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A tale of obsolescence

Once upon a time, about 3 1/2 years ago, central heating was sucking all the moisture out of the air, my mucous membranes were having anxiety attacks, and my old humidifier had died. So I bought this one (for approximately half the price shown on the linked page).

Each time I pull it out of storage for the winter, it needs a new filter in order to function properly. The last two winters, finding new filters for it proved to be a bit of a challenge. Upon locating them this winter, I stood in the store aisle pondering whether to buy one or two, thinking "With my luck, if I buy two, the thing will die on me, and I'll be stuck with a filter I can't use." But after two weeks of hunting for the damn things, I bought two.

You guessed it. Last week, the humidifier died.

Even more entertaining, when I went looking for a new one yesterday at the Wal-Mart near my office, there was an eye-popping supply of the filters in question. My guess is someone found them stashed in a corner of the stockroom. Meanwhile, Holmes has redesigned their entire selection. Needless to say, not one of the new models takes this filter.

Also needless to say, I ain't paying $70 to replace the same model in order to get use out of a $6 filter, when I can get a new model for $30.

If anyone here happens to own a functioning humidifier that takes Holmes UH-311 filters, comment and we can spare you the hunt next time you need one. Otherwise, it'll probably go on eBay.

Y'know, I wouldn't call this a conspiracy per se. But I certainly do think this sort of thing wouldn't happen with nearly the frequency and speed that it does if it didn't force spending that would otherwise be unnecessary. All hail the Mighty Consumer Economy. :-P

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ariestess
Mar. 3rd, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
I would love to use humidifiers, but with the relative ease that the black mold can crop up out here, I won't touch them. [shatterpath and I tried that in our apartment in Portland, and got grossed out!]
wiliqueen
Mar. 3rd, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
*nods* I only use it in the winter, or the same thing would happen here.

The dehumidifier in the basement goes year-round, and we add another one on the first floor in the summer, so that there's something resembling a point to using the window AC units!
ariestess
Mar. 3rd, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
Even in winter, we had that problem... But that apartment in Portland was also a cinderblock building, so...
wiliqueen
Mar. 3rd, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
I was actually surprised to need it in this house, since we have radiators and it's 100-year-old concrete block masonry. But then, when the air outdoors seldom peeks above freezing, it can't hold much moisture!
ariestess
Mar. 3rd, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
True enough!
bktheirregular
Mar. 3rd, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
Dynamic obsolescence at work, I'm afraid. Just one of the wonders of the modern free market. Grr. Arrgh.

(sorry. still mad about the telephone company standing me up. it's as bad in its own way as being stood up for a date.)
wiliqueen
Mar. 3rd, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
Arguably worse. Someone who stands you up for a date wastes your evening and leaves you in a bad mood. Someone who stands you up for a service call wastes your time and leaves you without a service you continue to need. :-P

They should really be required to pay you when they do that.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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