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on December 16, 2009
I've had a number of humidifiers and this one fairs favorably to most. First, it uses a cool air wick rather than a sonicator (which puts the water contaminants on your furniture and in your lungs) or a heater (which is inefficient, gets horrible mineral buildup which is very difficult to clean, and can cause fire hazards). It has a huge tank. And it has a humidistat so you can just turn it on and forget about it, aside from refilling it every day or two. It will get the humidity where you want it - not too dry, not too humid. For these reasons, I recommend this unit.

The downsides: It is not as nice as the model it replaced (which I also have) which looks almost exactly the same. The controls and display are a little less obvious - they added more functionality with too few buttons. That is easily dealt with by deciding how you want to use it and then always putting it in that mode. I like to set the fan to low or medium (so it is nice and quiet and you hardly hear it) and then set the humidity to 30, 35, or 40. As others here have mentioned, the hygrometer is a bit flaky. At times it is stable. At times it jumps around a bit. This can lead the system to turn on and off in response to changes in the measured humidity. It still gets the humidity to roughly what you set it to (as I've verified with a separate hygrometer). And if you don't have the fan set too high, you don't really notice that it turns on and off a bit more than it needs to. Mine has not turned on and off in short succession that frequently, although sometimes it does. It doesn't appear to impact its efficacy or accuracy, although if the fan is high and the room is quiet, it might really bug some people on the occassions it cuts on and off. Some people here report more aggressive cycling than I've observed. Sunbeam really should fix this and ponder a user interface tweak. The improvement over the previous model is that it continuously reports the hygrometer reading, which is really nice.

I'm giving this 4 stars because I still greatly prefer this over all the other humidifiers I've ever owned (and about the same as the model this one obsoleted).
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on February 4, 2012
Pros:
-Humidifies large rooms for a low price.
-Auto humidity regulation (great for our guitars which need ~45% all the time)

Cons:
-Cleaning and weight of tank

Other thoughts:
-We fill the tank once every 2 days to keep a 300 sq ft room humidified at 45%
-We have three acoustic guitars that we can leave out and not worry about with the regulator
-We had to get used to the continual on/off's throughout the day when run on "Auto 1" at 45% humidity, the rest of the time we just left it at "2"

Filter clean:
- Don't use bleach, it disintegrates the filter.
- I've been using the Holmes Bacteriostat S1708PDQ-U solution and putting in 2 capfulls in the tank for each refill
- My filters last over 6 weeks as pure white
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on November 16, 2010
For those saying they aren't sure if it humidifies their room, get a hygrometer. You know, those digital temperature/humidity sensors with the LCD panel. I have one from Honeywell. This humidifier is able to keep my humidity at 40% in a LOFT apartment in Nebraska winters. We're talking below zero, frozen and humidity in the teens without a humidifier. In a single level apartment, it can get us to 50% but I keep it at 45. It is about twice as capable as a warm mist humidifier that can't get the room above 30%. PLUS, the warm one requires about 230w of electricity to run vs about 30w for the fan in this one. PLUS, the heater block in the warm mist unit must be soaked in white vinegar and have the minerals scraped off of it periodically. Pain in the butt, and not worth it.

The downside? The filter must be washed in a bucket of soap water every so often or it accumulates pink/black mold and smells funny. It won't hurt you, but it is unpleasant. That's the only reason I don't give it 5 stars.

I like the automatic setting. I want 45%? It will hold it there. That way I don't have to touch the thing until its running empty.

Use distilled water ONLY for the best results, as with all humidifiers.
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on January 1, 2011
I've owned 6 or 7 of these humidifiers over the years. From the days when they had plain dial controls (just speeds 1, 2, & 3) to the current digital models where you set a target humidity and the unit reaches that, senses that, and turns off. This current digital model allows for 'simple control'... i.e. speed 1, speed 2, speed 3, or "automatic versions" of the three speeds, with a built in humidistat ... and that's where the trouble is.

It's a roll of the dice... some unit's work properly, some reach the humidity you set (by pressing the up/down button), then incredibly annoyingly, start to cycle on and off every 30 seconds or so. IT WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY.
This behavior will go on for hours and seems to be completely random. Somedays it works properly, some days not. I have to guess faulty components (welcome to the world of products you can no longer trust).

However. it's relatively quiet (I've owned at least ten different medium sized room models & this one's the best), and it really does a nice job on a roughly 15 x15 room (225 sq. ft. or so). It'll work fine in a smaller room, but go more than a foot or two larger, & you'll be filling this one twice a day.

