Can A Candle Heat A Room? (And Two Useful Alternatives)


When the cold seasons come, generating heat is a must for most homes – unless you love a cold home (but we are yet to meet someone who does!)

Thanks to today’s technology, there are many ways to create heat. You have heaters, radiators, and all sorts of stuff. However, other than these things being too costly to use daily – let’s face it, they could break down at any time. So what’s your next option, then?

If a picture of a candle popped up in your head just now, then good for you! (Give yourself a nice pat, seriously). Candles are actually efficient in producing heat and light without using electricity. For that reason, they’re the go-to option for outdoor sleepovers or when things don’t go your way during emergencies.

Although this sounds interestingly great, you might be wondering: can a candle really heat a room? How can such a small flame give off that much warmth?

Let’s find out.

Can Candles Really Heat A Room?

Yes, candles can heat a room, but only if you use a bunch of them.

Wait, what? Don’t be disappointed! Let’s face it, one or two candles aren’t enough to shun the freezing madness of your room in winter. An average candle doesn’t generate a lot of power to warm up a room, let alone if you use a tea light that might be sitting around your cupboard right now.

Frankly, there are a lot of factors that determine the degree to which a candle can heat a room. Consider your room’s insulation, size, ventilation, the candle’s size, kind, location, or if you use any curtains for the room.

How Much Heat Does A Candle Give Off?

Keep in mind that warming up a room using candles takes a lot of factors into consideration. But, we’ll give you the closest estimation for it.

One average-sized candle approximately produces 75-80 watts of power, which means you’ll need 20-21 candles to heat a room. This requirement is necessary to generate the equivalent heat you’d expect from a 1600-watt electric heater or radiator that can heat a room (or at least a part of the room.

If you opt to use tea lights, you’d be looking at almost triple the number of candles since a tea light generates about 30 watts of power.

Let’s do some more math!

Generally speaking, about 80 watts will heat about a 5-foot square space. A standard bedroom size is approximately 130 square feet. That means you’ll need 26 standard-sized candles to heat your bedroom or around 65 tea lights!

Overall, a single candle doesn’t do much! The heat from one candle isn’t enough to warm up a space like your bedroom. But, if you’re still up for this challenge of warming up your entire room with candles, then it is possible.

Although, that sounds quite dangerous. That many candles pose a massive fire hazard.

Besides the danger, replacing your candles would also be too costly. It’ll cost a lot more than running a space heater.

Well, that’s impractical. You should probably cross out this idea now, given how much of a bad idea it could be.

Although this can be a little disappointing, you could still work your way around candles to heat a room. In fact, there are ‘candle heaters’ out and about on the internet right now. These small, DIY heaters are very useful when the radiator stops working but your room is still freezing cold.

Are There Other Ways To Heat A Room With Candles?

Enough of going through a deep rabbit hole of DIY tutorials to find your way around room heating! We’re about to share some practical alternative heating methods you’ll thank us for the next time you feel a little chilly.

Tea Light Flower Pot Candle Heater

If you’ve seen a “how-to” video of someone using some flower pots and candles to create a small heater, then that’s what we’re talking about. Will that really work? Surprisingly, yes, candle heaters work unexpectedly well. The heat generated by this small, DIY heater is enough to keep you warmer during cold winter days.

This creative kind of candle heater works well to put a brake on a freezing day. Creating a candle heater for your tea light is more effective in centralizing your heat source to trap the heat inside the pot, especially when your lights go out and you’re left in a pitch-dark cold room.

The pot becomes a cutting-edge alternative heating source when you’re freezing by effectively absorbing the heat from the candle and containing the heat before radiating it all out. To keep warm, keep your hands and feet close around the pot (with caution!).

Realistically, there is no mad science behind this. Even a fifth-grader can get how this works.

Imagine an uncovered tea light without a pot. The heat from it will naturally spread out and disperse in the room, lost on its way before getting to the surfaces or walls.

Now, picture a tea light covered with a pot. The pot acts as an ‘absorber’ that collects heat from the tea light by absorbing and trapping heat inside as much as possible. Once the pot reaches its ‘limit’ at a high temperature, it gives or radiates off the heat that can be felt even if you put your hands close to the pot.

To be somewhat scientific, the flower pot candle heater heats the room through a process we call convection which is far more practical than using an uncovered tea light alone.

That sounds like a fun DIY idea, right? However, before making one, remember that the pot needs to have a drainage hole (this is very important!) This hole frees any carbon monoxide from the pot and for the candle to collect sufficient oxygen.

‘Candle-In-A-Can’ Heater

Our second alternative sounds a little different from our first one. Rather than covering the flame, a can heater uses an open flame. It’s also way easier to do!

Place any type of can on the floor with the open side facing up. Put your tea light down on the center of the bottom surface; you should see an open flame.

Since tins are good conductors of heat, you can try wrapping a blanket around yourself to create a tent-like cover around the candle (be careful!). This technique should allow you to collect more heat from the candle to warm your body.

This relatively faster heating method requires less resources, making it perfect for emergencies.

The Risks Of Using Candles To Heat Your Home

There’s always an inevitable risk that comes with burning candles. However, in this case, burning 20 candles all at once to produce heat isn’t exactly the safest option.

What about DIY heaters? The truth is… even using pots and cans can be dangerous.

Clay pots withstand very high temperatures for a long time, so you should be extra careful when trying to warm your hands or feet around the surface. Failure to do so might give you unwanted skin burns.

There’s also a risk of leaving these DIY heaters on all night. Remember that open flames pose a bigger risk and require more attention. It’s best to put them out before you go to sleep.

Burning a load of candles can cause a deadly carbon monoxide accumulation, especially if your room has no ventilation. To be safe, ensure a continuous airflow by opening the window to let carbon monoxide escape from the space. This practice also applies when using scented candles. Regardless of how nerve-calming the aroma can be, you still have to keep it in moderation and light only a few candles at once.

Your health should always be your top priority.


Candles have always been valuable since the dawn of time.

They are extremely handy in emergencies, from the light to the warmth their flame gives off. As an economical option, there is a growing curiosity in a candle’s ability to heat a room to save more electricity to cut the bills.

The truth is, it’s not a practical option to use candles by themselves to heat a room.

If you have large candles, you’ll still need more than 20 of them to heat an average room. So unless you’re going for the aesthetics of many candles, a better option is to create a candle heater.

It’s an efficient, cost-smart, and eco-friendly way to preserve the heat from candles for warming.

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