By Kristin B.
on 1969-12-31 Great Whole House Humidifier and Well-Worth the Price!
Winters in Wisconsin are very cold and dry, resulting in a lot of static electricity if you don't have enough humidity in the air. It was getting so bad in our house that whenever we touched a light switch, anything with fabric, or each other, we would would get shocked and I didn't feel safe about that at all so we decided to look into a whole house humidifier because we hoped the benefits of purchasing and maintaining a humidifier would greatly outweigh the costs. We did a lot of research on humidifiers but most of the ones we found had a lot of poor reviews and we didn't want to spend a lot of money on a humidifier that wouldn't last us for awhile. My husband came across this one and we both agreed that it was the best one we'd found so far so we ordered it.
When we got it, we opened up the box and found that it is very easy to set up. This humidifier is approximately 14" by 20" by 20" and is fairly lightweight yet durable (I have three-year-old twins who are curious about everything and this humidifier is still in great shape after over four consecutive months of use). It is designed for homes up to 3600 square feet. Ours is about 3200 square feet, including the basement, and this humidifier kept the entire house moist enough so we hardly had any static throughout the dry winter. The humidifier has four casters so it's very easy to roll it around the house while it's filled, even on carpet. It holds 3 1/2 gallons of water between the base and the bottle and this can last as little as a day or as long as a week, depending on your settings, how often it runs, and how dry it is.The settings include four fan speeds, humidity control, and the power button. The digital display will also tell you the percentage of humidity it senses right by the humidifier, which may be different in other parts of your house. The humidifier will tell you when you need to fill the water bottle and check the filter. I really like the control lock feature since my kids would definitely play with it (and believe me, they tried) but since we locked it, they aren't able to play around with the settings. You just hold the power button down for five seconds to lock it and the same to deactivate it for when you want to adjust any settings.
The humidifier seems to be nicely-designed and has withstood over four months of three-year-old twins trying to play with it. The housing unit feels a bit more flimsy than you'd expect but ours hasn't been destroyed yet. It also is very easy to clean and maintain. The humidifier comes with a filter but you'll need to purchase additional ones. The manual suggests changing the filter once every season you use it or more, depending on the type of water you have. We have very hard water and the initial filter lasted about three months, which is about what I would expect. We purchased the AIRCARE MAF1 Replacement Wicking Humidifier Filter
and Essick Air 1970 Humidifier Bacteriostatic Treatment, 1-Quart
with our humidifier.
This humidifier is off-white and nice because it looks good without being an eyesore. We have ours between our bedrooms in our hallway and it worked so well for us during the time we used it. I included a picture of it so you can see what it looks like in our house. There is some noise from the fan when it runs but you can adjust the fan speeds and we keep our doors closed at night anyway so it sounds more like white noise and didn't bother me at all after the first couple days. I'm a light sleeper so I woke up quite a bit the first couple nights. Within the first 24 hours of having this humidifier run, I noticed a huge difference in the humidity in our house! I no longer got zapped when I put a blanket on myself, picked up one of my kids, and turned on a light. My hair also stopped standing straight up and I was so grateful. We also had none of the white dust come out of this humidifier like when we had a cool mist humidifier.
Overall, we are extremely pleased with the purchase of this humidifier and feel the price we paid is well-worth the benefits we've received. We didn't notice a huge difference in our electricity bill either because once the humidity increased in our house, the furnace didn't have to run nearly as much. We now don't feel unsafe touching light switches, blankets, or each other and our hair no longer sticks up! I anticipate using this humidifier about six months out of the year, from about late October through late April, so this purchase has been very beneficial for us. I'd definitely recommend purchasing this humidifier if you are looking for a whole house one. It is nicely-priced, easy to maintain, and worked so well for us in the four and a half months we used it so far. It's now in storage for the spring and summer but we will bring it out again in the late fall once it starts to get dry. If I come up with any more information to add and/or my opinion of this humidifier changes, I will update this review. Out of all of the humidifiers we researched, this one seemed like the best fit for us and we have been very satisfied with our purchase!
on 2013-12-30 Great Whole House Humidifier
I really like this humidifier! I used it in both my 1,200 sq ft condo and girlfriends 2,000 sq ft house. In my condo it was always reading 8-10% humidity to much then a dedicated humidity monitor (I bought the AcuRite 613 Indoor Humidity Monitor
). So I would place my Humidity on the Essick Air on 55% so I would have a true condo humidity of 45-47%. This comparison was done by letting the AcuRite be right next to the Essick Air Sensor so I knew it was off slightly.
