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Desert Spring Humidifier Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about the Desert Spring Furnace Humidifier? We have answers to all of the mostly commonly asked questions about central whole house humidifiers and the Desert Spring below:

Click on the questions below to jump to the relevant answer, or just scroll down to read all of the questions and answers...

Installation:
1. Will the Desert Spring humidifier work on my furnace or heat pump?
2. Can I install the humidifier myself or does it require professional installation?
3. What tools do I need to install the Desert Spring humidifier?
4. I lost my installation manual. What should I do?
5. Will the Desert Spring furnace humidifier fit where my old humidifier did?
6. My home has a fiber-board duct system (my ducts are not metal) - is it still possible to use the Desert Spring furnace humidifier?
7. Can I mount the Desert Spring humidifier in an unheated attic or crawl space?
8. Where should I install the humidistat?
9. Can I use the wiring from my old humidifier to power my new Desert Spring humidifier?
10. Do I need to have a floor drain to use the Desert Spring furnace humidifier?

Operation & Maintenance:
1. How often should I clean my Desert Spring humidifier?
2. What should I do at the end of each heating system to shut my Desert Spring down for the summer?
3. Will the Desert Spring work well if I have hard water?
4. Can I used softened water in my Desert Spring humidifier?
5. Can I run my Desert Spring furnace humidifier during the cooling season with my air conditioner?
6. Will the Desert Spring furnace humidifier affect my furnace filter or cause rust in my duct work?
7. Can I run my furnace on continuous fan mode

Warranty:
1. How long is the warranty on the Desert Spring furnace humidifier?


Installation:


1. Will the Desert Spring humidifier work on my furnace or heat pump?
    Yes! The Desert Spring humidifier works on ALL forced air furnaces (electric, natural gas, heating oil, propane, and wood), as well as heat pumps. Due to their hotter output air temperature, the humidity output will be slightly higher on traditional furnaces compared to heat pumps. Ask us for advice if you have a heat pump and a home larger than about 2,800 sq ft. We may recommend an air deflector or a hot water supply to help boost air flow through your humidifier to compensate for the lower output temperature of your heat pump. The orientation of the furnace and duct work is not important. The Desert Spring furnace humidifier will work on up flow, down flow, vertical, and horizontal configurations. The most important factor to confirm is that there is sufficient access space to mount the unit on the duct work (about 1 cubic foot). While mounting the humidifier on the cold air return is preferred (hot air supply comes from the hot air duct), other mounting options are available if your return air duct is difficult to access, or non-existent. Please call us toll free at 1-866-376-2690 for technical advice before installing.

2. Can I install the humidifier myself or does it require professional installation?

3. What tools do I need to install the Desert Spring humidifier?
    You will require a level, Philips, hex and/or slot screw drivers, pencil, adjustable wrench, drill, tin snips, and a measuring tape - that is it!

4. I lost my installation manual. What should I do?

5. Will the Desert Spring furnace humidifier fit where my old humidifier did?
    Most likely, yes. The Desert Spring humidifier was specifically designed to be a simple replacement for most existing drum and flow-through humidifiers. In the event that the duct openings are slightly different in size, it should be easy to cut a larger hole or to cover the extra space with a small piece of sheet metal.

6. My home has a fiber-board duct system (my ducts are not metal) - is it still possible to use the Desert Spring furnace humidifier?
    Yes, absolutely! However, installation on fiber-board duct will require additional means of support to carry the full weight of the unit when it is full of water. Generally, we advise that you create a floor stand or a support bracket that hangs from the ceiling. We also recommended that the mounting bracket screws should also be re-enforced on the front of the duct with a small metal plate, or oversized washers.

7. Can I mount the Desert Spring humidifier in an unheated attic or crawl space?
    Yes, although 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 line. You can reduce the risk of freezing by carefully insulating the incoming water line, 6 inch flex duct, and humidifier unit itself with fiberglass insulation (be sure not to put insulation directly against the motor). You may also want to use a heated water source rather than cold water to supply the unit.

8. Where should I install the humidistat?

    Most of our customers install the humidistat on the cold air return duct, about 1 to 2 feet above (upstream) of where the humidifier unit itself. In this location, the humidistat will measure the average blended humidity in the air returning from the whole home and control the humidifier on this basis. Alternately, the humidistat can be located anywhere else in your home that is convenient for you - for example, you may decide to mount it adjacent to you thermostat. This will cause the humidifier to be controlled to the conditions measured only in that particular location of the house and not the overall average. While installing the humidistat in a remote location will generally allow for more convenient humidity control and fine adjustments, the installation will require more work to connect the necessary wiring. You may also need to purchase some additional low-voltage wire. We recommend that you do not locate a humidistat near obvious sources of cold drafts (exterior door or window) or areas of naturally-high humidity such as as a kitchen or bathroom.

