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Whole-House vs. Portable Humidifiers: What’s Best for You?


If you’re in the market for a humidity solution, you might be weighing portable humidifiers against whole-house furnace humidifiers. It’s possible you might not have even considered a whole-house humidifier. Since furnaces and central air systems are expensive, it sounds like a furnace-attached humidifier would probably be an expensive appliance, too. Whole-house humidifiers can actually be similar in price to high-end portable humidifiers, and the functionality they offer can often overshadow any cost concerns.

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Both whole-house humidifiers and portable humidifiers have their own unique trade-offs when it comes to factors like convenience, cost, maintenance, and effectiveness. Each depends on why you’re looking for a humidifier, but this guide will break down how each type of humidifier compares on each scale.

Factors to Consider


Convenience or ease-of-use is one of most important items on this list. If your humidifier is not easy to use on a day-to-day basis, you’re less likely to use it at all. In that case, you’re going to end up with a household appliance that’ll sit around collecting dust. Since the whole point of buying a humidifier is to use it, you want to make sure you can see yourself using it over the long term. Maintenance is also going to be a part of this.

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Not only do should you consider how easy it is to use your humidifier, you need to keep in mind that any kind of humidifier will require ongoing maintenance and cleaning. Each type has its own needs, and you might personally be suited for one maintenance schedule over the other.


It’s very likely that cost is going to be a deciding factor. This isn’t something that you can just take at face value because it weighs against the other three factors: convenience, maintenance, and effectiveness. Something that costs more might be a better fit for what you need overall, but it’s also possible that a small tabletop humidifier is all you need.


How well does the humidifier do what you want it to do? What area of your home are you trying to humidify? What sort of health issues or discomfort are you trying to address with your purchase? Each type of humidifier has a range of products and prices that go from cheap to much pricier. You might need a humidifier with bigger coverage or automation features. Or you might just need something to run in your room overnight. Make sure you ask yourself these questions before you commit to a humidifier based on price alone.

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Portable Humidifiers

Portable humidifiers come in two main flavors: tabletop and console humidifiers. Tabletop humidifiers are much smaller and can easily be carried from room to room. Console humidifiers sit on the floor and are much bulkier. They can be moved between rooms, but it’ll be a little more trouble than a tabletop unit.

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Note that some console humidifiers are marketed as whole-house humidifiers. However, how well they actually do this depends on the unit and the layout of your home. A console humidifier isn’t going to be great at humidifying an open floorplan with a living room ceiling that opens to the second floor. For the purpose of this guide, whole-house humidifiers will refer to furnace-mounted humidifiers.


Believe it or not, portable humidifiers overall rank the worst in terms of convenience. They seem simple enough to use at first. You fill them with water, place them somewhere you need the humidity, and turn it on. However, you need to continually fill them with water. Most tabletop or small console humidifiers can only go a couple of days before you need to refill them.


Maintenance for portable humidifiers happens on a very frequent schedule. The amount of work each time is much less than the once-a-season whole-house humidifier maintenance, but it’s recommended to tabletop humidifiers on at least a weekly basis. Some organizations recommend cleaning small humidifiers as often as every 3 days. And this doesn’t include the need to rinse and dry out your tank when it’s not in use to keep it fresh.

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Console humidifiers are in the same boat as tabletop units. Since they’re not connected to a water supply, they rely on a tank to supply humidity. They can be cleaned a little less frequently, but it still needs to be done a few times a month.


Portable humidifiers are generally going to be cheaper than whole-house humidifiers. A top-of-the-line tabletop humidifier will probably be cheaper than a smaller low-end whole-house humidifier.

Console humidifiers, on the other hand, can have a much wider price range. They go from being tiny to being much more hefty appliances. And along the different range of styles, the price range generally falls between tabletop humidifiers and whole-house humidifiers.


Tabletop humidifiers shine when it comes to humidifying an enclosed room. Since they come in a variety of sizes and abilities, you can pick a humidifier that’s right for the room you want to humidify. If you need to humidify more than just one room, buying a humidifier for each room is going to get expensive and be very difficult to maintain. You’ll want to opt for a whole-house humidifier if you need more than just one room humidified.

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Console humidifiers can do a much better job at humidifying larger rooms and larger portions of your home. A disadvantage, though, is that since humidity only comes from the console unit, you can have an uneven distribution of humidity starting from where you place your humidifier. This can be advantageous if you’re only looking to humidify certain portions of your home.