FYI that the AcuRite Humidity Sensor I bought was within 1% calibrated when bought.
Some Notes to remember:
1.) The further you get away from the Humidifier, the less humidity we be in the air. Take this into consideration when setting your humidity levels and placement of the humidifier.
2.) I have found that mold/mildew can be nearly completely eliminated by using a cap of the BestAir 3BT-6 Original BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment 32 oz.
3.) You can greatly minimize the calcium/lime/scale deposits on your filter and make the filter last longer by using a cap of Holmes S1708PDQ-U Humidifier Bacteriostat
4.) Clean your tank often. The EPA recommends you clean your humidifier every 3 days with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. I don't go to this extreme but cleaning it once every 2 weeks with dish soap seems more than enough for me. I use a mixture of 1 part White distilled vinegar to 5 parts water and swirl it in the tank/bottom of humidifier, let it sit for 30 minutes, pour it out and then scrub with water/dish washer soap. Finally I rinse thoroughly.
5.) Some say using distilled or filtered water is the best way to minimize and eliminate lime/calcium/scale deposits. This may be the case but this costs so much money for me in the winter months that I would rather buy another filter as going through gallons of filtered/distilled water isn't economical for me. Maybe if I had a humidifier in a child's bedroom, but not a whole house humidifier. Using #2 and #3 have increased the life of my filters during from ~3 weeks to ~10 weeks. Just use that plan instead as it's a lot cheaper.
6.) The first time the humidifier runs, it could be a long time before it turns off and will use lots of water. Remember it has to humidify an immense amount of sq ft and it takes time for humidity to incorporate itself into all your belongings that were most likely lacking humidity until now (carpet, drapes, etc). My girlfriends house started at 28% and during the January cold month, took 7 days to finally only run rarely. Otherwise it was on literally all the time.
7.) This will affect your energy bill positively is used correctly. Remember that higher humidity means higher temperature. For example, 75 degrees with 0 percent humidity feels like 69 degrees. 75 degrees with 100% humidity feels like 80 degrees. In the winter months raising your humidity with this humidifier will allow you to feel the same temperature a few degrees lower on your thermostat.
8.) Depending who you ask, "Optimal" humidity levels range greatly (from 35% - 60%). I always aim for Humidity levels about 45%.
9.) Having a whole house humidifier will certainly help folks that live in an otherwise dry environment with dry skin. Before this I would generally also suffer from dry skin no matter what moisturizer I used. Now with this my humidity in my condo and girlfriends house rose from mid 20's to 45% and I have healthier skin (as does my girlfriend).
I no longer use BestAir 3BT-6 Original BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment 32 oz.
or Holmes S1708PDQ-U Humidifier Bacteriostat
for Calcium/Lime and Bacteria build-up. I now use BestAir 246 Golden Solution II Combination Water & Bacteriostatic Treatment 64 oz.
as it's a single product that does what the other 2 products do.
5 Stars By Karen Amrhein on 2015-01-23
I've got the vapors!
I purchased this Essick MA1201 because our new April-Aire humidifier on our new furnace had died after just one season. The other small room humidifiers we've used in previous years haven't done the trick, but this Essick model can really pump out the lovely moist air. In fact, we had it on it's highest humidity setting (65 -- which means it runs continuously) for the first several weeks and our bedroom, where it's placed, was wonderfully moist, and the rest of the house felt pretty good too (we'd placed the Essick several inches from a furnace return register, as recommended). However, we noticed one morning that the paint on the ceiling in one corner had bubbled up and there were sticky drips running down from the edge of the ceiling for several feet on part of two walls (though the windows never got steamy). I then discovered that the moist air is largely dispensed through the side (opposite the water tank), rather than from the front. We turned the humidifier 90-degrees, so that the side vent faced out into the room and now we only put the humidity setting to 65 while we sleep. During the day we keep it at 55, which is supposed to mean 55% humidity, even though 65 is 65% humidity and higher, since it stays on all the time when set to 65. (By the way, the bubbled-up ceiling paint went back to normal, with no sign of permanent damage, after making those adjustments.)
