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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • 1. Will the humidifier work on my furnace?

    All DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIERS are designed for application on any forced air gas, electric or oil burning furnace. For Heat Pumps, we recommend the Rotary Disc model as it’s best suited to deal with the lower discharge temperatures of these heating systems.

  • 2. Is this a D-I-Y project that I can complete myself?

    Yes, but accessibility around the forced air furnace is an important factor. Also, if an existing unit is to be replaced, this will add some time. A detailed installation manual is provided as well as an online video that takes you through the various installation steps. A typical installation project takes a few hours and requires some light assembly, cutting and drilling of the duct work, a connection to a copper water line with a self-piercing saddle valve and a few low voltage wire connections. The tools required for the job include a level, Philips, hex and/or slot screw drivers, pencil, adjustable wrench, drill, tin snips, Teflon tape, box cutters and a measuring tape. In case of a retrofit installation, the existing opening in the duct might be too large, in which case a piece of sheet metal must be purchased to patch the old hole.

  • 3. My forced-air furnace is horizontal mount, will that work?

    The orientation of the furnace is not important. It will work on up flow, down flow and horizontal configurations. What is important is to check for sufficient access space to mount the unit on the cold air return duct.

    Also, on an up flow furnace, the hot air take off should be mounted higher than the humidifier to avoid any chance of spillage back to the furnace. This does not apply to down flow or horizontal furnaces.

  • 4. My home has radiant heating (in-floor, electric baseboard, hydronic, etc.), can I still install the DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER?

    No, these products are designed only for application on forced air furnaces.

  • 5. My home has a high-velocity (HV) heating system, can I still install the DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER?

    All DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIERS require a sturdy piece of duct to support its weight. Generally HV systems use flexible ducts, so some means of support for the unit must be created. The airflow through the humidifier must also be reduced to roughly 800 feet per minute. Also see notes on attic installations below.

  • 6. My home contains a non-metal, fiber board duct system, is that a problem?

    Installation on fiber board duct will require additional means of support to carry the full weight of the unit and its water. Solutions are site-specific, but could include a floor stand, or alternatively a hanging bracket from the ceiling. The mounting plate screws should also be re-enforced on the front of the duct with a small metal plate, or oversized washers.

  • 7. Can I mount a DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER unit in ceiling space/crawl space that is unheated?

    That depends on the local climate. Care must be taken to ensure the 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 line. Also keep in mind that some routine maintenance is required so convenient service access is an important consideration.

  • 8. Does it matter which side of the furnace I mount the unit on? The hot supply or cold return air side?

    All DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIERS are designed to mount on the cold air return only. If there is no other alternative than mounting it on the hot supply air side, provision must be made to isolate the humidifier from the supply air duct during the cooling season when the unit is not in use. The flex duct must still connect to the return air side and the control must be mounted up stream from the point where the duct enters the return air plenum.

  • 9. My home has hard water, how will this affect my DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER?

    The degree of water hardness has an impact on the amount of periodic cleaning required. The Drum and Pulsed Flow-Through units require replacement of the water panel or drum pad when clogged or dirty. Generally, the Rotary Disc system is the best choice for hard water applications, but it also requires removal of mineral accumulation in the basin in order to keep the disc wheel rotating freely and the disc surface clean of calcium build up which can deteriorate performance. Depending on the severity of the hard water, consider installation of an optional in-line water filter (see PRODUCTS section of the web site), which will remove 95% of the lime/scale in the water before it enters the humidifier.

  • 10. My home has a water softener installed, how will this affect my DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER?

    A water softener does not remove calcium, but works to keep the calcium suspended in hard water. As a result, there is an increase in the total load of precipitate that results from evaporation. Therefore, homes with soft water generally require more periodic maintenance than homes with hard water. However, the resultant precipitate from water treated with softener is more liquid (slurry-like) than ordinary calcium, so soft water precipitate may be easier to clean. In some severe cases, the fine softener salts can be carried in the vapour and condense inside the ductwork leaving a fine white dust film. NB: In-line water filters as described above do not work with soft water.

  • 11. I have a germicidal UV light installed in my HVAC system. Will this affect the plastic of the humidifier?

    Ultraviolet light can cause color shift or structural degradation to all plastic HVAC materials. The UV lamps should be a minimum of 3 feet from direct exposure to any plastic fabricated devices. If practical, protect exposed plastic or rubber materials with ultraviolet resistant material such as aluminum foil duct tape which is readily available from home improvement centers.

  • 12. How is my ERV, or HRV affected by the humidifier?

