Maintenance-Free Humidifier
April 2004
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The CareFree® Humidifier from Hunter Fan Company (Jacksonville, FL, U.S.) made its European debut at HomeTech. Mike Nelson, Hunter’s product manager of Home Comfort, says the key feature of the portable humidifier is its top-down water dispersion and exclusive filter or wick design. “Conventional humidifier wicks sit in water and suck up the water,” he explains. “Over time, minerals clog up the paper filter until it can no longer soak up the water, and you have to replace it.” Hunter’s new humidifier, however, uses a PermaWick filter, which is said to offer increased life, more effective performance, and cost savings. The filter, which is exclusive to Hunter, is made of extruded aluminum with a ceramic coating. A pump brings the water up out of the tray and cascades it over the wick to keep it moist and evenly distributes the water to prevent mineral buildup. The ceramic coating holds the water on the wick surface as air moves through the inlets, creating humidity that is then brought into the room.

In addition to eliminating filter replacement, Mr. Nelson says the humidifier has also been designed to resist mold and other bacteria that can build up in traditional humidifiers. Hunter has added an antimicrobial chemical to the resin used to construct all of the appliance’s plastic parts. “This additive is mixed before the molding process. It is not a surface coating, so it won’t wear out or gas out,” Mr. Nelson explains. This eliminates the need to purchase and add chemicals to the humidifier, he adds, which is what many consumers do to address bacteria buildup. The base and the tank are also dishwasher-safe.

Other features include a two- or three-speed fan (depending on model), an adjustable thermostat, an auto shut-off/refill light, and Hunter’s exclusive NiteGlo™ night-light. According to Mr. Nelson, the blue LED was added for aesthetic purposes, but also to illuminate the tank at night for easy checking of the water level.

Hunter is offering two models to the European market—a 7.6-L model for up to 105 m2 coverage and a 9.5-L model for up to 122 m2 coverage. Both are now available.

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