. So you basically have a personal radiator, a warm spot in front of you, which is very nice psychologically. The neat thing is that in addition to tea lights, this could be run off cut-off pieces of “used” candles–a great use for materials that would otherwise possibly be thrown away.

    I like the “Heat Stick”, too, but….given the cost, wouldn’t it be just as cost-effective if not more so to get a cheap ceiling fan? I leave mine running on low all winter. Just at the moment it is 10 (fahrenheit) outside and I have it at 65 in here with one baseboard heater in one room running on low. The idea about adding a solar panel is very good. But….you can buy a ceiling fan for $20 (as opposed to $100 for the Heat Stick) and I doubt that it costs more than $.25 a month to run.

    My electric bill last month (in Northern Minnesota) was $55, while the average for apartments in this complex of the same size with a single occupant was over $70. I have made some changes, so even though the temperature has dropped, I expect the bill to be lower.

  15. Rosanna Says:

    Fran, I just bought the combo set! You can use a candle OR you can use a Halogen bulb. Which is safer if you are asleep. The Combo pack lets you do it either way. I called the number on the website and had a great funny conversation. Go To http://www.heatstick.com/_KanHeet01.htm


  16. Rosanna Says:

    Watch the You Tube


  17. popeter Says:

    Put it inside a cage so you don’t get burned!

  18. Pamela Says:

    Found this to be a great way to utilize the hearth when we’re not using the fireplace(we close the firebox off when not in use)to warm the room. I placed an indoor thermometer about 5-6 feet from the claypot burner. The temperature at that level before lighting the candles was 60 degrees. The temp went up to 64.4 degrees within an hour. We have used candles on the hearth with the same logic of adding warmth to the room without raising the furnace thermostat, but never had the same result. It’s all about contained heat and so my vote is -this really does work! Plus the 4 1/2 hours the candles burned was just the right time frame in the evening for us to be comfortable, then retire. Big Lots has 144 tea light candles/$6.00-not bad considering natural gas has skyrocketed!

  19. ray martin Says:

    Works well I want to try with bigger pots and more candles to see what happens

  20. felicia feller Says:

    I made a modified version that really does heat a room. I used a large 8″ pot with just 1 4″ pot. I drilled 5 holes on the bottom of the large pot about 1″ apart & 1″ from center hole, plus I drilled holes on the side about 1″ down from bottom of pot and about 1″ apart. Then I put it together with lg. bolt, washers, and nut. I used a large plate and used clay pot “feet” to make a stand about 3″ high. Using low 2″ small jars (pimento) fill 1/3 with vegetable shortening then I forced candles same dia. as jar, 1″ tall (4pk $1 @ dollar tree)down into shortening, I also made a center candle with 3 wicks using larger jar same principle. the shortening extends burning time. usually 24 – 36hrs. I place lg. jar in center and sm. jars around the large one so that the flame burns between the gap of the pots. the holes allow the heat to escape and “radiate” more efficiently. I heat a 5×8 bathroom with this one in 25F weather. I also made a really large one with 12″ pot & 6″ pot. made candle in a round cake pan with 10 wicks. I used a layer of wax, let harden to hold wicks, then layer of shortening, and another layer of wax. works great heating a 10 x 10 room (makes it about 62 in 25F weather) just drilling the holes in the outer pot will make a huge difference be sure to use right type of drill bit.

  21. exclusivelane Says:

    Add to the beauty and magnificence of your living room by buying the online terracotta lamps. Enhance the beauty of the room in a perfect manner by shopping for the terracotta lamps online.

  22. Silva Says:

    Stop with blankets and stop with sweaters in house.
    This winter the heating problem I solved with simple candles and my Egloo! http://eglooinfo.it/

  23. RORRY Says:

    What if my pots are glazed? Is that a big NO-NO? Will the glaze melt even if it was fired in an oven hotter than this DIY Heater gets?

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