Whole-House Humidifiers

Whole-house humidifiers are mounted to your furnace and they humidify the air before it’s sent all throughout your house. They usually require professional installation, but they’re a great option for someone looking to raise the humidity in their entire home. You’ll see them come in a few different styles including drum humidifiers, drip-style humidifiers, and steam humidifier. They can also use passive air flow or be powered. Each style gives you slightly different advantages, but they’re largely the same when compared against portable humidifiers.

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Once installation is done and out of the way, using a whole-house humidifier is as easy as turning it on for the winter season and forgetting about it. It’ll run automatically based on a humidistat, and you don’t need to refill it with water to continue operating the humidifier.


Whole-house humidifier are easy-to-use throughout the season because they don’t need to be cleaned on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean they don’t need maintenance at all though. When you’re done using the humidifier after the season, you need to meticulously take apart the humidifier and water lines to give them an inspection. The pieces should be cleaned and dried out thoroughly and replaced if any of them are at risk for breaking down. The filter pad should also be replaced every year.

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Whole-house humidifiers are definitely going to be more expensive to purchase. They cost more, and you can also expect to pay for installation costs from a professional. You can cut the cost of installation by doing it yourself, but you’ll still pay for materials and likely void any manufacturer warranties. Depending on the style of humidifier, you can also pay more for utilities since drip-style humidifiers are not as efficient as your typical portable humidifier.


Nothing will beat a whole-house humidifier at humidifying the entire home during the winter. But it’s very well likely that you might not need your entire home to be humidified. You can’t selectively humidify certain rooms using a whole-house humidifier since it’s connected to your furnace. So if you don’t want certain rooms humidified, this wouldn’t be a good fit for you.

One catch of using a whole-house humidifier though is that whole-house humidifiers are not effective in the summer. They’re designed to be used with a furnace, and even if you tried to have it set up to use in the summer, the water will not evaporate well from cool air blowing over the hydration unit.


The decision you come to depends on your personal needs for your health and comfort.

If you’re looking to raise the humidity in your entire home, you’ll probably need to go with a whole-house humidifier. If you need to humidify any less than your entire home, you should consider how other factors like convenience and maintenance fit into how much work you’re willing to put in to keep a humidifier running.

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Many people also only look to use a humidifier overnight in their rooms as they sleep. If this fits your description and you need something like this all year round, a portable humidifier is going to be a better fit, especially since whole-house humidifiers can’t be used during the summer.

Mistakes to Avoid when Using Humidifiers

Safety and Health Always First

Now that you have a humidifier, you want to be sure you’re getting the most you can out of it in terms of health and safety. Always read the manual it comes with and follow any manufacturer’s instructions, especially for cleaning and maintenance. It’s easy to miss some commonly overlooked issues with improper humidifier use. Here’s a guide to make sure you’re using your humidifier safely, especially since you’re using your humidifier to help improve your health, not put it at risk.

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If you have children or pets, you should also take extra safety precautions around placing a portable room humidifier.

Health Risks

  • Letting the water sit for too long

Standing water and moisture are breeding grounds for bacteria and molds. It’s not uncommon to just let your humidifier run dry and leave it while you’re out for the day. You might think if it’s run dry, what’s the problem? The issue is that there’s usually a little bit of standing water left, and additionally, the leftover humidity and moisture in your tank can encourage growths on the sides of your tank. To combat this problem, drain any leftover water, give your tank and humidifier a quick rinse, and leave your tank out to dry it’s not in use. This will help keep your humidifier fresher until you take it apart for a weekly deep clean.

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  • Not cleaning often enough

This is probably the hardest part for most humidifier owners. Cleaning your humidifier can be a real chore. After all, your humidifier usually looks clean enough for the most part. How much can it hurt to just keep using it without cleaning it? Not cleaning your humidifier often enough means that you’re letting bacteria build up, which get sprayed into the air by your humidifier. At a bare minimum, you should clean your humidifier once a week to keep it as fresh as possible. Some people recommend cleaning them daily, but if you’re letting your humidifier dry between daily usage, you’re okay to limit your cleaning to weekly.

  • Not using distilled or filtered water

Using clean, filtered water is more than a matter of keeping bacteria out of your water. Minerals in hard, unfiltered water can create a fine dust in the air. This dust can land and build up on the furniture around the humidifier, but it can also pose a serious health risk if it’s breathed in. Inhaling this dust is harmful, especially for young children and babies, who can be hospitalized by the dust from hard water in humidifiers.