    Heat recovery ventilators exhaust stale air and replace it with fresh outdoor air. While both are mounted on the duct work, they are completely separate devices and can not be tied into each other. Unfortunately with an HRV, the humidity in the exhausted air stream is lost to the outdoor environment. A DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER will help correct this situation. An ERV unit transfers some of the humidity back to the incoming air, but ERV’s are generally not used in cold climates as the incoming air can freeze the moisture transfer surface.

  • 13. Can I use my humidifier during the cooling season with my air conditioner?

    No, the two products are not compatible. An air-conditioner lowers the temperature of the air and thereby removes the moisture as well so any humidity entering the system is immediately removed by the air-conditioning coil. At the end of the heating season, the humidifier should be shutdown in accordance to the procedures as outlined in the instruction manual.

  • 14. Will the DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER affect my furnace filter?

    No, not if the airflow in the furnace is properly set up for the type of filter used and the filter is properly maintained. In rare cases where the filter has become sufficiently dirty, the air stream will experience a sudden and severe pressure drop and some moisture may condense out on the filter. If this occurs, check your filter, or consult with an experienced HVAC contract to verify the furnace air flow is sufficient for the type of filter used.

  • 15. Will the DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER rust the furnace and ductwork?

    No, all DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIERS are passive evaporative devices. Therefore the air will only carry what it can hold in the by-pass air stream. Only active systems such as steam and spray (misting) units can introduce excess moisture when not properly installed or maintained.

  • 16. Where should I locate the humidistat control?

    The most convenient location is on the return air ductwork, upstream of the humidifier. In this spot, 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, or beside your house thermostat. This will cause the humidifier to be controlled 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.

  • 17. I run my furnace on continuous fan mode, is that ok?

    There are many benefits to running your furnace 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 through out the home and air is constantly filtered. Because the Rotary Disc Humidifier is so effective, you can actually add humidity even without the call for heat from the furnace, resulting in much better control over the humidity in the home compared to conventional humidifiers.

  • 18. My old humidifier was wired into my furnace. Can I use this wiring to power my new DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER?

    Yes, as long as the power source is 24Volts AC. Most Flow-Through humidifiers do not work unless the furnace is in heating mode, which is why they are powered through the furnace. One great advantage of the Rotary Disc Humidifier unit is its ability to work while on continuous fan mode (see #17 above) without waiting for the furnace to go into heating mode. Therefore, the ROTARY DISC HUMIDIFIER comes complete with its own power source to allow it to operate independent of the furnace heat cycle. If powered independent from the furnace, the unit will be able to run whenever the humidity drops below the set point on the humidistat. The disc wheel motor is a continuous duty motor and only draws 4 watts of power. Even if the furnace fan is not on continuous circulation, the rotating action will aid in keeping the discs clean.

  • 19. Is a floor drain required?

    The Drum unit has an automatic drain device and requires a drain, as does the Pulsed Flow-Through unit. The Rotary Disc system only requires a floor drain if installed with the optional AutoFlush, or if you wish to make use of the optional overflow hole.

  • 20. How much maintenance is required?

    This depends on three factors; a) the type of humidifier system installed; b) the amount of time the humidifier is used, and c) the quality of the supply water. The Drum system has an automatic drain device that skims water containing floating minerals from the top of the water basin which extends the evaporative pad’s life compared to ordinary drum units. The Pulsed Flow-Through requires periodic replacement of its water filter when clogged or dirty. One of the advantages of the Rotary Disc system is its tendency to self-clean as the evaporative discs rotate through the water in the basin. This allows the minerals left behind on the disc surface to wash off and settle to the bottom of the basin. This unique action keeps the Rotary Disc Humidifier working at top performance levels, while reducing regular maintenance. The frequency at which the basin needs to be emptied and cleaned will depend on the quality and mineral content in the water used in the humidifier (also see points 9 and 10). We recommend regular checking of your DESERT SPRING HUMIDIFIER throughout the season. Regardless of the amount of regular maintenance required during the season, all units require a simple end-of-season shut down procedure as described in the owner’s manual or Installation video.

    To help ease the general maintenance requirements of the Rotary Disc Humidifier, home owners may consider purchasing the optional AutoFlush system (see PRODUCTS section of web site), which periodically purges the basin of stale water and rinses it for 90 seconds with fresh water to help remove mineral accumulations.

  • 21. What is the best cleaner to use?

    A soaking in ordinary household vinegar will remove lime, as will any safe descaling solution product as sold through most home improvement centers.

  • 22. I have another question not listed here, what can I do?

    Click on CONTACT at the bottom of the page for additional contact options.