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Next alternative energy: the candle

A steel bolt, pots and a candle heat the house

Doyle Doss is out to popularize a source of energy that was big when the coal scuttle was fashionable and society debated whether children should spend ten hours a day, or just eight, on a factory loom.

It's the candle, and his product is the Kandle Heeter, a series of concentric ceramic pots held together by a steel bolt strung with washers. Basically, the Kandle Heeter is perched above a jar candle. The heat from the flame is absorbed by the steel and then radiated out by the ceramic pots.

Candles put out quite a bit of heat, Doss said. A typical candle flame is about 600 degrees Fahrenheit and the steel bolt heats up to about 550 degrees Fahrenheit in about 45 minutes. A single jar candle puts out about 1,000 BTUs over a 20 to 24 hour period.

What's that translate to? One customer in upstate New York, one of America's snow hells, said it raised the temperature in room by three degrees in two hours. Many customers are women, who put these by their desks. Some women (my wife, for instance) constantly complains of getting cold hands.

"It is always on. It doesn't cycle on and off like a space heater," he said. "RV owners are picking up on it."

Doss, however, warns that all candles need to be in glass or ceramic jars. A plain paraffin candle will melt all over the place. And don't leave an open flame unattended.

The Kandle Heeter sells for $25.95 at his site.

(Photo: DOSS Products)