Posts Tagged ‘humidifier’

Asian Ingenuity: Cup Shitsuki USB Humidifier (Review)

 Sinus Sister lets off steam at work

Dear Santa,

Is it too late to add this to my Christmas list? It’s a portable humidifier disguised as a cup of ramen noodles. And it runs off a USB port. How cool is that? James Bond’s inventor, Q, would approve. So does Sinus Sister, who has often felt like a lizard in the desert while stranded at a desk with dry heat billowing from baseboard heaters. No more.

While the Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic travel humidifier is perfect for hotels, the Cup Shitsuki USB Humidifier ($80 USD) blends into the average desk—a graveyard of take-out containers. The Cup Shitsuki holds about 75 ml of water. creating cool mist in about 3 minutes. It’s supposed to last about 4 hours (reviews concur) and it has stabilizer feet so it won’t tip over. Most importantly, it’s red, which my favourite colour. For a real review, check back in 2012, after Santa delivers. That’s a direct hint to Handsome Manling, if he’s reading.

Steam Cleaned: How to Pick a Humidifier

Sinus Sister consults The Boogor Doctor

His real name is Dr. Russell Faust, but most people know him by his online name, The Boogor Doctor. He works at Lakeshore ENT, in Michigan, but he helps patients everywhere via his cool blog. Sinus Sister is not a doctor—with the science scores to prove it—so she laps up the good doctor’s advice on how to hunt for a humidifier. Boiling a kettle, it seems, is not enough. Here’s what you should know:

 

 

The Three Types of Humidifiers:

1- Evaporative

This type of humidifier uses a cloth or mesh belt that acts like a wick: it dips down into a vat of water, then rotates up so that a fan can blow across it and evaporate the water off the belt into the air. Effective way to humidify the air, but these have some downsides.

2- Ultrasonic

This is the so-called “cool mist” humidifiers. These use a small ultrasound transducer to vibrate a stream of water so that the water vaporizes. Effective, inexpensive. These have their own special disadvantages as well.

3- Steam Vaporizer

These are little more than a pot of water with a heating element that boils the water to produce steam. Very effective, but of course, they have their own issues, too.

Most of us are also familiar with the humidifier on our central heating system, if we have forced-air heat. The only thing to keep in mind with those is that the system should be cleaned. How often? I have no idea. The thing to do is to read the instructions for proper maintenance. I have asked several people if they have ever cleaned theirs, and the standard response has been “what?”.

There is another type of humidifier that I have no experience with – the “impeller” humidifier. These produce a cool mist using a rotating disk. I suspect they may have issues similar to the Ultrasonic type of humidifier (see below), but I have no personal experience with them.

So, after years of using these other 3 types of humidifiers in my home, including experience with multiple belt-evaporative humidifiers growing up in my parent’s home, here is my own assessment. My apologies to humidifier manufacturers. No doubt some will take offense at my admittedly simple and anecdotal comparison of these types of humidifiers, but this is based on decades of personal experience, and experience with each of these types of humidifier.

(1) Evaporative (2) Ultrasonic (3) Steam Vaporizer
Efficiency Efficient Efficient Less efficient
Construction, Ease of Use Complex Simple Simple
Cost / purchase $$$$ $$ $
Cost / to run $$ $ $$
Cleaning Challenge to Clean Easy to Clean Easy to Clean
Microbe risk: mold, etc ++++ ++
Boogordoctor endorsement + + +++
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Blood Simple: Dexter, Nosebleeds & Sinus Sister’s Dark Passenger

Sinus Sister’s Draws First Blood

“What would Dexter think of this splatter pattern?”, I wonder, looking at my pillow case…

 

 

DEXTER MORGAN enters a disheveled BEDROOM, and heads straight to the blood-splattered PILLOW, but not before finding an empty bottle of TYLENOL SINUS on the floor and noting a GLASS OF WATER on the bedside table. Detective ANGEL BATISTA eyes some LINGERIE on the floor. The RED NEGLIGEE is surrounded by crumpled KLEENEX. The two detectives exchange a LOOK.

DEXTER

It’s not what you think, Angel.

ANGEL

              It’s not? Chances are, we’ll find her body in the vacant lot next door.

DEXTER

(Dexter looks out the bedroom window at the VACANT LOT and sees RAGWEED)

She’s not dead.

DEXTER returns his attention to the PILLOW. His eyes trace the BLOOD SPLATTER.

DEXTER

(CONT’D)

It’s low-velocity splatter, from zero distance. There was immediate contact between her head and the pillow. See the smear? It’s from tossing and turning all night. She’s about 5’6″, 120 lbs.

Dexter surveys the bedroom, looking for something. He notes the empty ELECTRICAL SOCKETS.

DEXTER

No humidifier. That’s it. The dry air gave her a nose bleed in the middle of the night. She panicked.

ANGEL

Well, where is she?

DEXTER

At the pharmacy, getting more Tylenol Sinus.

ANGEL was satisfied by DEXTER’S explanation, but DEXTER looked nervously out the WINDOW at the VACANT LOT.

DEXTER

(voice over)

She’s not at the pharmacy.

She’s going to kill the Slum Lord responsible for the ragweed next door.

ANGEL holds a file labelled MISSING, and crosses off the name SINUS SISTER.

DEXTER

(voice over)

A sneezing fit woke her up. She saw the blood and met her own dark passenger.

DEXTER has a violent SNEEZE.

DEXTER

(voice over)

I’m gonna help Sinus Sister kill this deadbeat.