Can You Use a Diffuser as a Humidifier?

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If you live in a cold and dry region, you may already know about the use of humidifiers and diffusers. While the humidifier works to control the humidity level in indoor space, a diffuser is essentially used to diffuse fragrance in the room air.

Both devices come with a pretty similar look and even have a few similarities in how they function. So, many people think that they can interchange these two devices. But can you use a diffuser as a humidifier in your indoor space to control humidity levels?

Technically, yes, it’s possible to use a diffuser as a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor air. In fact, many people regard it as a mini-humidifier that adds fragrance to the air. Nonetheless, using a diffuser instead of a humidifier isn’t a pretty practical idea. It comes in a highly compact size and has a limited capacity to add moisture to the air. Thus, it won’t be suitable to add enough moisture to the air, unlike the humidifier.

You may choose the diffuser to increase moisture around your indoor plants. Its compactness makes it a perfect choice for putting close to your indoor plants in tight spaces and adds little humidity in the air so plants can soak it better.

However, this discussion is pretty introductory and needs further explanation. So, let’s take it deep to find the difference between diffuser and humidifier and if you can interchange them.

What Is A Humidifier?

A humidifier is essentially a humidifying device that will transform water into mist and add it to the indoor air to increase humidity. The device includes a tank reservoir to preserve water used to create the mist. Then, there’s a fan that relays the mist in the air.

What Is A Humidifier

Depending on the mist creation method, humidifiers can be of different kinds. You will see evaporative, ultrasonic, and steam humidifiers mostly at home. An Evaporative humidifier stores cold water in its tank and blows air through it to transform the water into tiny droplets to add to the air. It delivers cold water droplets to the environment. So, people call it a cool-mist humidifier.

Next, a steam humidifier will boil the water until it turns into vapor, releasing it into the air to increase humidity. It is a warm mist humidifier as it releases warm vapor. Finally, the ultrasonic humidifier will use ultrasonic energy to transform the water into tiny droplets, adding it to the air and increasing moisture levels.

Advantages of Using a Humidifier at Home

A humidifier will allow you to control the humidity level in your room, bathroom, and any indoor space you want. Thus, it comes with multiple health and other benefits. For instance, the type of humidifier for nosebleeds will help remove nasal congestion and nosebleed effect. Its other benefits include:

  • A humidifier stops runny or stuffy nose with added humidity
  • It helps reduce bloody noses with a nice soothing effect
  • It will soothe sinus problems with dampness in the air
  • The humidifier is ideal for nourishing your dry skin
  • Keeps skin ad lips tender and soft
  • It will be useful in removing allergen and pollen elements
  • The device will lower your breathing problem
  • It stops cracks on furniture and wooden floor
  • Improves the air quality for a peaceful and happy sleeping time

What Is a Diffuser?

A diffuser, also popularly known as an essential oil diffuser, will diffuse or release the essential oil’s fragrance in the indoor air. Thus, it offers a therapeutic aroma for a soothing and relaxing ambiance in your indoor space that you will like.

What Is a Diffuser

You can choose any of your favorite essential oil, add a few drops of it inside the diffuser, and it will slowly disperse the aroma in the air. Like the humidifier releases mist or water droplets in the air, an essential oil diffuser will also disperse the oil in the mist structure. Since it continuously releases the oil mist in the environment, you will enjoy the aromatic indoors all the time.

A diffuser helps increase indoor comfort, gives you a soothing feel, and boosts your ambiance. Thus, many people will use both humidifiers and essential oil diffusers simultaneously in their indoor space to maximize their living comfort.

What’s more, many manufacturers will include essential oil diffusers in their air purifiers to offer 2-in-1 benefits at affordable pricing.

Diffusers are of two types, depending on how they function. These are:

  1. Active diffuser
  2. Passive diffuser

An active diffuser works much like a standard humidifier as it uses external energy to diffuse essential oil in the indoor environment. It might use ultrasonic vibration or electricity to disperse the aroma in the air. The functioning process makes many people use a diffuser as a humidifier in their indoor spaces. Although technically possible, it isn’t a good idea for practical life. (We will discuss it in the following section).

Unlike the active diffuser, passive ones will emit essential oil naturally. It doesn’t need any external force like the active diffuser to disperse the aroma in the air. Thus, it is an energy-saving machine. The good thing about a passive diffuser is its less intensity of the aroma in the air. As it naturally emits essential oil, its intensity is preferable for a light feel. You can use it 24-hours due to the low intensity in the aroma as your nostrils won’t over-sensitize it.

Advantages of Using a Diffuser at Home

Although an essential oil diffuser is a compact device and may look tiny, it truly helps in improving your lifestyle. You will be amazed to see how it calms you down and gives a relaxed feel.

  • The aromatic therapy will help you relax after a long and tiring day.
  • Experts say the therapeutic aroma will calm your soul and improve productivity.
  • It truly helps in boosting your mood with a nice and soothing fragrance.
  • Aromatherapy will have a positive impact both on your physical and mental state.
  • As you enjoy a better mental condition, you will enjoy clarity in your thought process.
  • The essential oil also helps in reducing inflammation problems. Thus, it will reduce redness in your skin.
  • The aromatherapy also helps you in reducing pain and aches in knee joints. However, its medical proof isn’t reliable till now.
  • If you are worried about your skin and toenail condition and how they look, using an essential oil diffuser will truly help you. Medical studies show that essential oil improves skin condition and smoothen it.

