I’d seen a few ideas for a homemade space heater floating around Pinterest and Facebook. I’d heard mixed reports from various people and I wanted to find out if they actually worked.
So, I tried a few different methods and options.
- The slow cooker method did not work well for me.
- Using just one terra cotta pot did not work well for me.
But I ended up combining a few different methods and I found a way to make a homemade space heater that worked!
Now don’t get too crazy excited – this little homemade space heater isn’t going to heat your whole house or even your whole master bedroom. But it will bring the temperature up a few degrees in a small room – which would be awesome in a winter power outage.
The main idea came from this youtube video though I found it heated things up faster if I used the cake pan with the pot tilted.
How to make a Homemade Space Heater:
I lit 5 tea lights (Cheapest place to get them is Ikea, but if there isn’t one near you, try Amazon with free Prime shipping) and placed them in a 8 in cake pan:
Then I placed a 6″ terra cotta pot over the tealights at an angle. This way, they will get enough oxygen to burn, but not too much heat escapes out the bottom. I also put an empty tea light holder over the hole in this pot:
Then I placed a 2nd 8-in terra cotta pot over the first smaller one:
I closed the door and waited. It took about 3-5 minutes before truly warm air began flowing out of the hole on top of the pot. It took another 20-30 minutes for inside the room to feel any warmer than outside the room. It took about an hour for it to feel significantly warmer. And the room wasn’t huge (it was a bathroom):
But it DID warm the room! In fact, after 3+ hours (and changing out the tea lights once), the room was quite warm.
I was thrilled! I bought a 2nd set of pots and if we are ever faced with a power out situation in the winter, we will use two of these homemade space heaters in our smallest bedroom where we would all sleep.
We’d need about 40 tealights per day to keep both running all day (but not at night when we couldn’t monitor it). I will store one 6 gallon bucket’s worth for that purpose and that will be enough for about 40 days.
What a simple and inexpensive way to heat a room!
Note: The pan and inside pot gets VERY hot. Keep a hot pad nearby so you can change out the tea lights every few hours.
If you don’t like the hot pan / pot and / or want to create a more permanent heater that looks nice, check out this video!
UPDATE: I actually had to use this homemade space heater a few months after posting these when our furnace stopped working for a few days. I used three and was able to keep our living room above 60° when it was 20° outside. Everywhere else in the house was around 50°.
But MAKE SURE you watch them. I let them burn for hours and eventually all the candles in one of them created one big flame. Oops! I grabbed the baking soda and all was well, but be careful!