How to heat a room with some candles (and why you probably shouldn't)

candles flower pot photo
Video screen capture KeepTurningLeft

From energy-saving portable space heaters to some nifty tricks with heat mats and incandescent bulbs, ideas for cheap and efficient ways to heat your home tend to get crazy popular this time of year.

So I wasn't surprised to see this video of a candle-powered space heater making repeat appearances on my Facebook feed.

The trick is undoubtedly clever. And it's a nice reminder of how simple technology can be in order to meet our basic needs. It could also be argued that it reminds you to only heat the room you are in.

But I'd be wary of calling it "green".

As Lloyd noted before over Earth Hour shenanigans, burning candles is very far from carbon neutral. That's especially true when the candles - like those in the video - are made from paraffin.

In a world where we are fighting to save lives from the toxic impact of kerosene lamps, it's important we don't let our nostalgia get the better of our critical thinking. Like the question over when and if to heat with wood, an energy intensive activity like heating your home is always going to be a thorny subject.

If you want to stay warm sustainably folks, wear a sweater and insulate your home.

All else is up for debate.

How to heat a room with some candles (and why you probably shouldn't)
A flower pot and four tea lights can warm a small room. It can also fill it with some nasty toxins.

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