In the dead of winter, a home’s warmest air is wasted on the ceiling.

That’s the premise for a new startup based in South Portland that plans to produce innovative air-circulation products that pull warm air from the ceiling down to the floor.

As of Tuesday, with 10 days left on its Kickstarter campaign, Hot-Tubes LLC already had exceeded its fundraising goal of $10,000 for an initial production run and is hoping to double that goal, founder William Zelman said.

The company makes Hot-Tubes, long tubes made of synthetic materials that can be easily mounted on a wall. An electric fan at the base of each tube sucks warmer air from the top and blows it out through the bottom of the tube.

Zelman describes it as a more effective, energy-efficient version of a ceiling fan. He said his research shows that using Hot-Tubes can reduce a home’s heating bills by up to 20 percent.

For now, Hot-Tubes can only be purchased by making a donation through the Kickstarter page. A standard model with a single fan is $65, and a deluxe model containing two fans is $80.

At the beginning of the week the fledgling company had received pledges totaling more than $12,500 from 93 supporters. Zelman got a big boost from Adam Lee, chairman of Lee Auto Malls and a longtime promoter of energy-efficiency. Lee sent out an email Sept. 10 promoting the Kickstarter campaign and noted that he was an investor – the first time he’s taken on that role with a new Maine company.

Zelman said he hopes to collect about $20,000 before the Kickstarter campaign ends on Oct. 10.

With that money, he intends to fund an initial production run of up to 500 Hot-Tubes. The products will be manufactured entirely within the state, Zelman said.

“This is a Maine project,” he said.

Zelman’s background is in software development. He said the idea for a better air-circulation product came to him while looking into ways to make his own home more energy-efficient.

“I’ve been studying energy-efficiency for the last five years,” he said.

Rather than spend large amounts of money on marketing, Zelman decided that the company should use Kickstarter as a means of entering the marketplace.

He is not alone. Maine businesses raised about $500,000 through Kickstarter in 2013 and are on track to generate more than $1 million this year, he said.

“It’s a phenomenal platform for stuff like this,” Zelman said.

The first production run of Hot-Tubes is likely to last through November, placing the products in the hands of backers just in time for winter, he said.

After that, Zelman said he wasn’t sure when the next production run would occur. It probably won’t be until next year, he said.

The company also plans to produce decorative lamps made of lighted tubes with artwork printed on the outside.

The first run of Hot-Tubes will be white, Zelman said, but they could be adorned with decorative designs in the future.

The tubes require very little energy to operate, he said. Consumers will have the option of powering them with a 12-volt battery, which will make it possible to use them anywhere without the need for an electrical outlet.

Zelman said the most recent, unusually cold winter inspired him to launch the product.

“This was the winter to do it,” he said.