Best Type of Essential Oil Diffuser

essential oils

Last updated on February 24th, 2018 at 04:19 pm

Today we are going to talk about the best type of essential oil diffuser. We start this conversation by describing the three main types of essential oil diffusers:

  • Essential Oil Nebulizers
  • Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffusers
  • Essential Oil Burners

The next sections of this article focus on distinct advantages and key features of each type of essential oil diffuser.

Essential Oil Nebulizers

The main advantages offered by nebulizers is that they can diffuse essential oils completely unaltered. Because of this, the best essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy purposes will generally be a nebulizer. There are also times when an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser has distinct advantages. We talk about ultrasonic diffusers later in this article.

Nebulizers have a small air pump that they use to compress air. Some air compressors do produce a slight humming noise while they are operating. Most manufacturers have solved this problem and nebulizers for essential oils will operate silently. They use this compressed air to turn the oil into a very fine mist. This mist form allows the essential oil to diffuse into the air. Nebulizers do not add any extra moisture into the air. Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers, on the other hand, will add humidity into your home. We talk about those in the next paragraph.

Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffusers

Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers work the same way a cool mist humidifier does.  the only difference is that essential oil diffusers are designed to have essential oils added to their water tank. They generally consists of a base topped by a water tank.

Diffusers produce vibrations that humans will not be able to hear or feel. The vibrations will not disturb you or anyone in your house. These vibrations turn the water into a mist and the mist diffuses into the room. the important thing to consider before purchasing an ultrasonic diffuser is that you will always add humidity to the room when the appliance is running. This is great during winter in cold climates since the air is always drier.

URPOWER has one of the most extensive lineups of ultrasonic essential oil diffusers on the market today. Our top recommendations comes from their products along with Exqline Diffusers. There are minor differences in the products these two brands offer. The decision between them comes down to the outward appearance being a better match for the room you plan to use it in.

The URPOWER 1000ml Essential Oil Diffuser and the Exqline 1500ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser are both great products to consider. We review them extensively in this article.

The one downside to these two products is that they are both quite large when compared to other essential oil diffusers. URPOWER and Exqline both make smaller essential oil diffusers in the 300 and 400 ml range. Smaller units are obviously nicer if space is a concern on your desk or counter.

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Essential Oil Burners

People who are looking to find therapeutic benefit from essential oils  can use either type of diffusers we already discussed. Essential oil burners on the other hand may not be appropriate for these people. Essential oil burners do not actually burn the oil but they do add heat to get the oil to diffuse. Usually they consist of a small dish that holds the essential oils. Underneath this dish you may light a tealight candle. The heat from the candle causes the oil to evaporate and diffuse into the air. It is possible that this added heat may damage the oil and reduce its therapeutic qualities. There is still a distinct advantage that essential oil burners offer. If they are using a tealight candle they do not need to be plugged into the wall. If space or placement is an important factor and essential oil burner might be your best solution.

Air Purifier with Permanent Filter for a Large Room

Last updated on March 21st, 2018 at 10:38 pm

In this article we discuss a very specific home appliance, the Honeywell AirGenius. We will go over the results of our research as we looked for an air purifier with a permanent filter for a large room. Either of these traits permanent filters or capacity for a large room are easy to find in air purifiers. However, finding both in the same air purifier is more difficult than you might think.


An air purifier with a permanent filter for large room

If you take a look at this link to the National Association of Homebuilders website it shows the average size of different rooms you might find in a new home. We looked at this and determined that in order for an air purifier to treat a large room, it needs to be capable of working in at least 200 square feet.


The next thing we looked for is that the filter was a HEPA filter. This is an industry standard, if the filter isn’t a HEPA filter it’s probably not worth buying. Washable HEPA filters are also fairly common.  if the filter is not washable it isn’t too much of a surprise, but something to consider if you will be using your air purifier a lot.  As the purifier is working it is continuously collecting dust pollen pet dander and more in the filter.  Some filters need to be replaced every 6 months or less depending on how much they are used. If you are continuously needing to order new filters, it can get expensive.

