Bionaire BCM5520RC User Manual

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digital COOL MIST humidifier


Read instructions before operating. Retain for future reference.

Instruction Leaflet


If after having read this leaflet, you have any questions

or comments on your humidifier, call 1-800-788-5350 in North America.





When using electrical appliances, basic safety precautions should always be followed to reduce the risk of fire, electric shock, and injury to persons, including the following:

1.Read all instructions before using the appliance.

2.To avoid fire or shock hazard, plug the appliance directly into a 120V AC electrical outlet.

3.Keep the cord out of heavy traffic areas. To avoid fire hazard, NEVER put the cord under rugs or near heat registers.

4.DO NOT place humidifier near heat sources such as stoves, radiators, and heaters. DO locate your humidifier on an inside wall near an electrical outlet. The humidifier should be at least 4” away from the wall for best results.

5.NEVER place humidifier in an area where it is accessible to children. NEVER use humidifier in a closed room, particularly where a child may be sleeping, resting, or playing (a closed room may result in excessive humidity).

6.WARNING: Do not attempt to refill humidifier without first unplugging the unit from its electrical outlet. Failure to heed this warning may cause personal injury. Be sure to unplug the unit by pulling on the plug and not the cord.

7.Never place anything over moisture outlet when the unit is running.

8.NEVER drop or insert any object into any openings. DO NOT place hands, face or body directly over or near Moisture Outlet while unit is in operation. DO NOT cover Moisture Outlet while the unit is operating.

9.DO NOT operate any appliance with a damaged cord or plug,after the appliance malfunctions, or if it has been dropped or damaged in any manner. Return appliance to manufacturer for examination, electrical or mechanical adjustment, or repair.

10.Use appliance only for intended household use as described in this manual. Any other use not recommended by the manufacturer may cause fire, electric shock, or injury to persons. The use of attachments not recommended or sold the manufacturer may cause hazards.

11.DO NOT use outdoors.

12.Always place humidifier on a firm, flat, level surface. A waterproof mat or pad is recommended for use under the humidifier. NEVER place it on a rug or carpet, or on a finished floor that may be damaged by exposure to water or moisture.

13.DO NOT allow the Moisture Outlet to directly face the wall. Moisture could cause damage, particularly to wall paper.

14.Humidifier should be unplugged when not in use.

15.NEVER tilt, move, or attempt to empty unit while it is operating. Shut off and unplug before removing the water tank and moving the unit. If you have a warm mist humidifier, DO NOT attempt to remove the water tank within 15 minutes after the humidifier is turned off and unplugged. Serious injury may result.

16.This humidifier requires daily and weekly maintenance to operate appropriately. Refer to daily and weekly cleaning procedures. Use only cleaners and additives recommended by the manufacturer. Never use gasoline, glass cleaner, furniture polish, paint thinner, or other household solvents to clean any part of the humidifier.

17.Excessive humidity in a room can cause water condensation on windows and some furniture. If this happens, turn the humidifier OFF.

18.Do not use humidifier in an area where humidity level is in excess of 50%. Use a hygrometer, available at your local retailer or through the manufacturer to measure the humidity.

19.DO NOT attempt to repair or adjust any electrical or mechanical functions on this unit. Doing so will void your warranty. The inside of the unit contains no user serviceable parts. All servicing should be performed by qualified personnel only.

20.Never place housing under water flow, or immerse in liquids.

21.DO NOT plug in the cord with wet hands, electric shock could result.

22.DO NOT pour water in any openings other than the



water tank.

23.If you have a warm mist humidifier, allow unit to cool before refilling water tank or maintenance as the heater bulb is hot.

24.To prevent damage to surfaces, do not place humidifier under overhanging surfaces.

25.NEVER operate unit without water in the tank.

26.Do not move unit after it has been used until unit cools completely.

27.Use both hands when carrying full tank of water.




THIS PRODUCT IS EQUIPPED WITH A POLARIZED PLUG (a plug having one blade wider than the other). This plug will fit into the power outlet only one way. If the plug does not fit fully into the outlet, reverse the plug. If it still does not fit, contact qualified personnel to install the

proper outlet.


