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Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc #2726673
04/05/18 08:55 AM
04/05/18 08:55 AM
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New England
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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Hi, There!

I'm an old-time PW member and continue to visit here now and then. I'm checking in now hoping for some advice.

My Air-O-Swiss has pooped out so I need to buy a new humidifer. The Air-O-Swiss company is now Boneco - models have changed and there are newer, different ones available so it's: "Oh, my! "What to buy?"

I'm wondering whether to buy Boneco's current model 2055A, which is closest to the Model #1355 Air-O-Swiss I'm replacing - or - Boneco's Model model 2200 which is a bit different and seems like an upgrade. Or a Venta, if they're still around. Or maybe some other Super Dooper Brand humidifier I haven't heard about!

Any comments on these and other units will be much appreciated.

I did a search for "humidifiers", "air o swiss" and "boneco" in all of the forums thinking I'd get a lot of hits but didn't come up with anything with discussions about which units to buy.

What's the buzz on humdifiers these days???

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
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Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726675
04/05/18 09:27 AM
04/05/18 09:27 AM
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I'm not an expert on all things humidifier, but I'm happy with my Ventas.


Learner
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726696
04/05/18 11:06 AM
04/05/18 11:06 AM
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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Hi, Again. I have a follow-up question for Malkin, and a particular question for Boneco 2055A owners.

Hi, Malkin.

Thank you for responding. Would you be able to add a little about cleaning your Venta?

Do you periodically need to take any discs apart on your Venta to wash them?

And if so, is it easy to get the discs apart/separated?

The reason I ask is...

The "heavy duty" cleaning my Model 1355 Air-O-Swiss (2006 model) requires every so often is a real challenge. The rotating discs must be separated which requires an *extreme amount of pressure*. Forcing the plastic component (ring thingy) off so the discs can be separated from the spindle they ride on is so difficult I can't do it. I have to ask my husband to do it for me. I've always wondered if I got a defective part or something. Even my husband has difficulty with it. It feels like you're going to break plastic parts to get the thing apart.

Hello, Boneco Model 2055A Owners
(Hoping you're out there!):

The Boneco 2055A appears to be an updated version of my 2006 model Air-O-Swiss. I'm wondering if it's easy to separate the discs from the spindle on the 2055A when doing the thorough cleaning?

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726715
04/05/18 12:17 PM
04/05/18 12:17 PM
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Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
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Jeanne

Cannot offer any specific advice on the brands you are inquiring about but have a question of my own:

In general terms do you find that a room humidifier helps a lot in keeping the piano sounding good??? Mine is sounding really bright and tinny again after - obviously - several months now of the furnace pumping warm, dry air into the house.

Thanks

Tom


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726726
04/05/18 01:19 PM
04/05/18 01:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
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Rocky Mountains, USA
EP Offline
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Sorry to hear about your Air-o-Swiss. I have the same model which has been going strong for a good 10 or 12 years now. What happened that yours died? I dread having to replace mine, although I suppose it's nearing the end of its useful life.
p.s. I know what you mean about the discs. I finally gave up and just put the whole assembly in the dishwasher every now and again and that seems to do the job well enough.
Good luck and please let us know what you find for a replacement.

Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726732
04/05/18 01:41 PM
04/05/18 01:41 PM
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The Heart of Screenland
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I had horrible experience with air-o-swiss. I keep two different hygrometers in my room to keep an eye on the humidifiers and the one AoS I had was massively over humidifying the room even when I turned it down to it's minimum of 40 rh. which also happens to be my target rh. I complained and got a new one that did the exact same thing. This was one of the higher models (now discontinued) that cost a little over $200 at bed bath and beyond. I also had trouble with white dust AND the cost of the filters that was supposed to stop the white dust. Previous to that, I had another brand that broke after 8 months and previous to that I had a cool mist type with the fan and the spongy filter that rapidly became extremely gross.

On the advice of a violin maker, I switched to a stand alone humidistat and a bog standard vicks steamer that you buy at target or walmart for $15-20 dollars. The humidistat I got from Amazon for about $50.

I've used this for 3 years now and I couldn't be happier. I'm still on my first steamer and the humidistat has worked flawlessley. If the steamer did fail, replacement is LESS than the cost of an air-o-swiss demineralization cartridge and as close as the nearest Rite-Aid, Target, Walmart, Walgreen's etc. The unit is almost as quiet as an ultrasonic mister. There are NO consumables, no filters, no cartridges, no liquids, nothing. Maintenance is very occasionally (for me once or twice a year) soaking the head unit in vinegar when the steamer starts to sputter or steam output is reduced. Did I mention there's no white dust and no manky filter? There's no buildup of living crud because the water is boiled in the head unit before emitting as steam. In my three years I've never noticed anything moldy or slimy in the tank. You do get some black powders sitting in the bottom that is inorganic minerals precipitated out of the water when it boils. My room stays a little warm normally because of the soundproof walls and the four panes of glass but the steam itself doesn't seem to make it much worse. On the humidistat, I can set a "deadband" of my choosing so it doesn't click on and off as fast. I have it set to just a few degrees so the humidifier doesn't turn on until about 38-37 before kicking in and bringing it up to 40 rh. There are no controls on the steamer, just a power cord but it does have a low water shut off so it won't burn your house down if it uses up all the water. In fact I sometimes rely on it when adding water. If the jug is in my hand, I just pull up the head unit and pour in the water with no apparent ill effect.