Permanent Filter

Permanent filters can usually be washed 4 times a year for up to five years according to manufacturers. So it’s not technically a permanent filter but it lasts up to 10 times longer than a filter needing to be replaced every 6 months.


The last thing we looked for in selecting the top air purifier for a large room that has a permanent filter is the brand-name. For some people the brand-name of their home appliances is very important. There is a lot of comfort in knowing that your appliances are high quality and were a good purchase.

Honeywell AirGenius

After we applied all of these criteria to our searches we came up with three air purifiers that are actually made by the same company. The AirGenius product line by Honeywell. The AirGenius 3, 4 and 5 are all capable of purifying the air in rooms over 200 square feet. This claim is certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, or AHAM. AHAM certifications on home appliances are recognized by regulatory bodies in the United States, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

Energy Efficient

Another great feature of these air purifiers is that they are ENERGY STAR certified. They use about the same amount of electricity as a light bulb. You can expect to see very little difference in your monthly power bill when using an AirGenius air purifier.


There is an optional pre-filter for reducing common household smells and odors. Unfortunately this pre-filter is not washable and may need to be replaced as often as every 3 months. Carbon pre filters like this one do not usually work for more than three or six months at a time.

Essential Oil Burner vs Diffuser

essential oils

Last updated on January 23rd, 2018 at 11:59 pm

In this article we’re going to go over some of the differences between an essential oil burner and an essential oil diffuser. Most people who use essential oils for their therapeutic benefits will be looking for an essential oil diffuser. This is because diffusers will disperse the oil into the air without using any heat. A burner on the other hand almost always uses a candle usually a tea light to heat up the oil. Once it’s heated up it diffuses it’s scent throughout the room, just like a candle. For those looking for therapeutic benefits from essential oils, this can be a big turn-off. Any time you heat an essential oil you risk damaging the molecules in it. If you’re looking for the therapeutic benefits from essential oils, you want the oil undamaged as it diffuses into the air.

Essential oil burners are still great for adding an interesting ambience to your room. They look really nice and the soft lighting from the candles are perfect for dark corners that might not get enough light. Essential oil burners that use tea lights are great because you don’t need to plug them into the wall. You can easily set them on a higher shelf or cabinet that is out of the reach of pets or children.

When you were using an essential oil burner it is possible to customize the smell that you want the oils to add to your room. Since you can use varying amounts of different kinds of essential oils the possibilities are endless. Essential oil gift sets come in packages that have anywhere from 6 to 24 different essential oils. If you wanted to you could even combine them in a way that reflected the season outdoors. For example you could look for things like nutmeg and cinnamon to use in fall and maybe a lighter, fruit scent for spring and summer.

Custom Scents

Essential oil diffusers also have the same options when it comes to customizing the oils that you use. The main difference is that they do not heat the oils in order to diffuse them into the air. If you have an ultrasonic diffuser it will combine the oil with water and add a silent vibration to that mixture. That causes the mixture to turn into a mist and disperse into it room. This is exactly the same way a cool mist humidifier works. There are also essential oil diffusers that work the same way nebulizers do. They compress air and use that compressed air to turn the oil into a mist. This way you don’t need to dilute the oils with water.

Essential Oil Burner vs Diffuser

The other main difference between essential oil diffusers as an entire category and essential oil burners is that you need to plug an essential oil diffuser into the wall. While this might not be a huge inconvenience it is something to consider.

Best Milk Frothing Pitcher for Latte Art

coffee drink with frothed milk

In this article we are going to go over some things to look for in a really great milk frothing pitcher, especially one that you can use for making latte art. We reviewed quite a few different milk frothing pitchers specifically for this, and we found one that is definitely the best. There are a lot of different options for pitchers you can use for latte art. Most of them are exactly the same, stainless steel pitcher with a small handle. We picked this specific pitcher because it automated a lot of the variables in milk frothing. The density of the foam and the temperature of the milk can affect your latte art. Some people will also choose non-dairy milk like almond milk to make their latte art. The Chef’s Star MF-2 Premier Automatic Milk Frother has the capability to froth both dairy and non-dairy milk. It also has options for how dense or airy you want the froth to be. This is important because non dairy milk and low-fat dairy milk froth much differently. Most latte art is made with full fat milk. Because of this, you will need to look a little harder to find a good solution if you do not use full fat milk.


