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124 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great whole house humidifier
Before we got this humidifier, we had two smaller humidifiers placed around the house and despite having to refill them constantly, we were still getting static electric shocks when touching door knobs and light switches (scary). I wanted a humidifier that held a lot of water, was reliable, didn't coat everything with a white dust, and simply worked to help alleviate dry...
Published on February 11, 2012 by moonlighteye

versus
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Noisy and poor quality, but effective.
Pros: Highly effective, I didn't measure it but I would certainly believe than it can move 12 gallons a day. Easy to refill, Wicks are inexpensive.
Cons: Noisy, poor quality, creates a draft of cold air.

This product comes from Essick Air, and it is cheaply constructed (judging from other reviews, such is the quality standard of all their products). This...
Published on March 3, 2012 by Ian Turner


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124 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great whole house humidifier, February 11, 2012
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
Before we got this humidifier, we had two smaller humidifiers placed around the house and despite having to refill them constantly, we were still getting static electric shocks when touching door knobs and light switches (scary). I wanted a humidifier that held a lot of water, was reliable, didn't coat everything with a white dust, and simply worked to help alleviate dry winter skin and static electricity issues. So far, this humidifier has been working perfectly to mitigate the dry winter air in an area just over 1000 sq ft.

When I first took it out of the box, the construction quality seemed a bit flimsy and I was kinda worried. Yeah, the plastic and seams could be a little tougher feeling, but once you have the few different sections into place, I would say the overall build quality is as solid as it needs to be. Our model is also more of a pure white color, rather than the cream "old PC case" color shown on Amazon. After about 3 months of constant use, we haven't had any leaks or a single issue to worry about.

Pros:
-Holds 3.9 real gallons (not just the misleading daily output figure that manufacturers use). It's great that I don't have to refill this thing every 2 days. A whole week or more will go by before we have to refill it. Of course, the refill period will depend on your settings and how often its running. We've left it running all the time (automatic setting) set to maintain 45 or 50 (somewhat high), and still only need to refill about once every 8-12 days.
-Has casters for easy relocation of unit
-Super simple operation. One button to power on/off, one button to set which humidity level you want to maintain, and one button to set to automatic or manual operation levels.
-As far as humidifiers go, the styling is good in that it sorta just blends into our similarly colored wall. Fairly subtle presence for a larger unit.
-Pretty quiet. It has a fan, so yeah, you will hear it when its spinning faster, but the noise is like a white noise, which we don't mind hearing when we sleep. Never noticed it to be a problem when trying to talk or watch TV.
-Up to 2500 sq ft. coverage area. We can only attest to just under half of that.
-None of that fine white dust like you get from those "cool mist" humidifiers.
-Display shows "F" on our unit when it's time to refill.

Cons:
-None!

Be sure to add a few capfuls of bacteriostat solution to the tank and you're good to go with this humidifier.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Whole House Humidifier, December 30, 2013
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
I really like this humidifier! I used it in both my 1,200 sq ft condo and girlfriends 2,000 sq ft house. In my condo it was always reading 8-10% humidity to much then a dedicated humidity monitor (I bought the AcuRite 613 Indoor Humidity Monitor). So I would place my Humidity on the Essick Air on 55% so I would have a true condo humidity of 45-47%. This comparison was done by letting the AcuRite be right next to the Essick Air Sensor so I knew it was off slightly.
FYI that the AcuRite Humidity Sensor I bought was within 1% calibrated when bought.
[...]
[...]