Here's the humidistat I use. It's actually less than $40.

humidistat on Amazon

Caveats: This is a small to medium room set up. You could certainly daisy chain to another steamer from one humidistat if you double check the current draw ratings. Hard water and long run-times will shorten the maintenance cycle but that's true of all humdifiers. Just like all humidifiers, the more they run the more often you have to add water. In my not particularly demanding usage, most of the time, adding water is once a day until we get into our mild springs when the furnace never turns on and we stop having Santa Ana desert wind conditions.

Just food for thought,

Kurt


**********************************************************************************************************
Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: malkin] #2726735
04/05/18 02:06 PM
04/05/18 02:06 PM
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Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by malkin
I'm not an expert on all things humidifier, but I'm happy with my Ventas.


I use three Venta Air-washer humidifiers and have always been very happy with how they function, with the fact that there are no filters to replace and that they are very easy to maintain.

They have several new models with advanced technology and control features, but still have the basic models, too.

See their website at https://venta-usa.com/

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726749
04/05/18 02:50 PM
04/05/18 02:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,281
New England
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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Furtwangler:

In answer to your question, I’ve never noticed the Air-O-Swiss having an effect on the tonal quality of my piano. I have, however, noticed having my piano tuned during low humidity times of the year results in what I call a “glassy” tonal quality, so maybe that answers your question? I keep the humidty range around 34-38% throughout the day. My Air-O-Swiss has no integrated hygrometer built in so I must I manually turn it on and off to manage the humidity level.

I hope this helps.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726751
04/05/18 02:53 PM
04/05/18 02:53 PM
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New England
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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New England
EP:

You ask what happened to my Air-O-Swiss. For several years now it has worked only on the high setting. Then this past fall it started making clunking noises and at times the discs would not revolve when I turned it on.

So I’ve been checking each time I turn it on to make sure the discs are actually turning. To do this I remove the water cannister so I can actually see the discs themselves. Feeling air coming out of the unit does not guarantee the discs are turning - the fan works independently of the discs. At first when it started malfunctioning I was fooled thinking “I feel the air circulating - the discs must be turning.” when, in fact, often they were not turning at all.

So for this fall/winter season, I’ve been doing a visible check of the discs when starting it up and if they were not moving - I could get them to start rotating by lifting up the top part of the unit and reseating it onto the water basin. Or jiggling the unit. Or turning it on and off a few times.

None of these fixes work anymore. If I remove the top part with the motor and fan, and turn it on, the fan in the top part of the unit turns, but once I seat the top part onto the base water reservoir, all I know is the discs are not revolving.

Is the motor no longer powerful enough? Are there calcium deposits in inaccessible locations causing the gears to slip?

I read calcium build up might be an issue. I cleaned some calcium deposits from the rod on one of the gears in the top part of the unit. That didn’t help.

I’m reading reviews from people who have the Boneco Model 2055A (that’s the closest model to our old Air-O-Swiss. They’re saying the design of the the water cannister makes it awkward to fill it. I found a pic showing the fill opening is on the side of the cannister, it’s no longer at the top. Nifty.


Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726756
04/05/18 02:56 PM
04/05/18 02:56 PM
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New England
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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KurtZ:

Thanks for the info. I read with interest your comments about the steamer type humdifier.

There are different types of humidifiers. I’m guessing the Air-O-Swiss you had in the past that left white dust was a steamer type. I've read reviews about steamer type humidifiers leaving a white mist. The Air-O-Swiss I have is an air washer type - they work on a different principle. I believe it is impossible for this type of humidifier to ever leave white dust and I certainly have never experienced that with my Air-O-Swiss.

I’m partial to the “air washer” type humdifier. I don’t know if I could get used to seeing steam being released in the house.

I appreciate your sharing that the set up with the Vicks humdifier is for a small to medium room. Our Air-O-Swiss effectively keeps our old leaky (uninsulated) 1915 circa house reasonably hydrated, keeps our 33x18 livingroom and 18 x 12’ attached sunporch around 35-40% humidity most of the time during most frigid times (say, under 20 degrees F). It does seem from your comments that the humidifier you have would be a good choice depending on individual preferences. 😊

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726764
04/05/18 03:14 PM
04/05/18 03:14 PM
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A previous tech highly recommended the Venta Airwasher, precisely because it doesn't leave white dust in the house. However, I quickly got tired of lugging it back and forth to the sink, especially after I managed to spill it. Too bad you're on the other side of the country because mine is barely used and is up for sale!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!) 🐱
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726814
04/05/18 05:28 PM
04/05/18 05:28 PM
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NYC
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Not exactly on topic, but for years i've used a cold-water wicking humidifier that performs adequately (a Bemis console model) but I'm getting tired of the chore of filling its water tank twice a day. I was using it just as a supplement to the Dampp-Chaser installed under the piano, to help it along on really cold winter days. But I started forgetting about it, so I just hope the D-C is enough for the job.

