A good humidifier is helpful in a wide range of situations, and that's why the Air-O-Swiss 7147 Digital Warm & Cool Mist is our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner. With cool mist for the summer and warm mist for the winter, as well as digital controls and timer cycles, this unit is going to be the perfect fit for a wide range of situations. The designers have addressed many of the common annoyances with humidifiers, and we think you will benefit greatly from their forethought.
The Air-O-Swiss 7147 employs an ultrasonic design – meaning it uses high-frequency vibrations to break water into a fine mist. You can opt to have the mist heated to approximately 104 degrees, or you can have it stay cool throughout the process, which makes this appliance ideal for both summer and wintertime use. It also represents an avenue for energy savings. If you keep the heater switched off, you are only using 45 watts. An ultrasonic design also guarantees a relatively small amount of noise, important to most humidifier users.
This humidifier pumps out a very respectable 552 cubic centimeters of humidity per hour and will work well for a room that measures up to 650 square feet. It will run for 12 hours on one tank fill. There are units that last longer, but 12 hours is going to be more than adequate for most situations. This unit weighs in at less than 7 pounds, and that is plenty portable in our estimation. You also will have more than 5 feet of power cord to work with in order to position your humidifier exactly where you want it in the room.
Humidifiers of the past had a real tendency to become like giant petri dishes, growing a host of bacteria and fungi. The EPA website states, "Proper care and cleaning of ultrasonic and impeller humidifiers is important for reducing potential exposures to microorganisms, such as bacteria and molds." The best humidifiers of today take an active approach to preventing microbial growth. In the case of the AOS 7147, the Hydro Stick feature is designed to keep things clean by acting as a back-up filter. Also, some of the plastic housing inside the unit is treated with silver, which some studies have shown to have an antimicrobial effect.
The Hydro Stick lasts about one year and must be replaced at a cost of about $30 each time. You will also have to replace the demineralization cartridge regularly – at least every three months and more often if you have hard water. It is somewhat frustrating to have to buy them, but it is even more frustrating for most folks to find that white dust left all over the room by this and most other ultrasonic humidifiers when you don't buy the cartridges. That white dust is one of the trade-offs you make when you invest in an ultrasonic machine. Without their proper equipment, they all spew that dust. We think the ultrasonics' wonderfully silent operation and ultra-fine steam are well worth it, though.
This unit is so smart that it automatically regulates how much moisture it is producing based on the temperature of the room through its Intelligent Temperature Compensation feature. In Sleep Mode, it pre-determines a comfortable night humidity level. A timer allows you to set and forget the AOS 7147. It will shut itself off at a time predetermined by you.
We like that this unit will tell you when it needs to be cleaned and when it is empty. It also will shut itself off when it is out of water, an important safety feature. An included nightlight is a nice way to solve two problems with one appliance, and a carry handle makes filling the tank easy.
We love the digital display and push-button controls on the AOS 7147. Most humidifiers still only offer clunky dials even when so much of our world is digital. We feel you should be able to expect to control most modern appliances at the push of a few buttons, including humidifiers.
This unit offers a split nozzle. We always look for that because it points outgoing mist in two directions so you get more coverage of the room. The nozzle also rotates 360 degrees so you can aim it to your best advantage. An included cleaning brush is another thing that makes this appliance very convenient. We always prefer a clear water tank because it helps create a visual reminder to keep it full. The tank on the AOS 7147 is easy to see and see through so you don't forget about water levels.
The only thing that could make this humidifier easier to use would be dishwasher-safe components. This is not a common feature but one that we really value as it saves a lot of time and effort in terms of cleaning.
Air-O-Swiss is a very well-respected company that offers a wonderful three-year warranty on its humidifiers. The long length of that warranty is a very good sign that this machine is built to last. We also found excellent customer support whenever we went looking for it with this company. We got quick responses to emails and we got friendly and helpful people over the phone as well. The one thing we could not find on the Air-O-Swiss website was a manual. In fact, the Air-O-Swiss website as a whole could have been more informative and helpful, but it was still better than most we compared.
This AOS 7147 is excellent in all of the most important ways and represents our favorite mix of features overall among air humidifiers. This ultrasonic unit reliably offers both cool and warm mist at the touch of a few buttons, and it does all of that without making much noise. Refill and cleaning indicators help you keep on top of maintenance needs, and it comes from a reputable company. With regular maintenance, this should be a humidifier that improves your quality of life for years and years to come.
This ultrasonic unit is virtually silent and produces either warm or cool mist. The digital display is a nice bonus.
Parts of this unit are not rated as dishwasher safe, and others will need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Well executed features, a large reservoir and a large volume of mist make this humidifier reliable and useful, the best of our group.