9. Can I use the wiring from my old humidifier to power my new Desert Spring humidifier?
    Yes, as long as it is a 24 volt power source (which it should be). We recommend that you use a volt-meter to test the circuit before connecting your humidifier as hooking up your Desert Spring to a source of power greater than 24 volts could cause serious damage to the electronic components and/or injury.

10. Do I need to have a floor drain to use the Desert Spring furnace humidifier?
    No, a floor drain is not required unless you use the optional AutoFlush accessory or use the optional overflow knock-out.



Operation & Maintenance:


1. How often should I clean my Desert Spring humidifier??
    In the average home, the humidifier will require only one cleaning annual. We recommend that this be done at the end of the season when it is shut down for the summer air-conditioning season. If you have hard water or other excessive minerals in your water supply, more frequent cleanings may be necessary. If significant mineral deposits are present in the reservoir, it should be drained and cleaned. This only take a few minutes. You can use a solution of vinegar and water to held break-up stubborn hard water deposits by letting it soak overnight. If you have hard water, consider purchasing one of our extra value packages including the AutoFlush self-cleaning device and/or in-line anti-scale humidifier water filter to reduce your maintenance requirements. See our accessories page for more details.

2. What should I do at the end of each heating system to shut my Desert Spring down for the summer?
    At the end of the heating season, you should turn off the water supply to the humidifier, drain and clean-out the water reservoir, and set the humidistat to the off position (0%). We also recommend that should also close the hot air supply damper. Your Desert Spring Furnace Humidifier is now ready to wait out the summer, ready for the next heating season.

3. Will the Desert Spring work well if I have hard water?
    Absolutely! The Desert Spring has originally designed to tackle the hard water conditions found in Calgary, Alberta, Canada! The unique disc assembly is designed to self clean on each rotation through the reservoir, causing the vast majority of minerals to settle in the basin rather than accumulating on the evaporative surfaces. This allows the Desert Spring to maintain its peak efficiency on a continuous basis. The degree of water hardness will have an impact on the frequency that you will need to clean the reservoir. If you have hard water, consider purchasing one of our extra value packages including the AutoFlush self-cleaning device and/or in-line anti-scale humidifier water filter to reduce your maintenance requirements. See our accessories page for more details.

4. Can I used softened water in my Desert Spring humidifier?
    Yes. Do keep in mind that a water softener does not actually remove hard water minerals though. It works to keep calcium and magnesium suspended in the water by causing sodium ions to combine with carbonates in the water so that the hard water minerals cannot combine to form mineral scale. When the soft water evaporates, it will still leave behind a residue, often more than if a softener were not used. A furnace humidifier that is supplied softened water may require slightly more maintenance than one supplied with hard water, however, since the minerals will not form hard scale, it may be easier to clean. In rare cases, the softener salts can form a fine white dust that can be blown into the duct work. If this occurs, you may want to revert back to a hard water source. The AutoFlush would also help reduce maintenance needs.

5. Can I run my Desert Spring furnace humidifier during the cooling season with my air conditioner?
    This is not generally recommended since the moisture added to the air could condense when it comes in contact with the very cold air conditioning coils. You will likely not need supplemental humidity during the summer months anyway.

6. Will the Desert Spring furnace humidifier affect my furnace filter or cause rust in my duct work?
    No. moisture will NOT condense on your filter as long as your filter is not severely clogged and dramatically restricting air flow. The Desert Spring furnace humidifier is a passive evaporative device. Therefore the air passing through the unit will only carry as much moisture as it can hold. Similarly, the moisture will not condense in your duct work. Steam or atomizing humidifiers can cause these problems, but not a passive by-pass humidifier like the Desert Spring.

7. Can I run my furnace on continuous fan mode?
    Yes, indeed! This will not harm your humidifier. Promoting good air circulation and continuous filtration in your home has lots of benefits. Most modern furnaces have a low speed setting for continuous operation - refer to your furnace manual. Since the Desert Spring Humidifier is so efficient, you can actually add humidity even when your furnace is not on its heat cycle!



Warranty:


1. How long is the warranty on the Desert Spring furnace humidifier?
    The Desert Spring furnace humidifier is backed by one-year manufacturer's warranty on all parts, including the motor, evaporative media, humidistat, transformer, etc. Extended warranties are also available - please call us toll free at 1-866-376-2690 for more details and prices if you are interested. Extended warranties are also included free with some of our extra value packages!


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