Whenever he thought about it, he felt terrible. And so, at last, he came to a fateful decision. He decided not to think about it. ~John-Roger and Peter McWilliams
Question #92006 posted on 02/05/2019 10:04 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you really heat an entire room with candles and terra cotta pots? Or is this a pinterest fad that I should skip?




Dear Pirate,

I mean, you definitely could. You could also theoretically heat your room with the body heat of gerbils. The real question is whether or not it will require a ridiculous amount of candles. To know that we will need to know two things: how much energy is required for heating a room, and how much heat candles provide.

I was going through some pretty in-depth calculations using this website (it's fun if you want to check it out), but it was getting unnecessarily complicated so I decided to simplify. This website says that multiplying the square footage by 10 gives you a pretty decent estimate of the energy needed to heat a space. For a 12" x 12" room that equates to 1440 watts. If we divide this number by the average heating capacity of a candle it will give us the number of candles we need.

Unfortunately, candles don't come with watt ratings like light bulbs do, but fortunately one Quora user already calculated the average heat output for basic Amazon brand tea candles. His calculations give an average of about 34 watts per candle. That means we would need about 42 candles to heat a 12" x 12" room. Also, we would need to replace the candles every 4-5 hours. So you could do it, but it is by all measures totally impractical, expensive, and extra. But if that's your aesthetic then you could totally go for it.



P.S. I would also not recommend heating your pirate ship with candles. That's a definite fire hazard, my dude.