Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night finding it hard to breathe with a stuffy nose? Does your skin ever feel dry and itchy, or your lips chapped and cracked? These are all too common annoyances we deal with in indoor environments, especially during winter, and the reason is simple: the air inside your home doesn’t have enough moisture. People have been struggling with stuffy noses and dry skin from their arid home environments since time immemorial and would resort to remedies that would simply be deemed outlandish by today’s standards, such as, applying earwax to their lips or stuffing herbs in their noses.
Fortunately, at some point in time, people discovered that actively trying to increase the humidity level in the home with steam or fog greatly reduces these ailments and this has led us to the invention of the humidifier. Today there are several different types of humidifiers, but one that has grown in popularity over the last 5 years has been the ultrasonic humidifier. In this article, we are going to give an overview of what an ultrasonic humidifier is, how they work, their pros and cons, how to maintain them, and we’ll wrap up with some of our recommended ultrasonic humidifier models.
What Is Ultrasonic Humidifier
An ultrasonic humidifier is a home humidification device which increases the humidity level of a given space by silently releasing extra-fine water vapor into the surrounding air.
How Does Ultrasonic Humidifier Work
Ultrasonic humidifiers work by using a ceramic diaphragm that vibrates at ultrasonic frequency to create water droplets that silently exit the humidifier in the form of a cool mist. This water vapor is released from the device by a small and inaudible fan. Since the water droplets are so fine, they evaporate into the surrounding air very quickly and efficiently, ultimately adding humidity to the room. The ultrasonic frequency which produces the mist is created by what’s known as a piezoelectric transducer which makes a frequency of 1-2 MHz in a film of water, leading to the formation of tiny water droplets that are only one micron in diameter.
What Is Better: Evaporative or Ultrasonic Humidifier
Ultrasonic humidifiers are considered to be superior to evaporative humidifiers because they require less maintenance, are completely silent, and have a more modern look to them. The methods in which they modify the humidity level are equally efficient and both are easy to use.
Ultrasonic Humidifier Pros and Cons
Ultrasonic Humidifier Benefits
Simple to use. Even though the name of the device sounds high-tech and complicated to use, an ultrasonic humidifier is actually very user-friendly. It just consists of a water reservoir and a ceramic diaphragm. There are no extra components or complex systems to worry about.
Silent. Ultrasonic humidifiers use a ceramic diaphragm to create humidity which vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, meaning that it doesn’t make any sound. This is a great advantage for people who like to keep a humidifier in their office but don’t want any annoying humming going on in the background while they work, or for people who need near complete silence to sleep.
No filter changes. Ultrasonic humidifiers don’t use filters, so you don’t need to worry about when to replace the filter or spending extra money on replacements.
Small and compact size. Ultrasonic humidifiers are very small in size and make the best type of portable humidifier. They can be very easily moved around the home to meet all of your home humidification needs.
Ultrasonic Humidifier Dangers
When we hear the term ultrasonic we often think of the medical machine in the hospital which uses ultrasound to see what’s going on beneath the soft tissue of our bodies – perhaps it conjures up thoughts or even memories of hospital visits which can be anxiety inducing to say the least. It might make you wonder, are ultrasonic humidifiers safe? Yes, there’s no need to worry; ultrasonic humidifiers are very safe for adults, children, and pets.
However, the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) has found that ultrasonic humidifiers tend to disperse more biological agents than evaporative humidifiers. This is because these devices don’t use a filter. The reason why this could potentially be unsafe is that it would theoretically allow aerosolized particles such as bacteria, viral particles, or mineral particles to be released into the air that we breathe. So, in theory, this would allow for the easier transmission of viruses. The EPA recommends cleaning your ultrasonic humidifier about once every 3 days to help prevent this possibility.
Another potential drawback of ultrasonic humidifiers to be aware of is not one related to safety, but rather convenience. You see, the water that comes from our tap is often considered to be “hard water”, that is to say, it contains a relatively high amount of minerals. Since ultrasonic humidifiers don’t use a filter, these mineral particles will be released into the air and will accumulate as white dust on the surfaces of your home. These particles are harmless and can be simply wiped away. The EPA actually conducted an experiment on the effect of these mineral particles on the lung tissue of mice and did not find any evidence of lung tissue damage. That said, the EPA still recommends that you use distilled water with your ultrasonic humidifier to reduce any risk. Using demineralized or distilled water will also greatly reduce the amount of that white dust accumulation on your furniture and appliances.
