10 Reasons for Ultrasonic Humidifier Not Increasing Humidity

Despite leaving a trail of white humidifier dust when you use tap water in it, an ultrasonic humidifier still remains the best choice for our homes!

While most of these units are foolproof, occasionally an ultrasonic humidifier might fail to produce mist.

In that case, what do you do to fix it? That is what I will show you in this short post.

How do ultrasonic humidifiers work?

ultrasonic humidifier not producing mist

To understand why your ultrasonic humidifier might fail to produce mist, you need to know how it works.

This humidifier generates ultrasonic vibrations, which break water molecules into the finest droplets. These droplets are then released as a fine mist that adds moisture to the air.

Sometimes these humidifiers may stop producing mist, leaving you wondering what could be wrong. Usually, it is nothing too big.

10 reasons your humidifier is not increasing indoor humidity

As usual, we start from the simplest to the slightly complex reasons, similar to what I did in my posts on the Levoit humidifier not working and the Crane Cool mist humidifier not working.

1. There is no water in the tank

This is the most common reason why your ultrasonic humidifier may not be raising humidity.

Humidifying units will shut down automatically when they run out of water. Make sure that the water tank is filled with enough water for the humidifier to function properly.

2. Clogged Water Tank

Minerals and impurities in the water can build up over time, clog the tank, and cause your PureGuardian humidifier to stop working.

To solve this problem, clean the water tank with a mixture of water and vinegar and rinse it thoroughly before refilling it.

3. Dirty or broken ultrasonic plate

ultrasonic plate disc

The ultrasonic plate is the component responsible for breaking up water molecules in the humidifier.

If this plate is dirty or covered in mineral deposits, it may not produce mist. To clean the plate, turn off the humidifier, unplug it, and clean the ultrasonic plate with a soft brush and a mixture of water and vinegar.

If the ultrasonic plate is broken or damaged, it may not be able to break up water molecules and produce mist.

You will need to replace it. You can order one from Amazon.com, but if you cannot replace it yourself, find a technician.

4. Water level sensor malfunction

Many ultrasonic humidifiers come with a low water level sensor that shuts off the humidifier when the water level gets too low.

If this sensor is malfunctioning, it may prevent the humidifier from producing mist even if the water tank is full.

Contact the manufacturer if the humidifier is still under warranty, or find a qualified repair technician to fix this issue for you.

5. Power issues

A Pure Enrichment humidifier stops working if it is plugged into a faulty power source. To know whether this is the issue, plug in your humidifier into another socket. If it works, the previous one is damaged.

If it does not work, the power cord might be broken. Also, if you smell a plastic or burning smell from the humidifier cord, it is busted.

6. The filter is dirty

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers often come with an air filter that helps remove impurities from the air.

When this filter is dirty or clogged, it can prevent the unit from misting. Clean or replace the air filter to solve this issue.

7. The humidity level in the room is already high

If the humidity level in your home is already high, the ultrasonic cool mister may not produce mist since it is not needed.

Use a hygrometer to check the humidity level in your home and adjust the humidifier accordingly.

8. The room temperature is low

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers work best in warmer temperatures. If the room temperature is too low, the unit might fail to produce mist, meaning it is not going to increase the humidity level.

To correct this, raise the temperature in the room or move the unit to a warmer location to solve this issue.

9. The humidistat is defective

Some ultrasonic humidifiers come with a built-in humidistat that measures the humidity level in the air and adjusts the humidifier accordingly.

The Honeywell Tower Topfill unit that we reviewed in the best humidifiers for 2×2 grow tent has a humidistat.

If the humidistat is defective, it may prevent the humidifier from producing mist. Contact the manufacturer or get a qualified repair technician to fix the problem.

10. The humidifier is too old

If the humidifier is too old, some of its parts will start failing. Some units, such as the best humidifiers for 3×3 grow tents see a lot of use. They may wear out faster than units that are not used as frequently.

If you have changed a few parts in the humidifier one time too many, it is time to replace it. If you don’t, you may find that the cost of repair eventually overlaps that of buying a new one.

The humidifier works but produces no mist

It is possible to experience the problem of a humidifier working but not producing mist, as you can see in our post on HoMedics humidifier not working.

Most of the more affordable, smaller portable humidifiers do not come with a humidistat. Therefore, even if there is a high humidity level in the house, they continue working. But some might not produce mist.

Another important thing to remember is that a humidifier can be faulty, in which case it might continue running even after the tank runs empty. This will eventually cause overheating, and the humidifier smells like burning.

Check for a clogged nozzle. This is a common problem when you use tap water in the humidifier. The minerals in the water clog the nozzle, such that even as the unit runs, the mist does not find an exit.

If this is the case, soak the tank with a half-water-half-white vinegar solution to descale the walls and the nozzle. You can also scrub the tank interior gently with a soft brush and rinse the tank thoroughly before use.

Be careful not to let any water leak into the circuitry. Usually, this causes a humidifier to stop working after cleaning.

How do you unclog an ultrasonic humidifier?

If an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier is clogged, it will keep running, but there will be no mist coming out of the nozzle.

This is why it is vital to learn how to unclog it and as you will find out here, it is really not too hard.

Pour a cup of water into the base of the unit, and add a cupful of white vinegar. Let the solution sit in the base for an hour before pouring it out and rinsing.

Do the same to the tank. Fill it with half water, and half vinegar solution and let it sit for 45 to 60 minutes.

After that, pour it down the sink and then rinse with water. The water-vinegar solution should have descaled the tank completely.

Wrapping Up

The ultrasonic humidifiers do a great job of raising your indoor humidity and making the space more habitable. Remember, there are serious side effects of low humidity.

But to keep the humidifier in good working order, make sure the water tank is clean and filled all the time. Ensure the ultrasonic plate is not dirty and has not sustained damage.

Check that the power source is working and the air filter is clean. Look out for the humidity level and room temperature, and finally, consider whether the humidifier has outlived its usefulness.

At times, a humidifier stops misting when it gets too old, in which case you would have to replace it.