The first air filter only lasted about a month, and they're not cheap, though I found them a lot less expensive at AirFilterBuy.com. I did find that I could greatly extend the life of the filter, which becomes limp and starts to disintegrate after several weeks, by removing it when it started to sag, rinsing it thoroughly, and placing it back in the Essick with a little frame to support it. I made a frame from the old metal tubes from solar-powered walkway lights (such as you can get at Home Depot for several dollars), plus a plastic-coated metal hanger and some twisty ties. I've attached some photos to illustrate. The tubes from solar-powered walkway lights are just the right diameter to fit over the inch-tall plastic posts in the humidifier basin that serve to support a new filter.
The bottom line: This is the first Winter I can remember when the skin on my face hasn't gotten chapped and rough, my throat hasn't gotten constantly parched (despite drinking gallons of water), and my dry eye doesn't hurt every night. With a little adjustment and monitoring, and some hands-on fiddling with the filters, this Essick can be a very effective and economical humidifier for a small home. Also, using a capful of Holmes Humidifier Bacteriostat S1708PDQ-U with each tank refill keeps the inside of the humidifier clean and happy.
5 Stars By moonlighteye on 2012-02-11
Great whole house humidifier
Before we got this humidifier, we had two smaller humidifiers placed around the house and despite having to refill them constantly, we were still getting static electric shocks when touching door knobs and light switches (scary). I wanted a humidifier that held a lot of water, was reliable, didn't coat everything with a white dust, and simply worked to help alleviate dry winter skin and static electricity issues. So far, this humidifier has been working perfectly to mitigate the dry winter air in an area just over 1000 sq ft.
When I first took it out of the box, the construction quality seemed a bit flimsy and I was kinda worried. Yeah, the plastic and seams could be a little tougher feeling, but once you have the few different sections into place, I would say the overall build quality is as solid as it needs to be. Our model is also more of a pure white color, rather than the cream "old PC case" color shown on 2DayDeliver. After about 3 months of constant use, we haven't had any leaks or a single issue to worry about.
-Holds 3.9 real gallons (not just the misleading daily output figure that manufacturers use). It's great that I don't have to refill this thing every 2 days. A whole week or more will go by before we have to refill it. Of course, the refill period will depend on your settings and how often its running. We've left it running all the time (automatic setting) set to maintain 45 or 50 (somewhat high), and still only need to refill about once every 8-12 days.
-Has casters for easy relocation of unit
-Super simple operation. One button to power on/off, one button to set which humidity level you want to maintain, and one button to set to automatic or manual operation levels.
-As far as humidifiers go, the styling is good in that it sorta just blends into our similarly colored wall. Fairly subtle presence for a larger unit.
-Pretty quiet. It has a fan, so yeah, you will hear it when its spinning faster, but the noise is like a white noise, which we don't mind hearing when we sleep. Never noticed it to be a problem when trying to talk or watch TV.
-Up to 2500 sq ft. coverage area. We can only attest to just under half of that.
-None of that fine white dust like you get from those "cool mist" humidifiers.
-Display shows "F" on our unit when it's time to refill.
Be sure to add a few capfuls of bacteriostat solution to the tank and you're good to go with this humidifier.
5 Stars By Jared on 2018-01-03
Works excellently as whole house humidifier!