Chef’s Star MF-2 Premier Automatic Milk Frother

The Chef’s Star Frother has a small whisk in the bottom of the milk jug. There are several preset options you can choose from that account for the type of milk you are using and also the temperature of the milk. These options ensure consistent and quality froth for your lattes. With the press of a button, you can automate the milk frothing process. If you’re making a cold coffee drink you can also top it with cold milk that is frothed by the Chef’s Star.


The pitcher portion of the frother sits on a base that plugs into the wall. When it is time to pour the milk froth the pitcher lifts off of the base. This is a great feature because it allows you to pour latte art without worrying about the cord getting in your way.


Maintaining the temperature of frothed milk is very important for the texture. Pouring great latte art usually requires the milk to be between 140 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The walls of the pitcher have vacuum insulation similar to a thermos you might take coffee to go in.

You can pour cold milk into the frother and expect hot, frothed milk within 80 seconds. If you are like me, your mornings can be a little rushed. This 80 second timeline is great when you’re trying to get out the door quickly. Also, if you are making a series of lattes for friends, there isn’t a lot of waiting around for the milk to froth. It does have the capacity to froth 8 ounces of milk at a time, so you will be able to pour multiple lattes before having to refill.


Best Milk Frothing Pitcher for Latte Art

There are many different pitchers available for making latte art. However, the Chef’s Star MF-2 Premier Automatic Milk Frother is the best one. The ability to automate the milk frothing process will give you consistent textures to work with. This is really important for getting consistent pours for your art. You can spend less time worrying about frothing milk and focus more on making great latte art.

Wax Warmer vs Oil Diffuser

essential oils

Last updated on June 8th, 2018 at 01:36 pm

In this article we compare wax warmers and oil diffusers. There are a few important things to take note of right off the bat. If you’re looking for a wax warmer for hair removal this article will not have the information you are looking for. This article provides information and reviews of scented wax warmers because they have similar functions to oil diffusers.

Here is a list of the section headings in this article. Feel free to skip to the one most interesting to you.

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Wax Warmers vs Oil Diffusers

In this part of the article we begin exploring some of the different types of wax warmers. Further down the page we do the same for oil diffusers.

Wax warmers are basically candles without the flame. Generally there’s a small dish that holds the wax. Underneath this dish is in light bulb that generates heat. This heat melts the wax and let’s the scent and aroma come out of the wax and fill the room that you have it in. Using a wax warmer can be a lot safer than a scented candle, especially if you have pets or children in your home. There is almost no risk for fire when using a light bulb to warm wax.

If you want a wax warmer that uses a candle then check out the row of images coming up. While there is the risks that come with using an open flame, the candle can add a lot to the ambiance of the room. From a practical perspective – if you are using a candle, the wax warmer does not need to be plugged in. This opens up a few more possibilities for placement without worrying about trying to hide the cord to an electric wax warmer.

The images below are all clickable links that will take you to the product listing on Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well. These images include some of the most popular and unique tealight wax warmers.

On the other hand using a candle-powered wax warmer means you will need to make sure there is enough wax left in your tealight every time you want to use your wax warmer. Also, some people worry about the small amounts of particulate air pollution that candles produce and will want to stick with an electric wax warmer.

If you are having trouble deciding between a candle wax warmer and one that uses a light bulb, try to remember that it is personal preference. Both types of wax warmers produce great aromas by melting wax. You can use the same kinds of wax in both of them.

The images below are all clickable links that will take you to the product listing on Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well. These images include a selection of the top electric wax warmers available on Amazon. Our top pick is the Hosley Ceramic Wax Warmer.

One of the reasons people may choose to use essential oils is for the therapeutic benefits they can offer. This is generally not the case with wax warmers. The main reason people would use wax warmers is for their pleasant aroma and scent.

What is the best wax warmer brand?

There are many different wax warmer brands on the market today. One of the biggest reasons is how easy it is to manufacture a wax warmer. Because there are so many, it is helpful to have a quick summary of some of the best.

