Watering the Radiators

by Josh on January 25, 2006 · 5 comments

in Journal

Ms. Bungalow has a new household ritual. Every morning and evening she walks around the house with a watering can to water the radiators.

Okay, so she’s actually pouring water on old towels set on top of the radiators. This is our latest scheme to achieve a comfortable home humidity level during the cold winter months without buying an electric humidifier for every room of the house.

Last year we tried something similar with metal pans of water set on the radiators, but the pans didn’t allow as much surface area for water as the towels do, so they evaportated more slowly. They also showed all the mineral scale left behind when the water evaporated and that was gross. Besides, by the end of the winter the water, minerals and heat had combined to rust holes in a couple of the pans. (They were cheap to start with…)

So this year, we thought we’d give the towels a try. I have to confess that I don’t think I feel much of a difference in the humidity since we started using them, but we are adding at least a couple gallons of water to the air each day. Plus if the towels get gross mineral deposits on them, I can just pop them in the washing machine.

These radiators and the cold Minnesota winters have both been around a lot longer than me, so maybe there are better ways to hydrate my house that I just haven’t thought of yet.

Do you have a clever way to boost winter house humidity? Or do you know a good product that could help? Drop me a comment while I go water the radiators.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Saple January 25, 2006 at 4:48 pm

Over at House in Progress they had found metal pans that hang from the back of the radiator that you fill with water. They stayed out of sight so no ugly metal pan and then seemed not to rust through.

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Patricia W. January 25, 2006 at 5:55 pm

I think the pans they had were original to their house and they were soooo cool. I don’t know where you’d get anything like that today.

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Josh January 25, 2006 at 4:55 pm

Thanks for the tip, Saple!

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Lillian January 26, 2006 at 12:56 am

L.L. Bean used to have ceramic/clay pots with lattice lids for this kind of thing. I think they were for pot-belly stoves, but the intent is the same. Maybe some still has something like that.

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ben January 26, 2006 at 8:21 am

Try venting your dryer into the house. Put an old pair of panty hose on the end of the vent to trap all the lint. Be careful because moisture will also condense on the floor right near the end of the vent.

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