In This Article
This article will teach you how to make a heater out of the simplest things you can find within your reach.
With no electricity and no heat, what are you going to do? Good thing we have access to information on how to create a survival heater online. But, no electricity means no power, means no internet connection. What now?
Hopefully, you’ll memorize these DIY emergency heater ideas before you need them and way before the internet won’t be functioning when the grid goes down.
Homemade heaters improve over the alternatives and may even prove to be lifesaving.
Let’s go over some keep-safe tips before going right into making some heaters.
It takes common sense and diligence to deal with the apparent risks of open flamed items. There is no doubting that some of us like lighting candles now and then, and the heaters to be discussed here would include an open flame for an extended amount of time.
Because of this, the location of the DIY heater is significant. Please keep it away from anything that may catch fire, such as walls, drapes, and beds. You will be safer if you put it on an area that cannot readily topple over.
You could make a heater’s base from wood, but you must insulate it from the surface it rests. Some of these heaters will reach temperatures between 250 to 400 ℉ in some regions.
Often, insulation beneath the heater can be composed of brick or tile. Under the heater, there should put another layer of these items.
Burning anything indoors can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication. After natural catastrophes, many individuals become ill or die because they mishandled their heaters.
You can prevent carbon monoxide (CO) gas from accumulating. Just make sure that you are in an open space when heating an area. Better yet, secure a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and familiarize yourself with the dangers of CO poisoning and heaters.
1. Tin Can Heater
Aside from being easy to install, this heater is also convenient to store and generates a significant amount of heat. Putting it in a safe area is essential because of the size of the flame. If it falls over, it would mean danger.
The can contains isopropyl alcohol, which can ignite if spilled. Use extreme caution with this one. Alcohol flames are similarly hard to spot in the daytime.
To prevent the heater from being mistakenly touched or knocked over by someone who couldn’t see the flame, make sure that everyone knows what is going on.
To get the best results, use an empty 1-quart paint can. But never use a paint can that still has paint in it. Leftover paint will result in releasing harmful vapors as the heater runs. If this is your case, spend the extra money on a brand-new can.
1-quart cans burn for about an hour before needing a refill. It’s best to wait to replace the can until it’s completely cooled before doing so. An alternative is a tin can, such as a soup can made of metal.
There should be no paper label or adhesive line left behind after rinsing and cleaning. The method is the same as the paint can for extinguishing, storage, and future use of the can, except that you won’t have a tight-sealing cover.
Now, to make a DIY tin can heater, you would need an empty tin can with a lid or empty powdered milk or coffee can, a roll of toilet paper, a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol, and something to light up the can.
You can also have a flathead screwdriver on hand as an optional tool.
First, you’ll need the screwdriver to remove the cardboard tube in the center of the toilet paper roll. You will not need it. You can also use other tools you have or do it by hand.
Then, squeeze the tissue roll without the cardboard center so that the tissue will pack tightly together. Continue doing this until you can fit and insert the roll inside the can. You might need the screwdriver to get it past the rim. Safely tack the toilet paper below the edge of the can.
Find yourself a brick or tile surface where you can put the can for safety. After that, slowly pour the isopropyl alcohol into the toilet paper inside the can until it is saturated. The tissue roll will serve as the wick.
Make sure you are at a safe distance from the can. Also, be careful placing the can in a brightly lit area. The open flame is difficult to see.
You can grab a lighter or matches to light up the top of the can at this point.
2. Clay Pot Heater
You might be thinking; one tea candle can’t possibly heat a whole room? You’re correct! That’s impossible.
Four to six tea candles are needed to do the task.
The tea candle heater’s heat exchange mechanism is what makes it work. The terracotta flowerpots serve as a heat exchanger, and after 20 to 30 minutes, the tiny flames of a few tea candles will cause them to heat up significantly.
A cautious location is needed for this DIY heater as well. If it’s pushed over, blazing alcohol won’t spread, but melted wax is very flammable, and open flames are open flames, so it’s best to take severe preventive measures.
In making a flower pot and tea candle heater, you’ll need a 4-inch and 6-inch terracotta pot, four to six plain white tea candles, a tile surface, some bricks to support the flower pot, and a metal pan or quarter coin or aluminum foil to cover the 4-inch clay pothole.
