Ultrasonic humidifiers are capable of turning water into a fine mist through the use of high frequency vibrations. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sound is the future of all technology. The reason that ultrasonic humidifiers exist is by transforming the water into a mist it keeps bacteria and mold from being ejected into the air, making it much safer to breathe. Another advantage over standard humidifiers is that the ultrasonic variety are far quieter and less intrusive. That is not to say that ultrasonic humidifiers don’t come with some very disagreeable disadvantages. For one thing, if you decide to fill an ultrasonic humidifier with water straight from the tap instead of distilled water as the instructions recommend, what you can get expelled from the humidifier along with mist are minute particles of minerals that get dissolved in the tap water. These tiny specks of minerals aren’t big enough to actually see as they flow through the air, but they are big enough for you to inhale deep into your lungs where they can contribute to developing colds and even the flu. Even worse, if you already suffer certain respiratory problems like asthma or bronchitis these mineral particles can significantly worsen the condition. You should also be aware tap water in many communities can contain trace levels of such things as lead and even asbestos, not to mention radon gas that is capable of sticking to dust particles and taking a wild Slim Pickenseque ride right down your throat or up your nose and come to a rest inside your lungs.
When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted health and safety testing on ultrasonic humidifiers discovered that when using tap water of a hardness quality considered to be merely average that it only took twenty-four hours of use for the room in which the testing took place to be filled with forty times the recommended limit of particle concentration for use outdoors. The reason outdoor concentration is measured is because there has been no standard criteria of guidelines set for interior use. The lesson to be learned from the EPA studies is that if you do use an ultrasonic humidifier you should follow the directions and use either distilled water or put your tap water through a demineralizing filter. Even the filter may not be enough if you live in an area where the tap water is of a harder than average quality. In that case you would most likely do better to stick with the distilled water and avoid tap water altogether.