Ultrasonic humidifiers

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It looks like all models are very similar design:

 the main difference is the size of the tank and ability to direct mist to particular direction. Mist stream looks pretty weak but in reality is adequate and on high might be an overkill, if you put it on night stand. 

The typical size of tank is one gallon. Which would allow you to have it working on high the whole night. It is important that unit have tank size of at least 1 gallon. If unit has tank with less size it might be a problem if you use it on high.

The unit needs to be cleaned each week, when you refill the water. Cleaning is a simple as wiping the base with cloth. More involved if you have highly mineralized water: in this case you ned to switch to distilled water which increase your cost slightly.  

IMHO really improves nasal condition for those who suffer dry air exacerbated nasal congestion. Much like moving to the shore.


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[Dec 05, 2015] Fixit What is the ideal winter indoor humidity level

Nov 21, 2015 | StarTribune.com

Q My house was so dry this winter that I was having nosebleeds. I bought a humidifier and that helped, but now I have so much ice on my windows I cannot see out of them. I read about solutions to excess window condensation in an earlier column, but I can't afford new windows and I don't want to live with such dry indoor air. What's the solution?

A You have discovered one of the conundrums of living in climates as cold as ours.

Research indicates that for health and comfort, a relative indoor humidity of 40 to 60 percent is desirable. But keeping the air that moist over the course of a winter is more than most Minnesota homes can handle.

Water or ice will appear on windows, and if there's moisture on windows, it's also likely to be collecting, unseen, in wall and attic cavities. A few seasons of that, and building materials -- sheathing, studs and woodwork -- will begin to rot. Eventually homeowners will have to pay for repairs and replacements, but in the meantime, they may pay in another way -- poor health. Mold associated with rotting building materials can make people sick.

Here's how dry indoor air becomes a problem in winter.

Cold air can't hold much water vapor, and the colder the air, the drier it is. That means winter air that makes its way into the house through leaks, holes and combustion air ducts or is pulled in by ventilation fans is going to be dry. Heating that air only makes it drier, and the result often is low indoor humidity levels.

For existing homes, the solution is to maintain indoor humidity at a level that isn't so low as to cause nosebleeds, but isn't so high as to create moisture problems.

In your case, dry indoor air indicates that too much outdoor air is coming indoors. One can slow the infiltration of this cold, dry air by caulking and sealing windows, doors and other leaking areas. Stopping excessive cold air infiltration also saves on your heating bills. But do not plug the combustion air return. It is necessary for the proper operation of your furnace.

But since you already have a humidifier, a good move right now is to adjust its operation so you don't overhumidify your home. The guidelines below will help you do that. You'll need a hygrometer (which measures relative humidity and is available at most hardware and home stores).

The following list, supplied by the Minnesota Department of Public Service, is based on a double-glazed window and an indoor temperature of 70 degrees. You will notice that the lower the outdoor temperature, the lower the indoor humidity should be.

If you are building a home or remodeling, demand high-quality windows. They should have U-values of 0.35 or less. Such windows are less prone to cold-weather condensation and icing, which means that indoor humidity can be higher.

[Nov 22, 2015] Air Innovations MH-408-BLK Smart Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier, Black

This is a very attractively designed, nice looking unit. Quite a splash of 'eye candy'. It has large 4 liter (1.1 Gallon ) tank. The tank capacity is 1.1 gallon (4 liters). Full tank provides mist approximately 10 hours on high. More (they claim up to 70 hours strait) on low.
IMHO really improves nasal condition for those who suffer dry air exacerbated nasal congestion. Much like moving to the shore.
Unlike many other similar humidifies in this price range the tank has two handles, which is very convenient and lessen chances of dropping it as when full it is heavy.
Like any ultrasonic humidifier it is absolutely silent when working, which was the main attraction for me.
They claim that it consume around 30 watt per hour which is pretty acceptable.
If you have a low mineral content water you are OK. If not your mileage may vary. They claim that the unit needs to be cleaned weekly but it your water has a low mineral content once in two weeks is OK too.
It reliably switches off when runs out of water.
The unit comes with one year non-transferable warranty.
There is a larger similar unit with 1.7 gallon tank (MH-701B-BLK) that has more reviews. Among reviewers claims I picked up this one: "I have owned quite a few humidifiers and this one is hands down the best! Quiet, easy, and most importantly it works!"
Notable quotes:
"... It works fine, meant for a medium sized room ..."
"... in dry winter weather, they last for about a day. They let you know they are empty by beeping at you, though. ..."
"... with the dry air in the winter time, this humidifier is a blessing. ..."
"... The humidifier is very quiet, even on high. My husband did not realize that it was on. ..."
www.amazon.com
Amazon Customer, November 9, 2015
It works fine, meant for a medium sized room

