Using an essential oil diffuser to humidify the air: good idea?

You will sometimes hear that a misting diffuser can be used to humidify the air in a room. In theory, this seems logical: these diffusers project a mist of water into the air to carry the essential oils, this mist will therefore increase the humidity of the air. Unfortunately, when we go into detail, we realize that in reality, their effect on the ambient humidity will be more than marginal.

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What is air humidity?


What are the recommended humidity levels?

In a house, it is usually recommended to maintain a relative humidity between 40 and 60%. However, it is not uncommon that in winter, when the house is heated, the relative humidity drops to below 30%. To limit this, it is necessary to increase the humidity level, and for that, there are not 300 solutions: it is necessary to add water (finally of the water vapor) in the air.

Let's take the example of a room of 10 m² (i.e. a volume of about 25m3). At 20°C, to increase the relative humidity by 1%, you need to add 17.3/100*25=4.325 g of water to the air. To go from 30 to 40 %, it will thus be necessary to add 43.25 g or 43.25 mL of water.

How to increase the humidity of the air?

The simplest (and often most effective) method is to boil water in the room: the water turns into steam and the relative humidity increases. Unfortunately, it is not always practical (or safe) to install a gas stove and a pot of boiling water in the children's room!

This is why there are humidifiers, which work in the same way as misting diffusers (a membrane sends ultrasounds into a water tank, creating a mist that spreads into the air). This is why you will sometimes hear that a misting diffuser can be used as a humidifier. logical you will say, well no, because we omit a small detail: the power (again!) of the machine:

A fogging diffuser such as those we offer on our site will diffuse about 10 mL of water in 1 hour: if we take our example of a 10 m² room, this would theoretically increase the humidity of our room by about 2%. It's a bit low, isn't it? And if let turn the diffuser longer? (its tank makes 100 mL after all, and we need only 43 mL to reach our 40 %!) Again, theoretically this is correct, but in practice, the diffuser is not going to send water into the whole room, the water, in the form of mist (micro droplets) and not vapor (gas), is not going to stay suspended in the air for very long, and therefore the humidity is not going to increase.

To compare, an ultrasonic humidifier can spray between 180 and 250 mL of water into the air per hour, 20 times more than our diffusers. That's 20 times more water than our diffusers, and it's much more effective at changing the humidity level!

In conclusion, to humidify the air, you need a humidifier (or a pan) but to diffuse essential oils, you need a diffuser! Easy to remember, right?

Healing with oils... Theophane de la Charie

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