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With the doors closed and heaters blasting, our homes, plants and bodies are stressed with all the dryness. This causes more illness than we realize, since moisture in the sinuses is important for our health and dryness in the nasal passages contributes to more infections.
I like to add pretty bowls of water around the house to add some moisture and have been placing pretty items (rocks, shells, marbles, even small decorations in them) just to make some pretty natural water scapes out of them. If you have any old fish tank items, include them if you'd like. I had some water based plants (they sell them in the pet store for fish tanks) that also make a lovely water scape.
Great for living rooms, kids room or even an elderly persons room since it adds a little natural feel and the only maintenance is replenishing the water when it evaporates. It really makes a difference in my sinuses to have them in the winter!
The weather here in the Minneapolis, MN area has been frigid for the past two weeks, temperatures hovering around 0 and below every night. With the furnace constantly running, I noticed that my house was very dry. I didn't want to turn on a steamer, (like what you would use when the kids are sick) because that would use a lot of electricity.
I went to the dollar store and picked up a couple of plastic banana holders (the ones you can hang bananas on). I then filled a flat bottomed bowl with around 2 inches of water and inserted the holder. Then I took an old dishtowel or you could use cheesecloth or any rag, for that matter, and draped it over the holder making sure that the towel is in the water so that it will wick up the water. I poured more water on the cloth and placed the bowls in front of a couple of heat vents. When the heat cranks on, it blows across the bowl/banana holder and takes the humid air with it. It really has made a difference in my home. Of course if you have pets or small children, you want to be very careful.
I have solved that problem pretty easily, Texan. First, get a good kitchen sponge with no scrubbing side. The good ones shouldn't drip! That is the key here. Cut it so it can fit into a snack-sized ziplock bag. Then, take the snack-sized ziplock bag, fold it in half and use a hole puncher to punch holes in it. Don't worry about if they are "clean" holes are not. It won't matter. Soak the sponge so it is saturated, then squeeze the excess off. Put it into the bag, and seal. Then, tie the bag to the ceiling heaters.
The downfall I've found to this is you have to refresh the sponge a few times a day if it is really, really dry and hot. I've found that it also works with a larger bag and the big car washing sponges too. Just follow the same method above and tie more securely since they'll be heavier.
As a note, it is cheaper to use the big car washing sponges. They are about $1.80 each at Walmart. =D
Our house is dry in the winter in Ohio, but my dog is afraid of the humidifier. I solved this problem by purchasing a couple of the plastic-coated wire racks used for organizing cabinets, and setting it over our floor registers for our forced-air furnace. I then place a damp, but not dripping wet, hand towel over the rack. As the furnace air blows, it forces moisture into the air. It works quite well, and it doesn't scare our dog. You may need to do this once or twice a day, depending on how often the furnace is running. It is also one less appliance that needs to be plugged in and using more electricity. If you still use dryer sheets (I no longer do), you can weave one of these through the rack and place the towel on top if it. It will act as an air freshener as well!
Since I was a little girl back in the 60s, my momma always placed a coffee can full of water on each heater vent in each room to add moisture to the air. Her momma always kept a big pot of water boiling on the stove while she was awake.
I like your idea about the fabric softener sheet...I never thought about that and am ALWAYS looking for a way to freshen the air in our house as my parents both smoke. I'm gonna try this one out...thanks for sharing!
Sheila in Decatur, IL
To combat dry indoor air (without the expense of running a room humidifier), place old containers of water in or near your heat vents (if you have forced air heat).
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I need frugal ways to get humidity in my house for sinus problems. Thank you all!
This method depends entirely on your environment, primarily whether you have pets or kids who could knock it over, and what kind of heating system you have. This works room by room, not for a whole house at once, but will help until you can get someone to install a humidifier, or until you can purchase some.
You will need some kind of container to hold water-ceramic or similar is best as it will get heated, or even a cooking pan. Then, you need someplace safe from accident to sit it. Best is in front of a heating vent or on top of a radiator, not as good is near a plugged in space heater (simply because it is plugged in, you have to be very careful with that). Set up your container, then add water. At first when it is really dry the water will have to be refilled frequently, as the humidity improves you will have to fill it less frequently.
A variation I learned was if you are in an apartment or someplace with one of those wall units, you can drape a very damp (not dripping) towel over a chair back in front of the air flow, changing it as it dries. Where I worked, we had a portable radiator, one of those heaters filled with oil; we brought in a saucer to place on it while it was on, and just refilled it when we though of it; kept the static shock way down in the winter, and kept us a little warmer too. Good luck!
I have the same problem. Put an aluminum pan or coffee can on the back burner on low (if you don't have a crock pot) with some water and apple/orange peels. I add some cinnamon and cloves. It helps the house, smells good and tosses away easy. Hope that helps!
I use a huge pot on my stove - put a couple sticks of cinnamon, a few cloves and if I have orange peels I add them. Let it come to a boil and then lower the heat to just a simmer. The pot will last all day - just be sure to monitor it so it doesn't go dry.
You can also use a crock pot - same method!
Insert sponge into baggy. Push to the bottom, and use hole punch to put in several holes near the top. Just above the sponge, but below the zip part. Fill sponge with water wringe out, not to much I leave enough for about half inch in the bottom of baggy. I taped mine to a hanger and hang on the wall.