Color: Black Verified Purchase

I got a used one refurbished by amazon. It works fine, meant for a medium sized room. Best i found in this price

Byjcbon, December 27, 2014

Bought 3 Like all (this is review of larger unit MH-701B-BLK)

We bought 3 of these and like them very well. Only thing wrong was we have to refill them and in dry winter weather, they last for about a day. They let you know they are empty by beeping at you, though. LOL

Marilyn LaPierreon, October 13, 2015

Am in love with this product!! (this is review of larger unit MH-701B-BLK)

Color: Black

Love, love, love this humidifier. We live in northern NY & my husband having a nose bleed problem with the dry air in the winter time, this humidifier is a blessing. Before this I only used huge floor console models from Sears and had to change out the filters 3 or 4 times a year, haul buckets of water to them, the air coming out was cold and they were very, very noisy. This Air Innovations is so quiet, and no filters to buy, I can take the tank to the sink and it is very easy to regulate humidity in the house with the digital read out on the front. We are on village water so no problems with the white dust I have seen in other comments from hard water.

Katieon, January 26, 2015

... owned few humidifiers and this one is hands down the best! Quiet

Color: BlackVerified Purchase

I have owned quite a few humidifiers and this one is hands down the best! Quiet, easy, and most importantly it works! I love that there's a humistat function that goes above 60% and a most function! For those complaining about white dust, use distilled water, your water has too many minerals, plus you're wearing your machine down! I'm thinking about purchasing a second, and couldn't be happier!

Linda Schwartzon, June 20, 2015

Would buy again.

Color: BlackVerified Purchase

The humidifier is very quiet, even on high. My husband did not realize that it was on. I needed it because I had throat surgery and it is on 24/7. We have very hard water, so we do not use tap water. We use water filtered through our Britain filter. No white residue while using this method. Would defiantly buy again. It also arrived 3 days early.

Air Innovations MH-701B-BLK Great Clean Mist Digital Tabletop & Floor Standing Humidifier with Remote, Black

1.7 gallon tank. Otherwise similar to MH-408-BLK but with more electronics (remote control).

Katie on January 26, 2015

I have owned few humidifiers and this one is hands down the best! Quiet

Color: Black Verified Purchase

I have owned quite a few humidifiers and this one is hands down the best! Quiet, easy, and most importantly it works! I love that there's a humistat function that goes above 60% and a most function! For those complaining about white dust, use distilled

Marilyn LaPierre on October 13, 2015

Am in love with this product!!

Love, love, love this humidifier. We live in northern NY & my husband having a nose bleed problem with the dry air in the winter time, this humidifier is a blessing.

Before this I only used huge floor console models from Sears and had to change out the filters 3 or 4 times a year, haul buckets of water to them, the air coming out was cold and they were very, very noisy. This Air Innovations is so quiet, and no filters to buy, I can take the tank to the sink and it is very easy to regulate humidity in the house with the digital read out on the front. We are on village water so no problems with the white dust I have seen in other comments from hard water.

wrknet, on March 17, 2015

GREAT BUY 'n 'EYE CANDY' TOO!!!

Not only does this function beautifully, it's quite the splash of 'eye candy' in any decor! I also own the similarly designed Homedic version of this unit which I love and it continues to work beautifully for couple yrs now. But this just purchased Air Innovations version appears to be an even greater value.

