Heat Your Room for 80 Cents a Day

Would you like to be able to heat your room for just 80 cents a day? If you’re on a tight budget and bothered by a chill in your bedroom, here is a DIY recipe for you. With just the list below you can create a DIY heater in your room which will provide heat and help you stay on budget, and keep you and your family comfortable without spending too much cash. Here’s the list.

Homemade Heater List:

Harry Dalian, Tea LightsTea Light Candles: These are best to buy in bulk. The more you buy in one set, the less you will pay for the individual candles. As a reference, you should be able to find a pack of 100 unscented tea lights for about $10, which amounts to 10 cents a candle. You’re not going to buy the flowery, scented, colored candles from a luxury store. Those will be way over priced, and you might as well pay for heating.

Harry Dalian, Baking panBaking Pan/Metal Bread Tray: The important part here is that it is metal. We want the tray to be able to heat up, and not be at risk of fire. Glass may also work, but it will not be as conductive of heat as metal will be. Pick a tray which is just deep enough for the four tea light candles you’ll put in, and wide enough that you can fit your biggest pot on top of it, and so that your smallest pot can rest on top of the sides, not within the pan. Because smaller means the heat is more concentrated, I would suggest a mini loaf pan of about 6”x3”, which you should also be able to find for about $10.

Harry Dalian, Flower PotsTerra Cotta Pots: You will want two different sizes here: a larger one and a smaller one. The smallest one should be able to sit on the rim of the pan without falling in, and the larger one should just about cover the whole surface of the pan without going too much over the sides.



Harry Dalian, Aluminum foilAluminum Foil: You won’t need a whole roll, just a sheet to fold up into a disk and place over the hole at the bottom of your terra cotta pot, to keep the heat in. This should be reusable. Hopefully you have some aluminum foil at home, or can borrow some from a friend.



Lighter/Matches: Something to kickstart your candles.Harry Dalian, Lighter




Harry Dalian, Oven MittsOven Mitts: These pots and the baking pan will reach super high temperatures (160*), so you’ll need something to handle them.






Make sure to set this up somewhere safe where it won’t be knocked over, and if you have kids, make sure they do not play around with it recklessly. Teaching them how to use it carefully though, could be beneficial. This project holds the same risk as having candles in your home. The metal pan should actually be safer, just make sure you’re cognizant of the fire.

Putting the Heater Together:

Place the baking pan on a stable surface out of the way in your room. Place the 4 tea lights into the pan, and the Flower Pot Heater, Harry Daliansmaller terra cotta pot on top of the pan with the bottom facing up. Wad the aluminum into a disk that will cover the hole in the bottom of the smaller pot. Place the larger pot on top of the pan over the smaller one also with the bottom up, and this time leave the hole unplugged. There should be enough space between them for maybe an inch of air around the sides.

That’s it. Wait for about half an hour for the pots to heat up, and you should begin to feel heat circulate out of the top flower pot. Be careful: do not touch the pots without oven mitts. They will be heated to about 160 degrees, you will burn your hand. Just leave the heater to the side where no one will bother it unless intentionally.

The tea candles will burn for about four hours, so you would replace them, or check on them and see, after the four hour mark.

Based on an experiment where the temperature of the terra cotta pot was 75* when we began, within 15 minutes the pot grew to 112*, and after thirty, was 130*. After an hour, the outside pot will have reached a temperature of 160*, and you should be able to feel its effects in your room.