Safety Issues

  • Not checking equipment and cords

Even though you can buy a humidifier nearly anywhere, it should still be treated as a serious household appliance. As such, always take proper safety precautions around using your humidifier. Whether you’ve had your humidifier for a long time or not, check for any damaged parts or cords. Frayed cords are an electrical hazard, and considering your humidifier is filled with water, take special precaution around power outlets. Another key point about cords is that they can easily be a trip hazard, especially around children or pets. Avoid placing your humidifier somewhere where the cord can easily be caught or tripped over while walking by.

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  • Submerging the main unit in water

As an electronic appliance, humidifiers should be kept from being completely submerged in water unless otherwise noted. When you’re cleaning your humidifier, use a brush and only as much water as you need to rinse out all of the corners. Take care around any electronic panels and buttons as they may not be completely waterproof.

Poor Placement

  • Not placing on a flat stable surface

Placing your humidifier on a flat surface is important for a couple of reasons. One is that you definitely don’t want to accidentally tip over a humidifier full of water. Whether it’s placed over carpet or a hard floor, a spill from your humidifier could cause lasting damage to your floor. The other issue from not keeping your humidifier flat is that it can detract from the best performance of your humidifier. The action of delivering water to your humidifier’s misting or heating element and sending the mist into the air can be disrupted by not having a properly straight humidifier.

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  • Placing it too close or too far

This mistake can be made in one of a couple ways. The first is placing the humidifier way too close to anyone’s bed. A humidifier doesn’t need to run over a person for them to feel the benefits of a well-humidified room. The second is that you should also aim to keep your humidifier away from being too close to the floor. Having a humidifier on the floor doesn’t give the mist enough time to disperse into the air before landing on your floor. It can also collect excess moisture and result in undesired growths or damage to your carpet or floor.

  • Putting it in a room too big for the humidifier

Another common mistake with portable room humidifiers is putting it in a room that’s too big for the humidifier. If your humidifier has a small tank and isn’t powerful enough, placing it in a large and airy living room isn’t going to meaningfully raise the humidity in your room. Room humidifiers are best used in enclosed bedrooms or smaller rooms. Consider getting a much larger tabletop humidifier or even a console humidifier for your living room.

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Improper Usage

  • Creating too much humidity or not enough

Now that you’ve taken care of the most common mistakes when using a humidifier, be sure that you’re using your humidifier for what’s it designed, keeping optimal humidity. Dry air isn’t good for your skin and health, but neither is an environment that’s too humid. High humidity comes with issues like worse dust mites and mold growth. Many humidifiers have automatic humidity control, but they may not always be accurate. It’s worth keeping around a separate hygrometer to monitor the humidity in your room. Remember that optimal humidity for your overall health is right around 35-45%.

16 Health Benefits of Using Humidifiers

Living in the Right Humidity Level Matters

Why should you care about humidifying your home? Maybe you hate humidity and can’t stand the thought of any moisture in the air. Or, you’re here because you hate dry climates and what they do to your skin and health. It could also be any combination of both.

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Whether you’re on the side of hating dryness or hating humidity more, there are health risks to having either humidity that’s too low or too high. Having a humidifier isn’t just a way to increase the humidity, but it’s a great way to control the humidity to exactly where you want it. Humidity that goes above 55% is an invitation for trouble like mold and fungus while humidity well below 30% invites a lot of health issues that come with dry air. Studies show that the optimum humidity is right around 35-45%.

While we’ve touched on these health issues and benefits in our Humidity and Health Issues post, here’s an easy to digest list of what you can expect by taking care of the humidity in your home.

#1 Better breathing and sinus comfort

Breathing problems can come from a variety of sources. Ranging from congestion to infections or chronic health problems, breathing problems can hit us in any season. Having humidity that’s too low will often lead to congestion from the buildup of mucus. Our bodies start to compensate for dry air by producing more mucus to protect the sensitive linings of your respiratory system. If humidity is too high, however, it can make your body feel like it’s harder to breathe. Keeping humidity at an optimal balance of about 35-45% will combat both sides of the coin.