One of my 2 current models is "afflicted" and so I have to run it in normal mode, I can't choose the automatic settings at all, the other works normally.

In my personal experience about 60% of these models have the humidistat problem, so if that's important to you, I'd look at another model. If not, compared to other similar models, it's actually a very good humidifier.
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on December 9, 2015
Everyone in New England is looking for moisture in their homes when the heating season begins. The old fashion pot of water on the stove top only works if you keep a wood stove stoked enough to keep it vaporizing water. Holmes is one of a many humidifier manufacturers, and a common brand found online and in big box retailers. Most of them are cheaply made because it is a highly competitive market with very little margin. These devices are not iPhones with new features coming out every year and a reason for the consumer to keep upgrading. The only reason to buy another one is if your current one fails. Unfortunately in this low margin business product failure is all too common and the customer support from Jarden Consumer Solutions, the manufacture and brand aggregator of many brands like Holmes, is challenged to offer much of any customer assistance when their products fail. I have 3 Holmes products and they all failed for the same reason.

The most common point of failure on this model and the other models with similar cap designs, are the gaskets that act as plungers to hold the water back in the bottom of the tank. I have attached a picture to show the problem and my solution. I tried in vein to purchase just the rubber gasket, but Jarden is not yet capable of building a community of customers around their products. Until they are able to do this, they will be an inferior option for anything they try to sell.
review image review image
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on January 7, 2012
I bought this in mid December to replace an earlier version of this humidifier that ran for at least a decade (the humidistat on the old one is a slider knob...). I learned with the first unit to religiously use the bacteriostat, which I can buy at the local bed and bath store that sends those never expiring coupons. Other than that, I pretty much neglect the unit until end of season, when the wicking filter gets the vinegar treatment and I decide whether or not it will make it to next season. It's used mainly in a 12 x 14 bedroom, although the door is always left open. Definitely provides needed humidity- dry air nosebleeds are gone. It sits on a braided area rug, which helps absorb some of the sound from the fan. After seeing the buildup of white, sticky mineral deposits inside of my stereo and other electronics from my ultrasonic humidifiers, I switched to these wicking style machines years ago. I'd rather the buildup occur on the wick than in my lungs, on my skin, and all over the house.

As others have written, the fan can cycle frequently, especially when you first start it up. I think this digital humidistat is more sensitive than my old, analog slider, and sometimes causes the fan to cycle more frequently. Like other sounds in your house, you learn to ignore it, but I think it helps if the unit is on a sound absorbing surface rather than a hard floor or hard tabletop.

For the money, I am happy with this machine. I hope it lasts as long as the first one did.
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on December 6, 2012
I like my Holmes HM1865-U Comfort Select Cool Mist Humidifier. It puts out a lot of mist to humidify my living room of roughly 450 sq ft. In fact, I also think it provides humidity for my entire first floor of over 800 square feet which consist of seperate living room, kitchen, and dining room (which I use as an office).

Yes, the unit can be a little noisy. But, keep in mind that this is a large room humidifier. I run the unit on A1 which is the lowest fan speed and it automatically humidifies based on sampling the air. Setting the unit on a 50% humidify level, the unit does go on and off frequently. But, after a week, I hardly noticed it anymore -- just white noise. One improvement to the unit would allow the level to fall 10% or 15% below the selected level before kicking in and then shut off when 5% above the level.

Yes, I have to fill the unit once a day (on the A1 setting) when there is cold whether outside -- I have a heat pump. But, keep in mind that the unit is placing almost two gallons of water out in that time frame. Also, keep in mind that this is a large room humidifier.

Lastly, I have had the unit for around a month -- the unit has been running every day. When I fill the unit. I add a small amount of Sunbeam Humidifier Water Treatment (purchased at Wal Mart). The treatment helps the wick to last longer. A few days ago, I checked the wick filter for the first time. It was in pretty good shape. I soaked the filter in hot soapy water to clean -- it was pretty dirty. Then, I let the filter dry some -- not fully. And, then started the unit right up. I had a Holmes room humidifier for about 5 years, cleaned the filter the same way, and only used one filter per winter season. I think I will get similar filter lifetime on this unit.

I would recommend this unit if you wanted to humidify medium to large rooms or multiple rooms. I would not recommend the unit for a small room (particularly if one wanted quiet for like watching TV) because of the fan motor noise.
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on March 10, 2013
Read UPDATE at bottom -

This humidifier leaked, badly, the 2nd time I used it. I thought maybe I hadn't screwed the cap on tightly enough, so I decided to experiment with it more after I returned from the holidays.

