Candles and Indoor Air Quality

June 1, 2019

A popular item used in many homes, candles can add great ambiance and even pleasant scents to your indoor environment. But what if candles are actually causing you and your indoor air quality harm? Unfortunately, some of the latest scientific reports are saying exactly that.

You might wonder how candles can possibly be so bad. We’ve been using them for centuries, right? Well, yes ― and technically, the problem doesn’t lie in candles per se but rather their modern counterparts.

Problems With Modern Candles

See, the main problem with modern commercial candles is that they are made mostly of paraffin wax. Scientists have recently found that paraffin, when burned, releases several chemicals into the air that can cause asthma attacks and are carcinogenic in nature.

On top of that, many commercial scented candles include a wick made of cotton wrapped around a base of metal. This, when burnt, releases soot into the air that can cause serious damage to the lungs over time. The effect is especially bad when that soot has nowhere else to go, such as when the candle is burnt indoors.

For these two primary reasons, scented candles have been said to be as bad for air quality as diesel gas. So, if you wouldn’t want to pump the exhaust from your car into your home, why would you want to light a paraffin candle?

Safer Candle Alternatives

Fortunately, candle enthusiasts needn’t worry too much because there are alternatives. If you like the soothing effect you can get from burning candles without the harmful side effects, you still have options.

Natural alternatives to paraffin wax, such as soy and beeswax, seem to cause much less pollution than their petroleum-based variants. You should also look to buy candles that have wicks of pure cotton and lack a metal core. This way, burning the candle won’t produce the same metallic soot that makes most commercial candles so damaging.

Another fun alternative to buying commercial candles is to make your own. Just buy cotton string, a natural wax of your choice and (optionally) a jar to hold your candle. After an afternoon of fun crafting, you’ll get some lovely candles to enjoy later.

Indoor Air Quality Pros

If you want to improve poor indoor air quality caused by candles or anything else, Home Heating Service, Inc. in Colorado Springs can help. We also offer a full range of heating and air conditioning services. Call the experts at Home Heating Service, Inc. today.