Many Atlanta, GA area homeowners burn candles both for the ambiance and aroma. They look great and smell wonderful, but are the candles you’re burning hurting your home’s HVAC air filters? Learn about consequences of burning candles and what this household habit means for HVAC air filters.
Candles and Your HVAC Air Filters
Burning candles gives off light and fragrance, but they also produce a fair amount of soot and wax. Most of the time, you don’t see this soot or wax in your home. So where does it go?
Soot and wax from candles are picked up by the air circulating through your home. It flows into your return ducting and travels to your heating and cooling equipment. There it passes through HVAC air filters before it’s conditioned and recirculated into your living areas.
Your HVAC air filters trap the soot and wax in your air supply. These substances stick to the filter’s surface and cover an HVAC air filter with black, waxy residue. The soot and wax produced by burning candles in your home clog the fibers of HVAC air filters. Ultimately, this prevents air from moving through properly.
If you frequently burn candles in your Atlanta, GA area home, you need to keep an eye on your HVAC air filters. They will likely require a change more frequently than you expect.
Check your HVAC air filters monthly and change them when you see a blackened, waxy surface or other large amounts of debris. Dirty filters reduce your air quality and strain your HVAC equipment.
Candles and Indoor Air Quality
In addition to coating an HVAC air filter with wax and soot, candles negatively impact indoor air quality in a number of ways.
- Paraffin candles emit toxic chemicals as they burn, including toluene, benzene, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
- The wicks of candles may contain lead, which burning emits. Lead-wicked candles are banned in the United States but still may enter the marketplace.
- In addition to toxins, scented candles emit a strong fragrance which may irritate people in your home and cause headaches, respiratory issues and eye or sinus irritations.
Maintaining Good IAQ While Enjoying Candles
While candles can be problematic, you can still enjoy them without destroying indoor air quality and your HVAC air filters. Make smarter choices about the candles you burn so everyone in your home benefits from better indoor air quality.
- Choose soy or beeswax candles instead of paraffin candles to avoid toxins.
- Purchase candles from a reputable manufacturer or artisan who does not use toxic ingredients.
- Keep your home well-ventilated any time you burn candles. Turn on exhaust fans in your home to vent candle burning byproducts.
- Only burn candles for an hour or so at a time to minimize the amount of harmful pollutants released into your indoor air supply.
Estes Services helps Atlanta, GA homeowners protect their HVAC air filters and equipment while enjoying burning candles throughout the house. For high efficiency HVAC air filters and routine maintenance for filter changes, contact us today!