Customer Reviews: Hunter 34352 Care Free Humidifierplus 3-1/2-Gallon Humidifier with Exclusive Nite Glo Night Light
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on November 30, 2006
Initially, the first month, it worked well. Then it was recalled by Hunter because of a "fire hazard". The company never sent a replacement or followed up on several of my calls. Like an idiot I bought another one from the same brand. It worked well for a month. After that, it started leaking, I mean big time. After two floods on hardwood, we threw the piece of garbage away. I will NEVER AGAIN buy anything made by Hunter.
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on December 5, 2010
I've owned two of these humidifiers for 5 years---same unit but an older model number. The "permawick" isn't really "permanent", however the wicks have lasted me 4 years before they start to fall apart. You can buy new ones for $10. Don't know why so many folks complain about odors, algae, etc. I put bacteriost and cleanse clean (bought at Walmart) in the water tank every time I fill it up and this kills any bacteria plus removes any hardness from the water and deposits it on the bottom of the tray. Then once a week or so just rinse out the tray---its not rocket science. You can't ignore any humidifier for a whole season or you will have problems. None of them are perfect. If your water is hard, you will need to clean the unit more often.
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on April 21, 2008
I'm shocked by all the bad reviews on here for this humidifier! We live in an extremely dry climate and it runs constantly at night. We've owned it for 2 1/2 years now. We clean it as directed and refill it every 2-3 days. The Nightglo is a nice feature with our infant daughter, and really makes a difference on the length and frequency of colds, allergies, etc. I highly recommend this one!
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on April 29, 2011
I have two of these units that I use concurrently to increase the humidity in my Nevada home. I am very happy with these units after trying a variety of other units.

The units have two speeds. On low speed the unit sound is unobtrusive and can be used in any room. On high speed, it may be best in an unoccupied room since it is a bit noisey as most if not all humidifiers of this type are.

The 3 1/2 gallon tank gives a time between refills of about 1 1/2 - 2 days. The tank size facilitates easy carrying and refill. One of my units I have had for several years. I have replaced the tank cap once since the seal eventually loses pliability and starts to leak. I have also replaced the filter once. I consider these normal maintenance items. Parts are readily available and inexpensive.

Please be advised that all room or area humidifiers of this type are maintenace intensive. They must be cleaned with vinegar about every week or two to remove mineral build up on the wetted parts. In addition, bacteria and algae love to grow in areas kept moist. So every time I clean the unit, I then soak all the wetted parts in a bleach solution (about 1/2 teaspoon bleach per gallon)for about 30 minutes. If you do not do the above regularly, the bottom pan of the unit (and all similar units - no matter who makes them) becomes a soup of algea and bacteria.

Also, all humidifiers will cause a light mineral dust fog on household surfaces since minerals in the water are evaporated into the air and then settle out. This can be controlled by adding a small amount of demineralizer to every tank of water. The demineralizer is inexpensive and readily available e.g. Home Depot.

I currently use two of these Hunter units running on low speed in separate rooms to control humidity levels, in my 1650 sq ft house, to comfortable levels.

I recommend this unit
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on December 31, 2010
I bought the Hunter 34352 model because this model and higher has the built-in automatic shut-off and refill indicator light. The Honeywell HCM800 is similar to the Hunter model but I decided to go with the Hunter because I saw that the washable wick is made of stainless steel honeycomb layers, coated with an anti-bacterial and anti-mold white paint like substance. This washable wick should last several seasons, but only time will tell as this is my first season using it. I preferred the mechanical humidistat of this model over Hunter's 34357 digital humidistat because my experience tells me that all things digital will fail faster than mechanical sensors because more things can go wrong with digital. Sometimes older and more proven technology like mechanical sensors last longer and are more reliable. It does have its draw backs; the humidistat has around a 5 percent sensitivity error range making it prone to slight under-saturation or over-saturation. This won't work if someone's looking for a high precision humidifier. I bought a hygrometer separately to monitor the percent of relative humidity in my bedroom (keeping it at an optimal 35% to 45% humidity). Many other features like the blue Niteglo light (separate button for light on/off), easy to fill 2.5 gallon water tank (pull the clear, blue tank off the unit, invert it, unscrew the cap and fill with water), auto shut-off when there's no water (will not burn itself out like some other units), 2 fan speeds (both speeds are loud in my opinion so I installed an electric plug-in timer to turn the unit off during sleep), easy to clean parts (all parts are easy to get to for cleaning), does not make any white dust that can collect on furniture, efficient 70 watts max power consumption at high speed setting, and high/quick moisture output has earned it high marks. The unit does need a level surface to sit on as the bottom water pan acts like a dish full of water with an open surface (must remove most of the water to reposition the unit). The last note is that this unit is not an ionic humidifier and does not generate significant amounts of ozone or (O3) as a by-product (the built in fan makes ozone but not in any significant amounts like any other household fans). Anyone with asthma or very young children must not breathe in any ozone because of their hypersensitivity to it. Breathing in ozone is as bad as breathing in dirty city smog. Also, breathing ozone has been known to cause lung cancer and other health related problems, because this is the stuff that commercial industries use to sterilize air, water, and equipment. I highly recommend the use and purchase of wick type humidifiers like this Hunter unit to reduce cold symptoms and prolong the life of furniture, drywall, and paint. It's an excellent investment for our family's health and home.
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on November 6, 2007
I had two of these units for two winters. They definitely increased the humidity in both rooms, including our bedroom. But last year, I started feeling congested in the morning when I waked up. I thought I was coming down with a cold. But it happened repeatedly. Finally, I tried not using the humidifier. Bingo.... No problems. Went back to using this unit and the same problems happened again. I think this "Permawick" technology may help prevent build up on the filter, but for me, it seems like the bacteria and allergens were not affected at all.

