Most helpful positive review
1,631 of 1,698 people found the following review helpful
GREAT UNIT, Don't know what all the Negative stuff is about.
on February 16, 2011
**Updated Comments at Bottom of original review**
Is it PERFECT? of course not, but is IS Darned Good. I gave a 4 ONLY because there were some minor things that could have made it better (Most of which you find on the more expensive units) which seems fair enough, you want more "Gizmo's" you pay for them. really I should change it to a 5. My experience has been just great.
NEGATIVE THINGS I HAVE READ HERE FROM OTHERS, That Just Don't Bear Out in First Hand Experience: (I almost didn't buy this unit because of all the nasty things people wrote)
Maybe the Biggest Gripe is "Oh My, It's Sooo LOUD"
I frankly have NO IDEA what these people are complaining about. It is Not Totally Silent (Was that expected?) but even just 4-5 feet away from the unit running Full Tilt, Max Everything I have ZERO PROBLEMS holding a normal conversation or watching TV. (Mine sits right Next to my TV and I have not adjusted the volume from what it was before I started using this unit) The "Noise" is NOT Linear in nature. The unit has 3 fan speeds; LOW lets make sound level =1; MED lets call sound level =2-2.5; and Yeah, HIGH/MAX is sound level =5 (as an example) There is a Significant difference between Med and High, BUT As I Said, NO Problems talking or hearing TV even on MAX. (for the record, I just moved here and had not had a humidifier previously, it wasn't necessary. So This winter season I was WAY LATE buying one and getting started. My house was down to just 15% and I had this unit running MAX Output for a Week as is slowly dragged the humidity levels up. So I am WELL Acquainted with the sound of this device (at it's worst). Just yesterday i got the house up to 47% and set the humidity dial on the unit to cycle on & off (more on this later). It has been described as Airplane taking off, Hurricane, etc.... Either the fan unit was not set back on the unit properly and it's vibrating (see "user error") or These people just got a Lemon ? (return it and get a new one) or they are just gripey people who needed SOMETHING Nasty to say, because this thing just IS NOT LOUD.
Next "Water spills all over the floor"
BUNK (period). I suppose if you are some sort of nut job who throws things around and slams things, etc. you MIGHT be able to make a wave or two in there, but the ONLY water I have seen has been the OCCASIONAL (not every time) drop or two, Never a "Puddle" (And I have ALL Hard Wood Floors, so this is a real issue for me) and the "Drops" came from the OUTside of the tanks as a by-product of filling them in my sink. I now keep a kitchen towel next to the area I fill the tanks and give them a quick wipe before walking back to the unit and NO MORE DROPS. *NOW* With All That Said Given that I DO have hard wood floors and a leak of any kind could be a "not good" thing for me I have taken the precaution of buying a plastic bin I am setting the device inside of. It is big enough that IF somehow the whole thing drained the full max water volume out, the bin can hold that and more. Just Good (and cheap) insurance. If you were wondering? I bought ((Underbed Plastic Storage Container - Set of Two (Clear) (6.25"H x 18"W x 28"D))
One of My FAVORITE Complaints ?? "You have to Refill the water too much" or "It uses too much water"
REALLY ?? Just THINK about this one. You BUY a Humidifier to .... Put Water In Your Air --- And You Complain about it Doing EXACTLY what you paid for ?? I mean, was the idea you buy a Big Unit to put LOTS of humidity in the air of a large house --- and it runs off a thimble of water for 3 months ??? NO, You would only get a Thimble full of Humidity. I just find this complaint SILLY. It's Doing it's Job. On a more practical note, one I have personally been going thru. As discussed above, My house was down to about 15% humidity when I started this unit up. What is More Important was it is NOT JUST THE AIR that is dry. The Walls are dry, the floor, ceiling, furniture, EVERYTHING was Dry, so putting some moisture in the AIR, doesn't solve your problem, the house just sucks it up and your air is dry again, It Takes Quite a While to raise the humidity level of EVERYTHING in the house up before you can have the unit cycle on & off as it NOW just keeps the Air moist. (As I said About, Mine ran for about a full week 24/7 Full Max to bring the house up to a good level. NOW it is cycling on & off (as of last night) where a refill on those tanks will last longer and I wont be filling them twice a day every day (Yes, I know the math suggests I would have been filling 3 times a day, but it just didn't turn out that way. It was 2 or just slightly over 2, but I Never filled 3 times in 24 hours, Not from EMPTY TANKS each time at least. There were plenty of 1 Empty tank and the other 1/2, or 2/3rds empty refills. Now that rate has slowed WAY DOWN and I would expect to maybe fill just Once a day. Later on when the Weather gets less dry I can see this unit lasting Several Days on a single fill.
One lady said the tanks were too heavy. said that "A Gallon is too heavy", Well, 1- they are 1.5 Gallons each; 2-a Gallon of water weighs 8 pounds and that is the weight of a new born baby -- and babies don't have handles. OK, 1.5 gallons -- so thats 12 pounds and we are talking about a 3-4 month old baby now, same thing. Women pick up 3-4 month old babies all the time and they don't come with handles, Plus they Wiggle. So, REALLY ?? Grocery sacks average more than 8-12 pounds unless you are buying nothing but rice cakes and bread. Again, the ENTIRE IDEA is to put water in the air, stop complaining that it's bad, because it does its job.
One "Semi-Ledgit" issue was the lack of Digital controls to dial in an exact humidity level.
