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CrockPot as a humidifier

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Barbara from New Jersey:
I've had great success in using an uncovered, small crockpot as a humidifier.  I use a 1.5 quart size.  I fill the crock with water.  I added a few drops of essential oils (thyme, eugenia caryophyllata, cinnamon) I had on hand, and added some outdated clove, allspice and cinnamon sticks I found in my spice cabinet.  Instead of using a facial steamer which I found cumbersome, I added these items to the water.  The essential oils were geared to promote relief from sinus conditions.  Other spices can be used as well. 

My home smells heavenly!  This is very easy to do and the moisture provided has really helped to keep my sinuses moist.  I used to run 2 12 gallon humidifiers (one for downstairs and another for upstairs), lugging gallon jugs of water constantly, changing the filters every month and adding bactericide to the water.  I still would get sinus headaches from dryness. 

The crockpot stoneware insert will need washing every few days to a week just because the essential oils leave a film and you don't want a build up of bacteria.  You can find these small crockpots for $10 - 15 at department stores.  I placed the crockpot on a heat proof tile and stuck it in the corner of my bedroom on a small table.  The moist warm air is very soothing for your nasal membranes and good for your skin during the winter.

Even though we are having a very mild winter here in NJ, the heat is on and the moist hot scented air is making a huge difference.  Thought I would pass on this discovery.. my ENT thought this was a wonderful and easy solution to the dry air. 

Loanne:
This is a great idea!  I have an aquarium, so haven't worried much about moisture in the air, but my sinuses seem dry a lot, too.  And we are NOT having a mild winter here in Idaho!  About 5 in. of snow yesterday, more like normal for this area, except for the past several years.  Anyway, I do have a small crockpot that I'll crank up tonight!  Thanks for the suggestion.

Lynda (Fl):
How clever, bet that smelled great, too.

Greentree:
That is clever! I live in a humid state, and try not to use my electric heat.  If I need to use the central heat, I will keep that in mind!

Bob Niland (Boundless):
Using a crockpot as a humidifier is either a benefit or a hazard. If it's a benefit, it's not my problem.

The big advantage that a crock has over a purpose-built humidifier, such as an ultrasonic, is that the crock only releases the water and volatiles into the air. Minerals and other things that don't evaporate below the boiling point of water, remain in the crock (and have to be cleaned out, which will be much easier if you don't let it run completely dry).

A crock is less energy efficient than an ultrasonic, but since you're more likely to need it in winter, the excess heat is not wasted.

I generally prefer an ultrasonic, but it depends heavily on the water used. Our well produces liquid limestone. If we humidify with it using our ultrasonic, it coats everything with calcium carbonate. In addition to being a cleaning nuisance, I suspect this can actually result in failures of electronic devices around the home.

So, rock the crock.

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