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#2 Reduced infections from viruses and bacteria

Both low humidity and high humidity can add to more infections from viruses and bacteria. There are strains of pathogens that thrive in really dry environments and others that do well in humid environments. During the winter though, most people face homes that are too dry, especially as the heating comes on as the weather gets colder. In dry homes, droplets of viruses and bacteria can also better stay airborne, increase your chances for infection.

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#3 Faster recovery from sickness

Living in a very dry home will dry out the sensitive linings of your sinus, throat, and lungs. This is most easily felt when it’s hard to breathe or when you’re getting suffering from dry, hacking coughs. The mucus linings in your body help protect you from getting infected by bacteria or viruses. Mucus is easily coughed up and if your body can’t handle the dry air, you’re at higher risk for staying sick. Having proper humidity levels allows your body to maintain a healthy lining of mucus, protecting you from any sickness from getting worse or inviting other illness into your body.

#4 Better sleep and improved sleep apnea

If you have any issues with sleep apnea or other sleeping issues caused by breathing problems, humidity may be your solution to a good night’s rest. Similar to point #1, good humidity levels directly correspond to better breathing comfort. The slightest congestion or imbalance in your breathing can keep you up or cause discomfort through the night. If controlling humidity alone isn’t enough to resolve your issues, consult a medical professional about what other solutions are available to you.

#5 No more nose bleeds

One of the most noticeable effects of dry air for some people is bleeding from the nose, especially in the mornings when you wake up. If you find yourself horrified by what you find in the sink every morning, look to getting a humidifier to fix your problems with dry air. Breathing in harsh, dry air all night dries out your nose and builds congestion that you need to clear in the morning. Lowering the heat can also help with excessively dry air. But one last tip to keep in mind is to avoid forceful blowing. If your nose is sensitive from dry air all night, you want to be sure to treat your nose gently.

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#6 Less shocks from static electricity

This point isn’t so much a serious health issue as it is a point of minor discomfort. As you get deeper into the winter, you might notice that you get shocked much more often every time you reach for a doorknob. If that’s the case, it’s a clear sign that the humidity in your home is too low. Higher humidity makes it harder for static charge to build up, sparing you from an unpleasant surprise each time you touch some metal.

#7 Reduced asthma symptoms

Asthma symptoms in the winter are commonly caused by cold, dry air. Cold, dry air dries out the linings in your lungs, which is often a trigger for asthma attacks. This is why heavy breathing from exercise is a common cause of asthma attacks. Keeping the air humid is the first step in combating asthma symptoms that come from dry air. The next step is to make sure you don’t overdo the humidity. Air that’s too humidity is a harboring ground for mold and fungus, which are harmful to anybody, whether you have asthma or not. Very humid air can also make it feel harder to breathe, which by itself can trigger asthma symptoms.

#8 Less dehydration or thirst

Dry air can dry out your throat, which can feel like you’re thirsty. But another aspect of dry air is that it can pull more moisture from your lungs each time you take a breath. If there’s a bigger difference in the moisture levels between the air you breathe and what’s in your lungs, each breath will pull more moisture out. Dry air also makes it easier for moisture to leave your body through your skin. Water is a vital component of your health and enables critical body functions. It’s important to stay hydrated all the time, and having a well-humidified home will help you stay hydrated, too.

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#9 Reduced dry eye symptoms

If you have issues with dry eyes, humidity can play a part in keeping your eyes comfortable, too. Whether you have dry eyes naturally or as a side effect of an operation like LASIK, many dry eye patients find that being in a humid climate greatly increases the comfort of their eyes. Each person has a rate that their own eyes produces tears, which keep your eyes moist and hydrated. The drier the air, the faster the moisture in your eyes dry up. If your tear ducts can’t keep up with how quickly your eyes dry out, you’ll always be uncomfortable. Moving may not be a realistic option for you, so humidifying your home is going to be your best bet to stay comfortable at home.

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#10 Fewer indoor allergies

Dust mites are one of the most common causes of indoor allergies. They live off the dust in your home and produce waste that many people are allergic to. Dust mites do well in higher humidity, so this is one of those instances where you need to watch out for humidity getting too high in your home. On the other side of it though, dry air will expose you to allergens more easily in your body, past the protective linings in your nose and lungs.

#11 No more chapped lips

Chapped lips are a common nuisance in the winter. They’re unsightly and your lips can also split and crack when it’s too dry. If you’re not using chapstick, you might even bite at your chapped lips obsessively, sometimes peeling away too much skin. However you deal with chapped lips, we can agree it’s annoying to deal with. Humidifying your home can make chapped lips less of a problem while you’re at home, especially as you sleep overnight.

