What Is the Difference Between ULV and Thermal Fogging?

ULV and Thermal Fogging

Fogger sprayers are growing in popularity, especially since the start of the pandemic. They are used to disinfect homes and business establishments as they can effectively reach difficult-to-access areas. However, these machines are not only used for that, but they are also useful in gardening and pest control. So, is it a thermal or ULV fogger that you need? To help you select the perfect tool for your specific needs, let’s discuss the differences between the two.

What Is a Thermal Fogger? 

Thermal foggers convert liquid solutions into vapor using heat. It creates a thick fog, allowing the chemicals to spread throughout a specific area. The fog can get into thick bushes and reach other difficult-to-access areas in and around the home.

Typically, a thermal fogger has a tank, heating chamber, and nozzle as its main parts. Pre-heating the machine can take 2-5 minutes, and once ready, you can spray or release the fog into the area. Its fogging distance usually reaches up to 15 feet, ideal for long-distance spraying. 

There are different types of thermal foggers to choose from. Thermal fuel, propane insect, and electric foggers are common, but when it comes to household uses, the electric type is a more popular choice. 

What Is a ULV or Cold Fogger? 

ULV stands for ultra-low volume, and this type is the opposite of thermal foggers. A cold fogger doesn’t use heat to create vapor but pressurized air to generate tiny particles of liquid solutions. 

The machine’s electric motor controls the airflow, which you can adjust, to create a fog. Most cold foggers should be connected to a power source, so you may need a long extension cord when covering large areas.

One advantage of this type is the fog it releases doesn’t have an odor and will not leave greasy stains. 


In terms of applications, both types have specific advantages. Thermal foggers can produce smaller droplets than the cold type, as tiny as 0.5 microns. This makes it ideal for spraying bushes, shrubs, and trees. The tool also releases denser fogs than ULV foggers. 

However, thermal foggers are not recommended indoors because they tend to be flammable. Thus, it is more common in outdoor applications. Its fog is also difficult to control because wind can easily blow the tiny droplets away. 

ULV foggers, on the other hand, are excellent indoors and outdoors. This type is ideal for shorter distances as it produces larger droplets than thermal foggers, around 5-50 microns. It can be used for disinfecting, pest, odor, and mold control, and watering and applying other liquid solutions to outdoor and indoor plants. 

Because most ULV foggers are electric, you need to have an extension cord if you use it outdoors. This type may not be efficient in spraying shrubs or trees as it produces larger microns than the thermal fogger.

Which One Should You Choose? 

The simple answer to this is it depends on how you will use the machine. If you’ll use it mainly indoors, getting the ULV type is ideal, but if spraying bushes, shrubs, and trees is what you’ll utilize it for, buying the thermal fogger is best. 

Both are great tools at home, but getting a machine that can perform best on the spraying needs should be your priority. You also need to consider other factors, such as price, compatible liquid solutions, and required maintenance. Considering these significantly helps in your buying decision. Thorough research for these factors is an excellent way to get all the information you need.

The Takeaway 

The next big step you need to take now is list down the primary applications you need for the fogger sprayer. Once you do, you can narrow down your choices better and consider other factors more efficiently. So, start writing your spraying needs now to know the best product for you! 

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