Honeywell HCM-350 Review
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|Pros||Easy to clean, self-regulating evaporative humidifying||User-friendly interface, control through smartphone, easy to clean||Powerful, accurate humidistat prevents over-humidification, convenient remote control, easy to clean||Inexpensive, easy to clean, easy to use||Exceptional output, low lifetime operating costs|
|Cons||Requires replacement filters, filter can get moldy if left unattended for too long||Expensive, average performance||Somewhat on the expensive side||Not the most powerful, no advanced features||Confusing user interface, prolonged cleaning process|
|Bottom Line||This is a good choice if you appreciate the simplicity of evaporative humidifying||Extensive controls, smart home integration, and easy operation provide a trouble-free humidifier experience||A powerful model with all the bells and whistles you could want, perfect for those looking for high-end performance||The perfect budget model for smaller rooms (less than 150 square feet)||With excellent performance ratings and low operating costs, this is one of our favorite models|
|Rating Categories||Honeywell HCM-350||Levoit Classic 300S...||Levoit LV600HH||Honeywell HUL520B||Levoit Classic 200|
|Humidifying Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (35%)|
|Operating Cost (15%)|
|User Friendliness (15%)|
|Specs||Honeywell HCM-350||Levoit Classic 300S...||Levoit LV600HH||Honeywell HUL520B||Levoit Classic 200|
|Weight||9.6 lbs||4.3 Ibs||4.9 lbs||3.0 lbs||3.5 lbs|
|Dimensions||18.6" x 10.4" x 13"||9.6" × 7.5" × 13.4"||11.3" x 7" x 10.5"||8.5" x 8.5" x 9.5"||13.8" x 7.8" x 5.8"|
|Tank Capacity||1.0 gallons||1.2 gallons||1.6 gallons||0.5 gallons||1.1 gallons|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost||$203||$119||$159||$56||$99|
|Estimated Annual Electricity Usage||87.6 kWh||65.7 kWh||65.7 kWh||43.8 kWh||87.6 kWh|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Honeywell HCM-350 earned a decent score in our humidifying testing, putting it squarely in the middle of the test lineup. It brought our 150 square foot testing room to 45% humidity in just 34 minutes, almost twice as fast as some other models. It also reached a maximum humidity of 58.9%.
This machine doesn't have a self-regulating humidistat, but it has the advantage of being evaporative rather than sonic. It essentially uses a fan to blow air over a wet sponge. Water will naturally stop evaporating from the sponge once the humidity gets too high, so you don't have to worry about over humidification. However, you need to replace that wet sponge 'filter' every six months to maintain optimum performance and cleanliness.
Ease of Cleaning
Easy cleaning is where the Honeywell HCM-350 shines. The water tank has a large 3.5-inch opening that makes for easy scrubbing access, and many of the components are dishwasher safe. It is the only model we've encountered that allows you to wash some of the harder-to-clean bits in the dishwasher.
The manual suggests a 15-minute soak in a vinegar solution. It took us a standard 15 minutes to get everything clean, not including the soak. It didn't earn a perfect score because of the filter/wick it uses for evaporative humidifying. If you're not diligent with cleaning and completely drying out the humidifier when it won't be in use, the wick can easily get moldy. If that happens, you just have to buy a new wick for less than $10, as it's nearly impossible to clean.
The Honeywell HCM-350 felt fairly intuitive and simple to use and earned an above-average score in our user friendliness testing. Its interface is a single knob that adjusts the fan's speed that blows air over the wick.
The water tank is quite large, so you probably won't be able to fill it directly from the sink, but the large 3.5-inch opening makes refilling mess-free. The tank also has a nice handle and is easily removed from the machine.
The Honeywell HCM-350 didn't get a higher user-friendliness score because of a few oddities related to its evaporative humidifying method. First off, it makes more noise than any other models in our humidifiers review. It's not loud and just sounds like a small fan, but if you're looking for something quiet, this isn't the machine for you. We also found that it made a weird clicking noise when set on its highest setting, which was annoying.
This is the bane of the Honeywell HCM-350. Its fairly low list price saved it from getting a terrible score, but those replacement filters every six months will add up.
It also uses a fan instead of a sonic agitator, which uses more electricity than many models (0.02kWh per hour, to be exact).
This led to an estimated lifetime cost of $203. This is higher than the estimated lifetime cost of most other models.
Should You Buy the Honeywell HCM-350?
The Honeywell HCM-350 is a good humidifier that can handle medium to large-sized bedrooms and has the advantage of evaporative humidifying that naturally adjusts based on the room's humidity. However, that evaporative style also requires replacement filters, making this model cost more than average in the long term.
What Other Humidifiers Should You Consider?
Perhaps the more apt comparison of the Honeywell HCM-350 is to the award-winning Levoit LV600HH. Though the Levoit costs much more upfront, it is less expensive in the long run. You'll get much better performance if you can justify spending more money now instead of later. But if you're shopping for a full-size humidifier on a tight budget, consider the price point Levoit Classic 200.
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