Published on January 16th, 2008 | by Sarah Nagy32
Turn a Candle Into a Radiator
Parked next to my mouse, this little device brings the temperature of my 8×12 office up from shivery to cozy – not quite enough to take my lovely handknit wool socks off, but a great antidote against a dreary January, and a definite cat magnet.How it works: That top terracotta pot is actually a nest of several, spaced with metal bolts. Heat rises from the candle and then absorbs into the ceramic, which is a high ‘thermal lag’ material. High thermal lag materials are dense and heavy – tile, concrete, water – all of these store heat well. The pots won’t hold it forever, but they concentrate it, slowing down its exodus to the ceiling. They keep the heat near my mouse hand – which definitely increases my productivity!
The developer says a 3″ dia. by 3″ ‘dollar store’ candle will yield about 50 BTUs an hour, for a total of 1000 BTU. I get about two days per candle, so that’s 0.50/day. If all my winter days were wet, cold, and in need of paraffin cheer (sum total of mid-Dec thru March = 105 days), that’s about $50 for a heating season. And it smells nice.
Granted, I live in mostly sunny Northwest Florida, so my heating bill is pretty small compared with snowy places. But this one with the silly name is one of those ‘value added’ ideas – if I’m going to burn a Christmas gift candle, I may as well get full value.
(Check out their other nifty ideas: using an incandescent light bulb instead of a candle, and other open-architecture common-sense energy concepts.)