Candle use is on the rise and is higher during the holiday season. Candles, if not used properly, can give off soot and small amounts of potential toxins. In large quantities these toxins may be harmful. However, normal use of candles should not pose a health hazard.
Candle emissions can leave dark shadows or soot on walls, furniture and in your heating and cooling system. Fixing these problems can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. Ensuring that your candles are not damaging the house is paramount to keeping yourself that little bit more sane as a happy homeowner.
The following are tips to minimize candle pollution in your home:
Because many scented and slow burning candles may contain metals, consumers should look to see if the core of the wick is shiny metal. If you see metal, do not burn, or check with the manufacturer.
When you do burn candles, keep the wicks cut short to one-quarter of an inch. The longer the wick, the larger the flame, the brighter the candle, the more the soot.
Keep candles away from drafty places. Wind will blow soot and toxins into the air and cause inefficient burning, which will cause smoking or sooting.
Do not shake or tip candles because the candle can smoke and send soot into the air which will land on walls, carpets and furniture.
Keep candles in places away from children and pets. Besides the fire hazard, small children and animals may accidentally disturb a candle, causing it to smoke and release soot.
Avoid putting small children directly on carpet. Lead and other pollutants from candles are attracted to synthetic fibers often used in upholstery and carpeting.
Refrain from burning scented or slow-burning candles that have additives.
Look for candles, such as beeswax, that do not contain high levels of pollutants.
Keep your home clean. Vacuuming may just re-circulate particles unless you use high-performance vacuum bags that catch micro particles.
Use a good filtration system on your furnace that attracts micro-particles. High performance furnace filters minimize the level of pollutants that circulate throughout your home. Change the filter frequently to help reduce the amount of micro particles in the home.