Waste Oil Is Free: Use Car Radiators For Cheap Household Central HeatingS

You say you're tired of paying the gas company for natural gas to heat your shack while at the same time throwing away perfectly good, energy-laden hydrocarbons every time you change your engine oil? Problem solved!

Waste Oil Is Free: Use Car Radiators For Cheap Household Central HeatingS

This innovative (though admittedly not particularly emissions-friendly) solution comes to us courtesy of Peter, a Nevada-based reader. First, you set up a holding tank for your fuel supply- in this case, a 5-gallon Pep Boys bucket- and rig up a pump to move the oil to the burner.

Waste Oil Is Free: Use Car Radiators For Cheap Household Central HeatingS

Then you use what appears to be a metal filing box as the basis for the combustion chamber. The heat is channeled into an old water heater, with the assistance of a squirrel-cage fan.

Waste Oil Is Free: Use Car Radiators For Cheap Household Central HeatingS

A water pump circulates the now-hot water via heater hoses into the house (through a window cracked open just enough to fit the hoses).

Waste Oil Is Free: Use Car Radiators For Cheap Household Central HeatingS

Sure, you could splurge and install actual home-heating radiators, but that would probably increase the budget tenfold! Instead, you use junkyard car radiators, with cheapo electric fans to move air through them. You could use the 12-volt fan that comes with the radiator, but car cooling fans tend to be unpleasantly loud for indoor use. Here's what Peter has to say about his setup:

Check out my latest project, the waste oil fueled heater. It smokes a little at start-up and shut-down, but burns clean when it's hot.
Burns close to a gallon/hour. Can't run it for more than 1.5- 2 hours at a time because it starts to boil the water. Need a bigger or more radiators to extract more heat. Keeps the living room and kitchen nice and warm. Thinking of plumbing in copper pipe for a more permanent installation. The 5 gal bucket is the fuel tank, and the pump assembly is on the lid.

We know what you're thinking now: "That sounds good, but what about all the potential heat energy in those old tires I throw out?"

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