Why Using an Oil Burner for Aromatherapy Increases PM2.5 Levels in Your Air Purifier

Many people enjoy the soothing effects of aromatherapy, using oil burners to fill their homes with the calming scents of essential oils. However, you may have noticed that when you use an oil burner, your air purifier indicates a higher level of PM2.5 particles. This can be concerning, as PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter that can be harmful to human health. So why does this happen? The answer lies in the process of burning oils and how it affects air quality.

Understanding PM2.5

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. These tiny particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs, potentially causing health problems. They are often produced by combustion processes, such as burning fuel for heating or transportation. In the case of oil burners, the combustion process releases these particles into the air.

How Oil Burners Increase PM2.5 Levels

When you use an oil burner, the heat causes the oil to evaporate into the air. This process, known as pyrolysis, can create a variety of byproducts, including PM2.5 particles. The higher the temperature, the more particles are produced. Therefore, if your oil burner is set to a high temperature, it could be contributing to higher PM2.5 levels in your home.

The Role of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers work by drawing in air and filtering out pollutants, including PM2.5 particles. When you use an oil burner, the purifier may detect an increase in these particles, causing the PM2.5 reading to rise. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your air quality is poor, but it does indicate that there are more particles in the air.

Reducing PM2.5 Levels

If you’re concerned about PM2.5 levels in your home, there are several steps you can take. First, consider using your oil burner less frequently or at a lower temperature. You could also use essential oils that are known to produce fewer particles when heated. Additionally, make sure your air purifier is working effectively and change the filters regularly.


While using an oil burner for aromatherapy can increase PM2.5 levels, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop using it. By understanding how the process works and taking steps to reduce particle production, you can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while maintaining good air quality in your home.