Are Candles Bad For Indoor Air Quality?


Candles are great additions to the dinner table, bubble baths and lots of other events and rooms around the house. They provide soothing light that can add romance to the end or your workday or weekend, but have you ever considered how they affect the indoor air quality of your home?

Depending on the type, when candles are burned the release carcinogenic toxins (benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein and soot). Beeswax candles are an exception, which burn very cleanly and are popular among those with allergies and sensitivities.

Paraffin, petroleum-based candles, are scented aromatic candles that you can find anywhere. These are the worst for your home’s air quality. They not only release many of the same chemicals as diesel fuel when it’s burned they can contaminate your ductwork, discolour your walls and ceilings, and damage the contents of your home.

Indoor Air Quality & Your Health

In terms of your health and the health of others in your home, frequently lighting lots of candles can lead to issues like asthma, allergies, and irritating your respiratory tract.

This all might sounds kind of drastic, but there’s no need to trash all of your candles this minute. If you burn candle on occasion and don’t burn a lot at a time their effects are minimal. If you avoid candle wicks that are very long and thick you’ll still enjoy a nice flame that’s smaller and burning less at a time.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to ensure you burn the candle in large rooms or ones with good ventilation like doors and windows.

Candle Alternatives

There are a number of alternatives to candles such as candle warmers, which don’t have a flame and as a result don’t release carcinogens into the air. Essentially, a warmer melts wax and releases a scent.

Diffusers are also popular options to produce scents in your home. Diffusers use essential oils in a similar way to a candle warmer and wax. They slightly heat up the oil so it can disperse a nice scent into the room or area.

If it comes down to it and you really need or want to use regular candles, beeswax candles or soy candles. They burn very clean and actually release negative ions into the air, which help remove some toxins from the air and improve your indoor air quality.

Overall, ensure that your furnace fan is running and your furnace filter is clean if you burn candles often. This will ensure the air in your home is filtered and cleaned, even when burning candles.

For more information about your home’s indoor air quality or your furnace fan or filter contact Air Tech Toronto Toronto today: 905-737-5016.

Air Tech Toronto Toronto has been serving Toronto, York Region and the rest of the GTA for over 30 years.