Scentsy has the biggest selection of scented waxes and they have a great lineup of wax warmers. However, they are generally some of the most expensive. Scentsy is a very well known brand with a great reputation. This gives added peace of mind when making your purchase that the warmer is quality and will last a long time.

If you are looking for something a little more unique or want to match a well developed theme in your home, check out ScentSationals. They have a number of collections, or themes of wax warmer styles. These collections include:

  • Retro Collection – includes an old jukebox shaped warmer
  • Folia Collection – these have different plant designs on them
  • Day of the Dead Collection – intricately decorated skull shapes

Can I use essential oils in a wax warmer?

Yes, it is possible to use essential oils in your wax warmer. Some people will combine the essential oils with a base like coconut oil or jojoba. This gives the mixture to be diffused the correct potency. This is the same idea as using a carrier oil in a reed diffuser.

When it comes to Scentsy wax warmers, they say that their wax warmers are designed for wax melts specifically and that oil may discolor the dish you melt the wax in. This does not seem like a real downside since the dish will always have something in it – you would rarely ever notice the discoloring. Their blog also indicates using oil in a wax warmer will not void the warranty. However, adding heat to an essential oil does have the potential to reduce any therapeutic benefit you might get from it.

Oil diffusers on the other hand, can diffuse the oil into your room without adding heat. In the next part of this article we go over how this is possible.

Essential Oil Diffusers

There are two main kinds of oil diffusers that do not use heat to diffuse essential oils. Diffusing essential oils without heat is the main reason someone would choose an essential oil diffuser over a scented wax warmer.

The first kind is a nebulizer. Nebulizers use compressed air to break up the essential oil into very small pieces. These small pieces are basically a missed that diffuses into the room. The process of turning an oil into a mist is called atomization.

The other kind of essential oil diffuser that does not use heat is very similar to a cool mist humidifier. In these oil diffusers the essential oil is diluted with water. This mixture is agitated with an ultrasonic vibration. This function is exactly the same way that a cool mist humidifier works. Vibrations turn the water and oil mixture into a mist that easily diffuses into the air.

The link below is for a cool mist essential oil diffuser available on Amazon, the TaoTronics 120ml Essential Oil Diffuser for Kids. It features silent operation to ensure it will not wake up a sleeping child. The silent operation makes this one of the best essential oil diffusers for meditation or yoga.

Save 50.0% on select products from TaoTronics with promo code 506PQEUD, through 6/20 while supplies last.

For a more in depth read on these types of essential oil diffusers, check out this article.

Nebulizers and Cool Mist Diffusers

Both avoid the use of heat to diffuse essential oils. This is very important to people looking for therapeutic benefits from their essential oils. Sometimes as nebulizers are compressing the air to start the atomization process they make a humming noise. Most manufacturers advertise that their nebulizers work silently. This is very important to look for so that you are not disturbed while enjoying the benefits of your essential oils.

Essential Oil Nebulizers

If you are looking for an essential oil nebulizer, we recommend starting your search with the Nebulizer Diffuser for Essential Oil Aromatherapy by Two Scents. Here are the key features that set this nebulizer apart from most others on the market today:

  • Rechargeable battery – continuous runtime of up to 50 hours on one charge
  • Durable construction – other nebulizers often use glass in their designs
  • Tip over protection – automatically turns off to prevent leaks
  • Large coverage area – provides aromatherapy for up to 650 square feet
  • Adjustable output – low, medium and high

The images below are all clickable links that will take you to the product listing on Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well. These images include the Two Scents nebulizer and similar products.

Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffusers

URPOWER and Exqline make some of the best cool mist essential oil diffusers on the market today. Both of these brands have solid lineups of essential oil diffusers in a number of different sizes. Choosing between these two brands will come down to personal preference. The main difference is in their appearance, not functions or features. We review their two largest models, capable of providing aromatherapy for large rooms, in this article. If space is a concern, we recommend the URPOWER 300ml Essential Oil Diffuser.

The images below are all clickable links that will take you to the product listing on Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well. These images include a lineup of URPOWER essential oil diffusers.