Let’s not forget to include a lighter or any tool you have that can start a tiny flame.
The first step is to place the bricks on opposite sides. Please make sure that they are at a distance as far enough as the opening of the flower pot.
This space creates an area for the candles burning under the inverted flowerpot. And to serve as support for the flower pot as well.
Next, light up the candles and place them at the center of the pot. Place the smaller pot invertedly on top of the lighted candles. It would help if you covered the pothole of the smaller clay pot with a quarter coin or aluminum foil or metal pan.
Now, place the inverted 6-inch clay pot over the smaller one. The bigger clay pot should not have a cover.
In around 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll notice a significant increase in heat coming from the pot’s sides and the hole at the top.
You can extinguish the lighted candles by blowing them out, although you need to be careful while doing so since pots might catch fire. The little inner pot can reach temperatures as high as 400 ℉. Allow plenty of time to cool completely before attempting to handle them.
Tea candles may not always be available. Alternatively, you can use one tin can heater to replace those tea candles. As shown below, you can combine a tin can heater and top it off with a flower pot. Cool, right?
3. Soda Can Burner
This heater is like a high-performance alcohol burner on steroids. You may also use this soda can burner to replace the tea candles in the flower pot heater because of its modest size.
A single one of these heaters placed beneath a flower pot will provide enough heat, but two of these heaters will give double the warmth. Although this heater can produce its heat, flower pots are not required.
Assembling this burner is more complicated than the other two heater models, but the supplies are readily available at home.
You will need more items than the first two to make this soda can burner. In line with this thought, there are many different ways to make this burner.
But to keep things simple and to start you up, you’ll need a pair of scissors, cutter, 2×4 inch thick wood block, or any other item that resembles the same measurement, a permanent marker, clothe, or cotton, two soda cans, fuel and a lighter.
I will not bore you with a wordy and lengthy instructional guide to make this soda can burner. So, instead, here’s a DIY video tutorial to walk you through the building process.
4. Rocket Stove
There are various ways to make rocket stoves. You can make small ones from coffee cans for off-grid cooking. If you want to use a rocket stove to heat, you’ll need something considerably bigger.
A used propane tank or a beer keg will suffice. The issue is that you’ll need to cut the metal tanks in an emergency, which will be tough.
That’s why the 5-gallon-bucket-turned-rocket-stove concept would be a better method to go. Just a quick tip, rocket stoves produce a lot of smoke. Thus, they need a lot of ventilation.
As a result, you’ll need to construct a flue to channel all of the smoke out. Using a rocket stove in your chimney is another way to use it. You may want to make an exhaust system out of your window, and you’ll need to seal it to keep the cold air out.
Here’s a how-to video on building a concrete rocket stove.
5. Paper Logs
How do papers become logs? How is this relevant as a DIY heater? I know adding paper logs to this list may seem odd but let me change your mind.
So, we’ve just gone over making heaters with concrete. You might also have a wood-burning stove or a fireplace. Instead of cutting down tree branches or wood logs, you might want to turn your paper trash into good use by turning them into paper logs to keep yourself warm.
To do that, you’ll need to drill to make a few holes into a bucket. In a large bucket, combine paper and water to create paper pulp. Then, drain the water from the pulp by placing a heavy object.
This way, you’ll end up with a large paper briquette after it’s dried. It will continue to burn for quite a decent period.
Regarding ventilation, the kind of paper you use to make the logs impacts how much sooty smoke they produce. Your house needs a solid flue to prevent smoke from entering.
The procedures I’ve provided might sound a bit technical. Let me give you this step-by-step video guide you can follow to help you make some paper logs.
These do-it-yourself heaters do the job, but they come with a risk of an accident. Keeping an open flame under control may be challenging.
So make sure that you never place an open-flame heater on the floor. This way, it may quickly get kick-off: a careless step, an excessively anxious pet, or someone knocking anything into it.
Also, make sure you have excellent ventilation and try not to sleep while keeping open-flame heaters burning. Things could get real ugly real quick.
Here are other articles you might find interesting:
- Best Fire Extinguisher for Home Use for You 2022
- Torch Making in the Woods: Best Tips a Newbie Can Do
- How to Survive Without Electricity (Complete Guide)