Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Tackling winter dryness in your home

Knight Ridder Newspapers

It’s winter, which means dry air.

I recently got to try the Mr. Misty Humidifier and Comfortmeter.

I have to confess that the Comfortmeter holds greater fascination for me than the humidifier, since I have an Aprilaire humidifier attached to my furnace that seems to keep the winter dryness to a minimum.

The Mr. Misty humidifier attaches to a standard showerhead and releases a small amount of cold steam that the manufacturer says provides enough germ-free humidity for up to 2,260 square feet.

The Comfortmeter is a hygrometer (which measures humidity) and thermometer combination. By measuring the two, you get a pretty good idea of how comfortable it is where you are.

The day I took the Comfortmeter home, it was 59 degrees with 28 percent humidity in the train station, and 65 degrees with 30 percent humidity on the train.

My house was 63 degrees with 31 percent when I arrived.

Price: Mr. Misty Humidifier retails for $59.95, but you can get it for $39.95 at Target. The Comfortmeter retails for $39.95 but is available on the Internet for as little as $23.95. Information: Smart Living Products Inc., 888-710-7206 or

Paint journal

I changed the color of the exterior of my house from some sort of tan to cream two autumns ago, only because the original color had blistered badly on the sunny side and I had nothing to go on to match it.

I nearly had a stroke when I went to Home Depot to buy three more gallons for the second coat last summer. The Behr paint brochures didn’t include the new color so I could complete the transaction in one visit. I went home and returned with the top of one of the gallon cans, and we made a match.

Had I owned the Rubbermaid Paint Journal, I could have saved a trip. The journal lets you log information on colors for each room and the techniques used to apply the paint. It also comes with places to keep paint chips.

Price: $24.95. Information: 800-253-7856.

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