With the advent of the winter months comes the dreaded office environment temperature variable. Invariably, this variable, is what makes us all sick with the winter blues, maybe under the form of a slight cold as depicted by having the sniffles, or perhaps under the more dreaded form of getting the seasonal flu.
What causes it? Well, I remember years ago working in a building that would change their ventilation air filters twice a year, whenever they did that they ran the AC or heat without filters for a short time during which everyone at the office would contract a cold. This problem has gone with that job and now, in this building the air in the winter is so dry you could probably make dehydrated carrots by simply leaving them be, on your desk, by your computer keyboard.
To prevent colds in the winter, doctors recommend sleeping in a humidified environment which helps because it prevents your throat, sinuses and other important parts of your cavernous anatomy from cracking up and thereby allowing infections to set in. At least one children’t hospital like to keep their humidity level around 55% which is fantastic.
Sadly for doctors though, building inspectors keep an annoyingly low chart when it comes to their humidity vs temperature recommendations which reflect an indoor humidity level as low as 30% during the winter. This is to prevent mold, fungi and other common household growths. The problem with their recommendation is that it’s great for the house, but not so great for the human living in the house.
And then there’s the office, and this is where our USB humidifier comes in handy. Office buildings generally will not add humidity to their environment for the simple aforementioned reason that their architects have told them not to for the sake of the infrastructure. Again though, not taking into account the fact that humans have to spend 8~10 hours a day and sometimes more, breathing air with as low as 6% humidity when it’s below freezing outside. For under 30$ retail or 15$ online this USB humidifier keeps your immediate area nice and breathable, and should help prevent nosebleeds.
The manufacturer specifies that it can be used in vehicles and during travel, which I don’t actually recommend because frankly, it would probably annoy the hell out of the TSA if you tried boarding a plane with something that looks this much like a bomb, liquid explosives, detonator, power source, trigger and all…
Does it work?
Yes. It makes a slight cool mist that is quite soothing to breathe in when the ambient air is too dry.
How effective is it at actually raising the humidity level in a room?
That largely depends on the size of the room. In an office cubicle the actual humidifying effect of this device will be negligeable unless you’re actually within 1m of it. It has a capacity of about 350ml which it dissipates in about 4h so it’ll be unpractical in a bedroom because it will stop working once it’s empty which of course will be around 2AM. Note that mine doesn’t have an auto-off function so it will continue buzzing away loudly once it’s empty, which according to the manufacturer could damage the unit.
It’s USB, does it require drivers to work?
lol…no. It uses USB strictly as a power source but it also comes with an electric power adapter although some online models will likely not have one.
Is it noisy?
Nope. Can’t hardly hear it although we all have the office colleague with superhumanbionic ears who will naturally inquire what that barely noticeable hissing noise is.
I’m still giving it an 8/10 for overall usefulness, effort and aesthetic achievement.