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what was your final result with the Desert Springs Humidifier?

0 votes
we are looking for an efficient whole house humidifier and considering the Desert Springs - but can't find impartial recommendations that reflect long-term usage.

we are using an HE furnance and HP - where the HP does most of our winter heating because local environment is mild most of the winter.

bypass systems are said not to provide enough humidity with lower HP temperatures, so i have looked at the Desert Springs but am concerned that it doesn't have a high quality motor capable of providing long-term reliability (as your review seems to confirm)

although steam systems are undoubtedly effective, the running costs (both electrical & consumable electrode components) are major deterrents.

it has been suggested we should change the switch-over between the HE furnace and the HP to use the furnace earlier (ie at warmer temperatures) so that a bypass will getting hotter air at low exterior temperatures and thus allow a bypass to work when the humidity is really dropping.  (the bonus being that would also put fewer cycles on the HP in extreme conditions and extend it's life)
asked in Heating System by norybca (130 points)
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1 Answer

+1 vote

 

Hi Norybca,
 
I’m actually very pleased with my Rotary Disc Desert Spring humidifier, it’s in the middle of its third winter and running perfectly fine. So far no problem with the motor but this is probably because I’m running it from my high efficiency furnace’s circuit board, not the transformer that came with the humidifier. 
 
That way the humidifier’s motor runs only with the furnace operating in the heat mode. With its original transformer providing power it was running almost constantly since soon after the furnace turned off the humidity level inside the air duct was dropping, thus activating the humidistat. 
 
I have two small devices measuring humidity level on each floor of my house and it’s a constant 40% on both of them. I did test lowering and raising the setting of the humidistat and humidity changes are noticeable within a few hours so it does work (my house is around 2200 sq feet). 
 
So far the winter in Illinois is mild (40’s) as well and my furnace isn’t working that hard but this still appears to be sufficient to maintain the humidity level setting.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)

do you have any experience with the Desert Springs running on Heat Pumps ?   d

my Heat Pump's 90 F will be the evaporative air temp until exterior temperatures drop below freezing - at which point the 120 F furnace will start to be called on.  i expect this is a crutial consideration since the difference in evaporative takeup will be substantial over that 50 degree temperature range - and for me because my furnance only gets called on for 1 or 2 weeks of the winter.

my Lennox system will certainly allow for powering the Desert Srings from the air exchanger, and it will also allow a humidifier call to start the air exchanger only without a heating call.  it will even calculate a humidifing call on based relative humidity from interior and exterior temperatures measurements (although for some reason the installer favors a single humidistat on the return duct ?).  

i can also program some 'percentage of time' air circulation calls - as well as leave the fan on of course - but if i end up running the air exchanger full time to get enough evaporation, the Desert Springs will be running all that time too.

that will not only burn out the DS, but probably make an expensive steam humidifier competitive with the all-in costs of running the air exchanger all the time.

***

 

what have your experience been with cleaning the Desert Springs system - and what is your water quality?

 

The only experience I have is with my own humidifier and high efficiency furnace running approximately 4-5 months per year so I can’t really comment on how would it perform in a configuration such as yours. I wonder if technical support from Desert Spring could provide some helpful information.
 
I’m not using any filtration system on the unit’s supply line (I’m on the Lake Michigan water) and I usually drain the reservoir once a week and clean it once a month from mineral deposits using vinegar. After the season I soak everything in vinegar and remove calcium deposits from the surface with a soft brush. Water filter would cut that maintenance down even further, maybe I’ll get one for the next season.
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