In ancient times, candles were some of the few sources of indoor illumination and this made them valuable. Before the discovery of the light bulb in the 18th century, the art of candle-making was a renowned profession which required many years of apprenticeship. Candle-makers or chandlers were a lot many in those times, compared to this current day and age. However, candles are still important – particularly in aromatherapy – and there are many questions surrounding them that remain unclear. One of them is; “How many candles does it take to heat a room?” Because candles can also provide warmth.
THE LINK BETWEEN CANDLES AND HEAT
When many people think of candles, light immediately comes to mind. Well, light and the soothing fragrance of scented candles. Not everybody will immediately think about warmth, because a single candle has a limited supply of heat. However, if you increase the number of candles in a room, you can gradually begin to heat up that room. This is good news which is particularly useful for those living in cold regions, in the event that the power goes out or their radiator becomes faulty and cannot be fixed immediately. In a matter of survival, all will likely go well in such a scenario as long as you have a sizable supply of candles on hand (and, of course, something that you can light them with).
Scientists have been able to determine that each single candle can produce about 80 W of heating power. This means that if you can light up 20 candles in the same room, you will have the equivalent of a 1600 W space heater at your disposal. Thus, if you were to try heating up an entire house, you may end up using hundreds of candles (at the rate of about 20 candles per room). The numbers tend to multiply even further when you factor in the fact that each candle has a limited burning time. The average burning time of normal table candles is about 8 hours and a small tea candle can burn for about 4 hours. So, if you plan on using candles to heat up a room, you need to have a lot of extra candles on hand for the purpose of replacing them when they burn out. You may also need to keep careful watch because so many candles in one place can constitute a fire hazard. This is not feasible.
THE PROS AND CONS OF HEATING A ROOM WITH CANDLES
When it comes to heating a room with candles, there are pros and there are cons. We’ll begin with the pros. Using candles to heat a room could be the only choice available to you, in the event that you find yourself stranded in a cold region and candles are the only source of heat available. Also, candles are the stuff of daydreams; just think about candlelight dinners and birthday wishes. There is just something about them that creates this air of…well, romance. And that ability to create a soothing and romantic ambience can come in handy by setting the mood. Another pro would be that lighting candles could help in saving you some added costs in electrical bills (provided the cost of lighting the candles is a lot cheaper than what you would spend by turning on a light bulb and a radiator).
Now, we’ll move to the cons. First off, it would take a lot of candles to heat up a room. The rate of 20 candles per room doesn’t exactly sound cheap when you’re trying to heat up a whole house. Multiply those numbers by two and they might last through the night, since tea candles can only burn for 4 hours. It really doesn’t sound feasible.
Then, there is also the fact that candles give off some degree of soot along with vapors which some people may be allergic to. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases may also need to exercise care as standing too close to burning candles may set off their symptoms or cause an attack. Just as important is the fact that leaving so many candles on can constitute a fire hazard. All these cons cannot be overlooked, particularly when there are so many other alternatives at your disposal.
ALTERNATIVES TO USING CANDLES TO HEAT A ROOM
The main point of heating a room is to provide warmth, which is particularly crucial in cold regions. The human body needs to maintain a constant range which falls between 97 – 99º F. Significant exposure to cold can lower the body temperature and lean to hypothermia. Even further drops in temperature can cause frostbites and a situation where a person can freeze to death. And so, while using candles to heat up a room might seem unfeasible, it might be necessary in certain scenarios. However, before we can think of using candles to provide warmth, there are a few other methods that we could try first. They include:
- Switching on your home thermostat
Thermostats were not available in the old days and it was during those times that people resorted to all kinds of incredibly creative ways of heating up their homes, using fires from lamps and, of course, candles. Due to lack of alternatives, it might have seemed practical to produce warmth this way. However, we have home thermostats now and because of the way these devices are designed, they are able to control the exact temperature of each room in your home, as some of them are connected to radiators.
- Wearing extra layers of clothes
The idea of putting on more layers of clothes or thicker clothes such as sweatshirts, hoodies or cardigans to ward of cold is almost as old as man. And usually, this is one of the first things we do these days, except for the fact that we do not need to go into the forest to hunt down animals for their hide, like our ancestors did. And when it comes to cost, getting a thick, wool sweater may be more practical than burning hundreds upon hundreds of candles.