I am considering buying an Aprilaire or a Desert Spring furnace humidifier
and would like your opinions about
them. The Desert Spring costs $259.95 plus 14.95 S&H and covers up to 4200sq
ft. I think the Aprilaire 700 covers about the same. It costs about 229.95
S&H. One thing that interests me about the Desert Spring is that there is
nothing to periodically replace in it, just clean out a lower pan on it or
install an automatic flush device on it. They say you don't need one if you
have soft water.
I would appreciate your opinions. Thanks
I don't know about Desert Spring, or how it works. However I can say
all water comes with dissolved minerals, some more than others (including
softened water). If the water evaporates, those minerals have to go
The Aprilaire flushes most of them down the drain. I don't see how any
system is going to get all of them down the drain.
I've owned an AprilAire 558 for several years, and I've been very happy with
it. The design prevents any water from stagnating in the humidifier; all I
do is replace the water panel every year or so. I also like the automatic
humidistat - where I'm at, the temperature can swing from 32F to 0F in one
day. I don't have to fiddle with a manual humidistat; it keeps the house at
the proper humidity based on outside temperature.
That pan is a problem! I had a wheel type humidifeir on my furnace before I
knew better, the pan is a breeding ground for all kinds of mold and
bacteria! You would not believe the scum that will acumulate there. As far
as water usage, my water bill was no larger with the Aprilaire, in fact I
can not tell the differance in water use with or without the humidifier.
Go with the any of the Aprilaire Units. Nothing to clean, replace the media
every year or two.
I installed a Honeywell HE260 last weekend on our geothermal heat
pump. It is a bypass model similar to the Aprilaire. Very happy with
it so far. I've done more research since I installed it than I did
before, and I am glad I went with the pad type unit. It seems that
this design is mechanically the simplest, and probably avoids many
problems such as bacteria growth and deposit build up. It does require
a drain which wasn't a problem for my installation. The unit was about
$122 at a local HVAC supply house through my business. Included
humidistat, but I had to buy 6" duct pipe, elbows, damper, drain and
supply lines. Installation wasn't bad. I installed the humidistat next
to the thermostat. I simplified the wiring some by tapping into the
24vac blower control line at the thermostat and running that through
the humidistat and then back to the solenoid on the humidifier by
means of an unused wire in the thermostat cable. That eliminmated the
need for the 24vac transformer that came with the unit. In time I may
opt to replace the humidistat with an outdoor sensing type, but so far
I've left it set on 40% and all has worked well. The air is sure more
comfortable than when we relied on a portable unit and I love not
messing with water jugs. Here is a link to more info on the Honeywell
BTW, I read somewhere that the Honeywell uses like 3.5 gph as opposed
to 6 gph for some other units. Since I am using hot water as
recommended for heat pump installations, that sounded like a plus.
Most of that is used for flushing and about .7 gph goes into the air.
The .7 gph seems common to other units of this size and type.
If you had used another model, available to HVAC pros(not to be confused
with certain Morons, uh, Mormons), it would have been easier. And the
damper would have been included.....
HeatMan and CBHVAC,
My brother-in-law is considering a similar installation. Can you guys
elaborate on 'easier' and 'cheaper' and offer the brand and model we
should check out. I suppose my installation cost about $150 and took
me a Saturday afternoon.
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