Ultrasonic Humidifiers - Cool Mist by Vicks and Sunbeam

How ultrasonic humidifiers work

Ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers work on very different principles from standard humidifiers: they don’t boil the supply water but use an electronic frequency to generate humidity instead. Ultrasonic sound is anything above the normal audible frequencies of sound, and ultrasonic humidifiers work by creating high-frequency vibrations (about 1.7 million times per second) in the supply water to break it into droplets and then a fine mist.

These humidifiers are also known as visible mist or cool mist humidifiers as the mist created absorbs energy from the supply air and cools the room while humidifying it. This a great advantage if you’re living in a hot, dry climate but not so great if you’re attempting to heat your room as well as increase humidity levels.

Benefits of ultrasonic humidifiers

Because ultrasonic frequencies cannot be heard by the human ear and because the water in this type of humidifier is not boiled, ultrasonic humidifiers are generally much quieter than standard systems. In addition, because the water does not need to be boiled, energy costs can be reduced by up to 90 percent on other types of humidifier. Ultrasonic vibrations also seem to break up molds and bacteria in the water so they are more hygienic than other systems too.

However, as with other systems, if the humidifier is left unused and the water in the tank is allowed to stagnate bacteria can multiply. The ultrasonic vibrations may not be enough to sanitize the water in this case. For this reason it’s very important to clean your humidifier regularly and refill it with fresh water if you haven’t been using it for any period of time.

Disadvantages of ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers can send a layer of fine mineral particles into the air along with the mist. Owners see this as a fine coating of white dust on furniture and floors. To avoid this it is necessary to use distilled water in your humidifier. Some models can only use mineral-free (deionized) water to prevent this problem.

What to look out for in an ultrasonic humidifier

Go for a big name brand such as Sunbeam or Vicks when buying your ultrasonic humidifier, you’ll generally get a better product for your money (ultrasonic humidifiers can be picked up for about $40) and better after sales service. Also look out for models with built-in anti bacterial features such as UV lights and for models with a demineralization cartridge that filters out any minerals in the water and helps reduce dust around the house.


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