1. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    I'm not even sure if this is the right forum for this question ... but since I need water for the humidifier ... oh well.

    I have two forced air furnaces in my house. My HVAC contractor installed a Honeywell HE440A steam humidifier on the furnace that goes to my bedrooms.

    I am not happy.

    The HE440A is rated for 1900 square feet. My house is 4000 square feet. Amazingly, the HE440A seems to be able to humidify the entire house to at least 40%.

    But, oh my, the cost! At least $200/month in electricity. Plu gobs of water plus expensive filters. I really don't want to run this thing if I don't have to.

    So I'm thinking about a new humidifier. I'm thinking about the Desert Springs Disk Humidifier.

    (http://www.desertspringproducts.com/)
    (http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=185806-40586-DS2001C&lpage=none)

    Anyone know anything about it? Anyone have a recommendation for a better (more cost efficient) humidifier?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,948
    Location:
    New England
    I have a small April Aire humidifier. I don't like to add any extra motors, so I really liked this one: no standing water and only one moving part- the solonoid to turn the water on. It works like an evaporative a/c unit. Any water that does not evaporate off of the pad (which you replace annually), goes down the drain. It also came with a humidistat that uses the outside air to adjust the humidity so you don't end up with condensation on a really cold day, plus, it turns it off automatically if the temp gets above 50-degrees.

    A unit that has standing water in it and a disk that dips into that water is asking for mold to form. On any of these that use evaporation, you need to replace the media periodically, since they will end up coated with mineral deposits and not work well eventually. WIth the one I have, since it over waters the thing, it dumps concentrated mineral water, so it minimizes the effects.

    You'd have to check the specs to see if they have a model that you like that would work with your square footage.
  3. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I put in a Desert Spring unit last winter to replace a General 1040 evaporative unit since the General wasn't getting the humidity above about 30% (and I got tired of wasting so much water which just runs down the drain).

    I really like the Desert Spring! It's a very simple design. Even with fairly hard water, the discs don't get limed up.

    I did get the optional water flushing system - every 2 days it flushes out the reservoir - which is still a HUGE improvement in water usage compared to the old humidifier.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
  5. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    Well, "your" Aprilaire can do .75 gal per hour or 18 gallons per day. Impressive.

    The Desert Spring people claim that water panels and pads will lose "a lot" of efficiency in two weeks. They claim that in a month a typical panel and/or pad will lose 90% of its efficiency. That's what *they* say. They say that their wheel does not lose efficiency.

    My HE440A can do 12 gallons per day and the Desert Spring claims to be able to do 14 gallons per day. Even at 12 gallons per day my sort-of-maybe-tight house can get to 40% humidity ... but that requires the HE440A (at 1500 watts!) to run nearly continuously. Plus for every gallon of water it puts into the air, the Honeywell HE440A dumps 6 gallons. Plus the damn chlorine and reverse osmosis filters are hellishly expensive.

    The people at Desert Spring tell me that their humidifier puts a gallon of water into the the air for every gallon coming into the humidifier. In other words, almost no waste water.

    My HVAC guy tells me that the advantage to a steam humidifier is that it can put a lot of water into the air quickly. I don't understand how that can be different than an evaporative humidifier that puts the same number of gallons into the air. Anyone know?
  6. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    Question: Did you install it or was it done professionally by an HVAC person? The video looks pretty easy.

    Question: How much did you pay for the water flushing system?
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If you use an electric evaporator, you will use about $0.30 to $0.50 of electricity for every gallon of water that you put into the air.

    If you spray little particles of water into the air like the ultrasonic humidifiers they use to sell, you will get white powder from the dissolved minerals all over the house.

    The reason that belt and disk systems discard water is that they want to carry away the minerals before they clog up the system.

    If you can spray water into your circulating air system, ahead of the filter, then you will probably clog up the filter but you will get water into the air.

    I suggest a belt or disk system that has a fan blowing air over the wet belts. You should dump at least half of the water that goes into the system, and you will probably have to clean the belts from time to time.

    Don't use your exhaust fan when you take showers in the winter. That is good humidity.

    When I worked where they used explosives it was necessary to maintain at least 60% humidity. They had sprayers that sprayed a fine mist into the room at intervals. The spray was fine enough to evaporate before it hit the floor.
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE


    I installed it myself - had to make a cover for the old hole in the plenum since the new unit has a smaller opening into the plenum than the old General humidifier. Not hard at all, since already had 12V from furnace, water supply, etc.

    I think I paid something like $100-120 for the flushing system ??? - seems a little steep but works well and does keep the reservoir noticeably cleaner.
  9. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    Yeah, that's roughly the price they're all quoting.

    What do they call those things? It's nothing more than a timer and a valve and

    The attached picture is of a garden hose timer that I got from Home Depot for $10.00 (normally $30.00). Anyone know if this will work?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  10. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Looks like it could work. Only drawback I see is the duration of the flush. On the Desert Spring unit, it lasts about 90 seconds, which seems to be about right.
  11. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    I haven't bought the Desert Spring product yet but I'm going to.

    I called their technical support people and told them that I was considering buying their product and that I wanted to put this garden hose timer on. Even though they sell a timer, they said that my garden hose timer would work just fine.

    So far customer support (even though I've not purchased yet) has been superb.
  12. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I agree - I've been impressed by their customer service as well. I would say too that all the claims made by them on their web site have been accurate, in my experience.
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