Pros: Inexpensive, quiet
Cons: Steam production is not consistent nor reliable. Vaporizer leaves large amount of black residue.
I live in California and the winters here are very dry which causes havoc with my nose. Having a dry and crusty nose is not pleasant. My nasal passages become so dry they will crack and bleed.
I purchased the Vicks Vaporizer. The difference between vaporizer and humidifyers is that vaporizers heat and boil the water to produce steam. The local grocery store carried this model for approximately $20.
The unit is simply packaged in a cardboard box with nothing to assemble. The unit is two pieces, one is the white plastic tank which holds 1.5 gallons and the other is the heating unit that fits inside the tank. The unit boils the water to produces warm mist to add moisturize the air.
The major problem with this unit is that it does not produce steam for the stated 18-24 hour period. I set it for 9PM and by the time I wake up at 5:30 - there is no steam. The tank has approximately 1/2 gallon of remaining water at the bottom but no steam.
The manual states that you may need to add pinches of salt to the water to increase the steam but after experimenting over several nights, I have given up. No matter how much salt I put into the water, I do not get consistent steam production.
Add water directly into the resevoir by lifting up the cap. You can adjust the direction of the steam by aligning the cap. I have turned the steam direction to flow over my bed.
There is a pleasant green night light that burns when the unit is plugged in. When running, the system is almost noiseless except for the subtle boiling noise which is pleasant.
I strongly suggest putting a towel under the vaporizer unless you want a wet floor which could be very dangerous at night and can ruin your floors or furniture. This unit also works best in a small room such as a child's bedroom, it is not effective in a larger area.
Also - every morning when I look at the machine to try to figure out why it has stopped making steam, the water is filled with black nuggets and particles. Of course I was disturbed and read the manual which stated this was normal due to the agitation of the water. Supposedly, these black particles are produced from the water content. I have used other vaporizers and have never experienced this before. This could not possibly be hygenic.
Due to the dirt and grime accumulation, this requires that I dump out the old water that is very dirty, rinse out the cannister and refill with clean water. The unit is not dishwasher accomodating.
I do not recommed this model and I have returned it.