Reasons Your Humidifier is Not Producing Mist

Nothing could be as mind-boggling as switching on your humidifier, which fails to produce mist. Power cord: check; water: check!

So, why is there no mist coming out of my humidifier? Most humidifiers fail to produce mist when they are dirty. If the humidifier does not stand on a level surface, it might fail to mist. A warm mist or evaporative humidifier can also fail if the heating elements are coated with scale.

A few times in the past, we have looked at common humidifier issues that you are likely to experience. Now, it is time to consider whether your evaporative or ultrasonic humidifier not producing mist.

In yet another article, we looked at the most common causes of a Pure Enrichment humidifier not working.

Here, we shall see the common causes of your humidifier not producing mist.

Why is the humidifier not misting? Causes and fixes

Why is my humidifier not misting

There are tens of causes of your humidifier failing to make mist. The best thing to do is to start with the simplest checks and see whether they will rectify the issue. If they do not, you can try more complex checks and fixes.

Here are some simple checks for a Crane humidifier not blowing mist:

1. Check whether it stands on a level surface

Unknown to many people, a humidifier might fail to produce mist if it is placed on a slanted surface. And that is not all because a slanted appliance poses a danger of falling.

If it is a warm mist unit, it can scald pets and children if it falls on them. The best position for a humidifier is on a flat surface.

2. Check the wick filter

Evaporative cool mist humidifiers come with wick filters that can clog up minerals and other materials. If this happens, the humidifier will fail to work.

If you have checked the tank, and it has water, checked the power cord, and it is good, placing your unit on a flat surface, well, check the filters.

If you have hard water at home, the filter will need to be changed more often. You can check with the manufacturer of the unit to find out how often you should change the filters.

Checking filters does not apply to humidifiers that use wick filters. Rather, it can happen to all types of filters.

3. Check for mineral deposits

In another article, we said you can use tap water in a humidifier. However, this water contains minerals.

The minerals are going to build scale on the walls of the tank. To avoid straining, which can shorten its lifespan, the unit can switch off or fail to start. Once you clean the unit, it should get back to working as normal.

Because mineral buildup can also cause the growth of mold in humidifier, you should clean it out with white vinegar.

This is going to kill the mold. It is vital to use white vinegar because if there is mold in the tank, the unit will pump it out with the mist.

Another thing with using hard water is that the minerals will eventually come out in the mist, causing humidifier white dust.

This pale dust settles on different surfaces in your room. While it is not harmful to your health, it can make your indoor surfaces untidy.

4. Check the heating elements and the base

scale on humidifier heating elements

Again, this is about using hard water in your misting unit. Scale forming on the heating element of warm mist units prevents the formation of mist.

It causes mineral buildup on the heating elements, which prevents them from heating the water.

Cool mist humidifiers do not have a heating element, so this does not apply to them. This is for warm mist units.

If the heating element is not working, the unit will simply not start.  It won’t work. Check the user manual for instructions on how to remove and clean the heating elements.

Remember to clean the base too. It, too, gets mineral buildup from hard water. If you clean the tank alone and leave the base, the mister may not work.

5. Check whether you have set the right humidity level

set the right humidity level

Modern humidifiers are smart, so they will only start producing mist when the relative humidity level falls below what you have set.

For instance, if the relative humidity level is 40% and the humidity level on the unit is set at 37%, the humidifier will not produce mist. In fact, it is not going to start running.

It will only start misting when the humidity level falls below 37. It will work to keep the RH at the level you have set in the unit.

6. The power is too low

If the power is too low or there is no power at all due to breakage of cords, plugs, or socket, the unit will not produce mist.

To test whether something is wrong with the power system, unplug the unit and plug in another item, like a vacuum cleaner.

If it runs, you will know that the humidifier is faulty.

You can also check the digital display of the unit. If it is on, the power is good. If it is not powering up, there isn’t enough power.

If you suspect that the power source lacks power, try plugging the unit into another socket. These are simple checks. If they all fail, check the motor to see whether it is on. If not, you have a faulty unit.

