Customer Reviews: AIRCARE D46 720 4-Speed Tower-Style Evaporative Humidifier
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on January 8, 2010
Overall, this is a great humidifier.

SIZE: The tower shape of the unit makes it perfect for environments where there is more wall space to consume than floor space. It's fairly large: as a point of reference, it rises a little higher than the arms of my living room sofas and it's rectangular shape is about the size of a magazine, plus about 1.5" on each side for the two tanks.

CONTROLS: The digital controls makes it pretty easy to operate. It's a simple, two-button interface with an easy-to-read display. The automatic humidistat can be set from 25-65% (at 10% intervals). The current and desired humidity level are shown side-by-side on the display using indicator bars. When set a desired humidity level, the automatic humidistat will run the unit until the current humidity reading is 10% higher than your preference, then turn it off until the current reading drops to 10% lower than your preference. This is a pretty nice feature - it saves power and conserves water so you don't have to refill the reservoirs as frequently. You can also choose to run the unit continuously by not setting a preferred humidity level.

FAN NOISE: There are four fan speeds. The first three speeds are all very quiet and wouldn't be disruptive (or even noticeable) in most settings. The fourth and highest setting is more noticeable, sounding something like a microwave oven but slightly softer and quieter. It might be enough to make you turn up the TV a little while watching the news, but really no worse than that.

DISPLAY: The display also has a green power indicator and a red indicator to let you know when both reservoirs are empty (the unit will stop when this is the case until at least one reservoir is refilled). I did find it kind of odd that the product uses LED bars to display the humidity levels and two-digit numeric readout for the fan speed (even though the highest speed setting is only 4). It almost seems to me that these should be reversed, but that doesn't really reduce the effectiveness of the unit and the interface is still pretty easy to read and use as designed.

SETUP & USE: The unit is fairly easy to setup and maintain. The two wick units and the plastic grill covers that enclose them can be a little cumbersome when snapping them in and out of place. This is not a particularly big problem, since the wick units only need to be replaced at the beginning of each season to avoid mineral buildup.

The two reservoirs, on the other hand, are very easy to remove and replace while the unit is operating. Each is the full height of the unit and about 2 inches thick with a simple click-latch fixing them snugly to the unit's sides. Despite their large and odd shape, they're surprisingly easy to fill even at a small bathroom sink. They each can hold a little more than their rated 1.5 gallons when topped off and the fill-caps hold this amount without leaking. The instructions say that the water level in these tanks is "easily visible" from the sides. The water level can be seen from the sides, but I wouldn't describe it as "easily"; the dark tint makes it pretty difficult to see from any distance. I often have to gently rock the unit a little to find the surface of the water move before I can judge.

When this unit is running continuously at full speed, it can run through both reservoirs twice in a single day (that two times each, or 6 gallons total). Unless your environment is *extremely* dry, I think that's about the max. With more practical and conservative settings, they only need to be filled every 2-4 days, which is a much more relaxed refill schedule to keep.

The unit does work well even for larger, dryer spaces. You'll be able to notice an immediate difference in the air near the humidifier as soon as you start it, and the effect radius grows pretty quickly - especially on the highest speed setting.

SUMMARY: All in all, this is a nice multi-room humidifier that looks good, fits easily, works well and is easy to operate with a nice feature set for it's price range.
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on April 7, 2011
I love the design and the price of this unit. And, would have given it 5 stars.. But it does require some effort to get maximum results. As for the reviewers who have had problems with leaks, I have not had those problems unless I fail to line up the tanks properly when reinstalling them. It usually creates a small spill which is easily cleaned up. Now, on to the bugaboos.

First off, the filters will not last an entire season unless, maybe you have perfect water with no minerals in it. I generally get a month to 6 weeks from a set of filters before they need replacement or cleaning. You'll know when the filters are gunked up when the unit stops using water. With a set of new filters and the fan set to 3 my unit will use about 1 to 2 tanks of water in 24 hours. When it gets down to less than a tank I know it's time to replace or clean.

