Essential Oil on Furnace Filter

Can You Use Essential Oils on a Furnace Filter? Why or Why Not?

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There are a ton of options to improve the smell throughout your home, from aerosol sprays to deodorizers. But many of the best-smelling ones are full of chemical products, and even air fresheners don’t last as long as you like.

What if you could change the atmosphere and enhance your home without all the junk? Essential oils are a natural product, and your furnace blows air through the home all the time. So…

What if you put the two together? Can you use essential oils with your furnace filter?

To find out why or why not, we first have to talk a little more about furnaces and their filters, as well as essential oils.

Let’s Dive In!

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Essential oils come in a variety of scents, and typically, you would have a dedicated device to disperse the scent throughout your home.

Oils are better for your home environment than other types of air fresheners, but it can also get expensive since a bottle of essential oils won’t last very long when using it this way.

A furnace filter or air filter is a crucial part of your HVAC system. It removes harmful toxins and particles that will not only clog up your furnace and ductwork but that could also affect your health negatively.

For example, pet dander can cause allergic reactions in many people and an even more detrimental reaction in those with asthma.

This becomes trapped in the filter as it’s sucked in through the air intake, removing it from your home and assuring it doesn’t blow back in during the disbursement of the warmer or cooler air.

But then the question arises, what happens if you use essential oils on that filter? Can it harm your filter or any part of your HVAC system?

Why Essential Oils in the Furnace Filter are a Good Idea

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To answer the question, using essential oils in your filters is quite harmless.

It’s quite the opposite. By adding essential oils to your furnace filter or air filter, you accomplish a great many things that are quite beneficial.

  • Safer than other air fresheners. Essential oils are natural, whereas canned air fresheners and other types of scents are chemically produced. The use of oils negates more of the chemicals you would otherwise be breathing in.
  • No device is required. Whether you use a heating device to melt an air freshener, an automatically timed spray canister, or a plugin, most air fresheners require their device. That means a separate expense you have to include in your budget from time to time. Using essential oils means that you already have the device – your furnace or air filter – planned into your budget and don’t require anything additional that costs money.
  • Budget-friendly. The essential oils are also more affordable. While the initial cost to buy a bottle may seem expensive considering what you spend on air freshener now and how often you have to replace it. It adds up. With oil, you only use a few small drops at a time, and you only have to do it once or twice a month, making it much more cost-efficient.
  • Longer lasting. How often do you spray or warm your air freshener? If you do it every day or even several times a day because it fades so quickly, you aren’t alone. Putting essential oils on your furnace filter will reduce this to only once or twice a month. The smell will automatically refresh as your heat and air blow into your home.
  • More pervasive. Consider how much air freshener you have to use and how much time it takes to go room to room and make sure the whole house smells fresh. A little oil on your filter will go a lot further since it will flow through the entire duct system into all the rooms and refresh your entire home.

How to Use Essential Oils on a Furnace Filter

When you decide to get started using essential oils in your furnace filter or air filter to create an all-over pleasant scent in your home that is long-lasting and doesn’t take a lot of work or expense, you’ll need your supplies and a general idea of how it works.

Essential oil with furnace filter
  1. Start with a new filter. Whether using a furnace filter or air filter, you should do this at the time you’re replacing or washing your filter. If this is a new filter, dispose of the old one accordingly before implementing the new one with oils. This will avoid the possibility of breathing in any of the particles that have been trapped in the dirty filter. If you have a washable filter, make sure it’s clean and completely dry before starting this process.
  2. Pick a scent you love. Essential oils come in dozens of scents, and you can choose one or create and mix them. For example, lemon and lavender mix well together to provide a fresh, welcoming aroma in the home. If you’re new to essential oils, you may also decide to go the safer route and choose a very traditional scent, such as citrus. If you decide to mix two scents, test out the mixture on a paper towel with a couple of drops first to ensure you like the blend.
  3. Add the essential oil to your filter. Take your air filter or furnace filter and lay it flat in front of you. Then, carefully add ten to fifteen drops of oil to the filter, spreading them out over the surface. Don’t put them all in one place, or you may get an overwhelming scent or no scent at all from time to time. It doesn’t matter whether you add the oil to the side of the filter facing your furnace or air conditioning, or if you put the drops on the intake side, facing away from the fan. The scent will get drawn through either way.
  4. Install your filter. There’s no difference in the way you should install the filter.


While it may seem like something that could ruin your HVAC system, the truth is that you’ll have fewer toxins going through your intake and furnace filter if you choose to add essential oils to your furnace filter over traditional air fresheners.

Without the chemicals of those sprays, there is less chance of clogging the filter or of breathing in unhealthy particles.

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In addition, the natural substances used to make essential oils are longer lasting and more potent, which reduces the overall cost of use. You also spend a lot less time trying to keep a pleasant scent in your home, since it’s mostly a “set it and forget it” method. With tons of choices for the aroma you love and the ability to mix, this is sure to be a great way to spruce up your home.

Essential Oil on Furnace Filter

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