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Are Seasonal Candles Harming Your Indoor Air Quality?

Are Seasonal Candles Harming Your Indoor Air Quality?


Published on October 27, 2023

As the seasons change, many homeowners bring out their favorite holiday candle scents, such as pumpkin and gingerbread. However, did you know that candles can be harming your indoor air quality? Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important factor of your home, especially during flu season.

It is important to be aware of what you are breathing in your home and how specific factors affect air quality. At H&E Comfort Services, we’ve compiled this helpful guide to educate homeowners on indoor air quality in Belle Chasse, LA and ways to improve it.

Candles and Air Quality

Simply put – yes, burning candles in your home affects your indoor air quality. However, some candles are worse than others. When determining whether a candle is bad or good for your indoor air quality in Belle Chasse, LA, you should first find out the material the candle is made from. Most notably, paraffin-based candles—one of the most common types—produce soot when burning. The soot contains toxic materials and chemicals like benzene, acrolein, phthalates, toluene, and even formaldehyde.

These chemicals may become airborne and circulate throughout your home. Some of the health problems that these chemicals can cause include allergies, asthma, nervous system disorders, and certain types of cancer. Soot may also land within your HVAC system and ductwork. Over time, it can build up, and your system will start recirculating this contaminant throughout your house, further reducing your IAQ.

Note that scented candles are worse than non-scented ones because they contain synthetic fragrances. As a result, they emit more soot. Artificial fragrances produce volatile organic compounds even when they’re not ignited. Common toxins emitted by scented candles include phenol, petroleum distillate, and benzyl acetate. Exposure to these chemicals can trigger allergy flare-ups. You may start to experience symptoms like a stuffy nose, severe headaches, prolonged skin irritation, and itchy, watery eyes.

Best Practices To Reduce The Impact Of Candles

At H&E Comfort, our top priorities are your health and safety. Burning candles can negatively impact a resident’s health by harming indoor air quality. While we recommend finding other ways to add scents to your home, we understand not all homeowners are going to get rid of their candles. Below we have listed five ways to minimize the effects of burning candles in your home while still enjoying the benefits.

  • Maintain Candle Wick
  • Ensure Proper Ventilation
  • Limit Your Candle Burning
  • Avoid Containers
  • Try Safer Alternatives

Maintain Candle Wick

Every time before lighting your candle, ensure you trim the wick to ¼ inch so it burns evenly. Steer clear of wicks that are very thick or those with a metal rod. Candles should have thin braided wicks which curl over when burned.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Make sure you burn candles in well-ventilated rooms. Place your candle near an open window to allow the harmful chemicals emitted to dissipate. At the same time, avoid direct drafts on your candles.

Limit Candle Burning

Use your candles in moderation. Let them burn for only an hour or two at most per day. By limiting your candle use, you can prevent too much exposure to the candle’s toxic chemicals.

Avoid Containers

Burning your candle in a container with a narrow mouth causes unsteady airflow. This will increase flicker and cause more soot. Instead, get free-standing candles and place them on a stand or heat-proof plate to keep wax drippings away from your furniture.

Try Safer Alternatives

If you still desire a candlelit setting in your home, avoid paraffin wax and scented candles. Opt for soy and beeswax candles. These burn cleaner compared to paraffin wax. They’re also non-allergenic and non-toxic. Moreover, beeswax candles are naturally fragrant. They also clean your air by producing negative ions that bind with toxins, which helps eliminate them from the air.

Alternatively, you can use essential oil diffusers. An essential oil diffuser will keep your favorite scent floating in your home, but ensure that they are natural oils without chemicals added.

How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The H&E Comfort Services team is committed to making sure you have the best indoor air quality. We offer the following indoor air quality services in Belle Chasse, LA, to help you and your family breathe cleaner, healthier air at home:

  • Quality Air Filters
  • UV Lights
  • Electronic Air Cleaners
  • Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Quality Air Filters

Filters are usually the first line of defense against air pollutants. They capture contaminants like mold spores, dust, pet dander, and pollen. However, not all air filters are the same. Standard filters only go so far; they catch bigger particles while the tiny pollutants continue circulating in your home. Our high-quality air filters in Belle Chasse, LA can significantly boost your IAQ as they’re more effective at trapping even smaller particles.

UV Lights

Ultraviolet (UV) lights emit short-wavelength radiation that kills bacteria and viruses lurking in your home. This chemical-free method disinfects the air crossing its path, enhancing your indoor air quality. Contact a member of our team for more information on UV lights in Belle Chasse, LA!

Electronic Air Cleaners

Our electronic air cleaners use advanced technology to trap and get rid of dander, dust, debris, and other air pollutants. Neutralizing and eliminating contaminants helps clean the air in your home. Electronic air cleaners in Belle Chasse, LA are a great way to easily improve your indoor air quality.

Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Low humidity levels in your home cause several air quality issues. Dust is likely to form and circulate, while paint can shrink and fracture. Our humidifiers in Belle Chasse, LA add moisture to the air and provide better air quality, easing the problems caused by dry air.

On the other hand, when humidity levels are through the roof, you need a way to dry your air out. High humidity provides the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold may release spores into the air, triggering asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems. Our dehumidifiers in Belle Chasse, LA are great for homes plagued with high humidity. They provide better IAQ and get rid of the mold problem by removing excess moisture in the air.

Maintain Clean and Healthy Indoor Air With H&E Comfort!

Toxic materials and chemicals from candles, allergens, and other harmful air pollutants have no place in your home. At H&E Comfort Services, we carry a range of effective IAQ solutions that will eradicate the unwanted pollutants and promote better air quality in your Belle Chasse home. Are you ready to improve your indoor air quality in Belle Chasse, LA? Contact us today to get started.

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