Humidity and Indoor Air Quality

Ultrasonic diffusers add humidity to the air along with essential oils. Proper humidity levels in your home or office is an important factor in maintaining indoor air quality. Humidity levels below 40% are lower than ideal. Breathing dry air causes dryness and cracking in your nasal passages, causing discomfort and decreases the defenses against infection provided by your body’s mucous membranes.

If humidity levels are too high, above 60%, dust mites and mold spores have an ideal environment to grow and reproduce. Relative humidity levels above 60% are generally beyond comfortable levels anyway.

Since ultrasonic diffusers add moisture to the air you may want to check the humidity levels when trying to decide between them and wax warmers or essential oil nebulizers. There are some climates when you can safely assume that humidity levels are low, such as deserts or very cold places during the winter.

Other situations may be more uncertain and you will need a humidistat to measure the relative humidity levels in your home or office. ThermoPro makes an indoor humidity and temperature measurement tool. We recommend the TP50 because it is a basic model that has everything you need to measure the temperature and humidity indoors. There are many other humidistats with additional features available as well. We just like this one because of the simplicity and easy of use that it offers.

Other Indoor Air Quality Factors


Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump


Last updated on June 1st, 2018 at 02:14 am

In this article we talk about some of the things that people look for when they decide to purchase a ductless mini split system. There’s three main things to consider. The first being the SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – we will go into more detail on this later in the article but we just wanted to call it out now. The another thing to look for is AHRI certification. This is an ENERGY STAR certifying body that evaluates heating and cooling machinery for meeting certain efficiency standards – more on this later as well.

The last, and possibly most important consideration is making sure that the mini split system is appropriately-sized for the area that you want to heat and cool. We have a chart to help you calculate the number of BTUs your mini split system needs to be rated for in order to heat or cool a room. This information is located under the “Sizing” heading.

Three of the top brands for ductless mini split air conditioners and heat pumps are Pioneer, Senville and Air-Con. We will be using these three brands and some of their models as examples throughout this article. It’s important to be aware of where companies will ship products to when you’re buying one of these systems. Air-Con and Pioneer will ship within the United States and Senville will ship to Canada.

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SEER Rating

SEER is seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It is an easy way to compare between mini split systems that have different voltages, BTUs and designs for different sized rooms. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system. Some other factors like how many square feet the mini split can heat or cool may be more important for you. For more information about SEER and how it is calculated, check out this Wikipedia article. As you consider different mini split heat pumps to keep you warm through the winter the SEER rating is an important thing to be aware of. Having a high SEER rating is important it you want to keep your energy bills as low as possible. Any rating above 20 is on the high end of the efficiency scale. 

Most Senville and Air-Con products will have see ratings over 20. Pioneer mini split systems generally have SEER ratings below 20 and there’s a reason for this. Senville and Air-Con use condensers that operate at higher pressures and are able to take advantage of some of the efficiency that comes from using a newer refrigerant. This newer refrigerant is R410a. R410a replaces the old R22 refrigerant. R22 is now illegal because it depletes the ozone so all new air conditioners and heat pumps operate off of newer refrigerants.

Pioneer mini split systems generally have the lower SEER rating because they’re capable of operating with the R22 and the R410a refrigerants in them. Some people will still choose to use Pioneer mini split systems with R410a refrigerant simply because Pioneer is a well-established brand. They like knowing that the company they buy from has been around for a long time.

AHRI Certified

AHRI certification is another important thing to look for when you consider different heat pump systems for your heating and cooling needs. AHRI stands for Air-conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute. They have been recognized by the ENERGY STAR program as a certifying body. The AHRI is able to certify appliances and machines as being in compliance with efficiency standards. The AHRI certification is recognized by agencies in the United States and Canada, you can read more about it here if you like. AHRI certification is another way to compare between mini split heating and cooling systems. We recommend using this as a pass-fail test, meaning if the mini split does not have the certification, do not consider purchasing it.

All three brands that we talk about in this article have gone through the trouble of getting their mini-split systems certified by the AHRI. This is a good indicator that the company is committed to building quality products and supplying their customers with machinery they can depend on.


