How Candles Affect Indoor Air Quality


This time of year especially, many of our customers enjoy burning candles in their home. Candles can help you to relax, brighten up your home and contribute to a warm, inviting ambiance. Unfortunately, those benefits come at a cost. Scented candles can negatively impact indoor air quality, leading to health problems and HVAC issues.

Candles and air quality

When scented candles are burned, they release harmful toxins and soot into the air that can contaminate ducts and vents and then get redistributed into the air. Paraffin (a petroleum by-product) are the most popular kind of candles and the worst offenders, oftentimes emitting formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and more. The toxins released from these candles can cause respiratory issues, asthma, nervous system disorders and even cancer.

Candles and HVAC filters

The soot and smoke released when candles are burned can cause HVAC filters to become dirty and clog up quickly, causing the system to stop running. If you burn candles regularly, be sure you are checking and changing your HVAC filters more often than usual.

Tips for burning candles in your home

Keep the following in mind when burning candles in order to minimize the negative impact they have:

  • Keep candle wicks trimmed to minimize smoke and soot
  • Stick to beeswax or soy candles with cotton or paper wicks
  • Choose odorless candles when possible and diffuse essential oils for aroma instead
  • Use a lighter, which emits less toxins into the air, instead of a match when lighting candles
  • Be sure to burn candles in a well-ventilated area
  • Consider alternatives such as candle warmers or diffusers

For questions about indoor air quality or your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to call Crown Group Ohio.