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Cool mist humidifier


Elisabeth
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Ummm, back to the topic at hand....

A very long time ago I had a cool mist humidifier in the baby's room. Somebody turned the "spout" toward the crib, and in the morning my baby was soaking wet!

The thing about minerals in the water becoming white dust in the room is true....

No cool mist for me, although the store and workshop desperately need higher humidity.

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How does one effectively de-humidify?

Dehumidification is also a tricky subject. Less expensive dehumidifiers, like what many people use in their cellars, add heat to the room and are very noisy. One way to dehumidify is to use an air conditioner. We have a music room with an excellent Steinway piano for which it is desirable to maintain a more-or-less constant humidity level. Our solution was to get a "split" air conditioner which has the condenser unit completely outside the house. Inside the room there is just a fan unit which is very quiet. This works very well in the humid months but it is quite expensive. During the dry months we use an appropriate small humidifier. We use a digital humidistat bought at Radio Shack which seems pretty accurate and we manage to keep the humidity level between 40% and 50% all year long. There are some transition months in the Spring and Fall that are difficult due to high humidity but cooler temperatures. I keep my violin and viola in this climate-controlled room most of the time so the only humidity stress they get is when I have a day-long gig. I have one of the "bottle" type case humidifiers so there is not too much problem in the dry months. I'm not sure how to handle short exposure to high humidity though.

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For the last couple of years I've been using the filter type 'cause you can leave them running nonstop and they don't make a lot of dust. I got tired of dealing with the squeakiness and the mineral buildup on "permanent" filters on the two Hunter humidifiers I'd been running for a couple of years, so I ditched them at the end of last winter.

Last month I invested in a couple of cheapie humidifiers that use filters you replace every couple of months. These are somewhat high maintenance, but I have hope that they will relieve more than exacerbate my drying-up tendencies. The violins do benefit from my struggles with these things, at least as much I do. Walmart got me this time. The new humidifiers roar, but in my neighborhood a little white noise is good for blocking out the neighbors' car radios, barking dogs, and firecrackers/gunfire.

Built-in furnace humidification is still probably the best way to go, if you've got the means.

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If you need dehumidification and cooling, a conventional air conditioner works well. I have mine set for a longer cycle time than normal to make it more efficient at removing moisture.

For the months when I need to dehumidify but not cool, I use a cheap Gold Star brand dehumidifier. It has two fan speeds, and dehumidifiers are much quieter than they used to be. It was about $140 at Wal-Mart.

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I've been battling winter nosebleeds most of my life. I have an Aprilaire on the furnace and have two floor models going all winter. Here are my humidifier conclusions. No humidifier is perfect.

* Ultrasonic humidifiers are very quiet. They also put out mineral dust and they don't last very long. I've never had one last more than a few weeks. I'm told they will last indefinitely if filled with distilled water.

* Steam humidifiers are also quiet and can put a lot of moisture into the air quickly. The downside is high maintenance. To keep them running you must clean the mineral deposits off of the heating elements weekly by soaking it in vinegar and scraping it with a knife.

* Wick humidifiers are a bit more noisy. The noise level varies a lot from brand to brand and model to model. The wicks don't last very long.

My current favorite is the Lasko 1128 9 Gallon Cascade Humidifier. It pumps water to the top of the wick so the wick wears out evenly and lasts quite a bit longer. Lasko's 3 gallon model also worked well, but it has a trickling water noise that drove me nuts. I threw it out.

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Anyway, the humidifier that I bought was only $30, and I bought it at Target. It uses plain tap water, and the filter needs to be changed every couple of months. (I also need to pour out the water and change it every day.) I also keep a Dampit in the cello, and the cello stand is located near my bathroom so that it will benefit from the dampness.

I recently bought a humidity sensor from Shar for about $20, and I will keep that on a shelf near the cello.

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