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The allure of a nice candle, especially after a stressful day or as part of a seasonal theme, is strong. It’s a good way to cover up any unwanted smells in your home and offers some ambience at the same time. But what you may not realize is that candles can actually have a negative effect on the air quality of your home. If you’re a member of a sensitive group and find yourself struggling a little more than usual at home, a candle may be to blame.

There are degrees to the severity of a candle’s detrimental effects on your air quality with impurities settling in the air ducts.

Not every candle is terrible for your air and different candles are going to cause different types of problems. Knowing exactly what happens when you burn a candle can help you decide if the ill effects are too much for you. It is also important to note that toxins and impurities settle in your air ducts so make sure to clean them out annually, especially if you smoke or burn candles.

Below is some information on what happens when you burn a candle and the exact consequences you can expect to find in your home.

Carcinogenic Toxins

All forms of burning, from house fires to cigarettes, release toxins into the air, as many as 4,000 cancer causing agents. Candles are no exception. Some of these toxins include benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, acetaldehyde and acrolein. The amounts of these toxins are small in candles compared to smoke damage in a house that would be caused by a larger fire. But constant candle burning can release a steady stream of these toxins.

Petroleum Candles

Paraffin candles are known to burn off the same toxins that come from the burning of diesel fuel. In your own home. These candles are, unfortunately, the most populated on the market because of their easy and cost-effective production. Scented candles are even worse when it comes to releasing these chemicals.

Sensitive Groups

On top of the toxins, burning anything in your home is going to have ill effects on the air quality which will be especially noticeable to those with asthma or other respiratory issues. Even when you’re not actively burning candles, the residue they can leave in the air or on furniture can result in an adverse physical reaction from sensitive groups.

Related Questions

What Can I Do to Prevent Toxin Releases?

There are some things you can do to lessen the adverse effects of burning candles. Keep the wick trimmed to a fourth of an inch and avoid wire core wicks. Properly ventilate your home while you’re burning candles and limit it to an hour of burning at a time.

What Are Some Candle Alternatives?

Candle warmers are the best option for a replacement candle. They simply warm the wax until it melts and emits a scent with no flame involved to give of toxins or chemicals. Diffusers are a great option for those who want the aroma therapy and, for those who are set on candles, soy and beeswax are the best for clean air.

Candles aren’t all bad but they’re not all good either. Use in moderation to protect your air quality and talk to a professional if it’s time to do something about the poor air quality in your home.

If the air quality in your home isn’t up to par, having your air ducts cleaned by a professional duct cleaning service is a great way to start the purification process. This will dislodge any contaminants and dust within your system, and air wash these materials out of your home. Cleaning your air ducts not only helps with the air quality, it will help lower your utility bill because your heating and cooling system will run more efficiently.

Unique Air Duct Cleaning wants to help keep the air in your homes and businesses fresh, clean and healthy. We are a family owned and operated business that has provided superior air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning services to Michigan residents for over 25 years. Contact us today for a Free Estimate and ask about our Winter Specials!