With the arrival of winter and cold weather, many of us break out our humidifiers to combat dry air and its associated symptoms, such as sore throats, dry skin, and congestion. But have you ever thought of adding essential oils to your humidifier to improve its scent and benefits? While the idea may seem tempting, it's actually not recommended.
Differences between Humidifiers and Diffusers
The main difference between humidifiers and diffusers is their design and function. Humidifiers were created to add moisture to the air, while diffusers were designed specifically to add aromatic oils to the air. This difference affects how they interact with essential oils.
Humidifiers come in two main types: cool-mist humidifiers (or evaporative humidifiers) and warm-mist humidifiers. Cool-mist humidifiers use a combination of nebulizers and a wet-wicking filter system to release pure water into the air as a cool mist. Warm-mist humidifiers boil water to release steam and its moisture into the air. Neither of these types of humidifiers are well-suited for adding essential oils.
Diffusers, on the other hand, come in two main types: ultrasonic diffusers and atomizing diffusers. Ultrasonic diffusers mix water and essential oils in a diffuser, which uses electronic frequencies to break the water into particles that carry the oils with them as they float into the air. Atomizing diffusers rapidly move air through a trough of essential oil, reducing the oil to a vapor that emerges from the diffuser as undiluted oil.
Why You Shouldn't Add Essential Oils to a Humidifier
While adding essential oils to your humidifier may seem like a good idea, it can actually be harmful. Essential oils can cause plastic parts in the humidifier, including the water tank and some machinery, to deteriorate over time. In cool-mist humidifiers, the essential oils can clog the filters in the wet-wicking system, causing the humidifier to stop working or break down completely. In warm-mist humidifiers, high heat can alter the makeup of the essential oil, changing its scent profile and potential benefits.
However, there are exceptions to every rule. Some humidifiers now come with an essential oil tray, ring, or filter that passes the water mist or steam through a filter that adds essential oil to it. Be sure to check the manufacturer's directions on your humidifier to see if you can add essential oils to it.
In conclusion, it's not recommended to add essential oils to a humidifier, as it can cause harm to the device and alter the essential oil's properties. Instead, consider using an essential oil diffuser, which was designed specifically for adding aromatic oils to the air. With a diffuser, you can enjoy the benefits of essential oils without risking damage to your humidifier.
To learn more about Young Living essential oils, start your essential oil journey today!