I normally run a few different humidifiers in the winter and have a couple of the Vicks V745A (Steam) made by Honeywell that I like to use in smaller areas. I must have given one away because when I went to get out all my humidifiers I could only find one of them. I was looking for one for our kitchen sun room area and that one worked really nicely last year. I have a larger humidifier that I run downstairs the Essicks Air D46720 6 (Cool Mist) for larger rooms but I keep it in the front room because it can be a little louder so I like to have something more silent in the area where we spend most of our time. The steam humidifiers are usually pretty quiet so initially I was going to get another of the Vicks V745A ones but when I looked at the store the price was a little higher than online so I decided to wait.
While walking through the store to another area where they had heaters etc, I noticed they had more humidifiers. The Vicks one I found in the pharmacy section. I noticed that these other humidifiers were mostly larger and were darker colors so I decided to look and see what was available. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Honeywell HWM950 which is almost exactly the same humidifier as the Vicks one, except that it had an updated design in Black which I thought would look way better in my kitchen than the white one which sort of stuck out like a sore thumb. Besides that this was only $29.99 so it went into my cart.
The Honeywell HWM-950 is black and the tank is a clear smokey gray blue water tank. I really like this humidifier compared to the white medicinal looking ones. It works the same but if you have earthy tones in your living spaces and want a humidifier that does not look like you are in a hospital ward this is a really great choice. On the front is the on off switch. There is a high and low setting and off. When the humidifier is on there is a green light that glows softly around the switch. If you are using it in a bedroom it is very soft and should not bother anyone trying to sleep. I think it makes a nice little night light.
If your humidifier runs out of water, it has an auto shut off and a red light will be lit up. The heat turns off though so there is no concern for it over heading. At this point you need to unplug and turn the unit off for awhile to let it cool down.
Setting it up and first use
The humidifier comes ready to use in the box. There is really nothing that needs to be assembled before you can use it. Just decide where you are going to put it and then fill the tank and turn it on. If it is your first time it’s not a bad idea to set it in a tray just to make sure there are no leaks. Then select the high or low setting and let it do it’s thing
In the package with the humidifier is a very detailed booklet that tells how to take care of the humidifier. I felt it was well written.
Ease of filling
The tank on this humidifier is made with a wider opening than my Vicks one. I think this is a new design. I am not sure that I am crazy about it, because you really have to be careful to tighten it down or all the water can leak out. I am not sure why this one is more challenging but I have read other reviews on this opening and I had a bad experience with a different humidifier with this opening as well. I realized though that it was my own fault. There is a rubber ring that makes the seal. Make sure that if this falls off you replace it. Otherwise you will have a disaster like the one that I had once. The opening for filling is about 4 inches and the tank is not overly big so it should fit in most bathroom sinks. This is an improvement over the Vicks steam humidifier which does not fit under all the faucets in my house.
Once you fill the tank up there is a handle to carry it, I make sure to turn mine upside down before I place it on the humidifier to make sure it is not dripping. So far my being careful has paid off.
How it works
This humidifier works by heating water in a heating chamber, turning it in to steam which rises naturally from the unit. There are some intake openings on the tower above the heating chamber that help to keep the air flowing but there are no fans required to keep it working. It is really quite simple, like boiling water on the stove. There is only a small area inside where the heating of the water occurs and while there is a good about of plastic around the tower till the steams comes out, it is still really hot. Make sure to keep your fingers out of the steam and if you have children or pets make sure that they can not get to the unit when it is operating.
there is a little cup area on top of where the steam comes out that you can put a little Vicks vapor rub to create a nice Vicks smell to help if you are using this because of congestion. The top piece can come off for cleaning the remnants of the Vicks.
How well it works
The HWM950 does a great job of quickly producing steam and adding moist comfort to your air. If used regularly you will notice that you can breathe more easily and also that you will have less static cling issues in your house. Besides that, adding humidity to the home, makes it feel warmer even though your thermostat is turned down. If you have wood floors in your home the humidity will prevent the cracks from forming between the boards. Keeping your home at a steady humidity level is not only good for you, but it’s good for your home. This humidifier does a nice job for small rooms and small areas in your home. It will not humidify your entire home unless you are perhaps in a studio apartment. One tank filling of about one gallon of water will last all night and perhaps even 24 hrs on high. It is impossible to say exactly how long it will run, because it really depends on how humid your house is to begin with and even your water. Some water will boil at a lower temp so experiment with the settings. The box states that the unit is capable of putting out three gallons of water in a 24 hour period but this would be an extremely dry home and on high setting.
When you turn the humidifier on it will start making a boiling or gurgling noise and within a minute you should see the steam rising. I found that my unit was noisier when it first started and then settled down. I can not figure out why that is but that was my experience. You will hear little bubbles rising in the tank also as more water is released into the heating chamber.
The sound is really very low and compared to other humidifiers with a fan this is near silent but it is not completely silent. The noise does not bother anyone in my house.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The cleaning is the only part that is a pain. To clean take the whole thing apart and let some plain vinegar sit in the heating chamber while the unit is switched off. After about an hour you should be able to wipe the mineral deposits off of the heating element. If you do this regularly it will be easier to do. If you run it for an entire month before cleaning, then you might have to repeat the cleaning process a few times.
To completely avoid having to clean mineral deposits out of this humidifier, you can use distilled water that you can purchase from most grocery and drug stores.
I paid less than $30 for this unit but the value is far beyond that. It is not only functional but also attractive. I keep mine in the sun room and it is barely noticeable because the black color blends in with my decor. I think for what you get from this unit the price is a steal.
The Honeywell HWM950 comes with a 3 year limited warranty that does not cover wear and tear. Also if you want to use the warranty you have to send the unit back at your expense and then pay them for handling with a check for $10. Meanwhile you are out a humidifier and $10 plus whatever you paid for shipping. If it were me and this did not work out of the box I would just bring it back where I bought it. It is not a bad idea to purchase items like this from a retailer that has a generous return policy. If you can bring it back to the store you save yourself $10 handling plus shipping costs to get it to them.