Candles work with fire. So it is logical to think that they could be used to heat a room. But while the thought is rational, is it truly realistic? Let us see.
Will candles heat a room? You would have no luck trying to heat a room with a single candle. But with enough candles, it is possible to heat a room.
A single candle produces around 80 watts of heat, which pales compared to an average heater. So, until one amasses enough candles to produce heat similar to that of a heater, the room might not be heated as you would like.
We are sure you have many other questions at this point. Is it safe to heat the room up with candles? How many candles will I need? Well, we answer these questions and much more in the rest of this post.
Can Candles Heat up a Room?
Candles might be able to heat up a room if there are enough of them. But for sure, a single candle cannot heat a room. In fact, the only person or object that would get any heat from a lone burning candle must be very close to it.
You might be thinking, “But a candle works with flames, so why won’t it heat a room?”. Well, the thing is, the flame on a single candle does not produce much heat. It is estimated that one regular candle will produce 80 watts of heat.
Introducing 80 watts of heat in a standard-sized room will not do much in the way of raising the temperature. It is just not enough. However, if you combine the 80 watts from just the right amount of candles, then you can get enough heat for a room.
While the right amount of candles can heat up a room, it also raises hazard concerns. A single candle is already a potential fire hazard, more candles increase the risk.
No doubt this is one reason why candles are not used as heaters. But besides that, candles are not sustainable. They melt as you use them, and once completely melted, you cannot use them again unless you gather the wax and remold the candle.
You should note that the amount of heat your candle gives off is dependent on the type of wick and type of wax. So you may notice variations.
How Many Candles Would You Need?
We have established that one candle will not heat a room, but multiple candles could. So, how many candles would be enough? How many candles would you need to heat a room?
Well, let us do the math. The average room heater can produce up to 1500 watts (5115 BTU) of heat. However, a regular candle produces around 80 watts of heat.
To produce as much heat as an electric heater, you will need 1500/80 candles. This equals roughly 20 candles.
With a tea candle, you may need even more units than regular ones. Tea candles produce around 30 watts of heat. Thus, you will need as many as 50 units to heat a regular-sized room. A small room may get heated by 20-30 tea candles, however.
Can a Clay Pot and Candles Heat a Room?
It turns out if you set up a clay pot with candles in the right way, you can heat a room.
There are various setups for a candle-clay-pot heater. But they all follow a similar pattern. One or more lit candles are placed beneath a slightly raised inverted clay pot.
The clay pot is slightly raised to ensure air keeps coming in. Without air, the candles’ fire will go out. Also, without air, there will be no heating.
With the candle(s) covered by the clay pot, air and heat are concentrated in a limited space. This makes the candle’s heating process more efficient.
So, how does this setup heat a room? Well, first, know that the clay pot does not increase the heat the candles produce. You could say the clay pot keeps the heat around longer and makes it more functional.
What happens is the flame from the candle heats the air under the inverted clay pot. This is possible through a process called convection.
The heated air is then absorbed by the clay pot through a process called conduction. Then the heat absorbed by the clay pot is given off to the room through radiation.
Now, you might wonder, why doesn’t a candle do the same thing? Well, candles give heat off mainly by convection. What this means is they only heat the air around them. So, as the air moves, the heat they generate flows away. In essence, the heat they produce does not stay around for too long.
Things may be different if candle wicks had larger masses. They would have been able to store heat then radiate it for longer. Alas! Candle wicks are nowhere effective as thermal bodies relative to clay pots.
You should note that even with the candle-clay-pot setup, numbers may matter. Depending on the size of the room you intend to heat, you may need multiple candles and multiple or larger clay pots.
5 Safer Options for Heating a Room
As we mentioned once before, candles come with a potential fire hazard. So, you have to be wary of this likely danger when using them to heat your room. Otherwise, you could use safer heating options like the ones listed below:
Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat
This heater works with electricity, and it comes with a thermostat and overheat protection. So it is safer than candles for sure. It runs on two heat settings: 750 watts and 1500 watts. Plus, it comes with a fan, making it a product for various weather conditions.
The AUZKIN heater uses a ceramic heater that heats up quickly. It runs on two heat modes and has a fan mode. This heater comes with overheat and tip-over protection. So, the chances of a fire hazard with this are reduced. It is also portable, easy to carry around, and relatively quiet.
Lasko 751320 Ceramic Tower Space Heater with Remote Control
This product uses a self-regulating, safe, ceramic heating element. Plus, it comes with automatic overheating protection. Of course, these features make it safer than a candle-powered heater.
This tower space heater operates two extremes of heat: 900 watts and 1500 watts. It comes with a thermostat to regulate heat output during operation. Also, you do not have to get to the heater itself to control it. You can operate it from afar using the included remote control.
Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
This product also features overheat and tip-over protection. It runs on three modes: high, low, and eco. You can also control this heater from a distance with the infrared remote control.
The Dr Infrared Heater has a unique design. It is safe to touch, and it works at noise levels of around 39 decibels. So, it operates pretty quietly.
Aikoper Space Heater
This heater combines ceramic heating and a fan to heat up rooms quickly. It runs on three heat modes and a fan mode. So, you can use it in various seasons.
Like the other products on our list, it has safety protection against overheating and tip-overs. Then there is the adjustable thermostat for when you want to control the temperature yourself.
With sufficient units of candles, you could possibly heat a room. But heating a room with candles is not efficient or sustainable.
However, with a clay pot and the correct setup, you should be able to efficiently heat a room with candles. Alternatively, you could go for safer heating options and totally avoid the fire hazard that comes with candles.