How Many Candles Does It Take To Heat A Room?

Using candles to heat a room may sound like a tempting idea. But does burning candles make a difference? Can the little candle flames generate the same intensity of heat as your other heating appliances? Well, let’s explore and find out how many candles does it take to heat a room and if it is worth a try.

With the onset of winter, as the temperature drops, we make provisions to keep our homes warm. But sometimes, your space heater undergoes wear and tear. Or the electricity may go out for a long time. 

Here, you might find interest in thinking of alternatives that can warm your space. But these should be safe and not turn out to be a bummer. 

Technically, Can Candles Heat A Room?

Candles are gorgeous items that usher light and ambiance. And some people might even consider them a good way to get some heating. One of the experiments can be using a few candles to generate heat in a room. Sounds interesting! But is it practical enough?

The availability is not an issue. Candles are available at your nearest candle stores or supermarkets. Plus, simple candles are pocket-friendly. 

Well, before you move on to spending bucks on candles, let’s see the heating capacity of a candle. And how many watts of power are required to heat a room?

Assessing The Heating Capacity Of A Candle

The heating capacity of a candle refers to the amount of heat it can produce. For an average-sized burning candle, it is estimated to be 80 Watts. 

This is an extremely low figure to consider heating a room. It isn’t even good enough to heat a car, let alone a room or house.

But we cannot overlook the fact that a candle does emit energy. And surprisingly, if you bring up the number of candles your room will feel warm after a while. So technically, candles can heat a room. 

But how do you get to the number of candles required to heat a room? A simple formula is to compare it with the heating capacity of a space heater.  

A conventional space heater has a heating capacity of 1600 Watts. As we already know, a candle provides 80W heat. At this point, our answer can come from simple multiplication (or division, if you prefer).

So, this brings us to this simple situation: 

80W (heat from one candle) x 20 (number of candles) = 1600W (heating capacity of a space heater).

Honestly speaking, that’s too much. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, let’s look at other factors that come into play once you start lighting so many candles. 

Lighting Twenty Candles In A Room For Heating: Factors To Consider

bunch of burning candles to heat a room

So twenty burning candles in a room! In the first instance, walking in a room with twenty lit flames is simply captivating. It’s bright and warm. For candle lovers, it’s a delight to watch so many dancing flames.

Let’s assume a spacious room with 20 medium-sized candles. A medium-sized candle will last for 7 to 8 hours, while tealight candles extinguish after 3 to 6 hours. 

I’ll keep this discussion limited to medium-sized candles as tealight candles are too tiny to generate enough heat.

Even if 20 candles work to heat a room, bunching them together isn’t a good idea. You can place 2 or 3 medium sized candles in every corner of the room. Or a few of them in the center. And let them burn with the room tightly shut. Wait for a while and see the result.

Lighting a large supply of candles in a go will generate heat. Your room will feel warm and it will remain steady for a while. But sadly, this heat tends to diminish gradually.

Using Candles To Heat A Room Come With Downsides

As the wax melts down to the bottom, your burning candles will say goodbye and the heating graph will fall. This can be quite a disappointment. 

Replacing candles as they go out feels like too much of a hassle. Besides, you will be literally playing with fire. So many candles in a room is literally a fire hazard. 

In case any of the candles come in contact with anything flammable, it can lead to a fire breakout. With children and pets around, you’ve got to be more vigilant. This requires babysitting the candles and nobody has that kind of patience and time. 

3 medium sized candles in a corner of the room

It’s important to consider the health effects as well. Lighting so many candles in an enclosed area alters the air quality. Be it organic or non-organic candle wax, every candle emits smoke, soot, and chemicals. 

It is not advisable to breathe in such air, especially when there are 20 candles burning. If nothing else, there will be a lot of carbon dioxide and even some carbon monoxide released by the candles. As these gasses build up, things can get dangerous. 

I feel counting on candles to heat a room is not my cup of tea. For me, it’s quite a laborious task and invites trouble. It’s not worth investing time and money. Instead, I would prefer using other alternatives that are much more result-oriented and steady. 

And I share an overview of these with you in the next part of our discussion. This may be quite helpful for you in case you want to avail of any one of them. 

Effective Alternatives To Heat A Room 

A single space heater generally has the potential of 1600 Watts. And it’s steady. Once you plug in the socket you know that it will heat your room and keep it consistently warm. 

If the heater isn’t feasible, you can rely on a heating blanket or a heating jacket. These come with integrated wires which produce heat when these are plugged into the electric socket. Or you could buy a pack of decent hand warmers to keep warm.

Nothing can replace the warmth and natural heat of a fireplace at home. It turns your  wintertime into a warm and enjoyable season. Wood-burning fireplaces help you to combat heat if the power goes out. Sitting next to it and sipping warm coffee makes it a delight.

Finally, don’t forget to wear the right clothes. Layering builds a good insulation system. Warm clothes do not generate heat but our bodies do. And layering traps this heat and keeps us toasty. 

DIY Flower Pot Heater Isn’t A Practical Way To Heat A Room

Double-walled tealight candle heater

The homemade flower pot heater has gained some recognition and is often seen as a quick alternative to conventional heating. 

You’ll find plenty of guides on building one yourself, and there are even pre-made versions available to purchase online. My opinion is that these don’t work and can indeed be more harmful than useful. 

This DIY room heater comprises two clay flower pots that are of different sizes. Four burning tealights are placed on a metal tray and covered with an inverted small pot. But the difficulty lies in giving it an elevated position. 

Further, the larger pot is placed over the smaller one in a similar fashion with optimum elevation to provide enough gap between the two pots, thus creating a double-walled heater.

Let’s talk about the heating power of this DIY heater. As we know, a medium-sized candle has a heating rating of 80 Watts.   

So you can well imagine how much heat four small tealight candles together can produce. Even if they put out somewhere around 60 watts, the total heat is nowhere near sufficient to heat a room.

Heating Room With Candles Is An Ineffective Idea

In our explorative journey, we discovered using candles to heat a room is not a practical solution to battle the wintertime. It has downsides to it and can turn out to be a nightmare if it comes in contact with anything flammable. 

For those who still want to experiment and know how many candles does it take to heat a room, the answer is 20 candles. But, it’s not a smart idea or something you should consider seriously. 

Instead, it’s better to consider other relatively safe alternatives. And let candles perform their role to add light and a touch-up of ambiance and fragrance to your home.