Those of us whose home position is to be frugal need to examine our behaviour sometimes to see if it makes sense, such as when I decided that mouse traps are disposable. This time I look at humidifier pads.
I have the type of humidifier that attaches to the furnace and forces air to flow through a water-soaked pad. This pad seems to be made mostly of metal and a residue from the evaporated water builds up over time.
For many years I didn’t realize that it was normal to buy replacement pads. I thought the pad was an integral part of the humidifier and I struggled to find ways to clean it. What seemed to work best was soaking it in CLR.
Worried that maybe it wasn’t really getting cleaned properly, I decided to see if the pad could be replaced. On my first attempt at a big-box store, I learned not to call it a humidifier grill. They didn’t have those and I shouldn’t waste this very important employee’s time.
Fortunately, I persisted and found that humidifier pads are a standard replacement item and are quite cheap ($9.99 for my model). This isn’t much more than the cost of a bottle of CLR ($8.69).
This little story is as much about ignorance as thrift, but I’ll call my $1.30 plus tax savings in previous cleanings the result of pointless frugality. For such modest savings, I had to do the work to soak the pad, and then get a result that may not have been as clean as a new pad.
From now on I’ll happily buy new humidifier pads for the extra buck and a half it will cost.