The last time I had humidifiers in my house before this one was almost 20 years ago, when you had to put salt in them to get them to work. Very low tech. This machine is like a whole new world, with choice of cool or warm mist, double nozzle, and the programming functions, which are my favorite thing, unless my favorite thing is being able to take the lid off and just pour in more water instead of taking the tank to the kitchen.
I'm running warm mist 24 hours a day to keep my house between 55 and 60% humidity, for the sake of my nose as well as my houseplants. At bedtime I make sure it's full, set it at the lowest output so that it will run more steadily instead of cutting on and off frequently (steadier noise level is better for sleeping), and set it on "screen off" instead of sleep mode so that I can keep my warm mist all night. I have a "weather station" one room away that confirms the humidity level claimed by the humidifier (good to know), and a small hygrometer two rooms away shows humidity between 50 and 55%, which is great considering the distance and square footage involved.
Because nothing is perfect, here are the downsides:
1. This is not easy to clean, no matter what anyone says. No humidifier is easy to clean, and there are always parts you can't reach adequately to make sure they're clean. In this case it's a square "flapper" or whatever it's called in the sink that doesn't lift up high enough to really get underneath it. The thought of that pink/orange mold lingering anywhere gives me the creeps. I do the best I can, with three different brushes and a nylon scrubber, and hope for the best.
2. There is a little fabric rectangle with holes in it (see my photo) that sits on top of the little "hot plate" in the sink, and I apologize for the bad lighting here but you can still see that it started to disintegrate the last time I washed everything. So that's in the trash and I put in the spare one that came with the machine, but what am I supposed to do when the next one falls apart? I don't even know the name of it, and when I tried to look at Elechomes website I could not find anything. This is going to be a problem unless I can run the machine without it.
3. I bought the supplemental filter to put in the tank, and I'm undecided about how well that is working. You can tell if you have vaporized minerals from hard water floating around in your house because your stovetop flames will start to turn orange instead of the usual blue, because they're burning off the sodium (there's a great YouTube video demonstrating this which could save you a panicked call to your gas company). Within a week after placing the filter in the tank my stove burners went back to blue, so I thought hooray! It's working. However, it's only been a little over a month and the yellow flames are back. However, I don't have any of that "white dust" that everyone keeps talking about, so maybe filter is still working, maybe not. Undecided.
4. That little thing on the top of the machine that lets you put essential oil in so your room will smell like, say, a cedar forest? THAT DOES NOT WORK AT ALL. Nothing. I saturated that little pad with cedar oil and smelled nothing in the air, except when I was cleaning everything in the kitchen. I soaped up that little pad to clean and rinse it out, and the 17 drops of cedar oil rose up and almost knocked me down. The essential oil zone sits between the two output nozzles, but the vapor does not pass directly through it, so there is just no way for this thing to work. I have a little cheap $40 cool mist humidifier that does a much better job with this function, as the mist runs directly through the area where you have put the essential oil. So don't buy this Elechomes machine for any aromatherapy.
So I'm pretty much very happy with this humidifier except for worrying about that little rectangle, and pink and orange mold. Just as a side note, if you're shopping for this machine you might notice the Rakzu machine which looks exactly the same as this one, exactly, just with a different brand name on it. Interesting. It's cheaper, but this one currently offers a coupon which makes them about the same.