With the rise in the cost of energy, people are turning to DIY’ing their own heating sources for their homes. Most will have heard of tin foil behind radiators, or electric blankets that cost next to nothing to run, but what about a DIY hack that involves some candles and a terracotta pot? The Google search for “candle heater” has increased by over 170 percent thanks to a TikTok trend that influencers are recommending. The videos are encouraging people to light a few candles and place a terracotta flower pot upside down, over the candles. The pot will then heat up tremendously and will serve as a radiator, producing heat for the room.
According to one TikTok user, the terracotta pot heater costs around £15 to make, and lasts for about three-and-a-half hours. There are numerous TikTok videos explaining how to make a heater using terracotta plant pots and small candles, and testing out the homemade heaters – and they have racked up more than 15 million views.
Sure, it might seem enticing and a quick way to save on electricity, but this hack can be “extremely dangerous” and fire chiefs have warned not to do this.
On one hack video by @wac_app, one user commented that before trying out the heating trick, viewers should make sure that the batteries are working in their carbon monoxide detector due to the smoke that comes from the candles.
On a separate video, Cheshire Fire and Rescue service also commented on the dangers surrounding the hack. The service said: “We’d strongly recommend that people don’t try this.”
READ MORE: Popular item at home ‘will help you save’ on energy bills this winter
Doesn’t follow guidelines for safe candle use
Having a pot that is held above candles can cause an accident if the pot were to tip over slightly.
Additionally, candles should always be supervised and in an open space without any coverings over them.
The experts warned: “The terracotta pot can cause an explosion when it is heated if it still contains moisture. This is because when it reaches 100 degrees celsius, the production of steam can cause an explosion.”
It is hard to tell whether the pot is completely dry and the hidden moisture would make it hard to know that you are actually setting yourself up for an explosion.
Alternatives for creating heat
Tip one – Soapstone
Soapstone can be placed near a heating source to have “longer-lasting effects of the heat and to increase the temperature”, says the experts.
According to HearthStone, soapstone absorbs the heat and can be placed somewhere else in the room to essentially transfer the heat there.
Tip two – Hot water bottles
Conveniently carry a hot water bottle anywhere you are to warm yourself up. They may not warm the room up, but can warm up your blankets or keep you warm while on a walk. They are cheap and easy to use.
Tip three – Mini indoor fire pit
Place rocks in a heat-resistant bowl and light a fire in it using a fuel source. This will create a safe way to enjoy the heat from a fire while indoors.