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The Nightmare Before Christmas: Candles

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Candles

During the holiday season, scented candles help create a more relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, there are some potential drawbacks to lighting candles inside your home. Reduced indoor air quality is one of the biggest problems.

How Do Candles Affect Air Quality?

Traditional candles produce soot which can negatively impact the air you breathe. Petroleum-based candles cause even more trouble by emitting toxic gases. While everyone can experience problems from breathing in pollution, allergy and asthma sufferers need to be especially careful. Some of the symptoms include a runny nose, chest congestion, sinus infections, coughing, and headaches.

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you love to burn candles during the holidays, there are some ways to maintain your air quality. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Only purchase candles made from natural ingredients like soy and beeswax. Avoid candles that contain additives.
     
  • Before lighting, trim a candle’s wick to a quarter of an inch. This helps ensure that the wick burns down evenly with the wax.
     
  • Use free-standing candles. They produce less smoke than candles that come in decorative containers that disrupt airflow.

Be Sure to Ventilate Your Home Properly

Never light a holiday candle without first ventilating your home. Most modern HVAC units have a filtration system. This feature helps to collect contaminants floating in the air, including smoke. Soot will be far less likely to get into your respiratory tract. However, you must change the filter regularly. It’s a cheap way to improve your home’s air quality. To be on the safe side, be sure to have your HVAC system inspected before the holidays. To schedule an appointment with Elite Air, call (609) 527-3354.
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