TRUE, that is part of what I was talking about at the beginning about "Gizmo's" that were not on this unit, BUT ARE on the more expensive units. Do you Buy a Chevy and say the Chevy is JUNK, because it is Not a Rolls Royce ?? If you want a Rolls, go BUY one. This unit is a Chevy.
However; another complaint was that the lack of the digital controls didn't allow for setting a reliable humidity level. Again, BUNK. as I said yesterday my house got up to where it was comfortable and (as in the instructions) I turned the humidity dial down until the unit shut off. Then leave it and see what you have. (YES, you need to have a reliable temp/humidity gauge. They sell nice ones on here for like 7 or 8 bucks. This unit didn't claim to show you the humidity. You can do it by FEEL if you want, or buy the gauge and know. I was shooting for something between 45-50%. I saw 47 on my gauge and set the dial on the unit. In the last 24 hours EVERY TIME I have checked the gauge it is at either 47% or 48%, and I would call that VERY ACCURATE. I'm going to leave it where it is another week or so till we get another cold snap and see if it holds the level. Once I'm convinced it's right, its time for the Sharpie Pen and put a little Dot or Line on the dial so I can hit the same spot next year. (I't Not Rocket Science)
You can say you don't like the color, the wheels are funny, you don't like the shape, or just say it's Momma Wears Army Boots, if you feel like saying SOMETHING Nasty, but the Bottom Line is the unit is well priced given its market and features and it does its job very well.
I found one Great One; that was every time you fill the tanks and replace them, Pop the Top of this unit and flip the filter over. The top edge of the filter dries out as it works and if left that way will, in time, get crusty with stuff and no longer soak up water as effectively. (like if you tried to flip it over only ONCE in its life span, that second half isn't going to work as well) I have found that by doing this the filter stays moist and functional and just works better. (It takes an extra 20 seconds, and it's worth it)
I'm using the bacteriostatic stuff they show as a companion product. Since i have not run it without this stuff I really cant say if it does anything, but it is cheap ($4-$5) and you only use like 1/2 cap full in each tank when you fill the tanks, so it Lasts a long time. What I CAN SAY is I have not had ANY buildup of Funky Stuff in the tanks or reservoir of the unit, and as I said, with the flipping of the filter and this bacteriostatic stuff the filters are still soft and absorbent.
Hope this Helps, I had Concerns when i bought and ended up wishing someone had "Cleared the Air" for me, so I did it for you.
BTW, I have purchased a SECOND Unit and plan to put it in my Upstairs bedroom. (I have no "Noise" Fears) I have a small ultrasonic unit up there now that just isn't doing the job. by itself it could only raise the air from 15% to 20%. Once I got this big guy put to work downstairs I have seen the humidity slowly rise to between 30% - 35% which isn't bad given it is only the moisture that manages to make it past the heater as it gets circulated upstairs.
**Updated Comments 9/26/2014**
OK. So I have used these (Now Two Units) thru 3 seasons. Still Running Like CHAMPS. (As a Result I Have Changed my Review to 5 Stars now, What was I holding out for??)
In my discussions with other buyers it does seem that there may have been a "bad lot" or some sort of quality control problem where these are made. I think as a group we figured out that some of the units have fans that are out of balance. The fan blades do rotate at a pretty fast rate so if they are out of balance it will cause considerable vibration---which will give you "Noise". Two of the people who wrote to me took their units apart and found a blade that was broken or chipped which caused the fan to be out of balance. Both returned the units and got new ones that worked perfectly. Whether it is a broken blade or one formed incorrectly, if they are not balanced the unit won't work right and will cause unacceptable noise levels. If you get such a noisy unit, just return it and get a new one. I can say that I bought mine thru the offerings marked as "Amazon Prime" and both were fine. I don't know if the defective units came from one of the other suppliers or if the entire supply of them has a few lemons.
I replied to one person who commented, but will post this for all. Between the first and second season I noticed that the mark I made on the dial to set the humidity level changed. I used the humidity gauge (Like before) and re-set the level and made a new mark. That mark has remained correct since that time. Frankly even if the position of the dial changed every year i would not care so much. As long as it raises the humidity level to the right level and keeps it there, who cares? I don't.
Last year I did notice I was going thru filters/wicks faster than before but it was thru no fault of the unit or the filters either. It was also the first time I had noticed any scale in the bottom of the unit. (The bacteriostat solution stops mold & such, not hard water scale) Apparently there had been another belt tightening in city taxes and they had lowered the standards at the water treatment facility. More minerals making it thru the filters into the supply. Paper did a story on it, I saw it in the bottom of the tank and filters. HOWEVER: i did take the opportunity to try an idea I had after buying some "Permanent filters" which required you to clean them of the scale every so often. I dunked the regular filters in the Vinegar solution to soak and rinsed and dried them out. I was going thru them so fast I needed to make them last longer. (1) It Worked, (2) Its NOT a Perfect solution. First you can't get by on just 2 filters and clean one while using the other, They will break down. For me I noticed the first cleaning gave me something between 60-75% of the original ability back. They would no longer be able to supply a Maximum level of humidity if it got Very Dry outside and they would scale up in half the time as they did originally. Also trying to clean them a second time didn't do much good. Either they didn't clean up enough to work very well, or if left in the solution longer then would start to fall apart. BUT; I was able to do a single cleaning and stretch those filters out saving some bucks along the way. If it got very dry and the recycled filters were not up to the job I could always swap them out for new ones until the dry spell passed. If your not into "fussy stuff" and "fiddling around" you may wish to skip this idea. It takes some tinkering and time that may not be worth it to many out there. With a dry winter and the lower water quality of last season I was going thru filters at almost 3 times the rate and just had to do this for financial reasons.