The Low Down on Home Water Makers and 7 to Choose From

7 Options for Home Water Makers:

We've dug around for some of the more practical and reliable looking AWG systems available for residential use. Here are a few of the better options around:

DewPointe DH9
Wattage: about 450-500 W
Capacity:generates 3 gallons every 24 hours depending upon humidity; 6.5 gallon holding tank
Special Features: "The DewPointe™ is the only unit on the market today that carries certifications of quality from every major organization in the world including CE, ETL, ANSI, CSA, CGA, IEC, UL, ISO-9001, ROHS, and the FDA"

AquaMaker AM10 (Update: Link Down)
Wattage: 650 W for water generation, and 500 W for heating capability
Capactiy: generates 2-10 gallons every 24 hours depending upon humidity;9.5 gallon holding tank
Special features: Hot water tank; Enclosed pack for filtration systems, which could lead to added cost and material waste.

Air Water Maker E-10
Wattage: 405 W for water generation, 500 W for heating capability, and 125 for cooling capability
Capactiy: .5 to 6 gallons every 24 hours depending upon humidity; 10.5 gallon holding tank
Special Features: Hot and cold water on demand; leakage sensor

Dolphin 2/dragonfly M18
Wattage: 523-635 Watts
Capacity: .12 gallons; 1.5 gallon holding tank
Special Features: Compact, counter-top size versus a big machine that goes in the corner.

EcoloBlue 28
Wattage: 1000-1150 W for water generation; 500 W for heating capability; 450-500 W for cooling capability
Capacity: up to 7 gallons every 24 hours depending upon humidity; 3.3 gallon holding tank
Special Features: Stylish; user-friendly site for re-ordering filtration products, and assessing lifespan of device and parts.

Wattage: 300 Watts
Capacity: 3 gallons on average per day; 3.2 gallon holding tank
Special Features: Mounts externally to the home, using outdoor air for water collection rather than indoor air. The company is working on a solar-powered model.

WaterMaster C2000
Wattage: 750 Watts, or 1,250 when using hot/cold capabilities
Capacity: 6 gallons on average per day; 10 gallon holding tank
Special Features: Uses crystallisation to collect water, changing it from vapor to solid, rather than vapor to liquid as occurs with condensation.

What should I keep in mind when buying a home water maker?

1. Run a cost analysis Prices for a water maker are in the $1,000-$1,500 range. Factor in also the amount you'll be spending on electricity and you'll quickly see why you'll want to calculate the cost effectiveness of a machine before you purchase. The numbers can be surprising. For example, the DewPoint runs about $1,600, but only uses about 330W, and claims a cost breakdown of about $.60 per gallon, whereas the EcoloBlue 28 runs about $1,400 but uses 1000-1150 W for water generation, yet claims a cost breakdown of $.20 per gallon.

DewPointe gives a cost breakdown of various water sources:

Home Bottled-Water Delivery $1.50 gal
Food Store (grocery) $.90 gal
Water Store $.50 gal
Vending Machines $.35 gal
Private Label Bottled Water $2.24 gal
Standard Bottled Water $3.16 - $5.28 gal
Premium Bottled Water $5.50 - $10.80 gal
DewPointe™ Atmospheric Water $.60 gal

You'll want to rfind out the cost per gallon on the models you're considering, and double check their accuracy, before making a decision.

2. Asses atmospheric conditions in your home
Is where you live a good place for a water maker? If you live in a place with low humidity, high altitude, or other factors that make collecting water from the air difficult, you might find that you're using up a lot of electricity for hardly any water. Assess your environment before making a purchase.

3. Do you really need one, or would a water filtration system be better until the technology improves?
There are some locations where a device like this makes a lot of sense - the atmospheric conditions are ideal and other fresh water sources are less than ideal. However, you'll want to carefully weigh the pros and cons before buying one of these machines to have on hand in case something happens to your water supply. For the most part, finding a good water filtration system might be the better route to go.

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