For anyone looking to save some money in the colder months, a charming British man named Dylan Winters has an easy solution for you. You’ll need some tea candles, two flower pots (one larger than the other) and a metal container (the man in the video uses a pan for baking bread, which seems to be a good shape for this. For the plant pots, you want the ceramic type (typically a clay orange color), which cost around ten dollars apiece (the Ikea website shows one for $7.99, so the $10 estimate provides a small hedge). The bread pan is about the same price, and the tea candles can be had at many big box stores (Walgreens, Costco, Ikea, etc.) at 100 for a dollar or two. Oh, and a piece of tin foil large enough to cover the hole under the first flower pot. I’m confident that the .46 pennies that costs won’t bust our budget.
So, the initial set up will run you around $30, and you will need to periodically replace the tea candles. The set up works by lighting four tea candles and putting them in the bread pan. Then cover it with the smaller flower pot, upside down and resting on the edges of the bread pan. Cover the hole at the bottom (now the top) of the flower pot, then place the larger one over it (also upside-down). The smaller flower pot will get very hot, and the bigger one will create a tunnel for the heat to flow out of.
The video was recorded mostly for sailors about a year ago, and until recently it had gotten around 8,000 views, Dylan Winter’s charming blog. Winter is also tickled by the YouTube comments under his video, and bless him for actually enjoying YouTube comments (which tend to be a travesty):
“The comments on the film are priceless and range from those who think it is dan gerous to the bloke who though he had spotted a bong in my office – another poster said that it was a champagne bottle – it is the latter by the way.”
As for why this video went viral, that’s simple: it provides a simple way that anyone in a non-tropical climate can save money. Even if you still have to use a heater, it won’t be as necessary with the flower pot heater. Just because we have furnaces in the world, doesn’t mean we can’t use a makeshift construction to do the job for pennies on the dollar.