As you see, the benefits of an essential oil diffuser are entirely different from the humidifier. So, can you use it instead of your humidifier at home?

We will answer it. Before that, let’s see the key differences between the two devices.

Differences Between Humidifier Vs Diffuser:

At first glance, both the diffuser and humidifier look pretty similar. The physical attribute of portable and mini humidifiers is so close to the diffuser that many will fail to differentiate between them. Also, their functioning process is more or less the same.

So, you must know their differences before using them. It will yield better results from both devices.

Key Point to Consider Humidifier Diffuser
Main purpose A humidifier will improve the humidity level in the air by adding moisture to it. An essential oil diffuser emits aroma from the essential oil toad fragrance in the indoor space.
Working method It will use water and release it into the air to increase moisture levels. A diffuser also uses water, but it only releases essential oil fragrance in the surrounding air.
Type A humidifier can be of various types, such as ultrasonic, evaporative, and steam. Diffusers are of two types, including active and passive ones.
Top benefits Adds moisture to allow you to control the humidity level during dry seasons. It disperses essential oil aroma for a soothing and calm feel.
Tank size A standard humidifier reservoir tank can hold around 0.5 gallons of water easily. A diffuser will accommodate one or two cups of water in its tank.
Add-on features Many humidifiers offer a thermostat to assess the humidity level and set different schedules. A diffuser won’t have such options for better control and customization of the diffusing system.

Can You Use A Diffuser As A Humidifier?

We have discussed the definition, types, and key distinctions between humidifiers and diffusers. So, it’s time to bring the big elephant out of the room. Can you use an essential oil diffuser instead of the humidifier at home?

Can You Use a Diffuser as a Humidifier

Technically, it is possible to use a diffuser as a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor air since it also has a tank reservoir to store water. Also, passive diffusers will use ultrasonic vibration or electricity to disperse the essential oil fragrance in the air. Similarly, it can disperse the water directly into the environment.

But, this is only possible technically. What about the real-life benefits of using a diffuser as a humidifier at home? For this, you should consider a few key points closely.

First off, the tank reservoir of the diffuser is extremely small. It can barely hole one to two cups of water. Now imagine the amount of moisture it can add to the air. Also, you will need to refill the diffuser so frequently that it will frustrate you at times.

Also, unlike a humidifier, an essential oil diffuser doesn’t include any thermostat to read the humidity level. So, there will be no exact data on how much humidity you need to increase. What’s more, you can control the humidity level with different settings in a diffuser.

Finally, the amount of moisture a diffuser will add to the environment is insufficient that you won’t even notice it. It happens particularly in large rooms. Since a standard room size in the US is around 100-200 square feet, the use of a diffuser as a humidifier will be of no worth at all.

Can You Use A Diffuser As A Humidifier For Indoor Plants?

Yes, you can use a diffuser for indoor plants instead of a humidifier. A portable and compact diffuser can release enough moisture in the air to help your indoor plants strive happily and healthily. As the diffuser emits moisture slower than the humidifier, it helps the plants soak the moisture without any wastage.

Can You Use A Diffuser As A Humidifier For Indoor Plants

You can place the diffuser in the plant corner, and it will moisten the air to give the indoor plants a better environment. Moreover, it isn’t an energy-hungry device. So, you won’t face any surprising change in your utility bill either.

Can You Use A Humidifier As A Diffuser?

Now, that’s a question that isn’t common. Also, even in their wildest dream, most people won’t think of it. But, can you really use essential oil in a humidifier for adding fragrance to the room environment?

No, it would help if you never used a humidifier with essential oil. A few studies show that particles present in the essential oil can damage the plastic used in the humidifier reservoir tank. So, the plastic of your humidifier will crack, leaving the device unusable.

Moreover, essential oil particles will block the ultrasonic nebulizer of the humidifier. And for evaporative or steam humidifiers, it might even create a funny odor due to added heat. Although it is ironic, it happens! So, you should never use essential oil in a humidifier to transform it into a diffuser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Oil Diffuser Safe for Plants?

Essential oil is indeed extracted from different flowers, seeds, and plants. So, it is safe for plants. But, many companies will also add chemicals and artificial fragrances. Before placing an essential oil diffuser close to indoor plants, you need to read the ingredients.

Is a Diffuser Good for Children and Kids?

Yes, a diffuser will help your kid remain in a good mood with calmness. It soothes their mood with low intensity in the aroma. Also, a therapeutic aroma is preferable for comfortable sleep at night.

Final Words

So, can you use a diffuser as a humidifier and vice-versa? Yes, you can only use a diffuser as a humidifier in small rooms as the diffuser won’t change the humidity level dramatically. Nonetheless, you should never do the opposite thing; never use essential oil in a humidifier to add fragrance to the air. If you want 2-in-1 benefits of diffuser and humidifier, get a humidifier that has a special chamber for essential oil. It will help you get moist air and a soothing aroma for a healthy lifestyle.

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