BTW, I switched to an Air o Swiss model just two weeks ago. It claimed to have several layers of protection against mildew and bacteria. So far, so good. I reviewed the product separately.
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on January 25, 2008
Pros: Inexpensive, relatively quiet, low maintenance, 3.5 gallon tank size
Cons: Relatively quiet, cool mist doesn't help to warm the room

Recommendation: Low maintenance and low cost make this a humidifier that is too good to pass on.
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on May 2, 2007
We owned this product for less than a year. At first we were satisfied, but within a few months of purchase, it stopped working. I would not recommend it to other people.
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on March 3, 2011
I first bought these humdifiers ten years ago in Nevada where they ran all year long. These lasted over ten years when I moved back to Pennsylvania and used them only in the winter. They were working fine when I impulsively gave them away to try a fancy and expensive Air-O-Swiss ultrasonic. Despite the Air-O-Swiss demineralization cartridge, after the first day of use the house was filled with white fog as thick as cigarette smoke. We then tried using distilled water in the ultrasonic and that cleared the air, but the cost of distilled water and the drudgery of lugging home two dozen gallon jugs quickly terminated our happiness with the Air-O-Swiss. We ended up returning the Air-O-Swiss to "Bed Bath and Borrow" and purchasing more of these Hunter evaporative units. I was afraid of the horrible reviews and expected to have these new units die out after a few weeks or leak on our wood floors, but so far they are just like our first units that lasted over ten years. Being a long-term user of these units I can explain several "problems". 1. The fan is not whisper quiet. The high speed is unbearable but low speed is tolerable. We run it during the day and turn if off at night because it is too loud to sleep through. 2. The manual humidity dial us essentially useless. The best way to run it is to leave the dial on high and turn the machine on and off as needed. We have two units in a 1300 sq.ft. apartment and they keep us in 20-30% humidity depending on how much we run the heat. 3. The fan blades are sized to almost fill up the airshaft opening. This is a deliberate design for maximum air flow efficiency, but creates the potential for the blades to scrape the edge of the vent cover, causing a loud racket. Probably some users got a unit where the fan shaft is slightly bent, causing the blades to scrape. With my first units, I was able to adjust the vent cover to stop this noise when it occurred. 4. Regarding mold or slime or particles in the water tray you must understand that this unit draws in dry air from your house and blows it through a wet wick. As the moisture evaporates in the air, any particles in the air stay in the water and build up over time. Also, as the water evaporates, its mineral contents are left behind in the tray. Now if you smoke or your house is dusty those particles will be left behind in the water. When I was in Nevada, the air was dry but had lots of dust and toxic mold which got trapped and condensed in the humidifier. The point of all this is that no matter what the manufacturer says, YOU MUST TAKE THIS MACHINE APART AND CLEAN IT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK for your own health and saftey. I'm not talking about scrubbing or disinfecting, I talking about soap and water and a sponge. Eventually you will have calcium lime deposits in the water tray that can be easily removed with white vinegar. 5. Regarding any problems with leaking, you must understand how the water reservoir works. It is designed to remain air tight and drop water through its cap like a water cooler bottle. What happens is that when owners fill the container and carry 15 pounds of water by its plastic handle, the stress causes cracks in the container which allows air pressure and gravity to drain the container over the floor. For ten years I have filled these containers upside-down in the sink, capped them, and carried them cap-up with two hands for installation, and have never had problems with cracks or leaking. Despite these issues with this humidifier I have found them to be the best choice because they use tap water without creating white dust or fog, they put out 1-2 gallons of water in humidity per day, and the permawick last much longer than the expensive fiber wicks of other units. I have used the same permawick for multiple winter seasons, but for $10/wick you could splurge on a new one every winter. Now that I've defended these machines, mine will probably stop working as others reported! In which case I can only say everything we buy today from China does not have the quality it had when it was made in the USA and may the day come when we can all buy Made in USA.
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on February 19, 2011
This holds a large amount of water which in theory should cut down on how often it is refilled. However, it does such a good job working to get the humidity level for which it is set that I have refilled it every day. I'm hoping once the humidity level in my house goes up the amount of refilling will go down. Other reviewers had mentioned the unit leaking the first few times but I haven't had that happen. I did set the unit in a large Rubbermaid bin just in case but have yet to have a drop of water show up in the bottom of the bin. This unit does a great job creating an ultra fine mist. No white mist on anything near it, nor do I have puddles created by too large droplets of water in the mist. It was pricey, but I'm satisfied with the cost based on how well it works.
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