Living in a dry climate, ours goes through all 3.6 gallons in 12-24 hours, so the MA1201's large capacity significantly reduces the number of times I need to fill it up, which I appreciate. Smaller units simply can't keep up in our house, even if isolated to bedrooms. We use it on fan speed 2/4, the higher speeds and bubbling can be loud, so it may not be ideal for a light sleeper's bedroom. However, this is definitely capable of whole-house humidifying, so it could live just about anywhere else. Also, fan speed 2 seems more than adequate to increase humidity fast. I've had this unit for over a year now, and despite some other reviewers reflections, it seems well built, with fairly thick plastic -- I expect it to last years. Our house is 2600 sq.f. and this unit raises our humidity ~20% above ambient.
3 Stars By Beach on 2016-12-24
Bait and switch
Good product but the filters need to be replaced more than I thought. When I first ordered this machine, I priced the filters and they were on 2DayDeliver for $6 each. The second I bought the machine the filters suddenly changed to $16 each!! Not cool 2DayDeliver. What I did find out though is that you can "wash" the filters. You take them out when there is a hard line of hard water buildup on the top. You can put the filter in a warm water bath with a cup of white vinegar. Leave the filter in the water vinegar bath (completely supmerged) for about an hour and the filter comes out almost like new.
3 Stars By 2DayDeliver Customer on 2018-01-02
Fantastic white noise maker
Ok, It's effective but definitely not for as many square feet as indicated. My home is 2175 Sq.ft. and this thing cannot evenly raise the humidity throughout. It does improve it, so it's not a loss, but it runs on HIGH all the time and it is LOUD! Fantastic white noise maker. Prepare to shout and turn your TV up to hear the dialog. :-) If you run it nearly constantly you will need to replace the filter about every 6 weeks. (I will not use the weird chemical products they recommend to disinfect and extend the life of things. I'm not breathing that stuff and neither will the rest of my family.) I have run the filter through my dishwasher on the sanitize cycle and I have cleaned the unit with seventh generation disinfectant spray because that's normal and practical for my life. I'm not willing to rearrange my life for a product... the product has to fit my lifestyle. :-) It does a nice job increasing the humidity on my first floor, but I wouldn't recommend buying this with the hope of only having one humidifier to concern yourself with. I would certainly hold on to a few smaller bedroom humidifiers for overnight.
5 Stars By KB on 2015-06-27
The detachable tank is well designed and easy to fill at the kitchen sink
The Essick Air MA1201 effectively humidifies the air in our home in the southeastern US. We keep in on low speed in our living room with the TV and conversations going on. At this speed it does not significantly interfere with either. At a higher speed, that would be a problem. If quick addition of humidity is needed the higher fan speeds will put out much more moisture. The detachable tank is well designed and easy to fill at the kitchen sink. The Essick Air 1970 Humidifier Bacteriostatic solution, if used every time you fill the tank, will keep the main reservoir cleaner longer before algae or mold becomes a problem. Without the solution or using it in a hit and miss manner, the water and the filter will become discolored and slimy rather quickly. We even use the humidifier during the hottest summer months when the AC is running so much due to the high heat that the humidity level gets low enough to dry our skin, eyes, and nasal passages. Like some people have said, the housing that fits over the reservoir is a little awkward to get in position , but this has to be done so infrequently, I don't see it as much of a problem. If I was in Minnesota in the dead of winter trying to humidify a large house and wanted it to do the job quietly and not disturb me,I doubt this product or other portable units in this price range would do the job. For me though, this is my second one, and I'd hate to be without it.
5 Stars By E. Max on 2017-12-22
Simple, inexpensive, and works great
Simple, inexpensive, and works great. Has a large reservoir and it can do the whole house.
I put a few humidity monitors around the house and they all read around 40-45%. The humidifier is set at 55% so it is a little bit off.
It is flimsy and awkward to move around and service. Fortunately you don't have to do that often. It's also kinda ugly. But no complaints on how it works.
5 Stars By J. D. White on 2017-11-14
So far - so good
Since this is new, I've only used it for 3 weeks, and so far I find it easy to fill at the sink and it keeps my home (which is small) comfortable and "shock-free"! I copied the review by MDIndexer and keep it with my instruction book. It has been very helpful and I'm so thankful for reviews that go into such detail. I hope the cleaning of this item is not difficult. I'll find out soon.