If you have a battery-powered humidifier, check whether the battery is low and change or recharge it.

7. There isn’t enough water in the tank

why is there no mist coming out of my humidifier

This is another one of the causes of failure in your humidifier. Check whether there is enough or any water inside the tank.

Some misting units might fail to start running when they have a small amount of water in the tank. If the water is below half, add more and try running it.

Why is my cool mist humidifier not misting?

The cool mist humidifier is the king of all humidifiers. It is safe for use in a baby’s room. It is also safe for use in the grow room.

However, sometimes you might find that your mister fails to do what it is supposed to do—produce mist.

Check the following things:

Start with the basics

These are things such as the power cord of the mister. Is it working? If you are not sure, try changing the sockets where you plug it in. The socket could be blown or the cord. You also need to ascertain that the power in the socket is not lower than what the humidifier is rated for.

You have set the humidity too low

If you set a very low humidity level of, say, 25% by mistake, the humidifier will fail to produce mist unless the humidity level drops below that. In many places in the USA, the humidity level might never drop below that.

Check the water level

In most humidifier models, such as AIRCARE, if the water level is too high, the unit will not produce mist. If the water level is too low, it will not produce mist. If you check your humidifier instructions, you will see they say you should not fill the unit to the brim.

Check for scale

If you have a cool mist ultrasonic humidifier, scale forms on the nebulizer, which is inside the base. If this happens, you should use a soft piece of cloth to wipe the scale off after loosening it with white vinegar.

This scale comes from using mineral water in the humidifier, and it can form on the walls of the tank. To remove it, use two cups of white vinegar, or more depending on the size of the tank. Leave it for 30 to 40 minutes to loosen the scale, then clean and rinse the tank.

The humidifier is not producing mist: FAQ

If you still need more clarification about how to fix a humidifier that is not misting or what to check for, read these frequently asked questions and answers. They might help!

Should you see mist coming out of the humidifier?

You should see warm mist when it is coming from the humidifier. However, this is only possible for warm mist units because it is vapor coming out of the nozzle.

Cool mist units produce mist, but you cannot see it. You can feel it though, if you place your hand slightly above the nozzle.

How much mist should come out of a humidifier?

How much mist should come out of a humidifier

If you have a big unit, it is going to pump out a lot of mist, and the vice versa is true of smaller units. However, it will never raise the humidity level above what you have set.

Usually, the ideal RH level for your bedroom is 30 to 50%. Your mister should switch off as soon as it attains the set humidity level.

Most small humidifiers have a knob for adjusting the mist output. Turning the knob a few times clockwise increases the mist output.

Just look at the cool mist humidifier. If the water level is going down, the unit is working alright, since it is only going down because it’s misting.

Also, if you check your hygrometer, you will see a change in the humidity level. If it is increasing, the humidifier is working.

Another simple way to test whether your cool mist humidifier is working is by placing your palm against the nozzle. Since the cool mist is not visible, you can only feel it on your skin.

If you place your palm against the nozzle, it is going to feel cool on account of the mist coming out. If it does not feel cool, the humidifier is not working.

How do you tell if a humidifier is working?

Place your hand above the humidifier nozzle, and you will feel the cool mist coming out. You can also use a hygrometer to find out whether the RH level has risen.

Warm mist units will also make your room warmer. If the water in the tank is going down, the unit is working.

Wrapping it up

Many things can go wrong with a humidifier and cause it not to produce mist. However, in many instances, these are the only common causes, like no power, no water, poor placement, and so on.

To ensure that your unit works for as long as possible, give it proper maintenance. If your TaoTronics humidifier is not misting, try our simple checks to identify the problem.

Keep the humidifier a foot or two from the wall so that it can access enough air (also check out our post on humidifier increases oxygen). Without airflow, it might not make mist properly.

A humidifier that won’t mist does not mean its life is over. Mostly, it is a mineral buildup in the tank, base, and filters.