#12 Relieve dry, itchy skin issues (eczema, psoriasis)

Dry skin is another of the most obvious signs of dry air. It’s personally uncomfortable and can range from a mild annoyance to serious discomfort. If you’re especially sensitive, you may notice your skin become scaly and crack. And if you battle with chronic skin issues like eczema and psoriasis, dry air will only make those worse.

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#13 Keep your skin young and vibrant

Many factors contribute to premature aging of your skin. The most common ones are UV rays, poor health, and improper skin care. Other factors in aging are also overly dry or dehydrated skin. Dry skin loses its elasticity and can make wrinkles more pronounced. Using sunscreen and lotions is a great immediate shield against dry skin, but keeping your home humidified will allow your body to naturally maintain the moisture and health of your skin as well.

#14 Nurture a healthy scalp and hair

Some people may notice that their scalp gets a little flaky when their scalp is dry and itchy. Thinking it’s dandruff, they go out to buy dandruff shampoo, only to find that it doesn’t help at all. The problem is that dry air dries out your scalp and the oils that naturally protect your hair. Dandruff shampoo only dries out your scalp even worse, which doesn’t help you at all with the original problem. Maintaining a good amount of moisture in your home enables your scalp to naturally produce oils in a health balance, protecting the health of your hair.

#15 Reduced VOCs and ozone in your home

Our homes are filled with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that come from ordinary things around your household like your furniture and walls. These VOCs can also react with sunlight to form ozone, which is a common source of free radicals in the air. Free radicals are compounds that easily with things your body, leading to health problems. Keeping humidity between 35-45% is the best way to combat both ozone and VOCs. VOCs are most plentiful in high humidity environments while ozone likes to form best in dry air.

#16 Stay warmer in the winter

We’ve all experienced how higher humidity can make a hot summer day feel even more miserable. On a similar note, more humidity in your home can also help your home feel warmer as you heat it in the winter. In addition to the health benefits listed above, you can feel more comfortable at home while reducing your heating bill by keeping your home a few degrees lower when it’s more humid.

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Read More About Humidity



What does aromatherapy really mean?

It's actually a very simple concept. It just means to use inhalation to treat through aroma.

There are many applications but diffusing essential oils is one of the most effective and practical ways to do this. Taking proactive steps here can help with your overall health and wellbeing. It can also be beneficial for your emotions, too.

Why Essential Oils?

how to esential oils

In a nutshell, essential oils affect the brain. In turn, self-evidently, the brain impacts on our bodies as a whole. By inhaling these oils, the cells at the back of the nostrils are stimulated. These are highly sensitive and send signals directly to the brain.

Inhalation has been proven to be the single best approach for combating respiratory complaints. Whether you have bronchitis or flu, coughs or colds, sinus congestion or a sore throat, inhaling these magnificent oils can work wonders.

There are several viable methods you can use to inhale these oils...

  • Drop some oils on your pillow
  • Pop some of your favorite oil on a tissue or handkerchief
  • Use an inhaler adapted for aromatherapy
  • Steam inhalation with boiling water
  • Enjoy the vapors from an essential oil diffuser

Using an essential oil diffuser is one of the smartest and most economical ways to enjoy the full aromatherapy benefits.

In addition to helping with respiratory health issues, they can help with blood pressure, stress, sleep and cortisol levels. They are not a miracle cure but they are the next best thing!

essential oil diffuser

Today we will look at 10 most popular essential oils you can use as well as some outstanding blends.

10 Awesome Essential Oils

1) Peppermint


This essential oil is fresh with an ice cool scent. It's often known as the "Happy Oil".

If you are on a weight loss diet, peppermint has been shown to affect the satiety center in the brain. Put simply, this means you will be tricked into feeling more full than you really are.

Peppermint is also great for aiding focusing, clearing up headaches and sinus problems. It can even help with depression so it's a highly versatile addition to your essential oil cabinet.

2) Ylang Ylang

ylang ylang

This is a highly relaxing fragrance which can balance male/female energies.

Ylang ylang can help to boost low energy and it is also great for grounding you if you are feeling jittery.

If you want calm, confidence, peace, joy and that all-important balance in your life, invest in some ylang ylang and pop it in your essential oil diffuser.

3) Cassia


Next up is the oil extracted from another striking yellow flower, cassia.

