Smoke machines (also known as fog machines) have both practical applications and entertainment value. For instance, you can use a small smoke machine to check draughty rooms (the smoke will show you where the draft is coming from). Most often, you see smoke machines used at Halloween parties or in plays. If you want to use your smoke machine for entertainment purposes, it helps to create a dense fog that hangs around.
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Use the Proper Smoke Fluid
Many smoke fluid brands and types are available, and you may be tempted to choose a cheap, generic brand. Cheaper smoke fluids tend to be made with cheaper materials and therefore produce low-quality smoke or fog. According to smokemachines.net, cheaper smoke fluids may even cause you and your guests to cough (something fog machines should not do). Check your fog machine and ensure that you are using the smoke fluid recommended by the manufacturer. Next, experiment with more expensive smoke fluids that have the same chemical compound as the smoke fluid your fog machine recommends using. Note which ones produce better fog.
Ducting is a process whereby you set up your smoke machine next to a tube of ducting and allow the smoke to travel into it. According to Rosco (a company that specialises in theatrical effects) and smokemachines.net, ducting slows the disbursement of the smoke and concentrates the flow of the smoke in such a way that a denser, longer-lasting fog is created (see References 1 and 2). Rosco says to use ducts that have a 4-inch diameter and to set up the fog machine three to four inches away from the opening of the duct. Position the end of the duct in the area where you want to create the fog.
Use a Fog Chiller
Chilled fog stays closer to the ground than fog at higher temperatures. To accomplish this, run the smoke machine over ice or over dry-ice. Smokemachines.net suggests using a simple beverage cooler with holes cut out in two ends and the walls lined with ice. Position the smoke machine in front of one of the holes and allow the smoke to be thrown into the cooler and out the other end. Combine this effect with ducting and you can produce dense fog that stays near the ground.
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