Pros: Sleek looking machine, great automatic controls
Cons: Water tank design is awful
I bought the BCM657U to replace an older Bionaire that had been performing yoeman duty for the past four years. (The old unit was getting too dirty around the fan and the water reservoir was looking nasty with the lime build up.)
The BCM675 was on sale at a local hard goods retailer. I had seen it in action at a buddy's house and he said it was a good unit, so I bit.
The BCM is a tower unit with the reservoir in front and the fan on top. There is a backlit front panel with a simple two button control. There are three modes: Manual, Timer and Automatic. Automatic is where you set the desired humidity. The on-board hygrometer monitors the room humidity against your desired humidity, and activates the unit when needed.
The footprint is very small and the entire unit is maybe two feet and a change tall. The main body is white and the tank is a dark translucent gray. It is very unobtrusive and should fit into a corner of any room without distraction.
The filter is washable, which is nice. In the past, I have gone through at least two, perhaps three, filters each winter. There is a filter quality monitor at the very top of the unit.
The quality of the materials seems consistent with past Bionaire units, and other makes. It's all plastic. The water reservoir seems to be made of a more brittle material, so I wouldn't go about dropping it.
Using the BCM is a simple task. Reading the owner's manual is not necessary as the controls are fairly intuitive. The automatic mode is quite effective. The relative humidity readout is also quite handy to have. It is basically a "set it and forget it" machine (except for the water refill)....
The real price of a sleek tower design is that filling the tank is a pain. The opening is a rather large screw cap on the bottom of the tank. The problem is that there is no handy grip to hold the tank while you're filling it. I've taken to fill the tank in our bathtub, which is the only plumbing tall enough to accommodate the length of the tank. I hold the tank with two fingers inside the tank. Once you've filled the tank, you've got to put the screw cap back on. Now THIS is the real pain. The top of the tank has a handle, which means that it is not flat. In fact, it simply rests on the leading edge of the handle. You cannot set the tank down and leisurely screw on the cap. I have taken to hugging the tank with my left arm while screwing the cap with my right hand. After a few tries, I don't even get wet anymore...
The good news is that, because of the large opening (and being able to fill it with our bathtub faucet), filling the tank is quick work.
The tank is just a BAD design.
A lesser inconvenience is the fan noise. It is noticeably more noisy than our old unit. However, it is a steady hum, so it generally disappears into background noise.