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Comments about Vornado Evap3 Whole Room Evaporative Vortex Humidifier:
I have a woodstove indoors as my primary heat source. Along with typical cold weather dryness, the woodstove really dries out the air. And pots of water on top of the stove help, but not enough. I was suffering with nasal issues all winter. After some research, I decided that one help would be to get a decent humidifier.
I read about the different types and decided against the ultrasonic variety because my tap water is very hard and would likely create white dust. Initially I tried a warm mist humidifier, but after a couple of weeks, I found that it was noiser than I expected, even on low. And after checking the energy usage, it seemed that the electricity costs would be a little high, even using it on low. And on low it was not putting out much moisture.
So I finally decided to look into evaporative type humidifiers. Certainly there is the need to replace filters, but this type will not create white dust and it leaves other impurities in the filter and not in the air. I use a little Golden Solution in each tank fill up. It is both a water treatment (to control mineral scale build-up) and a bacterio-static (helps to inhibit growth of odor causing bacteria). This seems to work quite well. I will do a more thorough cleaning of the whole unit when it is time to put it away for the summer (which should be easy as the whole thing comes easily apart for cleaning all areas).
The humidifier has a built in humidistat such that you can set the level of humidity you want and it will run until that level is reached and then turn itself off until the humidity drops again. You have a choice of low, high, or automatic. On automatic, the humidifier will run on high until it is near the humidity level that was selected. Then it will switch to low and eventually go off when the level is reached. It will cycle back on and go to high if necessary to try to keep up with the chosen level.
I will say that when it is on high, it is a little louder than I like for being near. Not a problem when I am away at work. But when at home, I simply keep it on low, which is really very quiet. So quiet in fact, that I have sometimes been unsure if it was running when some other general noises (ie, refrigerator) were going at the same time and had to walk over to it and put my hand over it to feel the air moving. I keep it in the room with the woodstove and cannot hear it in my bedroom at all when on low.
As it is near the end of the heating season, I cannot give a proper account of just how well this humidifier will keep up during the coldest months. But I have had it running with the woodstove on for many night since I bought it. There may be several factors in my nasal problems disappearing, but I do believe the humidifier has helped.
And since I keep it on low most of the time, it does run constantly as it can not reach 50% humidity (my chosen setting) very often. However, it has definately kept the humidity level much higher than before. I bought a battery operated hygrometer/thermometer from the local hardware store when I was starting to be concerned about the humidity level in my house. It showed me that the humidity level was often around 25% or so with the woodstove going. I watched the numbers and sure enough, when I was cooking, the hygrometer would read a little over 30%, but would then drop back down a little later.
But once I started using the humidifier, the humidity level has been in the range of 40 to 48%. Now when cooking, the humidity will reach over 50% and the humidifier does turn off. I suspect that if I left it on automatic all the time, the humidity would hover around 50% as selected, but if it can keep it above 40% when running on low, that is fine by me.