Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Air-O-Swiss Humidifiers

Allergy group's choice

Air-O-Swiss sticks to tabletop and console humidifiers, providing a variety of styles that cover areas up to 750 square feet with almost four gallons of output per day. They offer warm or cool mist (some offer both) and are generally ultrasonic.

Patented ionic silver sticks and demineralization cartridges prevent bacteria and white mineral dust. The silver stick needs replacement once a year, while the cartridges require changing every two to three months, or more if the water is hard. The replacements cost significantly more than those for other humidifier brands but may not need to be changed as often. The units themselves are also a lot more expensive than most.

Built-in gauges control humidity levels, and some models have hygrometers to measure relative humidity in the air. Users like Air-O-Swiss humidifiers for their energy efficiency, variable fan speeds and quietness (which makes them ideal for bedrooms, family rooms or offices). They also require less maintenance than some, needing bi-weekly cleaning when on warm settings and weekly cleaning on cool. Decalcification agents remove deposits from the evaporation chamber. An attractive design makes Air-O-Swiss nice enough to sit visibly on almost any countertop, and a three-year warranty ensures it'll do so for a long time.

A transparent water tank makes it easy to see when the unit needs refilling, and a handle makes for easy carrying of the two-gallon reservoir. Some models have lights to indicate when water is low and shut off automatically when the tank is empty. They are known to have a problem opposite of most humidifiers, though; they have trouble when used with soft water and will put out white dust.

Air Washer humidifier

More expensive than some whole-home models, this console humidifier has the added benefit of an air washer, which takes care of pet hair and large dust and pollen particles, storing them in a base unit until they can be rinsed out. A fragrance capsule accepts scented wool to distribute aroma throughout the room.

Good reviews

Several Air-O-Swiss humidifiers are at the top of the favorite lists of AllergyBuyersClub.com, a website that sells and reviews products for relieving allergy sufferers' symptoms. They are also generally rated well by users, who say they are easy to clean, quiet and offer good humidity control. Downfalls noted are difficult refilling, high price and expensive filters.

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