With a delectable smell like Christmas Candy, cassia is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial all in one package.

If you are surrounded by people coughing, put a few drops in your diffuser and everyone can enjoy some relief.

4) Lemongrass

Lemongrass oil has a very distinctive smell which is something of an acquired taste. You're likely to love it or hate it with very little middle ground.

It is very purifying and acts as a natural insect repellent.

Lemongrass is also know to help with intuition.

If you want to stay alert and awake while kissing goodbye to irritability, destress yourself with some of this fantastic essential oil.

5) Cedarwood

Cedarwood is an essential oil which has elevated levels of sesquiterpenes. These turpenes affect the emotional center of the brain.

Use of cedarwood also encourages the pineal gland to kick out more melatonin which is a great help for achieving deep sleep.

This essential oil is also very beneficial if you are congested, have a cough you can't seem to shake or suffer from bronchitis.

Like most essential oils, cedarwood not only smells great, it has a shower of health benefits into the bargain.

6) Clary Sage
Clary Sage

If you are suffering from insomnia, hormone imbalance or general PMS, clary sage could be the answer to your prayers.

Its calming effects partner a glorious aroma and no selection of home essential oils should be without this classic.

7) Lavender


More purple with the exceptionally fragrant lavender essential oil.

If you want relaxing and calming with a balancing out of the emotions, reach for the lavender.

This is the perfect oil to diffuse if you are beset with nervous tension, depression or high blood pressure.

If you are experiencing problems sleeping, try diffusing some lavender in your bedroom. Its properties promote a restful sleep and you should notice the effects as soon as you start using it.

8) Geranium

Geranium essential oil is another first-rate weapon against stress. We all lead such busy lives now, in and out of work. Stress is almost inevitable. You can handle it naturally, though. Rather than heading directly to the doctor, try some essential oils first. See for yourself if you find inhaling geranium oil helps to bring those stress levels down.

Diffusing some of this superb gift from nature should level you out emotionally and lead to feelings of peace and optimism. Give it a try! You have nothing to lose and the very least you will get is a living space filled with the sweet smell of geranium.

9) German Chamomile

German Chamomile
If you are on the hunt for an essential oil which is a little different, you could do far worse than trying out some German chamomile.

Breathe a dose of calm into your busy day by diffusing some of this oil and inhaling the special smell.

Bid adieu to feelings of anger and welcome in a state of relaxation. Like lavender, German chamomile is also well known for helping you to slumber.

10) Frankincense

Last on our list of 10 essential oils is frankincense, famous since biblical times for its many outstanding properties.

If you enjoy meditating and would like to heighten your spiritual awareness, frankincense is worthy of any collection of oils.

Some people also claim that this essential oil helps with your attitude so give it a try and see what you think.


Essential oils have different effects on different people. Also, clearly, some people enjoy certain aromas while others find them distasteful.

This guide is just that: a guide. Hopefully it will give you some good ideas and you can start building up a nice collection of these versatile, useful and natural oils.

Go to your local aromatherapy store and try out some of these oils then you can safely order online for the very best prices.

Put your diffuser to good work and enjoy a house filled with glorious scents while also taking advantage of the therapeutic advantages offered.

If you have any questions at all about essential oils, essential oil diffusers, humidifiers or any other topic covered on our site, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We try to answer all queries as quickly as possible.


When we use essential oils - natural oils from plants - for emotional or psychological health, it's know as aromatherapy.

If you want to most effectively disperse these oils into your living space then there is simply nothing better for the job than an essential oil diffuser.

If you make use of one of these wonderful devices, not only will you be surrounded by enticing aromas but you will also maximize the health benefits available.

What Is The Difference Between An Essential Oil Diffuser And A Humidifier?

essential oil diffuser

The first thing to clear up is that a diffuser and a humidifier are not the same thing.

  • A humidifier - sometimes known as a vaporizer - only pumps in moisture to the room or the entire house. This is accomplished by way of a mist of water. They are ideal year-round in drier climates. In more humid regions, they are best used during the winter when it tends to be drier than normal. They do not usually use oils. (There are some models designed for babies which break this general rule.)
  • A diffuser is more localized and introduces essential oils into the space. The oils are 100% essential oils. Diffusers can be made from wood, plastic, ceramic, metal and even glass. Easy to clean and operate, an essential oil diffuser is a inexpensive way to max out the effectiveness of your oils. There are 4 main types of diffuser: nebulizer, ultrasonic, evaporative and heat

The Different Types of Essential Oil Diffuser

Before looking at the overall features of these handy gadgets, we'll briefly break down the 4 standard varieties on the market.


