The Desert Spring furnace humidifier
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the humidifier work on my furnace?
Yes! The Desert Spring humidifier works with any forced air furnace system, including heat pumps. Generally, the humidity output will be slightly higher on gas or oil burning furnaces compared to electric or heat pumps due to their hotter output air temperature. The orientation of the furnace is not important. It will work on up flow, down flow, vertical, and horizontal configurations. What is important is to check for sufficient access space to mount the unit on the cold air return duct. Caution should be used on wood furnaces due to the potential for very high air temperatures. If you have a wood burning furnace, consult your dealer before installing.
Can I install the humidifier myself?
A detailed instruction and installation manual is provided with every unit. Both the written installation instructions and a video are also available online! This easy-to-follow guide makes installing the Desert Spring Furnace Humidifier a simple do-it-yourself project.
What tools are needed to install the humidifier?
The tools required for the job include a level, Philips, hex and/or slot screw drivers, a pencil, an adjustable wrench, a drill, tin snips, and a measuring tape.
How long is the warranty?
The Desert Spring Furnace Humidifier has a manufacturer's one-year warranty on all parts. An extended warranty (2 years) is included free when a humidifier is purchased with the AutoFlush accessory!
Will the Desert-Spring humidifier fit where my old humidifier did?
Yes! The Desert Spring humidifier was specifically engineered to be a simple, direct replacement for most existing drum pad and other common humidifiers. Installation is very quick and easy.
How often should I clean out the water reservoir?
In typical applications, the water reservoir only needs to be emptied and wiped-out at the end of the heating season (spring). However, if you live in an area where the mineral content of the water is quite high (such as well water in a rural setting), this may have to be done more often. If you notice large amounts of sediment at the bottom of the reservoir, it is time to empty it. Note, however, that the sediment will not affect the efficiency of the humidifier, nor will the minerals enter your air stream. For extra convenience, consider adding the Desert Spring AutoFlush and/or the Anti-Scale Humidifier Filter.
Is there anything special I should do at the end of the heating season?
The recommended procedure at the end of the heating season is to turn off the water supply to the humidifier, empty and wipe-out the water reservoir, and set the humidistat to the off position (0%). If there are still mineral deposits on the basin, a quick rinse with a mild vinegar solution will clean them out. If you have air conditioning, you should also close the hot air supply damper. Your Desert Spring Furnace Humidifier is now ready to wait out the summer, prepared for the next heating season.
I have hard water. Will the Desert Spring work for me?
It sure will! The Desert Spring is better equipped to deal with hard water than any other furnace humidifier. The vast majority of minerals will settle in the basin rather than accumulating on the evaporative media, thereby ensuring that humidity output is always maintained. The degree of water hardness has an impact on the amount of periodic cleaning required to remove mineral accumulation in the basin. For a very low maintenance system, consider adding the Desert Spring AutoFlush and/or the Anti-Scale Humidifier Filter.
My home contains a non-metal, fiber board duct system. Is that a problem?
No, however, installation on a fiber board duct will require additional means of support to carry the full weight of the unit when it is full of water. This could include a floor stand or a hanging bracket from the ceiling. It is also recommended that the mounting plate screws be re-enforced on the front of the duct with a small metal plate or oversized washers.
Can I mount the Desert Spring Humidifier unit in an attic or ceiling space/crawl space that is unheated?
It depends on the local climate. Care must be taken to ensure the Desert Spring Humidifier is not subjected to freezing as this will damage the unit and may cause leaks. Units located above a ceiling should also include the installation of the overflow drain kit accessory. Additionally, we highly recommend that you install an overflow drain kit for all installations in an unheated space. You should also insulate the water line, humidifier and flex duct (regular fiberglass insulation works well), and consider using a hot water supply instead of cold (discuss with your dealer for max. temperature specifications). Do not place insulation directly against the motor.
My home has a water softener installed. How will this affect my Desert Spring Humidifier?
A water softener removes calcium and minerals, however, it does so by swapping these minerals for sodium or potassium. These minerals are generally less problematic to humidifiers as they do not form hard mineral scale on the humidifier components, but in some cases, a white dust can form when the water evaporates leaving the sodium residue behind. This is not very common, but can occur. It is an option to supply the humidifier with hard water and use the AutoFlush or Anti-Scale Humidifier Filter instead if this becomes a problem.
Can I use my humidifier during the cooling season with my air conditioner?
For a number of reasons, this is generally not recommended. However, most homes in North America that require winter humidification will not require supplemental humidification during the summer months. The output of a furnace humidifier when room temperature or cool air is passed through it is relatively low, creating the potential for water stagnation in the reservoir. Furthermore, if the air conditioner is running, most of the added humidity would immediately condense on the air conditioning coil and be lost. If you use your humidifier in the summer, we recommend that you use the AutoFlush accessory to eliminate any possibility of water stagnation due to reduced output.
Will the Desert Spring Humidifier affect my furnace filter or rust my duct work?
No. The Desert Spring furnace humidifier is a passive evaporative device. Therefore, the air will only carry as much moisture as it can hold in the by-pass air stream so the moisture will not condense on your duct work or furnace filter. Only active humidification systems such as steam and spray (misting) units can introduce excess moisture when not properly installed or maintained.
Where should I locate the humidistat?
The most convenient location is on the return air ductwork just upstream of the humidifier. In this position, it will sense the average blended air returning from the home and control the humidifier on this basis. Alternately, the humidistat can be located anywhere in the home, such as beside your house thermostat. It is important to note that this will cause the humidifier to adjust to the conditions sensed in that particular location of the house and not the overall average. A remote location will generally make it easier to adjust the settings of the control, but will also require more work to connect the necessary wiring (some additional low-voltage wire may need to be purchased). If you decide to locate the humidistat elsewhere in your home, make sure it is not adjacent to an obvious source of above-average or below-average humidity such as a kitchen, bathroom, window, or door.
I run my furnace on continuous fan mode. Is that okay?
There are many benefits to running your fan continuously. Modern furnaces have a low speed setting for continuous operation (refer to furnace manual). When set to continuous operation, air is constantly circulated throughout the home and filtered. Because the Desert Spring Humidifier is so effective, you can actually add humidity even when your furnace is not on its heat cycle!
My old humidifier was wired into my furnace. Can I use this wiring to power my new Desert Spring Humidifier?
Yes, as long as it is a 24 volt power source.
Is a floor drain required?
No, a floor drain is not required unless you use the optional AutoFlush accessory or use the optional overflow kit. If you do use these accessories, then you will need a drain.