It didn't leak the 3rd time, but did the 4th, 5th and 6th times I set it up. Like soaked through two entire towels, leaked. Thankfully the wood underneath was nothing valuable - I thought a towel would be protection enough, but it was not even close.

By that time 6 weeks had passed since purchase. I contacted the seller with no response. Contacted them again with no response. Contacted Amazon, and they said I should put it in a box and send it in, at my expense. Well, it was going to cost about $50 to ship, so I didn't want to do that unless I had assurance of a refund, so I didn't send it. Sure enough, a couple days later I got an email from amazon saying my return request had been rejected because more than 30 days had passed.

I am disappointed, of course. I contacted the manufacturer today - Holmes - and will see if there's anything they will do, as it does come with a three-year warrantee, but I do think the seller should have processed a free return, given how soon it malfunctioned. It's possible it just needs a new cap or something, but I'd appreciate a frank discussion about how we can solve it.

That said, if it hadn't leaked, I liked the features available - the humidistat is key for keeping your room humidity stable (I've used machines without one and ended up with mold on a cold closet wall.)

UPDATE - 4-13-13 contacted Holmes and they kindly replaced this unit at no cost. They do not make it any more, so gave me a choice of three others and after a week of using the other - A Bionaire Ultrasonic - I'm pretty happy with it!

RE- UPDATE - 1-7-14 You're not going to believe this, but the replacement unit now leaks... Contacted Holmes/Bionaire and since they have no more of that unit in stock, they have agreed to send out not one, but two at their cost. (They will also send me a pre-paid label to return this one, as they'd like to have ea look.) Great customer service, but I sure am glad I caught this before it ruined my hard wood floors - could be an expensive loss of security deposit with the landlord! I hope they get this issue solved.
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on December 28, 2012
Pros: Adds moisture to the environment as expected.
Pros: Fan has a nice level of white noise. If you want perfectly quiet, this isn't for you. But I like the steady noise.
???: High tech. Too many settings
Cons: BRIGHT display light. I had to cover it with stickers, otherwise it's like having a night light in the room.
Cons: Loud gurgling noise for the water intake.

I will start by saying I bought this to replace a 10-year old humidifier that had a very similar construction. The old humidifier was sent to the grave after the fan started making loud mechanical noises. I am happy with this product and will keep it but I must say I miss the simplicity of my old one. This humidifier has electronic settings for F3, F2, F1 (High, Med, Low Fan) and A3, A2, A1 (Automatic fan) plus a timer that will automatically turn it on/off AND a electronic ## setting where you can pick your desired humidity level. From a brief read of the instructions, the automatic will "maintain" the humidity at your desired level if you choose that option. In my opinion, they went overboard in trying to make this high tech. I would actually prefer if they had only 3 fan settings and skipped the automatic feature. The few times I've accidentally set it to "Auto" when I thought I had turned it off, I got frightened when the thing roared to life on its own. Plus, if you need a perfect 41% humidity (as opposed to 50%), I dont know if you would buy a machine of this caliber. It's nice to see they tried to make it 'gadgety' but it's built to fill a basic need, the bells & whistles are unnecessary.

Also, having had a nearly identical unit, I can say the gurgling from water being pulled into the machine is WAY louder than I would expect. I am going to play with it and see if there's a way to make it quieter. The old unit I had, there was a quiet fish-tank level bubbling when the water flows.... this unit has a louder bubble air/suction noise which is bothersome.

I give it 3-stars b/c it does its job, but in case you can't tell I miss my old lower tech version and am not 100% thrilled. In fact, if I found a 'new' one of my old model in the store I'd possibly replace this.
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on December 31, 2012
This humidifier really solved my problems as far as indoor humidity goes. It's mostly a great design:
- easy to fill tank (flat bottom and top, easy to carry, fits into a fairly standard sink). You won't have to refill more than once per 24h.
- can significantly increase humidity. My condo (~1000 sq ft) has ~22% humidity during winter. Very uncomfortable. Holmes brings it it to a comfortable level.
- does positively impact the humidity of the entire place (not just the room where you have it).
- easy to clean. So far I used it for a month. Cleaned once and didn't see any buildup, mold etc. I do use a additive to water to prevent mold.
- yes, the automatic setting can SOMETIMES act a bit crazy (on / off / on - that's why I give it 4 stars) but it's really not a big deal. And you could always switch it to a continuous ON with the lowest fan speed, and it would work just fine.
- I can fall asleep while it works. Good level of white noise.

Long story short: a great product.
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