Light up the month with an energy-efficient light bulb. See how your frugal month results stack up against those of our reporter.
Best Humidifiers, Quiet Humidifiers
Humidifier Performance (continued)
Quiet Humidifiers.Humidifiers generally go where people congregate or sleep, so noise level is an issue for at least some consumers. We read humidifier reviews indicating that some of the best humidifiers pass the sleeping baby test, others generate welcome white noise, and still others are irritatingly loud.
Moisture Output.Apart from a few dissident voices, consumers seem satisfied with the ability of these cheap humidifiers to add moisture to the air. In reviews on Home Depot, the Crane EE-5301 is lauded as one of the best humidifiers for sending plumes of cool mist into the air that work wonders on sinuses and congestion and enable plants to thrive. The Vicks V745A scores with consumers posting on Viewpoints who say this model sends out comforting mist in a matter of minutes -- enough to warm cool air, clear up dry skin, and stop nose bleeds; one user cautions against closing the door in the room where the humidifier is running to avoid condensation settling on the walls. Dry, itchy eyes are soothed with mist from the Honeywell HCM-630 QuietCare, according to humidifier reviews, and even mid-sized rooms get nicely humid, although we did note some grumbling about inaccurate humidistats.
Humidifier Durability.Longevity and reliability are must-have attributes in the best humidifiers, even in low-cost models, but the paucity of user comments about this topic lead us to conclude that the cheap humidifiers on our list are fairly durable. Of course, we found scattered reports about units that ceased functioning after a few days or a season in storage, but for the most part, complaints about durability are rare. One exception among the models we researched is the Holmes HM630-U, which is panned by users on a variety of websites for tanks that crack (after dropping while trying to refill) or leak, auto settings that don't know when to stop cycling, and fans that seize up.
Our reporter took the frugal month challenge and saved $328 during February by forgoing haircuts and new clothes and finding free entertainment.
Women who think they may be pregnant can choose a free test at a clinic or doctor's office or cheap at-home tests.