With cold weather fast approaching, I wanted to share a cool little project that I did over the weekend that can provide some extra heat during a grid-down emergency situation. With the heat from a single candle, it is possible to heat a small area during an emergency – if you can capture that heat.
Step One: Build a Small Emergency Shelter inside your home.
If you live in an apartment, or a house that doesn’t have a fireplace or wood burning stove, winter power outages can quickly turn into life-threatening emergencies. When the temperatures start to plummet, you need to take action.
The first step you should take is to build an emergency shelter, or warm room, within your home. It’s a lot easier to heat a small walk-in closet or pantry than it is to heat an entire home. So the first thing you want to do is find a small room or closet, and then start insulating.
- Line the walls with couch cushions, blankets, or anything else you can find that can trap heat inside the room. Think about when you were a child and built forts in your bedroom; we’re going for a similar concept here.
- If you have an emergency reflective blanket, putting one up can help reflect heat back into the room.
- Depending how many people are in the room, body heat alone can be enough to keep the room at a tolerable temperature.
Step Two: Build a Single Candle Emergency Heater
Once you have your shelter built, a single candle can be used to help heat the room. Building a small Clay Pot Radiator allows you to capture the heat generated from a candle, heat that is normally wasted, and slowly build it up inside a makeshift radiator.
Building the Clay Pot Candle Heater
The heater is actually pretty simple to make. One long bolt, a dozen washers or so, about 7-8 nuts, and a couple small terracotta pots is all you need.
- Place the Long Bolt through the Terracotta pot, separating each pot with a couple washers and a nut.
- The Center bolt, washers, and nuts will all conduct the heat from the candle. The metal core will get extremely hot, trapping the heat and radiating it out to each clay pot.
- The heat will slowly build up inside the pots, and then will begin radiating heat around the clay pots.
I’ve seen this project on some other sites, where people suggest it can be used to heat a home for pennies a day; IT CANNOT!
This is in no way meant to heat a house or even a large room, but in an emergency situation, it’s a good way to capture heat from a candle and then radiate it out into a small area.