Tips to survive cold office temps this winter and all year long

If you work in an office, you're probably familiar with the battle over the thermostat: some co-workers are always hot, others are bundled in sweaters year-round. So what to do?

If you have this issue, Consumer Reports has some tips on the most effective, small appliances to make your office environment work for everyone.

Office temperatures are sometimes unpredictable and often out of our control, so comfort-seeking workers are forced to take matters into their own shivering hands.

"If your building allows it, a small space heater can warm up your office. The safest place to put it is on the floor, not your desktop. And always plug it directly into the wall, don't use an extension cord. And keep it at least three feet away from any combustible materials," said John Galeotafiore of Consumer Reports.

CR's spot-heating test used a mannequin wired with sensors to see how your body will feel when you're sitting 4 and a half feet from the heater. Top in CR's tests are the slimline model from Comfort Zone, and the oscillating heater from Lasko.

And remember always turn a heater off when you leave the office, even if it's just for a short meeting.

If being chilly for 8 to 10 hours isn't bad enough, factor in the dry winter air so also consider getting a personal humidifier.

"An overheated office can dry out your nasal passages and your skin. Personal humidifiers work well in small rooms and we found most of them are easy to maintain," said Galeotafiore.

CR's humidifier tests evaluate convenience, noise levels, and energy efficiency. CR's top personal humidifiers are the Hunter which runs quietly, and the Well at Walgreens, which automatically shuts off when it's empty.
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