All About Terracotta Pot Heater And Its Usage


It has now become a new trend to use a terracotta pot heater to save up a few bucks and survive the harsh winter. Have you asked your friends how do you heat a room with tea lights and clay pots? If the answer has left you confused and you want to know more about this then you have come to the right place.

But before we go on about what a terracotta pot heater is and its usefulness, be mindful that this can only work in a closed greenhouse room. The common disclaimer is you should try this at your own risk and if your house burns down by catching fire it is not our fault. Now that we have laid over the disclaimer part let’s focus on the terracotta heater in detail.

Methods Of Clay Pot Heaters

terracotta heater
homemade terracotta heater

If you have seen the viral video where someone claims to reduce their annual electricity bill by making a clay pot heater DIY at home then you know the basics but if you have no clue about it then do not worry because that is why we are here today— to explore about this terracotta pot heater hack in details and try to make as much sense of it as possible.

A clay pot heater is made of two or more flower pots. One flower pot is smaller and is used as the base. The other one is larger than the one which is used as a base flower pot. You can add up to 3 or 4 flower pots. But for this terracotta pot heater to work you need to work with at least 2 flower pots.

There are many ways through which one can make this homemade terracotta heater. You can use bricks to balance the flower pots over the lit candles. You can use tin foils, nickels, bolts, washers and small rods to hold the flower pots in place. And the main source of heat is tea candles.

By placing the lit candles under the flower pot, the heat from the candle is trapped inside the flower pot walls which then transforms the heat in the room in a much more effective way and keeps the room warm.

Know About Terracotta Clay

Terracotta is a type of clay from which earthenware is made of. It is different from the standard white clay. So what is the difference between terracotta and standard white clay? Well, there are many differences between terracotta clay and standard white clay.

What type of clay is Terracotta? Terracotta is a type of clay that can be found anywhere on the face of the earth. Its colour can vary from yellow to orange to red and sometimes brown. Generally, earthenware is made of terracotta clay and is baked in the kiln of potters.

It becomes much more durable because of baking or burning in fire. The heat reflection is much better in materials made of terracotta clay. Terracotta either comes in the glazed form or unglazed form. Glazed terracotta pots are waterproof and unglazed terracotta pots are not water-resistant.

terracotta pot heater danger
terracotta pot heater snopes

Standard white clay is different from terracotta clay. It has different elements as opposed to terracotta clay. Standard white clay can be of grey, white, orange, maroon in colour. It is vastly used to make earthenware, stoneware, etc.

Now that we know of the difference between terracotta and standard white clay let us move forward with the terracotta pot heater and how does it work? What is it used for?

Terracotta Pot Heater & Usage

To find out the truth about the usability of the terracotta pot heater, we tried to make some at home and checked its claims. Does the terracotta pot space heater work? We found out that it does work and is cheaper than a space heater. However, it can hardly warm up a bigger room. If you have a small room or you only use a small portion of your house then you can give it a try.

Although we would not suggest you use this method all the time. This method to keep your room warm can be used when there is an emergency such as a power out. This method will take a lot of time to fully heat a chilly room.

If you are using a space heater and there is a sudden power out you can use it to maintain the heat but avoid opening or closing doors and windows as much as possible.

Otherwise, the cold air makes it difficult for the terracotta pot heater to work properly. You should maintain some precautions while using the terracotta pot heater.

Procedures To Make A Terracotta Pot Heater

There are many methods to make a terracotta pot heater. We will discuss a few of them. The basic one can be made very easily. Take at least two unglazed flower pots — one smaller than the other one. Now place the small flower pot inside the bigger flower pot and tighten it with a screw, some bolts, and washers to keep it intact in its place. The washer in the middle of the two unglazed flower pots works as a heat transformer.

Take a toughened glass dish and place it on the floor or a table or a desk. Now place three bricks around the candle dish for a better-balanced hold of the flower pots. Now light the candles. Do not use larger candles. Only use tea candles and unscented ones.

clay pot heater
clay pot heater diy

If you use scented candles it might give you a headache. Forthwith place the bolted flower pots upside down over the lit candles. Place the flower pot in a position so that the screw is directly over the candle flames. Do not use more than 4 candles at once.