The length of cord used on this appliance was selected to reduce the hazards of becoming tangled in, or tripping over a longer cord. If a longer cord is necessary an approved extension cord may be used. The electrical rating of the extension cord must be equal to or greater than the rating of the humidifier. Care must be taken to arrange the extension cord so that it will not drape over the countertop or tabletop where it can be pulled on by children or accidentally tripped over.


Your Bionaire® Cool Moisture humidifier draws dry air through the rear air intake grill area. This air is then passed through 4 moisture–laden wick filters which retains the minerals and deposits. The resulting moist air is directed

back into the room from the top air grill.

Tip: This humidification system provides a cool, invisible moisture output. It is normal not to see the mist.


1.Be sure the humidifier is switched off and disconnected from the electrical outlet.

2.Select a location for your humidifier, on a flat surface, about 4" away from the wall. Do not place your humidifier on furniture, a floor location that will not be

Fig 1 Control Panel

Filter Monitor

damaged by moisture is best.

Reservoir Handle


3. Remove the water reservoir, by


holding the reservoir handle





and lifting straight upwards.





Wick Holder



1. Twist off the water reservoir





cap located on the bottom of



the water reservoir by turning



counter clockwise and fill the

water reservoir with cool fresh water. Do not fill with warm water as this may cause leaking.

2.After filling the water reservoir, replace the water reservoir cap by firmly turning clockwise and then replace the water reservoir onto the base.The water reservoir will immediately begin to empty into the base.


Your humidifier is equipped with a technologically advanced Digital Humidistat. You can set the humidifier to run continuously in manual mode or set the Digital Humidistat to your desired humidity setting. The Digital Humidistat will automatically turn the humidifier ON or OFF, depending on the preset comfort level. The comfort level ranges from 30% and 65% relative humidity.


1.Plug the humidifier into a 120V AC electrical outlet.

2.The display will show the current room humidity.

3.To start the unit, push the MODE button once for the HIGH (3) manual setting.

4.Press the button again for the MEDIUM (2) manual setting and again for LOW (1). After the selection is



A. Control Panel C. UP/DOWN Buttons
B. Mode/Off Button D. Timer Light LED Display
Fig 2

made, the display will return to show the current room humidity.

5.To stop the unit, press and hold the button for two seconds, or keep pressing the button until the display reads OF.


To take advantage of the Digital Humidistat, press the MODE button until the speed is set in either the Auto HIGH (A3), Auto MEDIUM (A2) or Auto LOW (A1) setting. Then adjust the set humidity by using the up and down buttons. Humidity will increase in increments

of 5%. When the humidity level is set, the display will return to show the current room humidity. When the room humidity level rises above the set humidity, the humidifier will stop. When the humidity level drops below the set humidity, the humidifier will turn on automatically.

NOTE: Allow up to 30 minutes for the filter to fully absorb water and for the unit to produce moisture.

NOTE: The Digital Humidistat Humidifier has memory. This means that when you turn the unit back on, it will be at the last setting the humidifier was set at.

If you do not plan to use the humidifier for two or more days, make sure any residual water is drained from the water reservoir, base and wick filters to prevent algae or bacteria growth.


The Digital Humidistat allows the user to program the humidifier to come on at a preset time, or turn off after a set amount of time.

Setting the Off Timer:

1.Select the Mode and or humidity you wish the humidifier to run in.

2.While the humidifier is running, press and hold the up and down buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds. The display will flash “00”.

3.By pressing the up and down buttons, program the humidifier to turn off up to 16 hours later in increments of 1 hour.

4.After setting the timer, the display will return to show the current room temperature. The Timer light will illuminate to show that the timer is activated.

5.After the predetermined length of time has passed, the humidifier will automatically shut off.

Setting the On Timer:

1.While the humidifier is off, press and hold the up and down buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds.

2.By pressing the up and down buttons, program the humidifier to turn on up to 16 hours in advance in increments of 1 hour.

3.The humidifier will continue to run on Auto Mode (HI) at 45% until the user shuts it off.


1.Insert 2 AAA batteries into back of remote control.

