Essential oils have been in use for thousands of years, but they became a mainstream sensation only within the last decade. Essential oils are the concentrated oil-soluble components extracted from natural material, such as plants. And when we say concentrated, we mean really, really concentrated. For example, in order to produce a single pound of lavender essential oil, it is estimated that 250 pounds of lavender flowers are required. It is estimated that it takes 10,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 pound of rose essential oil. This massive difference in quantity is due to the different amounts of oils available from the plant material.
TIP: Essential oils need to be stored properly to protect their compounds. They should be protected from light, from high or fluctuating temperatures, from constant exposure to the air, and from most plastics. Storing essential oils in amber-colored glass bottles is the best way to protect them.
With the growing popularity of essential oils, it was only a matter of time before someone suggested adding them to a humidifier. And it seems like a great idea, right? Well, yes and no. While essential oils can be used with humidifiers, you need to know which humidifiers can use essential oils and how to add the oils to the humidifier.
Here at AIRCARE HQ, we manufacture two different types of humidifiers: evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers. One of our most frequent questions at involves the use of essential oils with AIRCARE humidifiers. Let’s break it down!
Evaporative humidifiers work through the natural process of evaporation. Evaporation is simply when water vaporizes and turns from a liquid to a gas. Evaporative humidifiers contain wicking filters. These wicks are made from a porous paper material, which absorbs the water from the basin in the humidifier. A fan then blows across the water contained in the wicking filter, triggering the process of evaporation. This evaporated water vapor is pushed into the room by the fan, increasing the humidity of the air. Evaporative humidifiers are very efficient. They use a small amount of energy to humidify a large amount of space. They are compact and attractive in the home. Raising the humidity in your home to 40% can improve skin and hair health, can alleviate snoring symptoms, and can keep wooden furniture, floors, and musical instruments in great condition. Since evaporative humidifiers have the wicking filter technology, they are great at removing allergens from the air, by filtering out pet dander, dust mites, and pollen. This can in turn reduce allergy symptoms and sinus complaints.
Evaporative humidifiers should NEVER be used with essential oils. Since any substances in the water will be absorbed by the wicking filter, the filters need to be changed on a regular basis. Minerals or debris in the water will be trapped by the wicking filter, thus helping to remove impurities from the water and thus from the air. Any foreign materials added to the water, such as essential oils, will also be trapped by the wicking filter. This will cause the filter to break down and possibly fail. Evaporative humidifiers cannot function without the wicking filter, so keeping it in top condition will improve the efficiency of the humidifier.
Any substances added to the water will also be in direct contact with the basin or bottles for long periods of time. This exposure can damage the plastic used in both the humidifier and the bottle cap assemblies.
Ultrasonic humidifiers work on the principle of high frequency oscillation. The oscillator inside the unit breaks the water droplets down into ultra-fine particles. This creates a fine mist of water, which is then released into the room, usually via a small fan on the bottom of the unit.
Ultrasonic humidifiers do not use wicking filters. Like evaporative humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers use a water tank. Essential oils should NEVER be put into the water tank on the ultrasonic humidifiers. For the same reasons we discussed in the evaporative humidifiers, essential oils are corrosive and possibly damaging to the working parts of the humidifier, as well as the water reservoir and caps. Putting anything into the water other than Manufacturer’s recommendations could void the warranty on the humidifier.
Essential oils CAN be used with AIRCARE ultrasonic humidifiers by utilizing the special essential oil diffuser tray. We defined the differences between humidifiers and diffusers in this article. Basically a diffuser is used to distribute essential oils into the air in the home. A humidifier’s main purpose is to distribute moisture into the air, thus raising the humidity levels (and comfort levels). Each of our ultrasonic humidifiers comes with an essential oil diffuser tray and essential oil pads. These are super easy to use. Remove the tray from the humidifier. Place an essential oil pad into the tray. Drip a few drops of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend onto the pad. Replace the tray into the humidifier. Turn on the humidifier and enjoy! The fan in the ultrasonic humidifier draws the scent of the essential oils up and into the water mist created by the oscillator. None of the essential oil particles come into direct contact with any surfaces other than the pad and tray. The essential oil pads are disposable. They should be changed out any time that new scents are introduced.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are perfect for humidifying smaller spaces. They are easily adjusted and personalized. Our AIRCARE AURORA and AURORAmini models have optional colored LED nightlights and essential oil trays. The AIRCARE MESA has a sleek, modern look and optional essential oil tray. Ultrasonic humidifiers offer the same level of comfort as their evaporative counterparts. By increasing the relative humidity in your home or room to 40%, you hydrate skin and hair, ease sinus discomfort, relieve allergy symptoms, decrease snoring problems, relieve dry eye, and protect valuable wood furniture and musical instruments.
Essential oil fragrances can be easily enjoyed in your home, while humidifying at the same time. Ultrasonic humidifiers offer the best of both worlds, providing aromatherapy and hydration for health.
Note: For our purposes, we are only discussing using essential oils as aromatherapy. Essential oils should be used with caution around infants, small children, pets, pregnant women, and the elderly. Research and consult with a medical professional if in doubt.OLDER NEWER