The last thing we mentioned in the beginning of this article was making sure that your mini split heat pump and air conditioner is appropriately-sized for the area you want to heat and cool. Not all manufacturers will provide this information in their advertisements. This can be frustrating when trying to compare two different mini spit systems made by different manufacturers.

The BTU output of each mini split system should match what they are advertised at. The difference between brands will be the SEER rating. Higher SEER ratings will deliver the same number of BTUs but will use less energy than a lower SEER model.

To make things a little simpler we made the charts below. The first chart shows the recommended room size for the BTU rating of different sized units that Pioneer produces. Pioneer provides a range for each of their units. For example, the 9,000 BTU unit is designed to heat or cool rooms ranging from 250 to 350 square feet. To make our charts readable we used the higher number of these ranges.

For reference, we made a second chart with the recommendations for sizing air conditioners provided by They also use the same idea when providing recommendations that Pioneer used. For example, Energystar recommends using a 9,000 BTU mini split syaFollowing the charts we provide a quick analysis of which one we recommend using and our reasoning.


How to size a mini split system

We recommend using the sizing advertised by Pioneer for two reasons. Their numbers are more specific to the mini split system you are considering. The recommendations Pioneer make are for their products and their products only. The information provided by is for air conditioning systems in general. Since you will not be heating or cooling with an ‘in general’ mini split system, go with what the manufacturer recommends.

The second reason we recommend using the Pioneer data because it passes the common sense test. If you look at the Energystar data closely it simply does not make sense. The numbers they show seem to suggest that as the room size increases it will take fewer BTUs per square foot to heat or cool that room. On the other hand, Pioneer shows a steady trend of about 27 BTUs per square foot needed to adequately heat or cool a room.

Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump

Hopefully we’ve provided you with enough information to get you started on deciding which mini split heat pump and air conditioner is right for you. Just to reinforce the points we made earlier in the article – the Pioneer is a little bit more well-established and you probably have some familiarity with that brand. Then the Air-Con and Senville brands both are more efficient, in general, than Pioneers mini-split models are.

Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser

essential oils

Last updated on January 29th, 2018 at 03:39 am

People use essential oils for a variety of reasons like relief from cold and flu symptoms and relaxing before they fall asleep. There are also a number of ways to infuse the air in your space with your essential oil of choice. Here in this article we write compare the differences and similarities between using a nebulizer or a diffuser. Toward the end of the article we highlight important reasons an ultrasonic diffuser is a better choice than a warm mist diffuser.


Nebulizers use a few different methods to get oils suspended in the air so they can more easily diffuse into the room. The majority of nebulizers designed for use with essential oils use air pumps to turn essential oils into a mist. This process is called atomization.

While the nebulizer is compressing the air, some people will notice a buzzing or humming sound. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s statement and see how noisy you should expect the air compressor to be. Almost all manufacturers will advertise silent or nearly silent operation. We recommend checking the comments section to make sure that matches what users are experiencing.

Diffusers on the other hand, are almost entirely silent. There may be the occasional sound of water moving through the appliance but this is rare. This is because diffusers suspend the essential oil in water and then agitate the water the same way humidifiers do. The next section of this article explains this in more detail.

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Since nebulizers do not use water to get their essential oils into the air, they will not change the humidity. Diffusers always use water to help move essential oils into the surrounding air. If you plan to use essential oils in your home during the winter or live in a dry climate a diffuser is the best choice you can make. On the other hand, if you are already using a dehumidifier or live in a humid climate an essential oil nebulizer makes the most sense for you.

Ultrasonic vs Warm Mist Diffuser

Warm mist diffusers heat the water in order to turn it into a mist while an ultrasonic diffuser uses tiny, unobtrusive vibrations to produce mist. This is an important difference to be aware of because some essential oils are very sensitive to heat. Warm mist humidifiers have the potential to alter the essential oils and reduce the benefits you were expecting.

Nebulizers do not heat the oil during the atomization process. Keeping the oils at room temperature ensures that their physical and chemical properties will remain unchanged by heat. To compare methods for using essential oils it is only fair to match ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers. Warm mist diffusers may not be appropriate for all types of essential oils. However, some oils have high tolerances to heat and this is not an issue.

Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser

Further reading and other comparisons

Check out our other article here where we do an in depth comparison between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers.

Electric Fireplace vs Baseboard Heater


Last updated on February 3rd, 2018 at 10:17 pm

There are some pretty easy to see differences between electric fireplaces and baseboard heaters. We’ll go over some of those later in the article. Right up front we go over one of the more important but least obvious is how efficient they are.

Efficient Heaters

The baseboard heater has the potential to be more efficient for two reasons:

First, you can install the baseboard heater directly under a window. In fact they are almost always installed here. This is because windows are the least insulated part of a home. They cause the most heat loss. Placing a heater underneath the window helps keep the temperature in that room more stable. Basically, you can put to most heat where the room is the coldest.

Baseboard heaters can be more efficient for another reason too. Some electric baseboard heaters are hydronic heaters. This means they heat up a liquid, usually oil, which then transfers heat to the surrounding air. The liquid retains heat and continues to warm the air even after the unit has stopped drawing electricity. Think about boiling a pot of water on the stove. Even after you turn the burner off the water remains hot for a long time. The same thing happens to the liquid inside a hydronic baseboard heater. We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.

Hydronic heater considerations

There is a downside to using a hydronic heater though. When the heater first turns on, it can take longer for it to provide heat. This is really only an issue if you are turning the heater on in a very cold room. For example, a hydronic heater is probably not the best choice for a shed or separate garage where you occasionally work. In this scenario you might keep the shed around 50 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time and then increase it to 70 or so when you are working. An indoor safe propane heater would probably be a better choice then. For a home however, the temperature will remain fairly consistent. A hydronic heater that warms up more slowly and is more efficient is a good choice.

Other differences: electric fireplaces vs baseboard heaters

Some electric fireplaces come with cool touch technology. The cool touch feature is very important if you have small children in the house. Baseboard heaters do have guards in place to help reduce the chances of burns and they do a good job.

Electric fireplaces almost always have a more appealing look to them. They also come in a variety of styles. Conversely, baseboard heaters are discreet and have the potential to take up less space. If space is a concern it may be worth checking out an entertainment center style electric fireplace. Since it serves two functions, it can cut down on the amount of furniture in your living room.

Similarities between the two

Both types of heater can be permanently installed or portable.

240V baseboard heaters must be permanently installed by a qualified professional. If you want to be able to plug your baseboard heater into an outlet on the wall, look for one that is 120V.

Some electric fireplaces are standalone appliances that can easily be moved around. Others are actual inserts installed into the wall like a wood burning fireplace.

Electric Fireplace vs Baseboard Heater

We discussed a number of different situations where and electric fireplace or baseboard heater would be a better choice. Each type of appliance has a unique set of advantages that makes it better depending on where you intend to use it. Duraflame makes some of the best electric fireplaces on the marketplace today, so we recommend taking a look at their models first.

If you think of anything we may have missed in comparing these two types of heaters, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. Thanks!

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Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters vs Standard


Last updated on February 3rd, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters vs Standard

In the first part of this article we’ll go over a few differences between hydronic and standard electric baseboard heaters. After that we have an extensive list of important features to look for in a baseboard heater. Luckily these features can be found on both kinds of heaters.

Advantages of Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

The biggest advantage hydronic heaters have is higher efficiency and lower costs. They apply electricity to a liquid, causing it to heat up. Once the liquid reaches the appropriate temperature it begins heating the air in the room. The heated liquid stays warm even after the electricity shuts off. This is just like boiling water on the stove. Even after turning off the burner the water remains hot for a long time.

Advantages of Standard Baseboard Heaters

Standard electric baseboard heaters do not have the liquid heating element, so they retain heat for a much shorter period of time. This leads to more cycles of the appliance of turning on and off. Generally, the start up period is the more energy intensive time for a machine. However, standard electric heaters begin heating the room much faster than a hydronic system.

