Don’t follow this TikTok hack despite rising energy prices

The days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping, winter is just around the corner and many people are preparing to face the cold in different ways. Some web users search TikTok for heating hacks that offer cost savings.

One “trick” is to create a heating system using clay pots.

The social network is full of videos explaining how this type of homemade heater – or “terracotta heater” in TikToker lingo – works. The weekend do-it-yourselfer only needs a flower pot, small candles and a saucer, also made of terracotta. The principle is simple – even fundamental.

@philipleemoore It cost me £15 to make a terracotta pot heater, works fine but you need three candles, the one candle doesn’t give off enough heat, lasts three and a half hours #terracotta #terracottaheater #savemoney #heating #cheapheating #PhilipLMoore #DiPiuFilms ♬ Aesthetics – Tollan Kim

You place several candles in the middle of the saucer, which then serves as a heat source. The whole thing is topped with a terracotta pot and that’s it. On some versions, users place small ceramic elements on the saucer to elevate the base of this DIY heater.

The simplicity and low cost of making a “terracotta heater” or tea light oven explains the success of the hack on TikTok seen over several weeks recently. The hashtag #terracottapotheater has 2.1 million views on the platform, and its variant #terracottaeater has over 802,000.

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Many users of the social network praise the merits of this alternative heating method, despite its disadvantages. In fact, indoor candles are often made from kerosene, a component extracted from oil in refineries.

Their combustion releases volatile organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. While these aren’t dangerous in and of themselves, they can be extremely harmful if you have a respiratory condition like asthma.

In addition, a terracotta heater is not recommended if you have children or pets at home as they could touch it and get badly burned.

The risk of fire is also great with this self-made heater, as Carsten-Michael Pix, fire protection officer of the German Fire Brigade Association, emphasized to Deutsche Welle.

“They are still an open flame that can easily be knocked over or quickly morph into a larger flame. At the end of the day they will not heat your room. You would need hundreds of tea lights for that.”

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