Filling the tank is not quite as 'smooth' as the Homedic, but I'm sure that's more a matter of getting use to. All the functions operate exactly as described, except neither unit turns off/on to maintain selected humidity level -- example: set to 50% but units continue registering well above that level and does not turn off. Loving the remote with this one!

Optimus U-31001 1.5-Gallon Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier - Single Room Humidifiers

1.5-Gallon Cool Mist is a misleading advertizing. It has 1.11 gallon tank capacity
It's so quiet

By TW on September 30, 2014

Style Name: whiteItem Package Quantity: 1 Verified Purchase

(Update: 1/20/2015) The humidifier continues to be one of the best, if not best, performing humidifiers I've ever owned. There is one problem though. It's harder to clean than I realized. As someone who gets very annoyed with cleaning hindrances due to design, I'll go over those problems. The inside of the tank is a breeze to clean. A couple of tablespoons of white vinegar in a full tank of water, sitting for 15 minutes or so cleans it pretty well. There's an alternate method, though I don't know if it's recommended--drop a denture tablet in the tank with warm water in it. This really makes it white and sparkly again. I didn't invent the wheel there. I had just always used denture tablets to clean Camelbak water bottles that weren't dishwasher-friendly. The base that the tank sits down in is a whole other story. You would have to own this humidifier to understand what I'm talking about on this part. The plunger that releases water from the tank into the base is in a little tight area. You can get a Q-Tip down in there though, but even so, even with white vinegar, there are still parts down in there that won't come perfectly clean. You guessed it. Drop another denture tab down in there too. I don't have dentures, but my mom does and had several samples, including a crystallized version. Crystallized works well in the tank, but not in the base. Some of the little crystals were trying to get stuck in the little crevices. I ended up buying a value pack of the fresh mint tabs at the store with a Bullseye logo. They do a nice job of cleaning and making it look new.

While reveling in my mastery of cleaning a humidifier, I noticed something, there's an entire tube in there that I've never cleaned. You can barely see it in the product image. It's the tube the vapor comes out of. This would be easy to miss since you can pop the cap off the top where the vapor comes out and clean it. I just happened to notice some pinkish colored gunk in the tube. At the time, I didn't have anything to clean it with so I just stuffed a washcloth up there and slid it around the inside of the tube. It worked well enough, but I needed something more than a washcloth since the used washcloth had to be thrown out due to the overload of gunk.

I ended up buying one of these http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Bottle-Brush/dp/B00004OCLJ/ for cleaning that tube out. It works very well. I'm still cleaning mine every 3-4 days with the white vinegar/water solution, but have started doing this full cleaning every 10 days or so. It's really not that hard to do, takes maybe 5-10 minutes of work and it returns the smell of the vapor to the clean vapor smell you remember from the first time you used it. Review itself still is relevant and would continue giving it 5 stars.

A few things about me and my history with humidifiers. I expect a humidifier to last a minimum of 1 year at worst and at best, 2 years. I personally have been using humidifiers for 20 years. Having lived in Arizona and Texas, my sinuses have commonly been exposed to dry air and nosebleeds. Now that I'm married, I live in a cooler area, but now the cool dry air outside bothers my sinuses. I won't spend a lot on a humidifier or buy one that requires the filter to be bought/changed. I've simply been through way too many from different price ranges to know I can expect them to last more than 2 years and should pay accordingly.

This Optimus U-31002 is at the top of my price range, but my previous humidifier, a Sunbeam SLU2512-HUM, recently started leaking and I needed to find a replacement as soon as possible. The Sunbeam as example, only lasted 10 months and was fifty dollars. So though this Optimus is a little more, it was worth the risk to get myself a humidifier in the bedroom before the fall air causes me problems.

There's one major negative for me. It's not going to be a negative for most people. This humidifier is extremely quiet. The Sunbeam I'm replacing was noisy enough to hear outside of our bedroom. I can barely hear this Optimus even laying beside of it. There's a slight patter of water every 30 seconds or so and it's slight. Maybe every 5 minutes you will hear a small gurgle. If you operate it in a dark room, you may need to turn the light on the first time just to make sure it's running. This is a "major" negative for me because I'm from bigger cities. I like noise when I sleep. My wife is from out in the country where quietness is common. The Sunbeam was better on this noise part for me, but after using the Optimus for a week, I've decided to keep it.

