It is that time of the year again, at least for us in the Northern hemisphere, when the air is crisp, the temperatures are below zero, and all we want is to stay under the warm blanket, because getting out of there means running towards the closet that has all the woolen jumpers. But would that be the same if the heating of your house was completely free? I have a feeling such scenario might change a behavioral pattern or two.
The best part is, free heating is not a dream. In fact, it is very easy to give that comfort to yourself, and it will not take you too much time, fancy expensive equipment or high-tech gadgets. All your need is a few extra bits and bobs from the DIY store, hands that are not scared of doing a bit of work, and willingness to invest a Sunday afternoon in the workshop shed on one of the great ideas below.
1. Pop can free heater
I will start with my favorite. This easy and incredibly smart solution to fighting the winter chills could potentially cost you close to nothing. This is especially the case if you are a beer or a soda fan, who goes through a good couple of cans a week. Once you have collected 240 of them, the only remaining elements that you need to acquire from the local DIY store would be some black paint, a cheap fan and plexiglass to build a box.
The assembly is pretty simple. You paint the cans, you make a box, you put the cans in the box, you fix the box on the wall, and you place a fan on the floor level vent, and this is it in a nutshell. Have a look at this video that shows how a free heating generator like this is built on a commercial scale, but it really is not complicated at all to do it in your garage following these steps.
2. Peltier handheld heater
Next on the list is a short guide to building your own handheld free heating (and also cooling) device. The complete tutorial is provided by user videokid842 on the Instructables website and includes only five simple steps.
The key to this DIY gadget is hidden in the Peltier plate, which is essentially an almost magical object that can get very cold on one side and at the same time very hot on the other (have a look here for more DIY ideas using this material). Luckily, it is very easy to acquire (hint, check ebay), and together with a fan and a few extra bits, it can make up a great free heating device, which you can take everywhere with you.
Image (c) Daniel Strohl