2.Press the Mode button on remote to begin operation.

3.Use the remote to control the same features as the base unit.

NOTE: The timer function can only be activated on the base unit. It cannot be activated via the remote control.

NOTE: The remote will not shut off the humidifier by holding the remote button for 2 seconds. The user needs to scroll to “OF” to shut off the humidifier with the remote control.

NOTE: Do not mix new and old batteries. Do not mix alkaline, standard (carbon-zinc), or rechargeable (nickelcadmium) batteries.

Replacing the Wick

Through normal use, waterborne minerals and sediment become trapped in the wick filter. The harder your water, the greater amount of minerals in the water, and the more often you will need to change your wick filter. Using the Filter Monitor located on the top grill, you will be able to check the life of the wick filter in your humidifier. When the unit is turned off the Filter Monitor needle will read “change”. After the needle reads change for 60 minutes, the filter replacement is recommended. Regular filter replacement is necessary to ensure optimal humidifier performance.



To replace the wick filter, follow the steps below.

1.Turn the unit off and disconnect from the electrical outlet.

2.Remove the reservoir and main housing to access the base tray.

3.Remove the wick frame from the base of the humidifier.

4.Remove each individual wick and discard. Do not remove rivet, replacement wicks come equipped with rivets for easy replacement.

5.Follow the weekly cleaning instructions.

6.Insert new filters into each section of the wick basket making sure the rivet attaches to the wick basket securely.

7.Do not use wicks without rivets as this will not produce the units intended output.

8.Replace the wick frame into the base and replace main housing and then tank.

9.Repeat Operating Instructions steps.

It will take about 30 minutes for the humidifier to reach maximum output.

You can obtain a new filter by calling 1-800-788-5350 in North America or by visiting your nearest retailer or authorized service center. This humidifier takes 4 model BWF100 replacement filters.


Humidifiers provide comfort by adding moisture to dry, heated indoor air. To get the most benefit from the humidifier and avoid product misuse, follow all instructions carefully, specifically the operation, care and maintenance guidelines. Please note that this is an electrical appliance, and requires attention when in use.

In addition, if you do not follow the recommended care and maintenance instructions, micro-organisms may be able to grow in the water within the humidifier’s reservoir. You must routinely follow the cleaning procedures that follow in order to ensure proper, efficient operation of your humidifier. Proper maintenance and cleaning is essential to the continued performance of your unit and the avoidance of algae or bacteria build-up.


1.Be sure the unit is OFF and is disconnected from the electrical outlet.

2.Remove the housing and the reservoir from the humidifier and place in sink or tub.

3.Carry the base of the unit to the sink, remove the wick frame and wicks, place in sink, drain any remaining water and rinse thoroughly to remove any sediment or dirt. Wipe clean, and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

NOTE: the base and wick frame are dishwasher safe TOP RACK ONLY.

4.Drain the water from the tank into the sink and rinse tank thoroughly. Wipe clean, and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel

5.Put filters back in wick frame, replace on base, replace the housing, then refill tank with cool tap water as instructed earlier in the Filling Instructions. Do not overfill.

6.Follow Operating Instructions.


Remove Scale:

1.Repeat steps 1-4 above.

2.Clean the base by partially filling the base with one 8-oz cup of undiluted white vinegar, or use Clean-Away by Bionaire®. Let solution stand 20 minutes, cleaning all interior surfaces with a soft brush. Dampen a cloth with undiluted white vinegar and wipe out entire base to remove scale.

3.Rinse with clean warm water to remove scale and the white vinegar solution before beginning to disinfect the reservoir.


1.Fill humidifier base with 1/4 gallon of water and 1/2 teaspoon of chlorine bleach.

2.Fill the reservoir 1/2 full with water and 1/2 teaspoon of chlorine bleach.

3.Let the solution stand for 20 minutes, swishing every few minutes. Wet all surfaces.

4.Carefully empty the base and reservoir after 20 minutes, and rinse with water until you cannot detect any bleach smell. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.



5.Check the Filter Monitor to see if it is time to replace the filters. Depending on water hardness in your area,

it may be necessary to change the filter every 1-2 months. Re-insert the wick filters into the wick frame.