This humidifier is one of the easier ones to fill for me. Since I had trouble understanding the build of it from the picture, I will try to explain. If you look at the picture you can see a seam just above the control knob. Everything above that seal comes out and holds water, even the white part above the seal. It's not just the clear part. Everything above the seam is made into one piece. It's very nice to see a tank that's not all clear. In comparison to the Sunbeam, this humidifier puts out about twice as much vapor on the highest setting compared to the Sunbeam's highest setting.

The control knob could be better. It's one of those knobs that doesn't click from setting to setting. You just turn it and have to make a mental note of where you prefer it. I run it on the lowest setting while at work, but turn it up to roughly 3/4 its power while asleep. The top of the clear part has a spout that can be rotated 360 degrees, but be careful if you do this. The entire spout also can be removed so you have to grab along the seam of the spout to just rotate it.

A major plus over other humidifiers I've used is the water refill area. This one has a fairly large opening and the lid that you screw back on, screws nearly flush to the water container. Most have a rubber washer in them that deteriorates. Which is what happened to the last two I've owned. Most people would say just replace it, but both of the ones I have are no longer made so there's no way to replace it outside of finding someone who sells a rubber washer that fits the lid.

My results of using this is best explained by saying I've had 5 straight good nights of sleep. I do have a humidity/thermometer gauge in the room and it has kept our bedroom between 55-65% humidity, which is an optimal range for me. I should add here that it does seem to truly put a cool vapor as the room's temperature is a bit cooler than the rest of the house, talking maybe 1 degree at most, but as anyone with sinus problems will tell you that 1 degree can make the difference in a good night's sleep and a night of tossing and turning.

If there's one complaint I could see a lot of people having it's the lack of light in it. This one doesn't bother me at all, but even though it has a button that says, "night light" it does not stay on. The light is only around the control dial and only stays on if you hold the button down. I thought that should be mentioned for those with little ones who need/want a nightlight.

Overall though, there's very little to complain about. I'll get over the sound part by turning on a white noise machine. Its ability to push plenty of vapor/moisture into the air is my main concern and it does it very well. I haven't seen many humidifiers in this price range that put out the amount of moisture this one does. Others have mentioned it, but I am assuming the lid has some kind of filtering property as it has small beads in it that remind me of demineralization cartridges I've seen on higher end humidifiers. Time will only tell on how well that part works, but it's a nice touch if it does anything at this price.

For what it's worth, I should mention that there is a lot less white dust than the Sunbeam would leave. It would leave a trail of white dust across the black table it sits on in one night. This one has only left a small patch of dust in 5 nights. Very impressed so far.

Honeywell HUL535W Cool Mist Humidifier, White

1 gallon tank capacity. $38 on amazon. Honeywell offers a 2yr warranty.
Best Humidifier under $50 and Better than Crane Drop

By themak on January 28, 2015

Color: white Verified Purchase

I live in a very dry apartment in NYC that gets radiator heat. I really wanted to purchase the Honeywell Humidifier, unfortunately it was out of stock at the time I really needed a humidifier and I bought a Crane Drop Humidifier instead.

The Crane humidifier did the job, but was a pain to clean, didn't change humidity as much as I weanted and just felt weak. I kept it anyway, because, well I needed a humidifier and one that didn't take much space. Now I get my Honeywell unexpectedly early and let me say, avoid the Crane and get this Honeywell. Ill include some pictures for comparison.

Pros:
Easy to clean (especially compared to Crane)
I fill it only once a day. (Vs. 2-3 times with Crane)
Attached and spinning directional component allows you to turn direction of humidifier but stays on tight.
Simple understated design.
Honeywell offers a 2yr warranty.
Auto shutoff and light is far less annoying than on other units and you can place a piece of tape over it.

