We are big on humidification in the winter at our home. Having dry air can be bad for your health and your home. Adding moisture in the winter can help with your sinus’ and also helps to protect the wood in your home. If you have hardwood floors you may notice spaces appear in the winter between the slats. With proper humidity, your floors boards will stay tight all year round.
I have two larger humidifiers that I use. One Upstairs and one downstairs. When it is really cold out though it is hard for them to keep up so I add smaller humidifiers in the bedrooms and one downstairs. I used to have three of these until one of my grown kids came over with a sinus infection and being the good Mom that I am, I gave one up to him. So now we have two.
Click here if you would like to read the review of the larger Essick Air humidifiers that I use. I also use one other Vicks V3100 made by honeywell where I sleep. I like that one because it has a steady fan and I like the white noise for sleeping.
Fill the reservoir with water, turn it upside down on the unit and within a minute you will start getting steam coming from the humidifier. There is a chamber to help avoid burns but of course it is steam and steam is hot so don’t put your fingers in there. If you want to use Vicks vapor rub with your humidifier there is a little cup that fits into the area where the steam comes out. You can put some Vicks in the little cup and the steam will heat it up and you will get the vapor along with the steam. Do not put the Vicks right in the unit.
The Vicks 745A has two speeds high and low. On high it will run for approx 12 hrs on a tank. When it is out of water the unit has an automatic shut off for safety. You will know that the unit has been switched off because the green light turns to an amber one. To get it going again just switch it off for a minute, refill the reservoir and turn it back on. If you find you are not getting as much steam I add a little salt to the water which lowers the temp required to boil and you will get more effective steaming action. If you notice the base feeling hot or the cool water in the reservoir heating up that is when I add the salt and it really works like a charm.
How well it works
I love this steam humidifier, it is practically silent and works quickly and effectively. As with any steam type humidifier it will need weekly cleaning to remove the build up from the minerals in your water, but I expect this and this unit has a heating element that is easy to get to and clean.
This humidifier works almost silently. You can hear the steam a little bit but there is no fan noise or loud noise that would interfere with sleeping or TV or anything like that. You can occasionally hear a bubble as more water goes into the heating chamber but this is barely noticeable.
It produces a visible steam at the higher level of operation and a nice light to let you know it’s working. If it empties it turns itself off and an amber light comes in in place of the green operational light. We are very happy with this humidifier and have been using them for 3-4 years or maybe even longer.
To clean unplug and cool completely. pour some straight white vinegar in the place where the heating element is. Let it sit there for at least a half hour and then clean with a damp cloth. You might need to scrape it off a little with a butter knife. Often the vinegar is enough to loosen it but not remove it completely. If after you clean it there is still mineral build up repeat the process and leave the vinegar a little longer until it’s clean. I have left vinegar sitting in there all day and it has not done any damage to the unit.
If you hate cleaning you could use distilled water but I am not sure if it would interfere with the steam output. It also could get a little expensive using distilled water, but if you are only using for occasional use like when someone is sick it might be something to consider.