Some Notes to remember:
1.) The further you get away from the Humidifier, the less humidity we be in the air. Take this into consideration when setting your humidity levels and placement of the humidifier.
2.) I have found that mold/mildew can be nearly completely eliminated by using a cap of the BestAir 3BT-6 Original BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment 32 oz. per refill.
3.) You can greatly minimize the calcium/lime/scale deposits on your filter and make the filter last longer by using a cap of Holmes S1708PDQ-U Humidifier Bacteriostat.
4.) Clean your tank often. The EPA recommends you clean your humidifier every 3 days with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. I don't go to this extreme but cleaning it once every 2 weeks with dish soap seems more than enough for me. I use a mixture of 1 part White distilled vinegar to 5 parts water and swirl it in the tank/bottom of humidifier, let it sit for 30 minutes, pour it out and then scrub with water/dish washer soap. Finally I rinse thoroughly.
5.) Some say using distilled or filtered water is the best way to minimize and eliminate lime/calcium/scale deposits. This may be the case but this costs so much money for me in the winter months that I would rather buy another filter as going through gallons of filtered/distilled water isn't economical for me. Maybe if I had a humidifier in a child's bedroom, but not a whole house humidifier. Using #2 and #3 have increased the life of my filters during from ~3 weeks to ~10 weeks. Just use that plan instead as it's a lot cheaper.
6.) The first time the humidifier runs, it could be a long time before it turns off and will use lots of water. Remember it has to humidify an immense amount of sq ft and it takes time for humidity to incorporate itself into all your belongings that were most likely lacking humidity until now (carpet, drapes, etc). My girlfriends house started at 28% and during the January cold month, took 7 days to finally only run rarely. Otherwise it was on literally all the time.
7.) This will affect your energy bill positively is used correctly. Remember that higher humidity means higher temperature. For example, 75 degrees with 0 percent humidity feels like 69 degrees. 75 degrees with 100% humidity feels like 80 degrees. In the winter months raising your humidity with this humidifier will allow you to feel the same temperature a few degrees lower on your thermostat.
8.) Depending who you ask, "Optimal" humidity levels range greatly (from 35% - 60%). I always aim for Humidity levels about 45%.
9.) Having a whole house humidifier will certainly help folks that live in an otherwise dry environment with dry skin. Before this I would generally also suffer from dry skin no matter what moisturizer I used. Now with this my humidity in my condo and girlfriends house rose from mid 20's to 45% and I have healthier skin (as does my girlfriend).
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost five stars, November 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
Bought this unit to replace 2 smaller units on my house's main floor. Depending on your personal takeaway, some of the build on unit may seem flimsy. However, this isn't something you're gonna be pulling or pushing on a daily basis. I really do like a couple of features on it: Being able to lock the controls is great especially when you have kids and want to place unit on the floor. Also, the Dry Out Mode will come in handy should you forget to fill it up. After one week the unit seems efficient and really accurate. My one word of advice would be to make sure you line up the reservoir's float properly when assembling unit. Failure to do so will trick the unit into thinking that it's empty, sending it into Dry Out Mode. I know because it happened to me. Perhaps the manufacturer can address this in the future. Overall, a very good humidifier.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Noisy and poor quality, but effective., March 3, 2012
By 
Ian Turner (New York City) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
Pros: Highly effective, I didn't measure it but I would certainly believe than it can move 12 gallons a day. Easy to refill, Wicks are inexpensive.
Cons: Noisy, poor quality, creates a draft of cold air.

This product comes from Essick Air, and it is cheaply constructed (judging from other reviews, such is the quality standard of all their products). This item must have a huge profit margin because it is little more than some flimsy plastic parts which don't fit together very well, plus an electric fan. Everyone seems to have different quality issues; on my unit, the float sensor is nonfunctional (either always on or always off, depending on how you adjust it). The hydrostat seems to be calibrated way off -- it reads about 10-15% lower than my (calibration verified) Caliber III Thermometer Hygrometer -- but still works, as long as you set it high enough.

But the main problem with this humidifier is the noise. On low it is loud enough to hear from 25 feet away. On medium it is hard to have a conversation. On high it drowns out most other noise. My girlfriend had to turn up the TV over it even when on low. On top of the fan noise, the propeller seems to be not quite balanced, so that the whole thing vibrates, and even rattles if oriented wrong.

Unfortunately for us consumers (but fortunately for Essick Air), there seems to be a few options for in-house humidifiers on the market with more than a few gallons a day of output. So if you really need all 12 gallons/day, and can't get one integrated with your heating system, this might be the best product on the market, despite all its shortcomings.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars works decent, humidistat calibration off, October 19, 2012
By 
D. H Mark (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
Like other reviews, I confirm that the build quality is just adequate. I have only run on lowest setting, but it puts out good moisture at this level and is very quiet. I expect filters will last as other similar models, probably have to change at least once in winter. You must use a bacteriostatic solution to avoid stink-- then there will be no problems. The humidistat reads 8-10 % higher than actual (compared to 2 different devices I have). As long as I know this, I will adjust the settings accordingly. I am looking forward to no longer filling a humidifier every day because of its 4 gallon holding capacity. This should work better and use a lot less energy than the boiling water-steam types I have been using.

After 1 winter season, I find that due to hard water in Chicago, I need 3 filters to make it through Winter. This is using the original manufacturer filters which are slightly more expensive. The performance degrades a lot when you see that the top half of the filter is yellowed with calcium deposits. I am using both bacteriostatic solution and a water treatment for calcium deposits. When it runs 24/7 for about a month in Jan-Feb, the filter lasts for about a month.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but Mighty, November 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
The Essick Air MA1201 Moist Air Whole House Humidifier really does a fine and efficient job of humidifying my 1,400 sf house. We bought this model as a result of a fine review Consumer Reports and we have not been disappointed. We particularly like: The 4 level fan setting, - the lowest level of which is fairly quiet, and the highest level of which really pumps humidity into the air very quickly; Tank - this tank can be refilled easily on/in the kitchen sink which eliminates the need for a hose (those hoses always used to pop off the faucet and spray water everywhere!); the small footprint which doesn't dominate our small living space.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Effective - Easy to Use, November 25, 2012
By 
C. Williams (Salt Lake City, UT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
I have tried cool-mist, warm-mist and now the Essick MA1201 (moist-air evaporative) humidifiers.

