November 15, 2013 – 12:30pmENVIRONMENT

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/11/who-fancies-trying-a-mans-8p-a-day-room-heating-method/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brHqBcZqNzE

Who Fancies Trying a Man’s 8p-a-day Room Heating Method?

Gary Cutlack – This week’s viral internet sensation isn’t a cat eating a wasp, a lady falling over or down something, or a baby saying something stupid because its brain doesn’t work properly yet — it’s a rather ordinary man talking about convection heating systems.

The new internet sensation is journalist and former engineer Dylan Winter, whose clip demonstrates how to heat a small room for 8p a day via the magic of a metal bread tin, a stack of cheap tea lights and a couple of clay plant pots. The idea is simple. The smaller pot traps the heat from the mini candles, while the larger pot acts as a funnel that chucks hot air out into the room. It’s good enough to warm a small room, according to the man.

Dylan posted the clip online a year ago and has only recently seen it gain traction, with his heating method picking up the vast bulk of its 2m hits this week. He seems well prepared for tackling internet naysayers, with the updated video description now saying: “Feel free to post that this will never work because you have to factor in the cost of driving to Ikea in your Mercedes or that this will never heat a 5,000 square feet house in Canada in February.”


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4 Responses to Heat your room up for pennies a day with flower pots

  1. theunhivedmind says:

    If using just 4-6 tea lights in the typical set-ups of 2-3 plant pots then you will not get a lot of heat given off by the setup if using larger plant pots. A lot of the tea lights will only last two hours and not four hours like some claims. If you get four hours out of tea lights then you will have to pay extra for these types. There are no one pence tea lights, you are looking at around two pence and upwards. On top of the candle price you have to remember you will be using four to six at a time, I recommend you use six. These setups can take the cold edge off a decent room and they could help keep a small computer/box room reasonable. If you have six two pence tea lights that will be a total of twelve pence spent for the two hour duration.

    You will need to work out the cost of your electricity units against what you are spending in candles in case you could be using an electric heater for less, same or not much more but yet having greater benefit. If your electric is twelve pence a unit this means you can run a 500w heater for two hours instead of running your twelve pence candle system. I think a 500w electric heater would be more beneficial. An average tea light might if you are lucky give off around 60-80w so multiplying these by six lights would total 360-480w. If a power outage occurs then this candle heater would be of importance in this scenario. If you don’t want to add more to your electricity credit then the candle system can be of use.

    I have found it is better to run with just one plant pot instead of two or three. Do not use large plant pots if you can help it and certainly don’t try using just one pot if it is large. Get a couple of bricks and a long tin suitable for your clay pot and go for it. A metal pot may be of more use for a radiator type effect, aluminium would be useful since it heats very quickly. I do not rate the double pot models which are closed off at the top, you must leave a hole for the hot air to escape. These clay pots do not give off enough heat acting as a radiator and you will get too much condensation as well if the holes are all closed off. To help with candle run times you can scoop out wax from old tea lights and refill the ones running to at least increase run times.

    Unlike many who make comments on the flower pot heaters, I have actually made them and tried them instead of just being a naysayer or relying on mathematics. These setups are useful but do not get too excited about them. You can of course use them to add a bit more heat to rooms even whilst the heating is on and thus allowing you to turn down your thermostat a little. Remember when you use your gas central heating boiler you are not just using gas but you are also using electricity which is expensive since you are paying to run an electric pump which pushes the water around the pipes into and out of the radiators. Many people seem to forget or not realize the extra cost and just think of gas supply costs.

    I have a flower pot heater running right now and I am in a large open dinning room/kitchen which is well open. Tonight it is around 2 degrees Celsius and I do not feel chilled, tomorrow should be a negative one so I can see more tomorrow. I will try it in a small bedroom shortly and tell you how well it works in a small room, I think it will be quite good. It would be better if we could get the tea lights cheaper say around one pence or less and if they would last the four hours without refilling with old wax.

    -= The Unhived Mind

  2. theunhivedmind says:

    To add some extra time to your candles you can use the left over wax from the previous batch. Just scoop this out and drop it into the new burning candles when they have lost enough wax. This way you might get an extra hour or two. I got ten and a half hours out of using four then six then six (16) candles over three separate times. I therefore managed to get over three hours per candle this way.

    -= The Unhived Mind

  3. theunhivedmind says:

    If you have a gas stove that can still be lit without electricity (some of the electronic ignition ones shut off the gas if there is no electric) then just get a couple of clay flower pots with the size of the tops a little smaller than the rack over the burner. Turn one upside down over a burner of the stove and turn it on and you will be absolutely amazed at the heat it puts off. I used this meathod for my only heat for my first apartment which was a 1 bedroom and so drafty the curtians fluttered in the draft. One flower pot over a burner kept the place hot even in sub zero weather.

    I have also used the same method in power outages and while camping though a fan to stir the air dose help. If you want to make sure this is fully self contained get a propane camp stove, a 20 lbs bottle of propane and the hose to hook the stove to it then use the flower pot on this. We did that with 1 up stairs and one down stairs when the power was out a few years ago. A 20 lbs (BBQ grill size) tank of propane will heat the place with this meathod for just shy of a week IIRC, so a couple of these bottles and you should be set for any outage that is likely to be resolved in a foreseeable time frame. Make sure to have an extra pot or 2 since they are a bit fragile and also tend to crack as heating up and cooling off after use but do work VERY well.

