You may know that humidifiers have a number of potential benefits when used in the home, particularly during the winter months. You also may have heard that essential oils have a number of potential health benefits. But did you know that these days, there are many humidifier options available that let you access the benefits of humidifiers and essential oils?
All vaporizers for essential oils are humidifiers. That’s because they work by doing what a humidifier does: dispersing water vapor into the air (along with essential oil vapor). While all vaporizers are humidifiers, not all humidifiers are vaporizers. That’s because many are simply not built to accommodate the addition of essential oils.
However, many recent humidifier models are built with an essential oil tray or diffuser built-in, giving you the option to humidify your home more powerfully.
If you aren’t sure what the potential benefits of humidifiers and essential oils during winter are, read on.
Humidifiers and Essential Oils During Winter
Humidifiers can be used year-round in the home, but during the winter months, they become especially important. For older adults, the cold and dry winter air can cause, or intensify, a number of health problems, from your skin to your immune system to your heart health.
Here are some ways that humidifiers combined with essentials oils may help.
Preventing the Spread of Airborne Viruses
Humidifiers may help prevent the spread of airborne viruses. A recent study found that using a humidifier to bring home or office humidity levels up to at least 43% could significantly affect 85% of airborne viruses. When germs encounter moisture, it slows their movement and renders them too heavy to remain airborne.
As the primary function of a humidifier is to put moisture into the air. This makes a humidifier in the home or office an important tool in keeping everyone healthy, especially during the cold winter months. Sicknesses spread more easily in the winter, in part because the colder temperatures drive people indoors and in closer proximity to each other.
Some essential oils add to the mix, known for their antiviral properties, including tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and thyme oil.
Hydrating Dry Skin
The winter months can wreak havoc on the skin and other areas of the body. That’s because there’s much less moisture in the air during winter. Day air can contribute to skin that is red, dry, itchy, and even cracked and bleeding. Bloodshot eyes and chapped lips can also be a result. Running a humidifier puts the moisture our skin desperately needs back in the air and can help to reduce the irritating or painful side effects of dry winter skin.
Providing Allergy Relief
Are you someone whose allergy symptoms are much worse in the winter, or someone who only experiences allergy symptoms during the winter months? You’re not alone. Many people suffer from winter allergies, caused by everything from dust mites to mold to pet dander.
These household irritants exist all year, but they cause flare-ups during the winter because our exposure to them is increased. We’re indoors much more with the windows shut. Not only that, but your home’s furnace can sometimes cause those allergens to circulate more. The result is a host of obnoxious allergy symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, sore eyes, itchy throat, and more.
Too much humidity can encourage the spread of some allergens, but modern humidifiers can be adjusted to provide the optimal humidity level. Not too much to cause mildew or mold, but just enough to provide comfort and relief to allergy sufferers, as the increased moisture in the air helps to soothe and soften sore and inflamed nasal and throat passages.
Essential Oils You Should Try
If you’re battling dry skin, you might try vaporizing lavender, frankincense, or cedarwood. All are frequently cited for their potential soothing, smoothing, and calming benefits. Lavender, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus are all great additions here, as well. Peppermint essential oil may be ideal as a respiratory aid and help clear the airways and provide relief from temporary pain.
To find these essential oils (and many more), check out the selection available at Aubrey Organics, Bach Flower Remedies, and Plant Therapy.
What have you noticed as the benefits of humidifiers and essential oils during winter?