Water and energy conservation are among the top priorities of this relative newcomer to the home humidity business. Only in the game for 10 years, Desert Spring has already claimed to surpass the efficiency of their competition by far.
The flagship Desert Spring Rotary Disk Humidifier, which evaporates 14 gallons of water a day and can be used in homes between 2,800 and 3,200 square feet, uses a single 24VAC plug-in to power the humidifier and optional flushing mechanism. Only 7 kilowatt-hours of energy is used each year, compared to about 38 kilowatt-hours for similar products. An optional current-sensing relay saves energy by turning the disk-wheel motor off when the furnace fan isn't operating. And even if just the furnace fan is on, with no heat coming out, the humidifier continues to work.
It has been found that some whole-house humidifiers waste between 5,000 and 8,000 gallons of water yearly. The Desert Spring, with 48-hour flushing of 1.5 gallons, boasts only 59 gallons of waste water yearly (based on a 17-week heating season with the furnace on 50 percent of the time). That means saving 1,000 glasses of water a day. The company is continuing work to get water-efficient humidifiers included in rebate programs and has committed to being an active member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Water Sense program, which will involve the labeling of water-efficient products.
High price to pay
The price of the Desert Spring humidifier puts it well above the competition - unfortunately, not in a good way. Beginning at just over $250 and going up to almost $500 when the scale filter, flushing mechanism and humidity meter are added in, the cost may scare some buyers off. A one-year warranty and a 10-year limited warranty for the wheel are standard offerings.
An accordion-shaped plastic disk providing 15 square feet of surface is used in place of an absorbent pad. It rotates through the water to provide evaporation. The Desert Spring is said to work better with hard water but will require more frequent cleaning if it's used. The humidifier connects to the cold water supply, using hot furnace air to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Desert Spring whole home humidifiers are recommended by AllergyBuyersClub.com and have been given both positive and negative reviews by users. Some say they like that it uses minimal water and electricity and requires no filters. It has been called an eco-friendly humidifier.
Others complain about necessary parts being offered as accessories, as are the relay device, overflow kit and drain valve. They also question the effectiveness of the plastic disk, saying it provides poor humidification.