How Candles Affect Indoor Air Quality

May 12, 2021
Indoor Air Quality in Puyallup, Washington

Many people across the world love using candles. Apart from creating a great ambiance in a specific room of your home, they also make your living space smell great. However, while many individuals love burning candles for different reasons, some candles can significantly impact your indoor air quality. Candles can cause air quality issues if they aren’t properly manufactured or if they contain scented oils in high amounts. Continue reading to learn more about how candles can affect your house’s indoor air quality, ways to mitigate the negative effects, and the safer alternatives you can use.

Candles and Air Quality

One thing that happens when you use candles is candle soot gets released into the indoor air. This not only happens when you blow out the candles but the entire time they’re burning in your house. As a result, candle pollution will not only discolor your home’s walls and ceilings, but it can also contaminate your ductwork and vents. This issue is highly evident among duct systems built using fiberglass. In many instances, scented and paraffin-based candles are the main culprits.

Most of the candles you find on the market today are made of 100% paraffin wax or a blend of paraffin wax and other forms of wax. Paraffin is one of the major components of petroleum. It releases many carcinogenic toxins like benzene, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and soot in the air when burned.

Aside from candle smoke staining your walls, it can also circulate within your living spaces and irritate your lungs. You might also experience persistent coughing spells after inhaling smoke from burning candles. Sometimes, you might experience breathing difficulties when you’re exposed to certain candle smoke types.

Scented candles can also trigger various allergic reactions, including severe headaches, prolonged skin irritations, blocked nasal passages, asthma-like complications, and watery and itchy eyes.

If you notice that your computer monitor or TV has a thin, dark residue or your light-colored fabrics have turned gray, then you have an air quality issue that’s mainly resulting from the candle soot.

How to Minimize the Impact of Using Candles

You can reduce the harmful effects of burning candles in your living spaces using the right wick size. Before lighting a candle for the first time, trim its wick to approximately a quarter-inch. Avoid wicks with wire cores that keep them upright and those that are extremely thick. A candle should have a thin, braided wick that curls over when burned. It should also evenly burn down with the candle wax.

Burning your candles in a well-ventilated room will allow all the harmful chemicals emitted by the candles to dissipate. The other way to minimize indoor air pollutants is by not using candles longer than necessary. Also, remember to extinguish the candles after one to two hours of burning.

Investing in an air purifier can also help you remove most of the indoor air contaminants emitted by burning candles. Before making your purchase, you can ask your indoor air expert to help you select a suitable air purifier for your residence.

Safer Candle Burning Alternatives

If you still want to use actual candles at home, you need to avoid paraffin wax candles. Beeswax and soy candles usually burn cleaner than paraffin wax. Furthermore, beeswax candles can actually clean your air by releasing some negative ions that easily bind with toxins to help eliminate them from your indoor air.

You can also use oil diffusers and essential oils instead of burning candles. Oil diffusers usually fill your house’s air with whatever scent you want, and it’s all-natural. Generally, diffusers come in different sizes and shapes, meaning you can get one that easily blends into your home’s interior design. You can also get diffusers that add atmosphere to your home and light up your space, just like candles would.

If you’d like to eliminate air pollution from burning candles in your house, you can select an aromatherapy alternative such as a candle warmer. Candle warmers utilize electricity to warm up the candle wax without a flame. That means you can enjoy a candle’s scent without adding candle smoke to your indoor air.

Reliable Air Control Service

Air quality in your home is something you should be concerned about, especially if you spend a lot of time indoors. That’s because you don’t want to compromise your indoor air. After all, it can significantly affect your family’s health. However, if you suspect your house’s air quality is experiencing some harmful effects from candles, reach out to Expert Air Control. Our team of licensed professionals will provide you with suitable air quality solutions and services.

We also offer gas piping, preventative maintenance, air conditioning, heating, duct cleaning, duct sealing, and electrical services to the residents of Puyallup, WA. Give us a call today to book a service appointment.