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3 thoughts on “Hunter 34357 3-1/2-Gallon CareFree Plus Humidifier with PermaWick Filter

  1. Nick Triantos says:
    124 of 126 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great humidifier, now that Hunter’s fixed it, November 23, 2007
    By 
    Nick Triantos (Silicon Valley, CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Hunter 34357 3-1/2-Gallon CareFree Plus Humidifier with PermaWick Filter (Kitchen)

    We bought one of these Hunter humidifiers a few years ago. I liked the big tank, low-maintenance and no consumables (no wicks or filters to buy). The only problem was, as others have mentioned, that often when it switched off, a gallon or more of water would promptly dump onto my floor. I finally called Hunter to complain about it, and I have to say I’m incredibly impressed with their customer service, and with the simple fix (new design for the tray) which appears to fix the problem completely. This is now a very competent humidifier, and we’re really happy with it. You won’t see a cool plume of water vapor spewing from this unit, but it does work really well, and it’s very easy to keep clean (just throw parts of it in the dishwasher, and use vinegar and water to de-calcify the other parts).

    For those who are shopping for a humidifier, you first have to decide what’s important to you. For me, the ultrasonic ones are a no-go because they spew white powder all over my room (mineral dust from our hard water). The hot steam ones are a no-go because they get all nasty from bacteria, fungi, etc. I don’t want to breathe that stuff in. And while the fan is far from silent, we actually like it at night, it’s a nice gentle drone that helps lull us to sleep.

    Nice job, Hunter, on fixing the original design flaw, and on supporting the product so well.

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  2. Vinny says:
    80 of 82 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    good value if treated as a “disposable”, June 8, 2008
    By 
    Vinny (Durham, NC USA) –

    This review is from: Hunter 34357 3-1/2-Gallon CareFree Plus Humidifier with PermaWick Filter (Kitchen)

    I bought two of these Hunter humidifiers at the same time, and they did a good job of humidifying a 2000 square-foot house (1 upstairs; 1 downstairs). It seems like they operated non-stop during 4 very dry winters. Both units had similar problems during their 4-year lifetimes, but my issues weren’t specified in the manufacturer’s warranty so I never pursued replacement or repair. Since my cost-per-year (based on total purchase price) was $20/unit, I simply treated them as “disposables” and discarded them after the 4th year. This Fall I’ll decide whether to replace both with the same models or choose a competitor product.

    This is not a “cool-mist” humidifier — it is an evaporative unit with a fan. The motor turns the fan and also drives a simple plastic impeller pump that circulates the water. There is a float connected to a power switch that will turn the unit off when the water level in the pan is low. My problems: both NiteGlow lights stopped working prior to the end of the 1st winter. I had assumed that the units would use a long-life LED, but that obviously wasn’t the case. During the 2nd winter, I had problems with one of the “float” systems, but was able to repair it myself. During the 3rd and 4th seasons, I had problems with the plastic fans rubbing the plastic case and causing noise – especially on “Hi” speed. For their last year of use, I could only operate the units on “Lo” fan speed. The fans would still rub the cases intermittently, and it was very annoying in the middle of the night or while trying to watch TV.

    On extremely dry days, the output capacity on “Hi” fan speed can truly be 3-1/2 gallons every 24 hours when the humidistat is on a high setting. Fortunately, the “Tote Away tank” is convenient to transport and easy to refill at a bathtub or deep kitchen sink. The fans were never “whisper-quiet” even from day-one, but you will tune them out as background noise after the first week of use. The digital humidistats worked fine until the 4th season when one died abruptly. They automatically turn the fan off when the pre-set humidity level is reached. For me, they sometimes stopped working temporarily after the units were cleaned, but they always started working again after the units had fully dried.

    I always had trouble with buildup of minerals on the filter, pan, and chassis, but this is presumably the price one pays for not having paper filters? The water in the bottom pans of the units tended to concentrate our local pinkish “Serratia marcesens”. This could probably be overcome with diligent (i.e. weekly) emptyings and cleanings. On Lo-speed, the water doesn’t seem to move fast enough to prevent mild stagnation in the bottom pan, and if you continue to use the unit once the ambient humidity naturally returns in the Spring then you may have trouble with moldy/musty smells since the water won’t be cycling very frequently.

    The pan and filter frame do clean up easily by hand or in the dishwasher (after the PermaWick filter has been removed). I only had a single “overflow” onto the floor by one unit after 4 years of use. That should be physically impossible based on the design of the unit, so I don’t know what caused it. I suspect that I was responsible for it in some way. Nevertheless, had an entire 3+ gallons spilled onto the floor (upstairs!), it could have caused some major damage. If I use these units again in the future, I may set them inside some large plastic storage boxes (or an unused bathtub) as a secondary overflow prevention.

    Positives: No paper filters! No white residues since the units are mist-less. The PermaWick filters lasted for 3 seasons, but they were inexpensive and easy to replace. The units are attractive in design, easy to use, and the non-moving parts (except for the nite-lite) are rugged. Ideally, the units should last for longer than 4 seasons, but at an average cost of approximately $20 per winter one can’t complain too loudly about the limited lifetime. If Hunter builds added quality into the unit, then the market price will undoubtedly increase to match.

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  3. Sara B "Mrs." says:
    24 of 25 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Going on our 3rd year of usage, December 28, 2007
    By 
    Sara B “Mrs.” (Hickory, PA) –

    This review is from: Hunter 34357 3-1/2-Gallon CareFree Plus Humidifier with PermaWick Filter (Kitchen)

    This humidifier has been great to us so far. Easy to use. We’ve had no leaks or troubles. We also enjoy the ‘white noise’ of the fan at night. The blue glow is neat, too. The first two years we used our very hard spring water. This will be the first year with softened water, so we’ll see how it goes.(I think a little hardness is necessary?) Much less messy than the cheap ones. The tank, when full, might be heavy for some to lug around, but the good thing is it has a handle and it won’t spill while you’re carrying it. I’d definitely recommend, and if I need another one, would go with the same one-even though it’s a little pricey in my opinion. I enjoy all its features too much to go without.

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