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air quality indoor candle burning

Health and Air Quality Tips for Indoor Candle Burning

As your comprehensive HVAC specialists throughout Utah, one area our team at Airtime Heating & Cooling is always cognizant of when providing services for your home is indoor air quality. Our whole-home air purifier solutions offer the kind of air that improves breathing, skin quality, sleep and numerous other potential actors for home occupants, plus allows you to control humidity throughout the year. One area that often is perceived incorrectly by homeowners when it comes to their air quality: Burning candles inside the home. While many forms of candles are fine to burn inside, there are also several popular types that research has shown to be harmful to indoor air quality, and you should be very careful about regularly burning these types. Let’s look at everything you need to know about which candle materials to avoid and how to burn candles in safe, healthy ways if this is something you enjoy.

Candle Materials and Air Quality

When it comes to determining whether a given candle is good or bad for your indoor air quality, the primary theme is assessing the materials the candle is made from. Specifically, research has shown that candles containing a substance known as paraffin – one of the most popular types available, sadly – emit toxic chemicals such as toluene, benzene and even formaldehyde. These chemicals can lead to everything from respiratory concerns like asthma to nervous system disorders and even heightened risk for certain forms of cancer. Now, not all candles are made using paraffin. The same research showed that soybean candles or beeswax did not have the same outputs of toxic chemicals, though there is still debate about whether these types are truly safer. Overall, researchers noted that even for paraffin-based candles, occasional use is generally okay and will not pose a health or air quality threat. If you constantly are lighting these candles, however, especially in spaces with poor ventilation, this is when issues can begin.

HVAC Filter Impact

One note for those who burn candles often, even if you’re burning beeswax or soybean candles that don’t emit toxins: Soot and smoke released from candles will generally clog up your HVAC filters faster than they would have otherwise. You should check your filters often and replace them more commonly if you burn candles regularly.

General Tips

Some general ventilation and other tips for burning candles safely and without health or air quality risks:
  • Stick with beeswax or soybean candles, and cotton or paper wicks
  • Ensure candle wicks are trimmed down to limit smoke and soot output
  • Use a lighter instead of a match for lighting candles – the former emits fewer toxins
  • Burn candles in a properly-ventilated area
  • When possible, choose odorless candles and use essential oils for improved aromas
For more on the possible issues with candles and air quality, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, including central air, furnace repair or even pre-spring air conditioner installations, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling.
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High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation
(801) 396-2446 High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation
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