How Much Heat Does a Candle Give Off? Experimental Insight Illuminates the Truth!

Candles stand out because they are used to provide lighting and sometimes serve as a form of decoration at events. In the case of an emergency, you might be considering using candles as a heat source, and this depends on the amount of heat given off by a single candle.

How much heat does a candle give off? A single candle gives off about 80 watts of heat. So, to get the same heat level as a room heater with a 2000-watt rating, you will need to light about 25 candles at once.

Based on an analysis of a burning candle by AltaSim Technologies, candles transfer heat through the three main forms of heat transfer: conduction, radiation, and convection.

Can A Candle Heat a Room?

Yes, a candle can heat a room because it gives off heat as a form of energy. However, many candles might be needed to produce the amount of heat a room requires.

Nowadays, most people that purchase candles are looking to use them as a form of decoration, lighting, or for their scent. Using candles to provide heat is not a quite widespread practice, but the idea might occur to you on days when your heater is down.

Candles have been a source of light since ancient times. In fact, there are some references to the use of candles that date as far back as 1000 BC. From all those years ago till today, candles are more popular for lighting than heat.

Using candles as a heat source is very possible. Here are a bunch of simple explanations behind how candles burn to heat a room.

Firstly, candles produce light by generating heat through combustion. The wax that makes up the candle is expected to break down into molecules when it is lit.

The molecules then react with the flame and use oxygen in the air to generate heat, create light, and produce water vapor and carbon dioxide.

So, the longer the energy from the combustion process radiates the flame in different directions, the more heat continues to build and melt more wax. This process is usually repeated until the wax evaporates or the flames burn out.

Many heat sources transfer heat through one method, but candles utilize the three most popular procedures – convection, conduction, and radiation. The combination of these methods makes them versatile.

If you want to use a candle as a heat source within your home, it might be helpful to use a protective outer casing such as a flowerpot. A flowerpot will serve as a form of protection against the many candles you’d need, ensuring that the risk of a fire is reduced or eliminated.

One reason candles can heat a room is their efficiency. Although a lot higher, the efficiency of a space heater is like that of candles. It explains that candles can be a reliable source of warmth even with their low intensity.

Before heating a room, you must consider several factors that determine the number of candles to use and how effective they’d be.

Let’s look at them below;

  • Size of Candles

How fast a room gets heated depends on the size of the candles used. Longer and thinner candles are expected to burn faster than thicker candles.

  • Type of Wax

The higher the melting point of the wax, the longer it burns, and the better to heat a room. Paraffin wax is a commonly used wax because of its high melting point and sturdiness.

Although Beeswax and Soy wax have proven to have higher melting points than paraffin wax, they’re quite expensive.

  • Amount of Air

The amount of air and humidity present in the room would determine whether the candles would burn faster. For a candle to burn faster, it needs a good amount of oxygen.

What are Popular Candle Wax For Maintaining Heat?

BeeswaxBeeswax candles are known for being long-burn candles. And are used for tea lights or storm candles. It’s one of the hottest burning candles according to comparisons with other candles on the market. It burns between 63 and 90C.
Paraffin waxSince its inexpensive, its a very much affordable wax. Though its heat varies, its used to make many different types of candles.

How Many Candles to Heat a Room?

The number of candles you need to heat your room depends on the sizes of both your room and the candles you intend to use. Burning 10 candles at once will not make your room very warm, but it can reduce the amount of discomfort caused by cold.

Candles are a source of light, and they do not give off a lot of heat. To use them for heat during an emergency would require quite a substantial number. You can combine about 7 tea candles in a metal container to serve as a decent heat source.

The good thing about candles is that they produce very minimal toxins when burned and can be managed easily to avoid any disaster. Also, some candle types are better choices than others. Here’s a list of candles you might use during an emergency to heat a room:

  • Pillar candles

They’re made of rigid wax and should be placed in non-flammable containers for the melted wax to drop on. Their burn rate varies from 30 hours to 95 hours depending on the size you opt for.

  • Container Candles

Container candles come in non-flammable containers filled with wax and a wick in the center.

  • Votive Candles

Votive candles are small-sized candles that need to be placed in a cup or holder. They burn for about 10 hours when in use.

  • Tea light Candles

Tea light candles are often sold with a container to hold them, and they can be set in metal plates to prevent them from dripping.

How Do You Heat a Room with Candles?

You can heat a room with candles by placing the candles in flowerpots or terra cotta pots. These containers will absorb heat from the candles and help to spread heat across the room.

Candles often generate a small amount of heat, making them ineffective alone to heat your room. However, there are ways that the heat from candles can be manipulated, causing candles to act as space heaters in rooms.

When you use terracotta pots as containers for candles, they absorb the candles’ heat, keeping it centralized to heat the room. Terracotta is a material particularly suitable for heaters because it stores heat and slowly distributes it to the environment by thermal radiation.

Terracotta pots are made such that even after the candles die out, they remain warm for an extended period. The process of heat transfer also depends on the number of candles you place into the pot. That is, the higher the number of candles, and the larger each candle is, the longer your terracotta stays hot.

