Update: This Indiegogo project was successfully funded and is in production, see below for ordering details.
With the heating season in full swing, many of us are looking for cheaper ways to heat our spaces. Sami came across this clever do-it-yourself hack last year that involved using candles and some clay pots, and now, from Italian designer Marco Zagaria comes the Egloo, a crowdfunded, professionally produced version that consists of sleekly made terracotta domes that heat up with the help of four hidden candles.
The design is simple and more refined than the DIY version: Egloo features a double-dome layout where the smaller, inner dome heats up quickly, then slowly radiates heat to the outer dome so that the unit remains safe enough to touch. The designer claims that it takes only about five minutes for the Egloo to reach the highest temperature (the interior dome would be between 140 and 180 degrees Celsius, and the outer at between 30 and 50), and with four candles, will last long enough to heat a 20-square-meter (215-square-foot) space for up to five hours -- with each candle refill costing about an estimated 10 cents.
The outer dome has a hole right at the top, which allows heat to dissipate into the surrounding environment, and also lets in oxygen for the candles to burn effectively.
There is a metal grill that is placed securely over the clay base, which supports the inner dome on top and four candles underneath. The Egloo comes in a variety of colours, and can be unglazed or glazed.
The Egloo seems like it is meant for smaller, tightly insulated spaces in milder climates, as it will heat up the ambient temperature only 2 to 3 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes (no word if it gets hotter after a few hours). High quality environmentally friendly candles are a must, as we noted before, if cheap candles are used, it cancels out any potential carbon-neutral impacts this low-tech device may have had. In any case, the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for this lovely low-tech design has been quite successful, and you can still pre-order one before it ends. More over at Egloo's campaign page.
Update: You can now order one at the Egloo website.