Pros: Large tank, quiet operation, easy to clean, excellent output.
Cons: Does not have a tank light.
My four year old has entered cold and flu season with an early head cold. The change in climate here in Florida for very humid to dry has added to the problem. I had been intending to buy a humidifier for about a week now as my son has started having nose bleeds due to the drier air. After listening to him sniffle with his newly stuffy nose one night while reading him a bedtime story I went right out the next day and bought a new humidifier. I say new because we had one up until last year. It was a model made by Vicks, which I thought should be good, but it died an early death after only two years of sporadic use.
This time around I opted for a Walgreens brand humidifier as we have had very good experiences with their products in the past. Normally Walgreens will have top line manufacturers private label products for them and in this case the manufacturer happens to be Sunbeam. Sunbeam has long been a reputable maker of quality home products although their reputation suffered in the late 90s and eventually they filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002. Since that time they have been acquired by Jarden a corporate umbrella with a large number of well known brands including Rival, Oster, Mr. Coffee, First Alert, and many others. Since its acquisition by Jarden Sunbeams products have returned to the quality for which they had been know for many years.
The Walgreens Cool Mist Ultrasonic 2 Gallon Humidifier allows for up to 20 hours of continuous humidification on one fill of its 2 gallon clear tank. The clear tank allows the user to easily see when the tank needs to be refilled. The manufacturer claims that the tank is designed to fit under most bathroom faucets. The tank opening is extra wide to aid in cleaning. The mist outlet twists to allow control of both direction and volume. The unit starts misting immediately using cool ultrasonic technology.
The first thing I noticed about the humidifier is how quiet it is. The old Vicks unit we used to own was much louder with a humming sound that could easily be heard. The Walgreens humidifier is, in contrast, virtually silent. With the mist that is immediately projected into the room you can be sure it is working. The only thing I have noticed is that you have to remember to shut it off when not needed because it runs so quietly it is easy to forget it is on. As far as water usage it seems to use water slightly faster than the advertised 20 hours. Possibly the 20 hours is achieved when the tank is filled to the absolute brim and the adjustment of mist flow turned down to its bare minimum. It seems to me that filling it to almost completely full and turning it to a very moderate mist flow it will run for about 16 or 17 hours. One thing that is nice about this unit is that with the ultrasonic humidifier the mist is cool, so in a warm climate such as Florida youre not adding heat to the air. My son was very surprised and a little perplexed that the steam wasnt hot. Try explaining the concept of an ultrasonic humidifier to a four year old. The way that it works is there is a metal diaphragm that vibrates very quickly . Daddy, whats a diaphragm? Well, you remember your body book? The diaphragm in your body moves back and forth to squeeze and expand your lungs so you can breath. So the humidifier breaths? No, its a different kind of diaphragm. Does the humidifier have lungs, Daddy? .. In any event, my son thinks the humidifier is pretty cool, literally and figuratively.
Another nice feature of the humidifier is a cleaning brush that is stored in a slot under the water tank. I really like the fact that they thought about storage of the brush knowing, Im sure, that many of us would probably lose the brush within days if it was loose in the box. The brush is used to remove mineral deposits from the water sensor and nebulizer. The directions recommend using either distilled or filtered water to avoid mineral deposit build-up. To me this makes a lot of sense, especially in areas like Tampa Bay where we have very hard water. Cleaning the water tank itself is incredibly easy as the filling cap is very large. Ive got pretty big hands and I can get them inside the tank without any problems. Of course given that this is a humidifier they recommend you do not use detergents to clean the tank.
Overall Im very impressed with the way the humidifier operates, its quietness, and ease of cleaning.
1 year limited.