What Is An Ultrasonic Humidifier?

by Véronique Raymond
humidifier review

The most popular ultrasonic humidifier brands on Amazon include Pure Enrichment and Levoit, but there are many other styles out there.

Each manufacturer will design their ultrasonic humidifier differently, but they will all have some things in common.

Let’s explore what an ultrasonic humidifier actually is, how they work, and what they advantages and drawbacks are.


Is An Ultrasonic Humidifier A Warm Mist or Cool Mist Humidifier?

Ultrasonic humidifiers are cool mist humidifiers.

Unlike evaporative humidifiers, ultrasonic models do not use a heat source to create water vapor; as a result, the mist that comes out of them is cool instead of warm.

They are therefore very safe additions for a home, especially those that include pets or young children.

Since they don’t increase the temperature of the air, just the moisture level, they are also safer for your home in that they won’t increase the humidity or the risks of mold growth and any other symptoms of high humidity.


How Does An Ultrasonic Humidifier Work?

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Just like other types of humidifiers, ultrasonic models require you to keep a tank filled with water in order for it to function.

They will use a humidistat to monitor the relative humidity level in your home and adjust their humidification output accordingly.

Many of them will even come with a remote control so you can make adjustments easily, and have an auto shut off once the target humidity level is reached.

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers use a diaphragm type structure that rests in the water.

This diaphragm sends out sound waves into the water at a high frequency.

Since the water droplets cannot move in time with this vibration, they get broken up and turned into water vapor.

The water vapor is then blown out into the room as a cool mist to alleviate the symptoms of dry air and improve overall indoor air quality.

Many ultrasonic humidifiers will include extra features like a night light or diffuser, but they won’t affect the base operation methods or functionality of the humidifier.


Should I Use Tap Water or Distilled Water With An Ultrasonic Humidifier?

Just like with any other humidifier type, you’ll have a lot less work on your hands if you choose to use distilled water rather than standard tap water.

Tap water has a fairly significant mineral content that can affect the cleanliness of your humidifier and the mist it is putting out into your room.

If you are using an air purifier with your humidifier, tap water can actually increase the demand on your purifier since you are adding contaminants to the air.

Since distilled water goes through a demineralization process, you won’t have to worry about those same effects occurring.


Benefits Of Using An Ultrasonic Humidifier

humidifier review

Ultrasonic humidifiers are one of the best types to add to your home.

They have a number of advantages over other types of humidifiers in addition to all the standard benefits that come with increasing indoor humidity to proper levels.

Let’s investigate what ultrasonic humidifiers have to offer.

They Only Increase Humidity Levels, Not Temperature

As a cool mist humidifier, an ultrasonic humidifier will not add any warmth to the air it emits.

As a result, you’ll be able to raise the humidity level in the home without also increasing the temperature.

Since the combination of heat and moisture can initiate mold growth, this is the best option for homes that are both warm and dry.

Can Be Used For Aromatherapy

With the addition of a diffuser to many ultrasonic humidifiers, they easily double as aromatherapy machines.

If you are a lover of essential oils but don’t want to purchase an extra machine for each room in the house, you should look for an ultrasonic humidifier that can also function as a diffuser.

Very Quiet Operation

Ultrasonic humidifiers are the quietest type of humidifier on the market.

They don’t have any noisy fans or heaters in them, so they operate around 25 dB only.

As a result, you’ll be able to go about your daily life and get quality sleep with minimal interruption from your humidifier.

Less Maintenance Than Other Portable Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers don’t have any filters, heating elements, or complex structures inside them.

As a result, they require much less maintenance than other standard portable humidifiers.

There are less moving parts that can be damaged and there are no regular maintenance needs.

Use Less Energy Than Steam Humidifiers

Since ultrasonic humidifiers don’t need to boil water to create steam or use a heating element for any purpose, they require much less energy to operate constantly.

Whether you have a small room model or one big enough to manage the large rooms in your home, you’ll end up spending less money on electricity and being more environmentally-friendly as you manage the humidity levels in your home.

Safer Than Warm Mist Humidifiers

Just like impeller humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers are much safer to use in your home than ones that contain a heating element. In order to create steam, a humidifier has to boil water.

If this boiling water was to spill, it could seriously damage your flooring or furniture, and potentially burn whoever was responsible for the spill, whether it be a child, pet, or adult in the home.

Since ultrasonic humidifiers don’t boil the water to create water vapor, they are much safer for the home.


Downsides Of Using An Ultrasonic Humidifier

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As excellent as ultrasonic humidifiers are, they do come with their own list of disadvantages.

No humidifier can be perfect, after all.

While there aren’t many things to complain about, you should still be aware of some of the downsides that come with ultrasonic humidifiers.

Let’s take a look.

Contribute to Cold Air During Winter Months

Since the fine mist produced by an ultrasonic humidifier is cool instead of warm, you won’t have any of the massive heating effects that come along with warm mist humidifiers.

As a result, your heating system will have to work a bit harder in the winter to combat the cooling effects of your humidifier.

The silver lining to this is the effects in the summer; during warm weather, your air conditioner will get some help from your ultrasonic humidifier.

Do Not Contain Filters

Many humidifiers contain a filter that can trap mineral deposits as they are produced.

However, ultrasonic humidifiers do not contain filters, and are therefore more reliant on regular cleaning.

If you notice white dust in your humidifier’s water tank, this is indicative of a build up of minerals and you should take action right away to clean it.

One solution to this is to use distilled water rather than hard water, but the cleaning process is quite easy if you choose to go that route instead.

More Expensive Than Other Single Room Humidifiers

The technology in ultrasonic humidifiers is quite a bit more advanced than in other models, so they will end up costing your more money as an initial investment.

However, their lower energy draw, minimal maintenance needs, and superb functionality do make the price reasonable.

If you are shopping on a budget, though, an ultrasonic humidifier may not be right for you.


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