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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.
During this cold winter weather, the air in our homes gets terribly dry and some people don't like the added work of keeping a humidifier machine clean. An easier way to keep moister in the home is to keep a pot of water on a low burner on the kitchen stove. The added moisture also distributes the heat more evenly and it keeps us warmer. The only drawback is that the pot gets crusted over with calcium from the water and seems to ruin the pot. A very easy way to clean the pot is to put straight vinegar in it and wipe it out with a sponge.
By Retha from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma