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There is a theory that lighting a candle in a room will help in lowering humidity levels because of the heat produced as they burn. Scientifically, this is wrong and below is an explanation.
Candles can’t dehumidify a room because they have hydrocarbons that produce carbon dioxide and water vapor when burnt. The water vapor causes an increase in humidity levels. Lighting many candles in a room translates to a higher humidity percentage.
It is okay to light candles for other reasons but not with an aim of dehumidifying a room. However, lighting just one or two is okay and this will also depend on the room size.
The smaller the room, the fewer candles you should light. Avoid lighting candles in a closed room when sleeping at night. This can be fatal because when the CO2 produced combines with that which you breathe out, it leads to low levels of oxygen.
This shows that burning candles in a room will also reduce the oxygen levels while increasing the humidity levels as shown in the graph below.
Best Candles for Humid Rooms
Not all candles are the same in terms of what they are made of. There are white and colored candles and all have different components. While some may be dangerous in a closed room, others can be much better and safe to use.
In any pack of candles, there is a label of components stuck at the back. This is to help you in choosing what will work best for you. This is important especially if there is a need to burn the candles overnight.
Candles made from soy are the best because in most cases, they are laced with no paraffin at all. They are also friendly to the environment are easy to recycle if need be. They tend to have a decent flame that is less aggressive as compared to paraffin candles.
The best candles to use in a humid room are those made from bee wax. It has been observed that they release ions that are negative as they burn. Those negative ions clean and purify the air when they entangle with toxins.
This helps in removing the unwanted toxins from the surrounding area that they are lit on. When looking for candles, the beeswax candles are the best especially if you have humidity issues.
The beeswax candle takes time to burn and melt and this is why it is safe for the environment and produces less vapor. This is why they are alit bit expensive compared to the normal paraffin candles which are cheap and harmful.
Basically, organic candles are the best to use in a room because they are free from any petroleum products. If you can afford them, then you will not have to worry so much about the impact of candles on humidity levels.
Candles that increase humidity levels in a room
Candles that are blended with pure paraffin are the worst to use in a room. They produce more water vapor compared to others. This causes an increased humid environment in a room with an extra coat of soot and carbon dioxide.
Candles made from petroleum based products also tend to produce more carbon dioxide and the dark smoke will also end up discoloring your ceiling and walls.
When lit in large quantities, this will also leave a permanent weird aroma in your house. They tend to produce more vapors that will end up filling your portable air containers with water. This can make those machines wear out very fast.
This burnt scent combined with high humidity levels can permanently stick in your household and anything made of the material. It can be very difficult to take this scent out.
The extra dark smoke produced will also block your ventilations especially if those candles are used on a daily basis. This will lead to increased humidity levels in the house because there will be no natural aeration that is need to help in dehumidifying the house.
Based on the facts above, it is clear that candles made of paraffin cannot dehumidify a room at all. Bad news is that those are the common candles in our local stores and they are also cheap. As the old saying goes, cheap always turns out to be expensive.
Burning paraffin candles can easily lead to over 70% humidity levels in the house which is very unhealthy especially if you have kids and asthmatic people in the house. Those can also affect your pets in a very bad way.
They also produce very poor lighting because of the high combustion levels. This is why they have a high chance of suffocating you in a room.
How to Stop Candles from Increasing Humidity in A Room
If you want to avoid high humidity levels yet you really need to use a candle, try and minimize the duration. 1-2 hours should be fine and this should not be done in a closed room with poor ventilation.
If candles are frequently used at night, ensure that you install proper ventilations. Try and clear any blockage on your air conditioners so that in case of raised humidity levels, dehumidifying becomes easy.
Do not place the candles in a closed container or in a closed area where there is no air flow. Doing this will increase the flame size because it will be struggling to get air for combusting the candle’s components.
This will lead to more heat and smoke that will end up clogging the room rapidly. This will also lead to a fast decrease in oxygen level which can make the room very uncomfortable for you.
Ensure the candle wicks are not extra-long and loose. Long wicks will waste the candle faster than it is supposed to last. This also translates to an increased vapor in the air that causes a very humid environment.
- CNN: Some types of candles may pollute indoor air by Kate Stinchfield
- National Candle Association: Elements of a candle