Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Humidifiers

At some point last winter, my humidifier decided to retire itself. I didn't replace it right away because it wasn't a big deal. Around here, what you need during the summer, if anything, is a dehumidifier. We get all kinds of moisture, trust me.

And then during the fall or something, I saw a tolerable one on sale, and foolishly I bought it. I say "foolishly" because I had already learned in the past, or so I'd thought, that cheap usually means crappy when it comes to humidifiers. (That's true for a lot of other things as well.) I suppose I thought it would be different.

Last week, the first cold, dry spell hit. How did I know this? I woke up all congested, runny nose, dry throat, the usual stuff. My humidifier said sorry dude, I know it's only about 30% in here, but I don't feel like working harder.

I turned the fan on high one night, just to see if it would help. It helped all right: it helped drown out the radio when I woke up. Humidity? No help at all.

So finally, after two days of emptying Kleenex boxes at work, I order a Hunter humidifier, the kind I had before. Bad news: they tend to break after a few years. Good news: they work great until something breaks.

It got here yesterday. I unpacked it, filled the tank (it has a big tank, which is nice except that you have to remember it's going to be heavy, 8 pounds per gallon and all that), and plugged it in.

57%, it says. I don't need to do anything yet.

Oh really? I says. I go into the living room. The hygrometer reads something like 28%. The cats agree: don't touch us, we've seen this before. The cheap humidifier, now sitting near the hygrometer, guesses about 30% and is quietly doing not much of anything.

I go back in the bedroom, thinking this one was broken in the box. Time for a return. Great ... only now it says 56%.

Oh, you thought I thought it was really humid? Joking! That was just because I was bored in the box. Give me a bit, I'll figure out what's going on.

Ha ha, very funny, Mr. Appliance. Eventually it realizes how dry things are, I set it and turn it on, and it's off.

40% last night in the bedroom, 35% in the living room, much better than before (I prefer 45%, higher sometimes depending on what's going on outside.) Came home today after all the rain we've had, and it's 45/40. Almost tolerable. To no one's surprise, my congestion has mostly cleared up.

Dry weather, cold weather ... why do I live this far north again? Oh yeah. No hurricanes. And it's cheap. And the cats don't want to move.

Lesson: don't go cheap. Cheap humidifiers are worthless.

5 comments:

  1. I still don't get how dry = congested. Seriously. Dry air dries out my sinuses....it doesn't make them run.

    If you have any suggestions as to where I can put a fountain for Laney (where the dogs won't get to it, because you know, if they touch it, Laney won't drink from it ever again) I am ALL ears. I left the sink dribbling last night and Laney was a ball of FIRE this morning...

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  2. Maybe it just makes it worse if you get congested. I don't know. I just know it's bad for me.

    I think you would have to put it on the counter in the kitchen, either that or work out some way of putting it on the dining room table. Having big dogs means you can't really put it anywhere that's reasonably low.

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  3. My old cat will only drink from a glass. I know who is trained.

    PS...I am aware that I should be working!

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  4. PSS...Why or Why isn't there a spell check on the comment section. It sucks to copy and past it out of word every time....If I had only leraned how to spell!

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  5. well, at least you're not watching TV at work.

    I don't think I can add spell-checking ... although I thought IE had a spellchecker built into it as well.

    (research) Oh, it doesn't? Maybe you could try ieSpell ... but if you can't download it at work, then I can't help you. (One of the advantages of working in IT is that I do have download and install privileges.)

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