Cons:

Since the crane and the Honeywell both take a gallon, I wonder if the Honeywell is actually outputting less than the Crane or if it is just a better use of technology and doing more with less.

Lack of colors, while I am cool with the design and I am happy that the black unit I purchased blends in, since the unit takes space, it would have been nice to be a design/colorful piece.
It is noisier than the Crane and quite so. While its not as loud as a Laptop computer fan, it comes close to it. I actually like it as it creates a slight white noise but it is still a con. As soon as you start a conversation or play music, you wont notice it. I only notice it when i am writing or reading, but I also get annoyed at ticking clocks, so thats just me.

As you can see from the pictures, the Honeywell seems to produce more than the Crane at all settings. Also the design of the honeywell makes it easy to clean. Photos included are Side By Side Comparison, Opened up Comparison, Low Setting Comparison, Medium Setting Comparison, High Setting

Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier with 2.3 Gallon output per day Health & Personal Care

2.3 gallon output is a misleading advertizing. The tank has 1 Gallon capacity. Which mesn 24 hours operation on high.

Note: 8,009 customer reviews)

Old one from 2010 was great except for the bright green light. New EE-5301 is different. I modified green running light to off.

By AaronR on January 15, 2013

Package Type: Standard PackagingColor: White Verified Purchase

Summary from this review: Get the blue one...its better than the color or white ones. Also, the light is annoying but can be turned off.

I have an EE-5301 Blue Crane Drop Humidifier with a Date Code from 2010. The humidifier was quiet and effective. The only drawback was the bright green light that is on when the unit is running. I use this in a bedroom while sleeping. The green light changes to red when the water is out. I bought a new White Crane Drop Humidifier and modified both at the same time to turn off the "night light" and just have the red light functional. The details of the modification are below. By taking both apart, I found some important differences between the blue and the white humidifiers.

Differences between the colored humidifiers and the blue humidifier:

The Blue Crane Humidifier has better output and components: I just bought another Drop humidifier to replace what I thought was the same model I previously had. The difference is my old one is blue and the new one is white. My old EE-5301 has a date code of 8/20/10 printed on the bottom. The white one for sale on Amazon now is the same model number (with the addition of a "w" at the end) but it has some important differences inside and out.

I took both units apart at the same time to turn off the green running light. However, you do not need to take the units apart to see the difference. The old blue EE-5301 has a ribbed dial on the front instead of one with just an indentation for your finger.

The opening in the bottom of the blue humidifier tank (the hole that vapor passes through is 1/4" larger than the color/white humidifiers). I suspect the next change was done to compensate for the noticeably less vapor output. Crane changed the size of the opening in the cone-shaped cap that goes on top of the tank on the white model. The old cap on my blue device is 1/4" larger in diameter. This gives the appearance of more vapor coming out of a smaller hole. When you put the old cap from the blue device from 2010 on the new white device, the difference in vapor output is more obvious. The vapor is less and does not go as far on the newer white one (see pic in comment section).

On the inside, the old blue EE-5301 has a much larger fan and a more robust transformer. There are some structural differences to the molded plastic too. The tank and top caps remain interchangeable on both units. The new fan on the white unit is much less substantial and looks like something off of a video card. The vapor output on the old blue device is noticeably more robust on the highest setting.

The bottom line is that the model numbers are the same but blue one is better. It appears from the picture on Amazon, that the blue humidifier being sold still has the ribbed dial and is probably the same one as mine from 2010. It has better components.

The other point of this review is that the green running light is bright and annoying. I would think most would use this in a bedroom. I'm too old for a night light. I modified my drop humidifiers to never have the green light come on and just have the red light functional.

The modification to turn off the green running light:

There are 4 screws on the bottom that need to be removed to get to the LED. Once inside, the LED for the green and red light (there is only one LED that can change color) is found behind the clear plastic directly above the dial.

There is one screw that holds down the small LED circuit board. There are 3 small wires that are soldered to the circuit board for the LED. The wire that has small red "x's" was the power for the green LED on my units. When holding the small circuit board with the screw hole up and the LED bulb on the far side off the circuit board, it was the far right-hand wire.