Now, if you're cleaning.. I tried all kinds of things.. soaking them in that fancy expensive solution they sell.. Soaking them in Vinegar.. even brushing the scale off with a toothbrush. It just didn't work. I'd then order new filters. Sometimes even new filters wouldn't use much, if ANY water. I wrote e-mails suggesting a quality control problem.. they went unanswered. I returned the filters and hoped the replacement set would work. Thankfully Amazon has a good return policy for defective items. As for cleaning, I finally found a solution that really works. I put the filters in the dishwasher, lower rack standing up with nothing else in the machine. On a normal wash cycle (no heat dry) I wait till it gets into the wash (pre rinsing is over) and then I add two cups of vinegar. It works like a charm. Filters cleaned this way are better than new.. using 2 to 2 and a half tanks of water in 24 hours. And, there is a side benefit. Most dishwasher manufacturers recommend running the machine with vinegar every few months to keep the seals from hardening with scale.

Now, something else you'll need to do every 2 months or so when you are cleaning the filters. Unplug the unit and take the front panel off. There are four screws on each side and it then easily slips off. Put a couple of drops of 3 in 1 oil on the edge of the motor shaft where it goes into the bearing. You'll be surprised how tight that shaft gets after a few months of moving humid air. And you'll also be surprised how much air it moves after the oiling.

Using these tips.. it's by far the best humidifier I've ever had.. and the price is great.
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on March 10, 2010
The first Humidifier I received, did not work properly. I called the "800" listed on the insert if you encountered a problem. Actually a live person answered. I explained the problem, she knew exactly what was wrong, said it was defective, send it back and we'll ship a new one.

I received a new humidifier within a week. Put it together and it works perfectly. You can set the percentage of humidity you would like and the humidifier shuts on and off to keep the humdity at the selected level. I like the fans 4 speeds. Setting number 1& 2 are very quiet, although 3 and 4 are not bad. The humidifier covers 1300 sq feet which is perfect for my entire downstairs. There are two water tanks, I fill them every other day, but the humidifier shuts off and a red light appears when it is out of water.
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on November 13, 2010
Having used an ultrasonic humidifier for the past couple of years (before it gave up completely), we wanted to try a different style humidifier. This one seemed to fit the bill.

First off, the build quality is terrible. The quality of the plastic is sub-par. It's brittle, terribly molded and roughly finished. One side of the unit didn't even have the plastic punched out for the latches that hold the filter cover in place. The latches that hold the water tanks in place are imprecise and difficult to operate, leading to difficultly latching and unlatching the tanks. I could see this as an obvious point of failure with repeated use.

Forgiving this, the unit works well to quickly humidify a decent sized room. The fan is quiet and effective at lower settings (1, 2). It gets louder at 3-4 but isn't too loud. The humidity settings are reasonably accurate, tested against a calibrated hygrometer. Two full tanks will keep our large bedroom at ~50% humidity during cold, dry furnace-heated days for around 36 hours.

The tanks might have kept us humidified longer if the unit didn't randomly overflow and leak water all over the floor. I would guess that whatever mechanism is in place to prevent the gravity-fed reservoir from overflowing just isn't built to high enough tolerances to prevent this problem. We tried placing the unit on a baking sheet to contain any small leaks, but even that overflowed.

We will be looking for a different unit once the return process is complete.
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on February 28, 2010
I've tried several humidifiers and this one is the easy to use and is easy to fill.
The design makes it very easy to find a place that is out of the way. The high(4) fan speed is noisy, but the 3 speeds below that are quiet. I set the humidity to one below the max with fan speed at 3 and it goes through one tank every 4-5 hours. I also use a Protec cartridge placed in the base of the reservoir and have had no problems with mildew so far. This one is a keeper.
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on November 28, 2010
I purchased (2) of these units from the local Menard's store. I really liked the narrow footprint and quiet operation mode. Unfortunately, they are of poor design and build.

The water bottles side load vertically, and if you don't seat the bottle correctly on the small feed socket, you're going to get a 10" inch puddle. This is managed by learning how to 'quick' set the bottle into the unit. With a little practice one can get the hang of it. Still, I'd recommend you put down a water pan under the unit. I use a boot tray for winter boots.

