REVIEW – It’s winter, and it’s cold. That means the heat is running a lot, and the air in our house is getting dried out. This irritates my skin and makes it more difficult to breathe, especially at night while I’m sleeping. The solution to this problem is simply to run a humidifier during the winter, and so I’ve been testing a new cool mist humidifier from PARIS RHÔNE.
What is it?
This is a top-fill, cool mist humidifier (model PE-AH017) with a four-liter capacity. It has four modes (manual, automatics, timed, and sleep), allows the addition of essential oils, and has a built-in nightlight. This humidifier is made by PARIS RHÔNE, whose goal is to “create products to add convenience to customers’ daily life and improve their life quality.”
What’s in the box?
- The humidifier
- User manual with 16 pages of English instruction
- 3 aroma pads (1 pre-installed)
- 3 dustproof sponges (1 pre-installed)
- Tank volume: 4 liters (1.06 gallons)
- Mist output: 100ml/h (low), 200 ml/h (med), 300 ml/h (high)
- Time on full tank: 14 to 30 hours
- Timer: 1 to 12 hours
- Recommended room size: 107 to 322 square feet
- Noise: less than 28 decibels
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Power: 20 watts
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 9 x 6 inches
Design and features
The humidifier has an elongated, cylindrical shape. It’s primarily made of matte black plastic. The top sports a grille pattern and a small nozzle where the mist sprays out. The front has a graceful touch interface with a white LED display. Around the rim of the base is a night light that shines downward. At 12.5 inches tall, it will take up some space in the room, but the reward is that it’s long-running. Overall, it’s a nice, pleasant design that looks great on my kitchen bar.
Installation and setup
The humidifier arrived in a rather flimsy box, though within it had custom cardboard padding on the top and bottom to protect it. I removed it from the bag and removed five pieces of tape that kept the parts from shifting around during transit. Another long piece of tape warned me to remove a foam sponge pad in the water reservoir before first use, so I did. I also removed a bright yellow warning label that reminded me that essential oil should not be put into the reservoir, that the humidifier should not be set on carpet, and that I should clean it once a week.
At this point, I read through the manual. Other than the very small font, I like this manual. It’s clear, the pictures are well labeled, and the layout is easy to understand. To use the humidifier, I need to do two things. First, I removed the tank cover from the top and poured in the water, taking care not to avoid filling above the height of the mist tube. Two, I pressed the power button to turn it on. It’s working!
Unlike most humidifiers, this one has three parts. The bottom part is the base; it is powered, has the controls, and converts the water into mist. The middle part is the water tank that has a tube that transfers the water from the base out the nozzle.
The top part is a lid for the water tank and has a nozzle that can be rotated 360-degrees to direct the mist.
There are six capacitive touch controls set in the base of the unit:
- The power control turns the humidifier on and off.
- The mist adjustment control sets the output to low, medium, or high.
- The timer control sets the timer in one-hour increments.
- The auto mode control activates automatic mode.
- The sleep mode control activates sleep mode.
- The night light controls turn the light on or off.
This humidifier has four modes of operation. The standard mode is simply using the mist adjustment control and specifying how much mist should be created. This is the mode that I use all the time. PARIS RHÔNE’s humidifier puts out a prodigious amount of mist. On high, the mist shoots about two feet into the air. Despite this height, occasionally a pool of water collected around the counter under the humidifier, which is probably why it warned me to keep this off the carpet. I wound up keeping it on low or medium most of the time. PARIS RHÔNE says that it’s good for rooms up to 322 square feet, but I believe this way underestimates the capabilities of this humidifier. I used it in the kitchen, which sits in the middle of my single-story house, and it easily provided enough humidity for the whole house, which is over 2000 square feet.
This humidifier has a sensor that detects the humidity in the air; this value is displayed as a percentage on the LED display. In automatic mode, the humidifier tries to keep the humidity level between 60 and 65%. These levels are fixed, but I think it would be more useful if I could set the levels myself.
The humidity sensor reading has to be taken with a grain of salt, as the sensor sits under the plume of mist that is generated. When on low it registered around 39% and when on high 69%. The humidity sensor on my Ecobee thermostat, however, did not vary nearly so much, only from 51 to 59%. If you want precise readings, you’ll want to get a separate humidity sensor and keep it away from the humidifier. Even you don’t have an external sensor, that’s ok, as the sensor on the humidifier can be used to give you a general idea of whether there’s lots of humidity in the air or not so much.
In timed mode, the humidifier will run for the specified number of hours and then shut off. As I run a humidifier non-stop during the winter, this isn’t a mode that I take advantage of.
The final mode is sleep mode. In this mode, the display and all LEDs are turned off. Although the night light built into the base is soft, it’s not something that I need. This mode is perfect for sleeping, and I use it all the time, especially at night. Kudos to PARIS RHÔNE for realizing that customers don’t always want more light pollution from their gadgets.
This is a “top fill” humidifier, which means I can remove the lid and pour water directly to the tank. I love this super convenient feature, and I would never again buy a humidifier where I have to pick it up, turn it upside down, open a release, and pour water in there. I also love that this humidifier has a 4-liter capacity. I can run it an entire day without having to refill it, which is twice as long as my last humidifier.
The engineers at PARIS RHÔNE have designed a couple means of protecting the humidifier’s motors. If I pick up the water tank while the humidifier is running, it will automatically stop until I put the tank back. Similarly, if the tank runs out of water, it will also stop.
This humidifier isn’t loud— PARIS RHÔNE says that it’s less than 28 decibels—but it isn’t whisper quiet either. In the normal hustle and bustle of a busy house, I can’t hear it at all, but when the house is quiet, I can hear the distinct whir of the motor. Even when it’s in sleep mode, I wouldn’t want to keep it in my bedroom, as I’m a light sleeper.
Humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly to avoid the buildup of mold and mildew. The best designs are those that make it easy to clean every part of the humidifier that comes in contact with water. On the one hand, PARIS RHÔNE’s humidifier has a good design, because the lid comes off the tank, and the tank comes off the reservoir. Everything is visible. On the other hand, there are several places that cannot be easily cleaned with a cloth, especially in the nozzle and around the moving parts in the base. Although the manual says that the humidifier can be cleaned with white vinegar or lemon water, in my experience bleach is required for these hard to reach areas, and as I prefer not to use bleach, I wish PARIS RHÔNE had designed this gadget with fewer such places.
The humidifier has a small tray on the bottom for adding essential oil. I put in a couple drops of essential oil from Norwex onto the white pad, and after a few minutes, a faint aroma filled the air. Although I’m not a huge fan of essential oils, this system worked well, and it wasn’t overpowering.
In the bottom of the water tank, there’s a dial that can rotate from locked to unlocked. There’s no explanation of this feature in the manual or what I should do with it. I’m not happy with this undocumented “feature,” as I have no idea why it’s there or what I’m supposed to do with it.
What I like
- Large capacity, top-fill water tank
- Plenty of cool mist comes out the top
- Sleek, capacitive interface
- Sleep mode
What I’d change
- Allow the automatic mode level to be user-specified
- Make the nozzle and other parts easier to wash
- Update the manual to include all the features of the humidifier
PARIS RHÔNE’s cool mist humidifier has a large capacity tank and can generate a lot of mist. After experimenting with its four different modes of operation, I found that manually setting it to medium and turning on sleep mode worked best in my house. I only have to fill it once a day and clean it once a week. During these chilly winter days when the heat runs a lot and dries out my house, I’m glad to have this humidifier running nonstop. If you’re looking for a way to increase the humidity in your house, I recommend taking a good look at this gadget.