Cool-mist is quiet and effectively humidifies, but creates really annoying white dust and requires frequent fillings

Warm-mist is also quiet and effective, no white dust, but requires frequent fillings and a weekly clean up of deposits created by the boiler plate - a plate that burns a fair amount of electricity. I had a Honeywell warm-mist unit for 5 years before it failed, so this isn't a bad solution if the cons I mention aren't a problem.

I replaced the Honeywell with the Essick. The MA1201 has an evaporative filter that absorbs water. Air is drawn through the filter by a fan and evaporation humidifies. This unit is large and will handle up to 1,500 sq. ft. with at most 1 daily filling (holds combined 4 gallons in base and tank). An evaporative humidifier is noisier than the other two types due to the fan. At low setting (Essick calls it "Ultra Quiet") there is still a background white noise - But, since this unit has the capacity for multiple rooms, I put it in a room near the furnace return vent and away from sleeping rooms and it works very well (holds 6 rooms at 35%), with no noise to interrupt sleep. The unit construction seems good - none of the problems mentioned by others - yes it is plastic, but it moves a lot of water and metal would not make sense. The 2 gallon refill tank is particularly well designed and easy to refill in a kitchen sink. Made in U.S.A.

After years of finding humidifier solutions, I found the Essick MA1201 to be the best for my needs.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eventually, February 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
The first unit that I received from the vendor was defective. After calling each of the phone numbers (there were 3 different ones) and being told that yes, the unit was defective and to return it, I had to wait more than a week to get a pre-paid return label. Fortunately I had kept the shipping container. Several days after the defective unit was received by the vender, I got a notice that a replacement was to be sent soon and indeed a replacement unit arrived a few days later. The replacement unit has been working as it was described to function and if the amount of water that I have to add to the unit is any indication, the unit that I have now puts a lot of water vapor into my household air and makes a positive difference in comfort.

So I am disappointed that because of the original unit being defective and the time that elapsed before it could be replaced, I did not have the humidifier for about a month of the time of year when it would have been most useful. On the other hand, while the process was slow, the customer service person I dealt with and with whom I had numerous e-mail exchanges was attentive and helpful. I hope the unit that I have now will hold up for a number of years. We'll see.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the desert!, June 2, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
After getting Lasik, I was suffering from persistent dry eye, which was exacerbated by living in a place where the humidity is super low. After using a small humidifier for a while, I decided I needed to go with a console style humidifier to really make a difference in the bedroom.

Pros:
It brings the humidity up fast (verified with a separate humidistat)
It's relatively quiet on lower settings (quiet enough for use in a bedroom)
Large resevoir
Light weight and easy to move
Easy to operate with a nice auto feature.
Built in humidistat is accurate over a long period of time (a few hours).

Cons:
In our super dry climate, it only really works to humidify one room - if you live in the American Southwest, don't expect it humidify a 2,500 sq.ft. house as it advertises. Again, this probably isn't specific to this humidifier, but since they advertise the area coverage, I thought it worth mentioning.
Very loud on higher fan settings.
Because the humidistat is built in, it will give false high humidity readings in the short term (however, over the long term - once the room/area has had a chance to equalize, it's very accurate). I would recommend a separate humidistat to place further from the humidifier for accurate short-term readings (which will be true with any humidifier with a built in humidistat).

Overall, we're pleased with the purchase. Were my intent to actually humidify the whole house, I'd be disappointed, but again, I think that's a short-coming of any console humidifier in this sort of arid climate. It works perfectly for our bedroom, and it's helped a lot with my eyes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set it and forget it, March 3, 2013
By 
Gus "Strictly Mac" (Chisholm, Mn. United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White (Misc.)
This unit seems to be very accurate by our gauges. Easy to set and easy to refill. We ad the bacteriostat liquid at each fill and flip the filter at least once a week to make it last longer. We also use a pur pitcher to filter our water for use as it is fairly hard water where we live.

We leave the fan speed set at 2 and is quiet. This speed keeps cycling with the needed humidity set at 45% perfectly. I don't think we would use speed 4 unless we were out of the room but we do not see the need for it in our situation anyway. The unit is fairly close to a return air duct on the main floor so the whole 2 story house (1500 sq ft) is evenly humidified.

Only slight drawback is when we fill the container completely, it wants to drip somewhere around the discharge hole while in the prone position. We just stop filling about 8 ounces short of full and carry to the unit with discharge hole facing up and have no drips.

Would recommend to anyone and would buy again if needed.
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Essick Air MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier, White
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