After about 30 hours, one of the units had a fan failure. The second unit has had a problem with the control panel - the switches stopped working. I was able to get it to run on full speed. I returned the first unit to the store within the grace period for a refund, but got stuck with the second unit.

Really, you're taking a big risk buying this model.
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on February 8, 2008
After researching the heck out of every sort of humidifier on the planet within an "average" price range, I decided on this Essick Air unit.

Essick's reputation for quality and customer service were the deciding factors in my purchase. The humidifier was delivered with a broken tab on the front grill, no big deal but this was a new item. I picked up the phone and spoke with a REAL person at Essick - 4 days later a new grill arrived.

There seems to be no real difference in the construction of the majority of humidifiers out there. Almost all are made in China, almost all priced "about" the same and almost all work most of the time.
The difference will be in the company behind the product.

This unit works well. The tanks are easy to fill at the sink. The replacement wicks are readily available and inexpensive for the life you'll get out of them. Fan settings on 3 and 4 are loud, more than just background noise - I keep mine on 2 and it isn't bad. The built in digital meter is nice as well as the pre-set feature.

I ordered the unit on Amazon, it was sold by Uncle Joe's. Their true to their word so far as processing and shipping and had the best price at the time,$78.00. I would buy from again.

I recommend this unit for a medium size apartment or smaller house.
Buy one size larger than what you think you'll need, my only regret is that I listened to my wife and didn't. Here in the NE when it gets cold it gets real dry real fast.
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on November 17, 2010
The Essick Air Humidifier is efficient. It has a neutral look. The size is mot too bulky. The depth is also a reasonable amount. What I am trying to say is that the humidifier doesn't "take over the room" The unit is very quiet unless it is on it's highest setting. even then, it's not obnoxious, just noticeable. The lower settings are very quiet. The fact that the unit tells you the humidity of the house is a big plus! I don't turn the unit on when the humidity level is high enough already. This brings me to the main point. The filling of the two water containers is an art form. First of all the fact that they are long and thin means that the water sloshes and they sway quite powerfully. This means filling them is not a task I can assign to my 11 year old or even my 15 year old. Mainly because I don't want to mop a half gallon of water from the potential spills. Also --- The CHEAP plastic caps have screw threads that are very TRICKY. If they are not lined up perfectly the water leaks. They seem extremely vulnerable and my feeling is that when those threads wear and the soft plastic is no longer able to line up properly -- the unit will be inoperable. This is a huge design flaw. Essick should have manufactured a high quality screw-cap because it's function is essential to the performance of this unit. But, I am guessing in order for this to have happened the unit would have had to have been made IN THE UNITED STATES! Overall, it has been performing very well and I am pleased.
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on February 14, 2009
We have gone through many humidifiers over the years and we have tried everything - every type, every brand - and this is a product category dominated by lemons. This Essick humidifier is a gem. It is easy to install and setup, has a decemt hygrostat (humidity gauge), and has a full digital LCD screen. We have not had issues with white dust which plagues other humidifiers. My only minor complaint is the power and fan speed control are the same button; when you hold down the button to turn it off, the fan turns down one speed and you have to cycle through to get the original speed when turning it back on. Very minor nuisance.

We liked our first so much we bought a second for the family room. Would recommend to anyone and we are considering buying a third one. We will never buy another humidifier brand.
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on March 4, 2011
My house use to get arid in the winter as I use a high efficiency fireplace to generate much of its heat in winter. I bought this in the Fall to pump water into the air next to the fireplace, and during the past winter its done a good job. I rate this on how much water it expires - which has been significant in the "2" power setting.

It looks nice in the family room (next to the fireplace and the TV). The tanks are easy to fill, and although I have not looked at the filters, my water is hard so if its still expiring water I figure they are still working.

I only have one negative thing to say - the filters arrive inside the device but enclosed in plastic. I didn't look, and no sticker on the device told me to take the plastic off. So for the first few days I couldn't figure out why there wasn't any difference. It would have been really nice if it came with a big sticker on the unit that said "TAKE THE FILTER BAGS OFF" (and why do the filters need to be plastic enclosed in the first place)??
33 comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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