Terracotta Pot Heater: How Does It Work?

The only reason the terracotta pot heater works is because of the change in heat reflection. The heat generated from the candle gets trapped inside the first wall of the flower pot and then is channelled through the screw to the second flower pot — the bigger one. The heat then spreads to the room using the heat radiation method and keeps the room warm but you have to constantly replace the used candles with new ones.

A Different Method To Make A Terracotta Pot Heater

One other method of making a terracotta pot heater is by using a loaf pan, a cooling rack, bricks, a penny, tea candles, and two flower pots. First of all, take the loaf pan and place the candles in it. Now place three or four bricks around the loaf pan to balance the flower pots.

After that place the cooling tray above the bricks and loaf pan. The cooling rack gives extra support to the flower pots so that any unfortunate accident might get avoided.

Now place the smaller flower pot above the cooling tray. Place a small sheet of aluminium foil to cover the hole. Now place the bigger flower pot over the smaller one and cover the hole of the bigger flower pot with a penny. The aluminium foil and the penny is being used as the heat preservers here.

Wait for a few minutes to get the pots heated. The heat will spread to the room through the heat radiation method. After the candles are burnt out use another set of candles to keep the heat circulation going. This is the clay pot candle heater usage.

If you are using this method to make your DIY terracotta pot heater then you are making a smart choice. You can avoid burning your hands while changing the candles. You can simply slide down the loaf tray and replace the candles and slide the loaf tray back in very easily.

The Harmful Impacts On The Environment

terracotta pot heater carbon monoxide
terracotta pot heater hack

While using this cost-effective method one must keep in mind the harmful gasses it can produce. These toxic gasses released into the air can increase the global warming effects. When the candles burn it produces carbon monoxide gas which is a very toxic element for our environment. Carbon monoxide gas is one of the many sources of the increased greenhouse effects.

Terracotta pot heater carbon monoxide gas can harm human beings if inhaled directly. The longer you stay in the closed room with the flower pot heater the more risk of you getting sick by being exposed to carbon monoxide gas. If inhaled directly, the carbon monoxide can cause long term health complications. It is advisable to use this carefully.

Misconceptions Regarding Terracotta Pot Heaters

There are some common misconceptions about the flower pot heaters that can be very disappointing when checked in reality. Terracotta pot heater Snopes are not as uncommon as you think.

Some people think with the flower pot heater they can survive the whole winter season which is not true. Can terracotta pots survive winter? The answer to this question is no, you can not solely rely on these methods.

This is a very dangerous trope to pull off during the winter season with all the windows and doors closed. The toxic carbon monoxide emitted from the candles can result in a health hazardous situation for you.

One of the biggest risk factors of these flower pot heaters is that you should not leave them unattended. The terracotta pot heater danger is very severe and can even cost you your life if left unattended. You should not use these flower pot heaters while sleeping as it is very dangerous. You should avoid leaving your pets or kids alone with these flower pot heaters.

terracotta heater using candle
terracotta pot heater instructions

There are some terracotta pot heater instructions that you should follow. These instructions include always being cautious while using these flower pot heaters. Do not leave them unattended. Avoid using scented candles as they can give you headaches if used for a long time. Use at least two terracotta flower pots. Use unglazed flower pots otherwise the room will be covered with grey or black smoke.

Concluding Thoughts

Even if this seems a cost-effective method, resort to using this only in an emergency. If your room is bigger it is unlikely that only one flower pot heater can keep it warm. You can use two or three flower pot heaters for bigger rooms to keep your room warm.

Take extra measures to avoid any kind of imbalance of the pot. Using bigger or more candles can cause the terracotta flower pot to crack. This is why you should not use more than 4 tea candles at once. Do not use bigger candles as well.

Can a candle heat a room? It depends on the room size you are using these flower pot heaters in. But it is very unlikely that only a candle can heat a room even if the room is very tiny.

Keep Reading-The Best DIY Decor Ideas For Bedroom

Monicka Stephen
Monicka Stephen is a homemaker she loves DIY projects and crafting.Her hobby made her the DIY creator and writer at dstrktlondon.

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