    - Anonymous


    Be careful about heating your home with an unvented, indoor combustion appliance for long periods of time. The flowerpot method above is a clever method. Drafty homes tend to be very dry so heating a pot of water, not to a boil, is another way to add heat and moisture to a house. I have used this method when the relative humidity inside my house drops below 30% even when I am using my normal house heating appliance, which happens to be a wood pellet stove. You could also put the hot water in hot water bottles to warm your hands or feet while in another room.

    - Anonymous


    This flowerpot heater seemed a good idea, so we did a couple of experiments. (Well, I did the experiments, she just checked to see I was doing them right, you know how it is).
    We tried the method shown in the video, using a small bread tin, two flowerpots one inside the other, the inner one blocked off at the top with a big metal washer and bolt, and three tea-lights in the tin. The lights lasted about two and a half hours, so we changed them twice during the evenings, using nine lights altogether over 8 hours.
    (The guy in the video reckoned his lights lasted 4 hrs? Maybe Ikea make a deeper tea-light?).

    We lit up at sundown and checked the thermometer from time to time. Normally in our biggest room, about 3.5 X 4 metres, the temperature drops slowly during the evening. From about 22C if the sun has been in the room this time of year, down to around 17C by midnight, if no heating is on. On frosty nights it will drop quicker.
    The ‘heater’ seemed to make no difference at first, although there was a nice flow of warm air coming out the top, and we figured the room was too large for it to have any effect. Then we noticed after an hour or so that the temperature seemed to have stopped dropping, and had stabilised around 20C, and there it stayed all evening, more or less. Outside the evening was chilly, but not cold, around 7C.
    There was also a certain psychological effect; knowing that a ‘heater’ was going, even if a tiny one, made you feel warmer, perhaps.

    I think the flowerpot heater would take the chill off a smaller room after an hour or so, and even provide low heat, especially in a well-insulated boat cabin or van. As already pointed out in this thread, insulation is very important. We have double-glazing and wall insulation, and adequate loft insulation, so the temperature drops pretty slowly anyway. We do have one uninsulated outside door, though, which no doubt loses heat.

    However, costs of tea-lights must vary a great deal. Our local ‘thrift’ shop sells tea-lights at 20 for £1, so 5p each, which seems pretty expensive.
    The guy in the video got his at 100 for a £1, which is quite a difference: 1p each. The costs add up like this:
    3 lights burning at 5p each, is 15p for 2-3 hours, or 6p an hour. 6 hours at 6p an hour is 36p, or 8 hours at 48p.

    Our halogen heater with just one bar on uses 400w, which is 40% of one kilowatt. A kilowatt hour from our supplier, allowing for the recent extortionate price rises, is about 13p. So 40% of 13p is 5.2p. To have the 400w heater on for one hour costs 5.2p, compared with the 3 tea-lights at 6p.
    Like the tea-light heater, the halogen with one bar on does not heat up the room in the evening, it just stabilises the temperature around 20C.
    Over an 8-hour period the tea-lights, burning 3 at a time, cost us 48p.
    The same 8-hour period with the halogen heater burning one bar, cost us almost 42p.

    So unless you can obtain tea-lights cheaply, or live somewhere off the grid, the flowerpot heater although a good idea, is not necessarily the cheapest form of heating. (Neither is halogen for that matter; when it gets quite cold we light a wood and coal fire; this heats the room in 30 minutes, and it stays that way all evening, and heats hot water as well. Coal is not particularly cheap, but we can gather wood for free).

    Hope this adds a bit to the info gathered so far. It would be interesting to learn of other folks’ experiences.

    - Anonymous

  4. theunhivedmind says:

    I’ve worked out how to make two-hour running tea lights last four hours within this type of heating system. If you follow the original plans the tea lights will end in two hours as expected from their stated run time. I decided to play around with the design and I have come up with a better method in the layout of this system. First of all I recommend you use eight tea lights to give a good heat for this to work properly. Put your four tea lights together under the small pot as shown in the popular videos. Do not cover the top of the first pot! Then place the next four tea lights so their flames enter the second larger pot. Make sure the hole of the second pot is open like the first and aligned so you can see right down to the bottom of the metal tray and thus can see the four original tea lights. If you do this method you will generate more heat from having eight candles + more heat entering the second pot. I think the tea lights last twice as long because of a slight less oxygen but they burn fine and the system is hotter across the board compared to before.

    If you had just stuck eight tea lights in the middle pot you would run out of burn time in just two hours. If you have four hour burn time lights then these should last eight hours. You will have a slight less amount of oxygen entering the inner core due to the heating in the outer core. slightly less burn increases burn time without hardly any heat lacking, I noticed more added time by the configuration I came up with. Please try it and laugh as you get extra for your buck. Please credit me for finding this out first.

    -= The Unhived Mind

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