Having candles burning in your home can create a serene and warm environment, but it could be bad for your health and your air filter. Some kinds of candles cause soot to form, which can negatively affect your air filter and lower your indoor air quality (IAQ). Understanding why this happens and how to burn candles safely can help you maintain a healthy IAQ.
Effects of Candles on Air Filters
Candles that are made from paraffin and candles that are scented can end up contaminating your home’s ducts with air pollutants. Although air filters in HVAC systems are designed to catch these pollutants, they can quickly become clogged or filthy if you burn candles frequently or for long periods of time. In fact, some air filters end up covered in black soot. If you don’t check your filters often and change them, you could be breathing in these pollutants while your HVAC system runs, which could lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.
Healthier Ways to Use Candles
If you want to continue burning candles in your home, there are certain things you can do to protect your air filter and your indoor air quality. These include the following:
Burn candles that are made from soy or beeswax, and avoid burning paraffin candles. These candles don’t create harmful soot, and beeswax candles can even help clean the air in your home.
Trim wicks prior to lighting candles the first time. Longer wicks and thicker ones tend to cause more pollutant problems than shorter and thinner wicks.
Limit candle burning time. Only burn candles for an hour at a time instead of letting them burn for hours.
Ensure proper ventilation for candles. Don’t burn candles in rooms with poor ventilation.
Remember to change your air filter. No matter what kind of candles you burn, you should replace your air filter each month or every few months, depending on how dirty it is.
If you’re looking for help with improving your indoor air quality, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. Our team can help you find solutions for your Indianapolis home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).