How to Easily Heat Your Home Using Flower Pots & Tea Lights

By: Amanda Froelich,

True Activist.

Wanting to cut costs on the energy bill, especially now that temperatures are dropping for the season? Economics may be one reason to seek more sustainable energy sources, but this inventive way to heat the house is also purely fascinating.

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

This creative system uses the scientific principles of convection heat transfer and, according to Winter, can heat 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.

When asked about his heater, he said: “People have told me that judicious positioning of flowerpots help to make the heating more efficient. I did not believe it but it really does seem to work.

You get a nice flow around the [pots] and it warms the room up. You’d be amazed.”

Dylan even uses the flowerpot method on his boats to conduct heat. Truly inspiring for those seeking to simplify, be more frugal with their dollar, and leave less waste, perhaps this system will warm many families this year as winter makes itself more present.


Daily Mail, UK

171 Responses to How to Easily Heat Your Home Using Flower Pots & Tea Lights

  1. I’m surmising these are clay flower pots that are used and not the plastic ones?

  2. Bridget, if you are asking that, you should not be playing with matches.

  3. Will it work with Serenity By Jan?

  4. UK based, but here are some quick calculations: Four tea-lights will produce roughly the same heat as one 100 watt bulb. They burn for say 3 hours. That’s 7.5kWh from a bag of 100 tealights. It would cost you about 70p for the equivalent amount of electricity – so unless your tealights are very cheap, it’s not a saving. They do look prettier though, when not hidden under a flower pot.

  5. Unfortunately low energy bulbs give off little heat. It’s true that burning candles over lengthy periods produces a black smoke stain around where the walls meet the ceiling but this can be easily wiped away. Anyway you have to burn quite a lot of candles to produce this. Just as soon as a couple of clay plant pots or some suitable stoneware comes my way I am going to try this. Tea lights are much cheaper from places like Wilkinsons and Poundland, 99 p shops etc. The journey to IKEA from here would produce a massive addition to my carbon footprint. There used to be a bed warming device consisting of a pair of hinged metal bowls with a 40 watt bulb in the middle but I bet this has been discontinued now on safety grounds. I don’ t remember hearing of any fires caused by these though. I have a tiny flat and an even tinier shop so definitely think it’s worth a try. The fork handles thing comes from a well known sketch from the show The two Ronnies over the confusion of a shopkeeper on being asked for four candles when the customer really wanted fork ‘andles, it’s a British joke…….
    It’s now midnight so before I turn into a pumpkin (also a British not quite a joke) Bye y’all.

  6. This is only based on a couple of minutes thinking, so I’ve probably missed something. But although I doubt a couple of tealights could heat a room, using the pots to store and build up heat while decreasing airflow and the number of air molecules heated, could create a useful localized radiator – especially if you’re sitting next to it.

  7. make sure the candles aren’t toxic.

  8. … in Prinzip klappt es….ein Teelicht hat etwa 25 Watt Wärmeleistung. … Nachteile sind der Sauerstoffverbrauch und der Feinruß…. Eine Kerze im kleinen Gewächshaus langt für den Frost am frühen Morgen … Ich selbst nutze eine Kerze bei Temperaturen um die 0°C für den Heizölraum, damit bleibt die Raumtemperatur mit 8°C erhalten ..

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