Homeowners who depend upon propane gas for heating often lease their storage tank from the residential propane gas delivery service that delivers their propane. To add convenience, many of these propane companies periodically refill the tank so the homeowner doesn't have to worry about running out of propane. However, some homeowners prefer to purchase their own propane tank, even though doing this means they must remember to monitor the amount of fuel in the tank and order propane from a local supplier, as needed.
If you own your own tank and forget to order gas when you should, or your order is made when the weather is bad and delivery times are longer than usual, you may run out of the propane that you rely on to provide essential heat for your family. If you find yourself in this situation, you can assemble a DIY emergency heater out of simple items you probably already have, providing extra heat until you get your propane refill.
The Flower Pot Emergency Heater
What you will need for each heater you wish to make:
- 1 large cookie sheet to use as a fire-resistant reflective base
- 1 large clay flower pot
- 1 slightly smaller clay flower pot
- 1 flat washer, large enough to cover the hole in the flower pots
- 1 bolt, large enough to fit snugly inside the washer
- 1 large hexagonal nut, sized and threaded to fit the bolt
- 1 large candle or 3 small votive candles in fire-proof holders
- 2 bricks, or paving or patio stones, both the same height
To assemble, place the smaller flower pot inside the larger one, then insert the bolt through the hole in the bottom from the outside in. Add the large flat washer to the exposed portion of the bolt, then thread the nut onto the bolt just until it is snug, being careful to keep from applying so much pressure that the flower pot is in danger of cracking.
Place the candle (or candles) near the center of the cookie sheet, then turn the joined flower pots upside down over the candles, making sure that they will not come into direct contact with the interior walls of the smaller flower pot. When you are sure the candles are positioned correctly, remove the flower pots, light the candles and then replace the flower pots over them, as before. Position the bricks or paving stones underneath the flower pot edges to elevate them so the candle (or candles) will have enough oxygen to burn properly.
In just a few moments you will begin to feel heat from the candles radiating through the walls of the flower pots, helping to warm the room. The air space between the flower pots creates an insulating area that helps to increase the radiant effect and improve the quality of the heat produced.
These DIY heaters can be made in any size and quantity, but please remember to never use them near flammable surfaces, never leave them unattended and always make sure to keep pets and children from touching or disturbing the heaters.
In addition to making a few DIY flower pot heaters to use in an emergency, consider speaking to a reputable residential propane company, such as Blue Flame Gas Service, about contracting with them for regular propane delivery services, similar to those offered for customers who do not own their own tanks. This will ensure that your tank is filled regularly and your home remains warm and comfortable throughout the heating season.