Can a Candle Heat a Room? Everything You Need to Know

This is a guide covering whether a candle could heat a room.

Are you one of those DIY enthusiasts who go down the rabbit hole of YouTube and Reddit?

Do you like finding homemade DIY tricks to save the day? Does your chest expand, and do you beam with pride when your DIY solutions work like magic?

Then you must be familiar with the concept of candle heaters. There are hundreds of DIY videos on how to use candle heat to warm the room.

You must be wondering if a candle can heat the room and how efficient it is. Don’t worry! We have got this covered. Here is everything you need to know about candle heaters!

Let’s dive in.

Do Candles Help Warm Up a Room?

On a cold winter day, you feel like heating your bedroom or your dorm room (if you are a student).

You have some tealight candles lying around in your cupboard. You must be wondering, “Can a candle heat a room?”

Sure, candles produce flame and hence, produce heat too. But is that heat enough to warm up a room? An average tealight candle produces a power of almost 30 watts.

That wouldn’t be enough to generate heat enough to warm up a room. Using multiple candles helps warm up a room.

But the degree to which a candle flame can heat a room depends on various factors such as the size of the room, the insulation of the room, the curtains or blinds, ventilation, size of the candle, etc.

How Much Can a Candle Warm a Room?

An average tealight candle produces power of up to 30 watts.

This would be enough only to heat a space of two square feet.

Let’s consider a room which is of the size 10×10 feet, i.e., 100 square feet.

So, your tealight candle would only enough to heat 0.2 percent of your room.

How Many Candles Do You Need to Heat a Room?

As we have said above, the heat from a single candle flame produces enough power to heat two square feet.

The average size of a bedroom in the United States is around 200 square feet.

So, you would need 100 candles to light up an average-sized bedroom.

But it isn’t safe to light 100 candles in any room.

You must be cautious when you light even a single candle or a couple of candles for the fire hazards they pose.

Lighting up 100 candles in a room to use candle heat to warm up the room is not a practical solution to heat the room.

Is There an Efficient Way to Leverage Candle Heat to Warm Up a Room?

It must be disappointing to hear that those pretty candles that cast a warm glow wouldn’t be able to help you cut down the electricity and heating costs.

But there are work-around solutions to use candles to heat the room.

You must have watched DIY videos of people devising an at-home heater using a couple of flower pots and candles.

Does that work? Yes.

The heat generated by this would be enough to warm yourself and a tiny space on a cold day.

To make this DIY heater, you need at least three flower pots, a couple of washers, toggle screws, slabs, and candles.

One big one, the second one smaller than the first one and the third, the smallest. The smaller ones should be able to fit into the bigger ones.

Take the smallest flower pot and fit a washer at the bottom of the flower pot using the toggle screw.

Now repeat the same to the other two flower pots and put them on top of the smaller ones.

Now turn the flower pot arrangement upside down such that the bottoms of the flower pot face the sky.

Put these flower pots on stones or slabs. Set a candle underneath the flower pot arrangement and the rest of them around it.

You can use more than three flower pots if you have more.

This arrangement is more effective than simply lighting candles around the room. The heat from a candle flame dissipates faster in thin air than in the flowerpot scenario.

In the flowerpot arrangement, the clay pots absorb the candle heat.

Although the clay pots are not producing any additional heat, clay retains heat better, like all other ceramics.

As we keep the candles lit for a longer time, the clay gets heated up to higher temperatures.

As the pots reach higher temperatures, the heat gets transferred to the air through conduction between the pot and the air through the simple science of heat transfer.

Since we are using multiple flower pots, the heat will be retained longer.

You must be extra cautious if you are trying to warm your hands up by putting them on the clay pots.

As mentioned earlier, clay pots can withstand high temperatures. So, you must be careful while touching the pots.

Does the Type of Candle Wax Affect the Heat and Number?

Yes, the type of candle wax affects the candle heat and how a candle can heat the room.

Not all waxes have the same melting points and burn times. The flames derived from each candle wax differ. This, in turn, affects the heat produced from the candle flame.

When you compare the melting points of paraffin wax and soy wax, paraffin wax has a higher melting point than soy wax because of its defined crystal structure.

Soy wax is easier to burn due to its lower melting point. Besides, it lasts longer than paraffin wax.

If you want to heat a room, you would want a candle that burns longer and lights up easier at colder temperatures.

Beeswax has a higher melting point than soy wax and paraffin. But as the beeswax is denser than the soy wax, beeswax tends to burn longer than soy wax candles.

We randomly came across a few scientific journals that discussed the potential of beeswax and paraffin as heat energy storage in incubators.

The result was that beeswax was more effective as a heat energy storage material than paraffin due to its higher latent heat capacity.

Overall, if you are using beeswax candles, the heat produced will be more even while using a lesser number of candles.

Soy wax candles are easier to use as they are quicker to burn in colder temperatures. So, they are more practical if you are using candles to heat the room.

Final Remarks

Although candles produce heat while burning.

The heat from a candle flame is not enough to heat an entire room. You would need almost a hundred candles to heat an average room.

Suppose if you burn multiple candles in a room, they would release carbon monoxide as they burn. If the room is not properly ventilated, it would lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and heavy soot deposits.

Besides, think about the fire hazards lighting a hundred candles poses. This is highly impractical.

Even if you fashion a candle heater arrangement, you must consider factors such as ventilation, insulation, etc.,

You would also have to keep checking if the candle flame is on or extinguished. You have to keep relighting the candles.

Our verdict is, if it’s an emergency and there is no power source on a particularly cold day, candles would save your day.

Otherwise, candles are not a viable solution to heat a room. Instead, use a space heater or a propane heater.