Our recommendation for the best type of Baseboard Heater

In most instances the heater will not be raising the temperature in a freezing room. Because of this, the longer warm up time of hydronic baseboard heaters is less of a disadvantage. The increased efficiency and energy cost savings offered by hydronic heaters far outweighs the few minutes longer it may take to start feeling heat. We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.

Similarities between hydronic and standard Baseboard Heaters

Regardless of the type of baseboard heater you decide to purchase, be sure to look for one that has these two standard safety features

  • Automatic overheat shut off – this will turn the heater off in case something is in the way of the heated air and causes the unit to become too hot.
  • Tip over switch – this feature will automatically turn off the power to the heater if it is knocked over. A carpet or other floor covering could easily catch fire without this safety measure.

Both types of baseboard heaters come in 120V and 240V versions.

  • 120V models can be plugged directly into an outlet in the wall. If you plan to use the heater seasonally or need to move it between rooms or buildings you need a 120V version.
  • 240V models need to be wired into the wall. A certified professional will need to install 240V units. While it is more expensive and permanent this kind of set up looks very clean and modern. The unit will also likely be secured to the wall. Tipping over a unit like this is no longer a concern.

Standard and hydronic heaters both have models with optional thermostats that come as part of the unit. They can also be used in conjunction with separately sold thermostats. Honeywell makes a great lineup of thermostats for exactly this purpose. Due to the nature of the way the thermostat functions, you do not necessarily need to purchase a Honeywell baseboard heater. We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.

Best Air Purifier for Pet Allergies and Asthma

dog with plant - two allergy triggers

Last updated on January 29th, 2018 at 04:17 am

Let’s consider pet allergies and asthma long term problems that need long term solutions. One of the best long term solutions is an air purifier to reduce allergens in your home.

Quick summary of this article

Your air purifier should have a washable HEPA filter and be sized appropriately for the room you plan to use it in. If the air purifier does have an ionizer make sure you can turn it off. The air purifiers recommended in this article fit all of these criteria.

A few important things

Make sure the filter is a HEPA filter – There are newer ultra-super-mega-filters on the market today. A basic HEPA filter captures allergens from the air and does so in a cost effective way. Other filter types capture the same allergens but are more expensive. HEPA filters will remove pet dander, pet hair and other things like pollen and dust mites from the air in your home.

Look for a washable filter – Some HEPA filters are washable in a literal soap and water sense. Others are only able to be vacuumed. Either option is fine. Since we already defined pet allergies and asthma as long term problems, we need to think about filters on an extended timeframe too. Being able to clean your air filter instead of needing to buy replacements will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Check the CADR – This is an easy way to compare air filters across brands. The CADR, or ‘clean air delivery rate’ is an objective measure of how much air the air purifier can process in an hour. You can always use a smaller air purifier, just understand that it will take longer for it to show the results you are expecting.

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Air Purifier Red Flags

A big thing to avoid when shopping for an air purifier is any mention of ionizers. Some air purifiers have ionizers that are supposed to help clean the air even more. What they actually do is produce ozone particles, which are harmful to human lungs. An ionizer has the potential to increase allergy and asthma symptoms.

Ozone is normally found in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere. We should keep it up there and not in the living room. If you do find an air purifier that you absolutely love that has an ionizer in it, check to see if it is possible to turn it off. The option to turn off the ionizer is becoming increasingly popular in the air purifier market these days.

It is important to note that while products may have an EPA number on them, the EPA does not endorse or recommend the use of ionizers. For an in depth article, check out their statement here.

The last thing to avoid when shopping for a new air purifier is the marketing hype surrounding dust mites. HEPA filters do capture dust mites and remove them from the air in your home. However, air purifiers have not been shown to reduce dust mite levels low enough to prevent dust mite allergy symptoms in all people. Many times dust mite allergies can be triggered by very low levels of dust mite exposure. Check out this article here for more info on dust mites.

Other air filters for pet allergies and asthma

It may also be worth your time to invest in a furnace filter specifically designed to reduce allergens in your home. Most of the time a HEPA filter does exactly what you need at the right price. Just like with air purifiers, there are washable furnace filters on the market today. Feel free to check out this in depth article on allergen reducing furnace filters here.