After several hours of on-line research about humidifiers with the capacity to correct the dry winter air problem in my 2500 SF home in Oklahoma, I finally settled on this one. I have not been disappointed - in fact, I've been pleasantly surprised with the overall effectiveness and ease of operation of this unit. I objected a bit to the price upon ordering, but I now say this humidifier is very good value for the money. It truly does the job it needs to do.
Noise was a big consideration for me, and this one is whisper quiet. It sits less than 8 feet from my TV-watching chair, and unless I focus on hearing it with the TV muted, the sound factor is not at all noticeable. Even when "hearing" it, the sound is like a steady, very low whisper - excellent noise rating.
Because the house air was super dry (hair-standing-out-when-walking-across-carpet-in-sock-feet-dry!) when I first connected the unit, it ran nearly continuously on the A2 (automatic) setting for 24 hours, and it required refilling (both reservoirs) at about the 18 hour point for 3 days.
Once the desired 45% humidity level was reached, however, the unit has run very little and refills have been no hassle. I just check both reservoirs every morning and if one is low, I top it off. It did run completely dry once during the initial re-humidifying period, and the unit shut off just as the instruction book stated it would.
The difference in the overall comfort "feel" once the relative humidity was raised, and the feeling of being warmer has been remarkable. Even though outside temperatures have remained in the low-mid 30's since activating the humidifier 3 weeks ago, both forced-air furnaces have been running much less as well.
After 3 weeks of continuous use at A2, I finally got a "clean filter" message. I simply took the filter to the tub, rinsed it thoroughly with warm running water and allowed it to "drip dry" - then replaced it in the unit. I see no signs of any growth or build-up anywhere in the reservoirs or in the bottom of the unit, but of course it has been set to operate continuously in A2 (only comes on when needed)mode since day one.
If I were to turn it off completely for more than 48 hours, I would empty the water from the reservoirs and the bottom of the unit, and leave them open to air dry completely. I would remove the filter, wash it thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely as well before storing the unit.
In the 3 weeks it's been operational, however, even with the less frequent short run periods since the optimum humidity level was reached, it has not shown signs of any build-up of minerals or algae/mold growth anywhere in the unit.
The "clean filter" indicator dropped right back into the OK zone when I reinstalled it after its' "tub bath". Other raters have previously mentioned that the unit must be turned on and set to run on an automatic - as opposed to one of the three manual -setting for the filter indicator to register properly - and this correct. I will probably replace the filter annually at the beginning of the next winter season, then clean it as described above whenever indicated.
I can say that I Very Highly Recommend this unit to others. I was feeling quite skeptical, as my previous humidifier (which finally wore out last year after 16 years of 3-4 months-every-winter use) cost $30, never grew anything "bad" in it, and had a washable filter. The plethora of information on the internet about modern humidifiers is very confusing (mostly marketing junk - you have to search hard for really helpful information in order to make an educated purchase) as well.
My "old faithful" was terribly noisy, however, in spite of its' otherwise redeeming features, and it did have to be refilled frequently. On balance, resolving the noise factor alone has been worth the extra $$$ I spent on this one.
Overall good product - good value for the money.
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