This is the most powerful and arguably the best kind of diffuser.

With a nebulizer, no heat or water is necessary. They make use instead of atomizers much like you would find on a perfume bottle. This kicks out the essential oils and allows you to avail yourself of the full therapeutic effects.

The continual mist of air and efficient method of delivery means that nebulizers are the most popular choice when it comes to essential oil diffusers.

ultrasonic diffuser


Ultrasonic diffusers operate in a similar fashion to nebulizers in that they also give off a very fine mist.

There is a key difference, though. Ultrasonic diffusers use water along with essential oils.

An advantage to the ultrasonic variety is that they are dual-action. You can use this type as a kind of portable humidifier with no oils if you want to moisturize a given area of your house.

The output is slightly less than with nebulizers so do your homework and think about what you most want from your device.

It's also worth noting that you should not use citrus oils in this kind of diffuser. They tend to have a corrosive effect.

evaporative diffuser


This is a very stripped-down and basic form of essential oil diffuser.

A fan is used and blows out air through a pad or filter. The essential oils, as the name of the unit would suggest, evaporate. The downside of this is that the full therapeutic effects of the oils are not realized.

The major advantage is that this style of diffuser is almost silent even if the potency of the essential oils is diminished.

heat diffuser


This variant is cheap and extremely quiet but, as with the evaporative diffuser, you won't extract the full advantages of your essential oils since heat alters the chemistry to some degree.

Heat diffusers also harness evaporation. The better models use a very low-level heat which results in a less overpowering fragrance.

7 Factors To Consider When Buying An Essential Oil Diffuser

  1. Changing Your Essential Oils: If you plan to use different essential oils during the course of a day, opt for a diffuser which makes changing oils simple. With some, you'll need to switch the device off
  2. Timer: Don't rely on a clock or memory. Essential oils are not cheap so buy a diffuser with a timer so you don't waste them. Some models come with pre-set times while others allow you to choose your own time periods
  3. Automatic Shut-Off: If you are concerned about the diffuser burning then select the auto shut-off style and relax carefree
  4. Oil Capacity: If you don't want to be constantly topping up the diffuser, it's wise to look for one with a large capacity for oil
  5. Airflow: This gives you control over how oils are misted out and the timing rate
  6. Cleaning: The last thing you need is a device which is tiresome to clean. The best diffusers require just a little water mixed with detergent or alcohol and you're good to go
  7. Area Coverage: Check out for the square footage which your diffuser will cover. Some can deal with misting oils throughout a house whereas others are strictly limited to a single room. Roll with the one that best suits your needs

Where To Use Your Essential Oil Diffuser

One beauty of a portable device like this is that you can very easily move it around. Where, then, is it best to use your diffuser?

  • In The Bedroom: Since one of the main purposes of using essential oils is to create a calm and relaxing environment, popping it in your bedroom is a smart move. If you have problems sleeping then try using some lavender which might help you edge towards your dreams a little more easily
  • In Your Workplace: As well as creating a gorgeous aroma, essential oils can also assist with concentration while relieving stress. If you have a hectic job then consider taking an essential oil diffuser in to work along with your favorite selection of oils
  • For Your Pets: It's not just people who can benefit from essential oils but animals too. Try piping some fragranced oil in and see how your pets react


As with any product, it pays to do your research thoroughly when it comes to buying an essential oil diffuser.

Study the pros and cons of the different varieties, think about your budget and then buy with confidence.

Just make sure you keep enough money aside to buy a great selection of essential oils too as most diffusers do not come with oils provided!


Many people want to know if they really need an air purifier. Is it necessary?

Today we will look at what they are and we will also look at some common myths about air purifiers to help you decide if buying one of these pieces of kit is the right thing for you.

myths about air purifiers

When we think about air pollution, the first thing that springs to mind is skies filled with smog from vehicles and factory smokestacks belching out fumes. Pollutants found in the home, though, can also be a serious issue. Mold spores, dust mites and, in the worst scenario, even carbon monoxide, can be harmful irritants and cause serious problems.

First Thing’s First

You can take steps to improve the overall air quality in your home before deciding whether or not to invest in an air purifier. Make sure that you have adequate ventilation and pay close attention to managing any moisture issues. Look as well to the source of any likely contaminants in your house and take care of them.

