bill750 wrote:Evaporative? I'm guessing the water is evaporated out of this thing into the atmosphere of the room? How do other humidifiers get the moisture into the air? Also, does anyone know how quiet or noisy this unit is?
The other types of humidifiers are ultrasonic ("cool mist") and those that have a heating element ("warm mist"). Ultrasonics have a little metal plate that vibrates, ie atomize, the thin layer of water that covers it. The ones with a heating element are basically making steam from the small pocket of water around it.
Ultrasonic's disadvantage is that unless you use distilled water, all the dissolved minerals in the tap water become dust. There are also concerned with bacteria being released into the air.
The ones with a heating element, like other hot appliances, need to have an open perimeter around it. Tap water minerals will also calcify on the heating element, so you'll need to do regular maintenance (vinegar wash) or it'll become a rock.
Speaking of which, minerals will also collect on the evaporation wicks, so you'll need to take into consideration the ongoing expense of replacing them. I guess you can use vinegar to clean them somewhat, but you won't be able to scrub them down.