the Honey Candles candle making shop in the middle of winter with snow covering it

Honey Candles Reduces Energy Use Naturally

Honey Candles® 100% pure natural beeswax candles are manufactured in Kaslo in the West Kootenay area of British Columbia in Canada. Because British Columbia has an abundance of rivers the majority of our electricity is generated by clean hydroelectric projects. The BC Hydro website does not indicate any coal or nuclear power plants. Even so we are mindful of our energy use and work to be energy efficient. The Honey Candles staff takes this into consideration in their daily lives and getting to and from work.

Our area is known for its scenic mountain views and pristine creeks, rivers and lakes.The Kootenays normally have significant snow for fantastic skiing and other winter sports. In the days when our country was just being settled the homes had little or no insulation. The old timers knew about the insulating qualities of snow as did many of the aboriginal people. The settlers used snow to bank around their homes to cut the wind and to hold in the little warmth that their wood stoves generated. Anyone who has done extensive winter hiking or backcountry skiing and has needed a snow cave knows of the insulating qualities of snow. A good snow cave and a pure beeswax Honey Candles® Emergency Candle will keep you warmer.

My research revealed that the insulating qualities of snow may depend on the texture but what seemed consistent is that 10-12 inches of fresh snow with 7% water content is approximately equivalent to 6 inch of fibreglass insulation. Why is snow such a good insulator? It’s because fresh undisturbed snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the lattice structure of the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move the heat transfer is reduced greatly. Fresh fluffy snow is approximately 90-95% trapped air.

At Honey Candles our shop is designed to shed and retain snow along the outside walls. We have varying amounts of snow in different winters but Mother Nature is smart and usually in the cold winters more snow is provided to create insulation.

Honey Candles shopIn this photo we measured the snow and found it to be 10 feet (120 inches) deep insulating the side walls! If we work with the conservative formula and 12 inches of snow is equivalent to 6 inches of fibreglass insulation (a ratio of 2 to 1) that means 120 inches of snow is the equivalent to 60 inches of fibreglass insulation! Even if the snow is somewhat compacted and not totally evenly distributed the results are impressive. Simply by choosing an architectural design for our shop that holds the snow as a natural insulator Honey Candles is reducing its need for a great deal of electricity to heat our factory during a period of the year when the consumption would normally be at its highest.

To find out about the other ways Honey Candles and the staff reduces energy use naturally check out our Social and Environmental Initiatives!

Published By Pat Cattermole

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