Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Humidfier Hack

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Slow Cooker
A while ago I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to try using my slow cooker as a room humidifier. I didn't get around to it until recently.

After waking up with a mild headache two mornings in a row, I decided that the heat must be kicking on at night and drying out the air enough to cause me some sinus pain.

Time for some extra humidity.

So, I filled the slow cooker all the way with water, just to make sure it didn't run dry. I set it for high, manual cooking, which is 14 hours of cooking time.

With the lid on, just venting through the probe hole (it has a thermometer function) it sent about 1/3 of the water into the air. Since it's a 6-quart cooker, I'm estimating that it was about 1/2 gallon of water.

How much water yours would throw depends on the model, so you might want to test it to see how long you can run it without it running dry.

And, for two more nights in a row, I didn't have a headache and my sinuses didn't feel dry and weird when I woke up. So apparently that's enough water (for now) to keep my sinuses happy while not turning the room into a rainforest.

Downside is that the slow cooker does get hot, so if you're thinking about doing this, you need to find a place for it where it's unlikely someone will touch it or run into it or knock it over while making a late-night trip to the bathroom.

For us, it's not a big deal because there aren't any kids in residence, and the furry creature can't jump up to where I put the slow cooker. But if you have kids or cats (or big athletic dogs) then placement of the slow cooker is going to require some very careful thinking.

I don't know if 1/2 gallon of water will be sufficient when the heat is on all day long, but if it's not, I can run the slow cooker with the cover slightly ajar to release more steam. And of course I can run it during the day as well, rather than just at night. But for right now, the output seems sufficient for my needs.

Upside to the slow cooker as a humidifier is that it's all easily washable.

My big gripe with the room humidifiers we've had previously is that there's always some ridiculous corner or valve or something that's nearly impossible to clean well, and if you don't get to all the nooks and crannies, there's a good chance you're throwing mold in the air along with the water.

So there ya go. It works, if you can find a safe place to put it. Not, like, perched on your headboard.

I'm pretty sure the manufacturer would point out that this is a kitchen appliance and not a bedroom one, but if you've got a surface that's as stable as your kitchen counter and you're very careful about using it ... well, use it at your own risk.

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant! I threw away a humidifier last year for the very reason you mention--just too hard to keep clean well enough to ward off mold growth.


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