Identification sticker on typical fog machine.

Each fog machine will have an identification sticker on the back or bottom listing its voltage, amp draw, output, and wattage.

Wanted to make a post on fog machines early as during the preplanning stages of a haunt, many of us haunters are looking into the appropriate foggers for our attraction.

There are many different brands and qualities of fog machines on the market including American DJ, Antari, Eliminator, Martin, Chauvet (which is a line carried here at HauntYourHouse.net), not to mention the major department store specials.
All these fog machines will have their own specific specifications for you to go off of when choosing the fogger right for your application. The wattage rating you will pay particular attention to as that will be your best bet in determining the performance of each fogger. These specifications may also list a cfm rating (cubic feet of fog per minute) which could range anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000 cfm (perhaps more or less). As there is no set industry standard of what a cubic foot of fog actually is, this number can only be used as a base guide line when comparing different fog machines. So think about it this way, if I took a clear 1 cubic foot box and put what I thought was 1 cubic foot of fog in it, you could look at that box and say it should have more or less fog in it. So cfm is only a guide line.

The wattage on the other hand is very useful in comparing different fog machines. You can very easily find fog machines rated anywhere from 450 to 1300 watts. This wattage rating is concerning the heat exchanger that each fogger has which is used to heat the fog fluid to a specific temperature, turning the liquid form fog fluid into vapor, giving you fog.

First of all, take into consideration that the greater the wattage the longer the heat up cycle of the fogger before it has the ability to produce fog. Yet a lower wattage fogger will reheat faster, but the cooling effect that the liquid form fog fluid has on the temperature of the heat exchanger, the less time the fog machine has to produce fog before the heat exchanger temperature drops and loses its ability to produce fog. At that time the fogger will go into a reheat cycle like what it does when you first turn on your fogger. When that set high temperature point is reached, the fogger will once again be ready to produce fog. A larger wattage fog machine will also do this when its heat exchanger drops in temperature when producing fog, but being the wattage is that much greater, the more fog you can produce before the fogger goes back into its reheat cycle.

So be aware on how often you think your set will be calling for fog. If you need to maintain a high level of fog, a smaller wattage fogger may not keep up with the demand, and you may find the fogger in its reheat cycle when you need it to be producing fog. In that case a larger fog machine would better meet your needs. On the other hand a smaller set without much airflow to carry your fog away, a smaller wattage fog machine may very well be adequate.

To touch on the life expectancy of a fog machine, I want to stress the importance of using the proper fog fluid and the cleaning of your fog machine. Regardless to what brand and much how or how little you spend on a fog machine, each machine has been designed for a specific blend of fog fluid. Meaning each unit is designed to produce fog at a certain temperature, therefore you should always resort to using the fluid made for your particular fog machine. If you have fog fluid designed to vaporize at a specific temperature, but your fog machines heat exchanger reaches temperatures above that rated for the fog fluid, your heat exchanger will burn the fluid before its leaves the fogger. When the fluid is burned it will begin to build up within the foggers plumbing resulting in a poorly performing fog machine in much need of being cleaned. At worse case the machine will quit working all together due to plugged internal plumbing or a burned out heat exchanger. So make sure you use a fluid compatible with your fogger and if you aren’t certain, stick with using the same brand fluid as your fog machine.

When it comes to cleaning your fogger, you can definitely purchase cleaners. But the use of distilled water and white vinegar work very well. Chauvets cleaning guide recommends 80% distilled water to 20% white vinegar as sufficient in maintaining a clean and clog free fog machine. After forty hours of use, run a full tank of this cleaning solution through the fog machine in a well ventilated area and refill the fogger with the appropriate fog fluid. It may also be helpful to run just distilled water through the fogger until you can no longer smell any vinegar before refilling with fog fluid.

If you’re not going to be using the fogger for quite some time after cleaning, let some distilled water remain in the fogger as this will help keep the seals from drying out over storage. And lastly, assure that the fogger will not freeze over storage.

I hope this post helps you in choosing the appropriate fog machine for your application. I have some additional information on foggers that may be worth while checking out at this link. Fog Machine Info

-Kelly