Once you have taken all of these precautions, examine whether you or your family continue to suffer from headaches, asthma or other allergies. If so, it could be time to research buying an air purifier.

What Type of Air Purifier Should I Buy?

Put simply, an air purifier is a simple device which will help to remove any contaminants from the affected area.

For homes with either cooling systems in place or forced-air heating, a whole-house purifier is perhaps the best option. Think of this as a super-filter to take up the slack left by your regular furnace filter. Some of these are relatively quick and easy to install while others will require a professional fitting. This can add to the cost significantly.

Portable purifiers are a superb way to treat a single room. These usually weigh somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds and you can move them between rooms as you see fit.

You should not overlook the need to regularly replace the filter. Factor this in when you are budgeting.


Now it’s time to address some common myths about air purifiers.

Myths About Air Purifiers

air purifier

1) Air Purifier = No More Dusting

This is perhaps the most misunderstood element of air purifiers and one that needs setting straight.

All of the dust will not be magically sucked from every surface. This would require a fan so strong that the noise would be unbearable and the amount of dust in the air would be exactly the opposite of what sufferers of allergies need.

Be realistic in your expectations. Make sure you have a decent vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration and a nice, microfiber dusting cloth.

2) Air Purifiers With HEPA Filters Are Always Better

There is no doubt that a HEPA filter is highly effective. These filters, however, can vary quite substantially in terms of both build quality and size. The average buyer would not necessarily be able to pick up on this which makes proper research vital. Reading reviews is a great way to get feedback from people who have already purchased the product.

Think as well about other design features which can inhibit the effectiveness of the filter. If air leaks from elsewhere in the unit and escapes back into the room, even the most efficient HEPA filter will be rendered useless.

In general, air purifiers with this type of filter will do a better job but not all the time.

3) Air Purifiers Are All You Need To Fight Allergies

allergies air purifiers

Bear in mind that, while invaluable, air purifiers should only be a part of your arsenal against allergies if you suffer from them. It’s too simplistic to expect this equipment to be a miracle cure.

With some of the heavier allergens such as pollen, they fall to the floor or onto furniture before the air purifier has time to suck them in.

There is no substitute for a rigorous cleaning regime as well as reorganizing your home to make it more allergen friendly. A steam cleaner can help you with a chemical-free approach to sanitizing and a dehumidifier is another strong weapon to rely on.

So, if you have a problem with any allergies, air purifiers form part of the solution but cannot work miracles.

4) Every Air Purifier Removes Tobacco Smoke

smoke air purifier

Rather than actually removing smoke, the majority of air purifiers get rid of the particles which remain after people have been smoking.

There are a few models which have been specifically designed to remove the toxic gases and odor associated with cigarette smoke but most versions are simply not capable of doing this effectively.

If you smoke heavily and require an air purifier to cleanse your home then research fully and get the right one for the job. Don’t risk disappointment.

5) HEPA Filter Air Purifiers Remove Odors

Again, untrue.

While it performs other useful tasks, the HEPA filter itself does not do anything to help with smells.

If you really want to deal with this issue then you will need an air purifier with a few kilos of carbon in a separate filter. Keep your house clean, tidy and hygienic and you should not need this anyway.

6) Air Purifiers Work Well At Any Speed

speed of air purifier

Of all the misconceptions about air filters, this is among the most common.

Many users choose to operate their equipment only at low speeds to reduce the noise made by the fan. It certainly runs more quietly but the area covered by the purifier will also be decreased.

One solution is to look for a model which is capable of running at full capacity without giving off excessive noise. Another tip is to give your unit a blast on high for an hour or two before bed. This way, you can enjoy maximum results while also getting an unmolested night’s sleep.

7) Air Purifiers Get Rid Of Germs and Viruses

The main reason that some people believe this is due to less than honest advertising on the part of some companies making air purifiers. This is something which has been clamped down upon by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

It’s true that the presence of ultraviolet light can kill allergens but they do get enough exposure to make this happen.

There are certain models which feature a sterilizer or come equipped with HEPA filters man enough to trap viruses and kill pathogens but the average air purifier does not do this.


We will look in forthcoming articles at some of the best air purifiers available today.

Take the time to research before buying, to separate the truth from the myths and then buy the best air purifier for your needs if you decide that you need one.