How to make a Kandle Heeterâ„¢

By: Diy maven Oct 21, 2008

CraftyPod points us to the very clever Kandle Heeter™, a handmade, low tech contraption that acts as a space heater. It's a collection of terra cotta pots with a solid steel inner core made up of hex nuts and washers and things, which collect the heat of a candle or, new for 2008, a halogen light bulb. You can buy the candle version for $29.95 and the electric version is $49.95; however, the generous creator provides how-to instructions to make them. He calculates the cost of the DIY candle version to be about 23 to 33 bucks, of course, we may have some of the supplies on hand, which means our costs could be considerably less. If you're more interested in an electric variety, there's also instructions for that one as well!

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@Rusty  Did you not notice this sentence?  "Yes, one needs to be careful of CO contamination, but few boats are tight enough for that to be a consideration."

FYI, propane has been used as a heat source in boats, motor homes (including one I lived in) campers, and vacation cabins for a long time.  The safety considerations are well known and have been handled sucessfully for decades.

No way would i heat the inside of a 25ft sailing boat with propane,unless of couse you wanted to take a final journey.They have been around for some time and its a great heating device.I experimented with mine lifting and lowering the space between pots with washers.I also used copper bolt and washers for better conductivity,i also cupped my washers.Great idea in the first place,lots of experimenting can be done.

Hi Saxo . . . a burning candle creates an invisible "chimney" of rapidly rising hot air. This is "convection heat" -- this hot air goes to the ceiling and spreads out above your head and starts losing its thermal energy through the insulation to the folks who live above you, or out into space. Steel has the ability to approach the temperature of its heat source, so the steel invver core will go over 500 deg F. -- this high inner temperature is mitigated by the surrounding ceramics to a nice 160-180 on the outside surface of the radiator assembly. The convection heat energy of the candle has been converted to dry radiant space heat at human level, sitting next to you on a table or at your workstation. No, the device does not make more heat than is in a candle, it just effectively and efficiently captures what is available and makes it more usable in a practical way. We hae been making them for 5 years . . . no moving parts, nothing to wear out, with a little care it will last for a long, long time. And every year we get feedback from folks who are pleased and amazed at how much thermal energy is in a good quality candle. If I can be of any other help you can contact me through the website. Warm wishes, Doyle.

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If someone could explain to me how this is supposed to heat the room better than just the candle burning, I'm ready to listen. Is the claim here that the clay pots somehow turn the candle's heat into MORE heat than was there to start with? I'm all ears. Maybe I'll just make one of these things and keep adding clay pots until I can heat my whole house with just one candle!

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This is far from new.  I, and many other people that have lived on boats, have used this technique for many years,  The stacking of multiple pots and the metallic core is ingenious but I wonder how much it really contributes to efficiency?

I heated the interior of a 25 foot sailboat with nothing more than a large clay pot set over a propane stove burner on the lowest setting that would keep it lit.  Yes, one needs to be careful of CO contamination, but few boats are tight enough for that to be a consideration.

Thanks for spreading the word! I'll just add: we did try to build our own Kandle Heeter from Doyle's instructions before we bought them from him. The how-to instructions are excellent, but overall, we prefer the performance of Doyle's readymade model over ours. Plus, it's great to support inventors who make such awesome things as this!

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