Another way to heat your room with candles is with coffee cans. Weird as it may seem, coffee cans act as radiant heaters. Placing your candles and burning the wick radiates heat to the container and provides the heat you’re looking to find. However, you must be careful about cuts when opening your cans.

An interesting offshoot of this idea is a camping equivalent, called the BULLETSHAKER, available through Amazon. Made from stainless steel, this camping stove and radiating heater outperforms aluminum in both producing and radiating heat. Click here to learn more!

Best Candles for Heat

Beeswax candles are the best candles for heating a room.  This is because Beeswax candles are insoluble in water and have a high melting point ranging from 143.6 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (62 to 65 degrees Celsius).

Beeswax candles are an excellent choice for heat because of how sturdy they are. Beeswax is very dense and has a high melting point.  The high melting point of beeswax lets it emit a bright flame and its density makes it burn slower than other wax types, resulting in the lasting use of the candle. Also, beeswax candles are long-lasting because they are naturally resilient against natural forces such as water and wind. Alternative Imagination offers a candle that lasts for 80 hours in a single sitting! Standing at 6 inches tall and 3 inches of circumference. Click here for more information!

Amongst wax types, beeswax has only one other peer, soy wax. Soy wax is the most eco-friendly wax, as it is biodegradable and easy to clean. As mentioned above, there’s a wide selection of candle designs to pick from when looking for candles. Also, when in a quest for candles that heat rooms, unscented wax candles are the best choice.

While scented wax candles aren’t any different except for their fragrance, there’s every possibility that they’d fill your room up with an aroma that might become overwhelming. Also, scented candles are more expensive than plain candles meaning you’ll spend a lot since you’ll be burning several candles.

The function of a candle is not just limited to its type of wax but also includes the wick used. This means that the type of wax present in a candle would also determine how long it burns and its efficiency.

How To Get the Most Heat from a Candle

To get the most heat from a candle, you should ensure that the wick is trimmed. If your candle wick is neat, the burning will be more efficient, and there will be a lower chance of residual soot.

When burning a candle for heat, its efficiency is especially important since it determines how much heat you feel. It is easy to light a candle at any point in time, but there are ways to ensure your candle works perfectly and efficiently.

Here are some useful tips for improving candle efficiency.

  • Trim your wick

Untrimmed wicks make the flames grow too tall and leave unwanted burn marks. The wick plays a similar role to that of a fuel pump in a car. A wick draws liquefied wax up into the flame to burn.

Having a big flame due to a lack of trimmed wicks only makes your wax dissolve faster without burning as properly as it should.

  • Position your wick carefully

Coax your wick to the center of the candle before lighting it. Not only does it contribute to the heat, but it also prevents the possibility of a fire hazard.

  • Don’t burn your candles for too long

Once a candle burns at a stretch for too long, it liquefies the wax easily. It can also directly touch the material it’s placed on and cause damage.

Understanding the basic science behind a burning candle can also help you create stable, long-burning candles to increase your satisfaction.

For instance, the candle’s flame is teardrop-shaped and has many colors. You can use these colors to identify whether it’s safe to leave the candles turned on.

The Blue zone which is closest to the wick is where oxygen combusts with hydrocarbons to form water vapor and carbon dioxide. The absence of a blue zone alone means only carbon dioxide is released in the room and this might cause harm to the body.

Next is the brown/orange region which has a lower oxygen level than the blue. Here, the hydrocarbons continue breaking down and the formation of soot begins.

Next is the yellow zone, which is hotter than the previous two, and this is where most of the soot ignites properly.

Finally, the veil region is the faint blue outer region of the candle flame, and it is the hottest, often getting to temperatures of 2552 degrees Fahrenheit (1400 degrees Celsius).

Taking note of these details lets you know when your candles are burning safely.

Is It Safe to Heat a Room with Candles?

It is not safe to heat a room with candles. Since candles are not large producers of heat, you will need a lot of them to make a temperature difference, and having several candles ignited at once can be dangerous.

There are a lot of hazards that come with lighting a candle. Aside from fire accidents, burning a candle releases volatile organic compounds and particulate matter into the air.

In addition, people might have allergic reactions to burning candles, especially if they are scented. Also, inhaling the fumes that candles give off can be toxic to your body, particularly when they keep burning for a long time.

However, if you insist on using candles, here are some tips for you to use them safely.

  • Firstly, never leave burning candles alone unsupervised. If you need to step out of the room, ensure you completely put out the burning flames.
  • Place your candles in a safe area. Avoid placing them on books or near clothes. Ensure that you keep them away from furniture, carpets, hair, and drapes, among other things.
  • Resist the urge to move the candles around once they are turned on. Instead, place the candles in the safest zone close to you, especially if you’re trying to get some heat.
  • When placing these candles, ensure that they’re apart from one another. This would prevent them from melting together or colliding accidentally.

For an alternative look for effective heating strategies check out this video below for numerous ways that can help keep warmth within your house, room, or domicile. 

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