We used to live in a house with central heating that allowed water to feed into the humidifier automatically when the furnace was on. That was the ticket...never had to think about filling a humidifier.

Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726818
04/05/18 06:07 PM
04/05/18 06:07 PM
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New England
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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twocats:

Yes, it’s fun lugging these things back and forth to the sink, aint it?

I’ve reviewed info about the Venta and Air-O-Swiss.

So far I’m leaning towards buying the Boneco 2055A Air Washer. One deterrant about the Boneco Air Washer is the manufacturer’s says the unit requires use of their “Hydro Cells” which are to be replaced every 1-2 months at $20 a pop for 2. These are carbon type filters - and take the place of the “Silver Sticks” that were used in the older models like mine. The Boneco rep I spoke to today said they discontinued use of the silver sticks about a year ago.

I never used the silver sticks - I have always used Bacteriostat additive in the water instead. Boneco’s website, however, specifically warns not to use”water additives” as they say those will destroy the plastic in the unit. Really? That warning sounds a little odd to me.

So…that’s a $40-$60 expense every fall/winter in addition to the cost of the cleaning additive they recommend and the cost of the unit itself. I’m not very enthused about that.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726821
04/05/18 06:23 PM
04/05/18 06:23 PM
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New England
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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RealPlayer:

Hi, How Are You???

It’s good to hear from you!

Remember The Good Old Days here at PW.

I’ll check out the Bemis console model you mention. I also seem to remember discussions about a unit (was it called a “Scuttle” or something?) that was a dream. Big installation, that one required, though, and not a possibility for our house.

Really, wouldn’t you think someone would come up with a humidifier that's easier to use and take care of?

Right now we’re in EMERGENCY HUMIDIFYING MODE here. My hubby just brought up a portable 2 burner stove top unit and we have it running on low with a large frying pan filled with water sitting on top. Not sure how much good this will do and I’m antsy about this being safe. Naturally I just got my piano tuned about a week ago, so my piano will probably be going “out” sooner than usual. Humidity is 28% now, normally I keep it around 35%. CRAP. (Can I say that on PW?)

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726873
04/06/18 12:39 AM
04/06/18 12:39 AM
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I'm pretty lazy and don't love refilling the humidifier, but I like breathing, so I put up with the inconvenience.

For cleaning, I brush out the reservoir when it is slimy or crusty and follow the directions for using the venta cleaning solution. (Dump the container in and run it for a while)

Sometimes I spray them with the pulsing shower head, but I don't look too closely at the cylinders. I'm allergic to everything, so I figure I'd notice if there were something.


Learner
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726889
04/06/18 05:04 AM
04/06/18 05:04 AM
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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JEANNE W.!!!

What a great surprise to "see" you here. We miss you here on PW, you know.

I have a variety of customer situations and everyone is different. Many customers choose a simple console humidifier, other opt for the air washer, or the vapor/steam humidifier.

I have a personal experience in our new showroom in King of Prussia, Pa. The showroom has forced air heat and we began by using two large console humidifiers. These worked well until it got darn cold for an extended period. We would notice that we would need to fill them more than once per day and that in the morning when we arrived they were dry. We were struggling to keep the humidity up and the pianos did not like it.

Our solution was to add a newly designed system to our forced air. It has made a tremendous difference. We still use one console and we pretty much fill it once per day when it is COLD but we easily keep the RH over 35% with no worries..... and the pianos are happy again!


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726909
04/06/18 07:57 AM
04/06/18 07:57 AM
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Fayetteville, GA
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Here in the South (Atlanta), it's always the opposite for me. On the coldest of days here the humidity in my house gets down to no lower than about 35%. In the summer without dehumidification, it gets up to 70+%!! The darn things run all day and I constantly have to empty them.

Marcus


Marcus Valdes
Fayetteville, GA
Kawai RX-5, Kawai MP11
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726933
04/06/18 10:45 AM
04/06/18 10:45 AM
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Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by Jeanne W
twocats:

Yes, it’s fun lugging these things back and forth to the sink, aint it?

[...]


I don't "lug" my humidifiers back and forth to the sink. Instead, I fill a large (5.38 litre) bleach container with water and transport it to the humidifiers. Much less chance of a spill that way, since the container is designed with a relatively small opening and is designed for pouring.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: BruceD] #2726934
04/06/18 10:45 AM
04/06/18 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Jeanne W
twocats:

Yes, it’s fun lugging these things back and forth to the sink, aint it?

[...]


I don't "lug" my humidifiers back and forth to the sink. Instead, I fill a large (5.38 litre) bleach container with water and transport it to the humidifiers. Much less chance of a spill that way, since the container has a relatively small opening and is designed for pouring.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Humidifier Advice, Please. Boneco-Venta-Etc [Re: Jeanne W] #2726942
04/06/18 11:36 AM
04/06/18 11:36 AM
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Jeanne W Offline OP
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malkin:

I know what you mean about the cylinders/discs.

I do clean them but it seems not to make much difference and it’s such a pain.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
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