6.Refill the water tank as directed with cool tap water, replace the humidifier housing, and turn the unit on.


If your humidifier will not be in use for two days or more, or at the end of the season follow these instructions.

1.Clean and dry the humidifier thoroughly as per the “Weekly Maintenance” instructions.

2.Let the humidifier dry completely before storing. Do not store with water inside the base or water reservoir.

3.Remove the reservoir cap. Do not store with the reservoir cap in place.

4.Throw away the wick filters. Do not leave a wick filters inside the humidifier.

5.Store in a cool dry location.

6.Order your new filters so they will be ready for next season.


1.Do NOT attempt to repair or adjust any electrical or mechanical functions on this unit. Doing so will void the warranty. The inside of the unit contains no user serviceable parts. All servicing should be performed by qualified personnel only.

2.If you need to exchange the unit, please return it in its original carton, with a sales receipt, to the store where you purchased it. If you are returning the unit more than 30 days after the date of purchase, please see the enclosed warranty.

3.Should your humidifier require service, please call 1-800-788-5350 in North America for further assistance.

4.If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to write to us or visit our website

The Holmes Group, Inc. Consumer Service Department 32B Spur Drive

El Paso, TX 79906

Fig 3

Trouble Shooting for your Cool Mist Humidifier


LED not illuminated.

Mist output minimal to none.

Water leaks from water reservoir.

Water Filter turns brown.

Film on water reservoir.

Water cloudy.

Humidistat cycles on/off.

Very tight reservoir cap.

Probable Cause

Unit not plugged in.

Power failure.

Filter has not absorbed water.

Mineral buildup in base.

Humidistat is set too low.

Wick Filter needs to be replaced.

Normal operation.

Rubber O-ring is missing or improperly placed.

Reservoir Cap not tight enough.

Your filter needs to be changed.

In areas with particular hard water your wick filter will need to be changed frequently.

Mineral deposits cause film on tank to build up.

Filter needs

to be replaced.

Using warm water to refill reservoir.

Humidifier is reacting to room humidity level.

Over tightened.


Plug in unit.

Check circuit breaker or outlet.

Wait 15 minutes before starting humidifier.

Regular cleaning of tray after each use will help keep the unit functioning properly.

Set the humidistat to high.

Replace your wick filter (BWF100) by calling 1-800-788-5350, or visit

Mist is invisible.

Check to see if inlet or outlet grills are blocked

Remove reservoir cap then replace or reposition ring.

Tighten the reservoir cap.

Replace your wick filter (BWF100) by calling 1-800-788-5350, or visit

Use Clean-AwayTM Solution (DMS216), to order call 1-800-788-5350, or visit

Replace your wick filter (BWF100) by calling 1-800-788-5350, or visit

Refill using cool water.

Set the humidistat to a higher or lower setting.

Add liquid soap or petroleum jelly to cap gasket to ease opening.




Bionaire® warrants to the original retail purchaser, for TWO

(2) YEARS from the date of original purchase, either to repair or replace at its option, without charge (parts and labor), any supplied or manufactured part of this humidifier which, upon inspection by an authorized service center, proves to have failed in normal use due to defects in material or workmanship, or, at its option, to replace the unit.

Operation under conditions other than those recommended or at voltages other than the voltage indicated on the unit, or any attempts by unauthorized personnel to service the unit or modify it, will render the guarantee void.

Bionaire® shall not be liable for any personal injury, property damage or any incidental or consequential damages of any kind (including water damage), resulting from defects, malfunctions, misuse, improper installation or alteration of the product.


The provisions of this warranty are in addition to, and not a modification of, or subtraction from the statutory warranties and other rights and remedies contained in any applicable legislation and to the extent that any such provision purports to disclaim, exclude or limit any such statutory warranties or other rights or remedies, such provisions shall be deemed to be amended to the extent necessary to comply therewith.


A Bionaire® consumer service representative will help determine which is the best procedure in order for your humidifier to be repaired.


Bionaire®, the Bionaire logoTM, and Clean-AwayTM are trademarks of The Holmes

Group, Inc. or its subsidiaries.