Well, so much for the exciting category. Yes, this week’s project is something other than what I’ve been working on, but it’s not very exciting…though that won’t stop me from trying because at least there is something to work with. I have to choose which humidifier is going to be the one I’m using from here out. See, my dad didn’t like the one I was using because he thought it was too much trouble. It didn’t bother me at the time but he got me one similar to the one he uses in his bedroom for me to use in mine.

Quite honestly I think it is the better one.

I’ll go into why but there’s also something else I had to do with both of them because I made a mistake and this week I had to correct it. As autumn is now going and winter is close behind the humidity is going down. I’ve been noticing my skin is getting a bit drier and as someone who already has to deal with dry skin and staying hydrated because of the Crohn’s and it’s related issues as well as my various sinus issues this week it was time to start using the humidifier again. Although maybe I should have drained the water out before I stopped using them.


This is where I would post a picture of the humidifier I picked up and go over it, but it’s still drying out as I write this so it wouldn’t have been a good picture. The box will have to do, but you can see what it is. My mom had picked up a large humidifier for the bedroom years ago and I even used it when my sinuses got too bad. So when I finally got one of my own I picked a smaller version, only about 1.5 gallons, which fit into my room. Vicks does make a good humidifier. It works by heating the water into steam, which is good for winter and for colds. There’s even a cup for pouring in medicine. The vapor collects the medicine as it goes into the air and that adds the stuff that helps break up congestion. I do recommend it if your nasal issues are worse than mine.

However, there are some issues. For one it’s not easy to carry. I didn’t mind the trouble but when I got sick my dad had to carry it up and down stairs every time it needed refilling until I recovered enough to do so myself. I think this is when he opted for a replacement. The 1.5 gal version only needs to be refilled maybe once a week, not really any different from the one he got me. I don’t really use the medicine part that often; in fact I think I used it once when I borrowed the large one and I don’t remember even using it with this one.

Another problem is it doesn’t have an off switch. I had to unplug it when I was done with it. That problem was actually solved with this little outlet switch on the left. You plug the machine into this thing, then plug the switch into the outlet or in my case extension cord. Except the cord I’m using doesn’t have a three prong option, the new model for plugs that used a third for grounding. Lucky for me they also have this adapter to fix that problem. I used the same thing for my little studio Christmas tree, and it works good. I shouldn’t need a work around though. Why not put an off switch on the machine to begin with?

Another problem comes from cleaning the humidifier. Weekly maintenance requires filling the reservoir, then stirring in bleach, then after letting that sit drain it out and clean out the bleach smell. Meanwhile the actual heating unit had to be submerged in vinegar to clean out the particles since adding salt to the water when using was also part of the requirements and that plus any minerals in the water formed little black pieces that had to be rinsed out. Come to think of it this thing really was a lot of trouble, but it was effective.

So my dad got me this instead. From Air Innovations, this uses a cool mist rather than a warm mist. No heating the water (and the machine) because it’s an “ultrasonic” humidifier. That means sound waves or sonic vibration for people worse at science than me, and for a guy who watches and sometimes writes science fiction that’s a sadly smaller number than it should be. (Maybe that’s why I write science fiction instead of science fact? 😛 ) Being a cool mist also means it starts up a lot faster, not needing to wait until the water heats up enough to have a satisfying spray, and I can even adjust how much comes out at once. With the warm mist you had the one setting. This even has an off switch so I don’t need to use the adapter. I’ll keep that in case I need one in the future though. They’re quite handy, like with the Christmas tree. Using a ceramic filter also means I don’t have to add salt and have it melt into little pieces that have to be flushed out later.

It’s also easier to carry. Just remove the tower from the base, take that cylinder downstairs to fill, and bring it back up. Technically I can carry it with one hand if I hold it right. That means not worrying about getting anything wet by letting the heating unit sit there while I bring this big tub down and up stairs. Cleaning just requires water, though if you have hard water using a filter for the water first is recommended in the instructions.

I should note that if I’m careful there’s less chance of everything being wet or the heat damaging the furniture like one spot on my dresser. Right now it’s sitting on a TV tray with a towel underneath in case it springs a leak. I do want to get or make a small table to put underneath. As for the Vicks’, I may still keep that for emergencies or if I do need the medicine option.

What I really wanted to do this week was dust, maybe do a review for this week’s article. However, this took priority because I’m tired of having dry skin, and the cooler “clean mist” does still help with my sinuses as I’m getting over a cold or sinus infection or something. Last night as you read this (tonight as I write it) will be the first time I’ve used it in a while and letting water sit in these things…the Vicks’ as I tested the Air Innovations machine and both as I forgot to clean them in the warmer, more humid months of the year…was really a dumb idea. I’m lucky there wasn’t a mold build-up or other things that concern you where standing water comes in. I had to rinse out and clean the base of the Air Innovations machine too (a brush is supplied) because stuff collected all this time. Now I’m ready to keep from drying out.