How is an essential oil diffuser different from a humidifier? Many people erroneously lump these two products together into the same category. It is a common mistake, so let’s clarify it.
Hot and Cold
A humidifier is commonly used in very dry climates to moisturize the air. It works by heating a water store, which produces vapor that is released into the room. The key word here is heat, diffusers work on the opposite principle. Diffusers work on a cold air principle. The cool vapor that is released into your environment contains tiny particles of essential oil. These particles are taken into your body, when you inhale, and work with your immune system to promote health and wellbeing; helping to fight off colds, flues, and allergies. While humidifiers provide a moisture filled mist; diffusers provide a cool vapor laden with particles of essential oil that will cling to your lungs stimulating healthful benefits and absorb through the skin.
What Can You Do for Me?
Diffusers are highly recommended for those with allergies to dust. Dust allergy is common for young children and introducing a diffuser can cut down on long nights with a stuffy coughing child. There is not price tag on peace of mind and a permanent healthy solution. Dust is attracted to the essential oil molecule; thereby becoming neutral. When you conceive of all the airborne pollutants that can be found in your home, using a diffuser becomes an excellent idea. From bacteria to pet dander, diffusers work to “clear the air”. Humidifiers are not so effective. While it is true that they can help to clear away stale air, once the moisture leaves the air, dust particles are free to accumulate once again; along with any bacteria (such as mold) that has attached itself to the dust particle. So, the cycle never really ends here. Diffusers work thoroughly, particles are broken down and become non-threatening.
Symptoms versus Prevention
Humidifiers have been used for years to help sooth children with colds during the night. Products, such as vapor rub can be added to the water to help minimize symptoms. Adults use them for the same purpose and to help with dry sinuses etc. The idea is to help someone work through symptoms they already have. Diffusers work on a different principle altogether, they help prevent the onset of colds, flues, and allergies by introducing the health benefits of essential oils to your body.
Mistakenly, it is often assumed that essential oils can be added to a humidifier to provide the overall health benefits associated with the use of essential oils. That is a false assumption. Humidifiers are not designed for essential oil components and the plastic can become damaged by them. It is a better idea to invest in a small portable diffuser if you are looking for the health benefits of essential oil use; rather than run into a messy (and smelly) situation by introducing essential oil products into a humidifier.
Diffusers are also very efficient in that they do not need to run constantly. Most come with at least a few different settings to adjust the amount of mist and length of time that they run. It makes sense; there is no need to constantly run a diffuser to get the benefit you are looking for. Humidifiers must run constantly to produce the moisture you need. When the humidifier is off, dry air and symptoms return. This means higher energy use, frequent changes to filters, and replenishing water stores.
Lastly, diffusers produce fresh clean scent. Therapeutic quality essential oils are the way to go for those who want not only fragrance but changes in health. There is no competition between the two here. Humidifiers are not created to produce scent. With a diffuser, you have not only purchased something that will benefit the health of every member of your family; you have just stopped spending hundreds of dollars a year on candles, deodorizers, and other scent masking products. No matter what your favorite scent is, there is an essential oil that will fill your home with your favorite scent, and bring calm, relaxation, and good health to all.
In conclusion these two products are vastly different. While humidifiers are not a bad thing; diffusers prove to be far superior in their approach and benefits. The concept of preventing a problem, rather than treating it once it arrives, is by far the best approach. Utilizing organic all-natural products in a time when we are inundated with pollutants is another bonus. Where humidifiers can be beneficial on a short term basis; diffusers are there for the long haul. When looking for a safe, long-term way to bring natural aroma, health benefits, and clean air to your home; diffusers are going to win, every time.