I de-soldered the far right wire (one with the "x's" printed on it) from the circuit board but cutting it would have worked too. I put a piece of electrical tape around the end and put everything back together. Mission accomplished. Problem solved. This took 10 minutes after figured out which wire to cut with a volt meter.

I cannot post any links on reviews but I posted a picture of the wire I removed from the LED circuit board. In any case, now the green light never comes on but the red light comes on when the water is out.

The typical caveats apply: I do not recommend to anyone to take their humidifier apart. You could cut the wrong wire, damage your humidifier or blow up the universe. Never take anything apart with the power on. Just because this worked for me, it may not work for you.

Update 10/2014: It appears now even the blue humidifier on Amazon has an finger indentation on the knob (instead of a ribbed knob) which indicates to me that all the Crane humidifiers likely have the same configuration as the white one I ordered. If you can find a blue one with the ribbed knob, it has better components. However without a direct side-by-side comparison, I doubt anyone would be heartbroken over the differences.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2015 9:51:51 AM PST

AaronR says:

Blue with white cap. Though I think they all have changed to the weaker design by now. Interestingly, the animal Crane humidifiers are the easiest to service. Crane uses cheap internal components. Period. The fans are terrible usually what die or start to make noise. The animal humidifiers (link below) from Crane use off the shelf 80mm computer fans that are easy to replace, quieter and extend the life of the humidifers greatly. I've replaced the stock fan with Cooler Master Rifle Bearing 80mm Silent Cooling Fan for Computer Cases/Coolers and had good results.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dhpc&field-keywords=crane%20adorable

TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, Classic Dial Knob Control, 30W, Large 3.5L Capacity, Extra Fine Ceramic

3.5 L / 0.92 gal. water tank. a lot of bogus reviews on maon. Buyer beware.


2.0 out of 5 stars
Potentially dangerous and difficult to handle
Bypgtempon November 15, 2015

Verified Purchase

On first filing was obvious the ergonomics are bad with curved top which makes it difficult to handle. In addition there is no top handle so it is difficult to replace on base, especially if hands are at all damp. High risk of dropping full tank. Am returning product.

Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Humidifier, Blue Home & Kitchen

Very quiet, very nice cool mist humidifier

By Jeff Geerling on July 2, 2013

Size: 1 Count>Color: Blue Verified Purchase
I've used a few different types of humidifiers over the past couple years, and my favorite so far has been a warm mist/vapor humidifier, like the simple boiling water kind you get from Vicks. Those humidifiers put out a lot of humidity, they're easy to refill, and they don't make everything in a room get a white powdery coating.

Ultrasonic/cool mist humidifiers often make a white powder coating appear on some surfaces if you have hard water (like I do), but they are quieter (no boiling or fans), they don't raise the ambient temperature, and the mist can be directed via the vent at the top. They also don't use filters, so there is no maintenance or extras you have to purchase other than a simple weekly (at least) cleaning.

This humidifier has simple controls (on/off switch on the back, mist level knob on the front), and a neat little port on the top that you can direct in two different spots. I usually just keep both vents pointed in the same direction.

Refilling is easy; just grab the translucent top part, turn it upside-down, unscrew the drain plug, and fill in a standard-size sink.

If I set the level to low/medium, I can use the humidifier up to a full day or so before a refill. If set on high, it only seems to last about 8-10 hours. Also, the humidifier shuts itself off if it senses no more water.

RECOMMENDATION: If you need a simple cool mist humidifier, like one for a baby's room, this is a great option--especially if you only need to have it on for a small part of the day (otherwise you'll be refilling it a lot).

TIP FOR LONGEVITY: Make sure you follow the included cleaning instructions, especially with regard to cleaning mineral buildup every week. If you don't this humidifier will probably only last a year or less (especially if you have hard water at your home, and don't use distilled water to humidify the air). If you clean it weekly, expect years of use.

Honeywell HUL520W Mistmate Cool Mist Humidifier, White -

0.5 gallon tank capacity $28 on amazon