I saw this humidifier at Lowe's and I had to have it, even though it was more expensive than what I usually pay for humidifiers. I have propane heat and it can get very dry at my house, so I usually buy a new humidifier each year. I have asthma and allergies, and one of my big offenders is mold. I usually don't keep a humidifier longer than a winter season because they are so hard to clean. I don't trust them to be 100% mold-free, so I usually buy an inexpensive humidifier each fall.
This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier has three parts: the base, the tank, and the head where the mist comes out. The base is white, and it has a two-pronged electrical cord and a power on/off switch. There is also a knob on the front of the base to control the amount of moisture that is released. The tank is the main body of the penguin, and it has a handle on top to make carrying it easier. To fill it up, you flip over the tank and unscrew the cap. The head part of the penguin is the cutest part. The penguin's beak is open and the mist comes out of the beak!
This humidifier makes no noise while it is running. It has a one-gallon water tank, and I usually run it almost for 24 hours. The box says it will run at maximum for up to 11 hours, but I really only need to fill it up once a day. This is probably because I don't have the setting turned all the way up. It is easy to tell if you have the moisture level turned up too high, because if the mist sinks when it comes out of the humidifier, you need to turn it down until the mist rises upwards. The humidifier also turns off automatically when the tank is empty. The box says that this humidifier will work in rooms up to 500 square feet. My bedroom is a lot smaller than that, so this humidifier works well for me.
When the water level gets low, you simply remove the penguin's head and lift the tank off the base to refill it. I was annoyed when I did this the first time, because the handle for the water tank is located right under the penguin's head. It therefore had a lot of condensed moisture on it from the cool mist stream, and my hand got wet. There was also a little water pooled in the top of the tank (that had also condensed) near the handle, and I have to remember to tip the tank backwards so the water will run back down into the tank. If you don't have this humidifier near a sink (as I don't), you might want to have a towel handy to prevent it from dripping on your carpet or floor as you take it to be refilled. It has never leaked for me, but because the mist comes out of the top of the tank and the cap to refill it is located on the bottom of the tank, you can't turn it upside down to prevent any drips from where the bottom of the tank has been sitting in the water of the base.
The box says that this humidifier's power consumption is 120 Volt, 60 Hz, 32 Watt. There are detailed instructions about how to disinfect this humidifier on Crane's website. I think I will probably keep this humidifier and try to clean it, since I paid more for it than I have for most other humidifiers I've had. It does the job while adding a cute penguin to your decor.
Update On Nov 08, 2009: I had planned to use this humidifier for at least another season, but when I unpacked him and tried to use him a few weeks ago, he didn't work. The base was excessively hot and no mist was coming out. I left him on for a few hours, but the base just got hotter and the water level never went down. I went to Target and priced other humidifiers, but I ended up getting this exact penguin one again because the cheapest humidifier they had was only five dollars less than this one. I really like the ability to direct the mist by turning the penguin's head, which allows me to move the humidifier around and keep the furniture from getting damp. This feature was important enough that I didn't mind getting a humidifier that I knew would probaly only make it through one winter. I did save the water tank and penguin head from my old one in case I need them with the new one.