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.