How to Use Ultrasonic Humidifier
Ultrasonic humidifiers are very easy to use; you can get your ultrasonic humidifier up and humidifying in 3 quick steps that shouldn’t take you more than 2 minutes to complete.
Step 1: Place the humidifier. Choose an open area in the room in which you’d like to increase the humidity level. Tables, desks, or window sills are all great choices. Just make sure that it is a spot that has access to good air circulation and is close to an edge so that the water particles have a better opportunity to evaporate and won’t just fall on a surface.
Step 2: Fill the reservoir. As previously stated, it is best to use distilled water; however, this isn’t necessary.
Step 3: Turn on the device and tweak the settings. If you can use a TV remote, you can use an ultrasonic humidifier. Simply locate the power button and adjust the temperature or timer settings as you please. Some people prefer a warm mist as opposed to a cool mist – these are both adjustable in the settings. If you are using a smart ultrasonic humidifier, everything can be done from your phone or even your voice once the device has been linked to your wifi or smart hub system.
How to Clean Ultrasonic Humidifier
As previously mentioned, it is a good idea to clean your ultrasonic humidifier to reduce the chance of bacteria making their way into those tiny water droplets and potentially getting spread around your home. Luckily, ultrasonic humidifiers are designed with easy cleaning in mind. You can use two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, or other natural and inexpensive products, like vinegar, diluted with warm water to clean your ultrasonic humidifier.
Clean your ultrasonic humidifier by adding two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or any anti-microbial product to warm water and pour it into the water reservoir. The EPA recommends using a brush or other cleaning tool to give it a quick scrub. Then, just let the solution sit for 10-20 minutes. After 10-20 minutes, pour out the cleaning solution and give a quick rinse. Lastly, dry with a paper towel or leave to air dry – and that’s all there is to it!
Best Ultrasonic Humidifier Recommendations
A good ultrasonic humidifier should provide moisture to the air efficiently, be easy to maintain, and have intuitive design and features, such as compatibility with a smart hub system, portability, or a built-in essential oil diffuser. With these criteria in mind, we searched for the 3 best ultrasonic humidifiers available in 2022.
- Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier
Excellent smart home functionality: The Levoit 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier has impressive functionality such as cleaning reminders, voice command compatibility with Alexa and Google, and even a night light you can turn on if you get up in the middle of the night.
Sleek design that makes cleaning easy: The water reservoir on this model doesn’t have any tight spaces or corners so cleaning can be done much more quickly and conveniently.
Accurate and effective: The Levoit 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier has a superbly accurate auto-mode which keeps the humidity level of the room almost exactly where you want it throughout the day. This system is the most accurate of any other model we tested.
- Geniani Top Fill Cool Mist
Convenient refill: As is said in the device’s title, the Geniani Top Fill Cool Mist allows you to refill it simply by pouring water into the cavity at the top of the water reservoir rather than removing the reservoir and bringing it to the sink or your distilled water source.
Small and portable size: At only 4 pounds, this guy is pretty small and light so you can easily move him around your home, even if the reservoir is full. The drawback is that you’ll need to refill more often, but as we already mentioned, refilling is really convenient.
2-in-1 humidifier & diffuser: You can ensure you and your loved ones get the best night’s sleep by adding essential oils such as lavender oil or chamomile oil into the diffuser so that you can get those ideal air conditions for your sleep.
Longest running time: You won’t need to worry about having to refill the Maxcio Ultrasonic Humidifier as often as other humidifier models as it can run for up to 30 hours on a single fill.
Modern and sleek design: This model has a very minimalist design that not only looks great in the modern home, but is also very easy to clean given its smooth and round shape. It also comes with customizable RGB backlighting to create an atmosphere and won’t disturb your sleep.
BPA free: Maxcio Ultrasonic Humidifier is BPA free and suitable for children and babies.
2-in-1 humidifier & diffuser: Just like the Geniani Top Fill Cool Mist, you get double duty on your purchase as this model also has a built-in essential oil diffuser.
That wraps up our blog for the 7 things you need to know about ultrasonic humidifiers. Hopefully you now have a better idea of how ultrasonic humidifiers function and can now make a more informed decision before buying your new ultrasonic humidifier. Just to reiterate, we’d recommend using distilled water in your ultrasonic humidifier to reduce the amount of white dust caused by mineral particles present in the water and to clean the device once about every 3 days with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar mixed with warm water. Happy humidifying!