How To Choose The Best Dehumidifier – We Review The Top 8 How To Choose The Best Dehumidifier – We Review The Top 8
70(Last Updated On: November 14, 2018)70 How To Choose The Best Dehumidifier – We Review The Top 8
(Last Updated On: November 14, 2018)

I think anyone who has bought a dehumidifier for their home has felt overwhelmed to start with. There’s so much jargon to wade through and how do you know which one is best for your needs? If you have a damp or condensation problems in your home which is accompanied by mould you also might be wondering how you can cure it using a dehumidifier and what advantages they offer.

In this guide we’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing a dehumidifier for your home and review our pick of the top dehumidifiers which provide the best balance between performance and cost. We’ll also give you our recommendations on what to look for so you can make an informed choice when you buy.

This Guide At a Glance:

For ease this guide is broken down into easy to read chunks. You can read everything in order or skip to certain sections if there is anything in particular you’d like to know first. Here’s the contents at a glance:

Dehumidifier Comparison Table


  • Meaco DD8L Zambezi


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    5
  • Type:
    Desiccant
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    8L
  • Tank Size:
    3L
  • Max Noise Level:
    50dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Medical Grade Ionizer, Laundry dry function, Energy saving functions
  • £££

  • Meaco 12L Platinum


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    3
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    12L
  • Tank Size:
    2.5L
  • Max Noise Level:
    44dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Control+ Logic energy saving feature, compact size ideal for smaller homes
  • ££

  • Meaco 25L Dehumidryer


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    5
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    25L
  • Tank Size:
    5L
  • Max Noise Level:
    50dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Unique DC motor uses less energy the harder it is worked, Powerful air flow dries washing & damp spots fast
  • £££

  • EcoAir DC12


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    4
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    12L
  • Tank Size:
    3.5L
  • Max Noise Level:
    41dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Impressive perfomance and large 3.5L collection tank for a smaller unit
  • ££


  • EcoAir DD122fw Mk5 Classic


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    5
  • Type:
    Desiccant
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    6L
  • Tank Size:
    2L
  • Max Noise Level:
    34dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Laundry mode, Silver ion filter, Energy saving Control Logic system
  • ££

  • Meaco DD8L


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    3
  • Type:
    Desiccant
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    8L
  • Tank Size:
    2L
  • Max Noise Level:
    48dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Energy saving features, Winner of 3 Which? best buy awards
  • ££

  • Trotec Dehumidifier TTK 69 E


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    2-3
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    20L
  • Tank Size:
    4L
  • Max Noise Level:
    43dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Child safety lock, Auto-defrost function
  • £

  • Inventor CARE C2-12LBS


  • Our Rating


  • House Size (Beds):
    2-3
  • Digital Controls:
    Yes
  • Max Water Extraction (24 Hrs):
    12L
  • Tank Size:
    2L
  • Max Noise Level:
    44dB
  • Noteworthy Features:
    Auto-defrost function, Casters to make moving easier
  • £

Dehumidifier Reviews: Your Guide To The Best 8

Meaco DD8L Zambezi

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Coming in on the top of our list is the DD8L Zambezi. It represents Meaco’s flagship dehumidifier and is packed with genuinely useful, smart technology which makes using this device a breeze. This same technology also ensures the Zambezi is very energy efficient – keeping its running costs low.

In a layout common to many Meaco devices the top of the Zambezi houses a digital control panel, folding carry handle and motorised louvre. The control panel features a very easy to use directional control pad and a crisp LCD screen which glows blue when you press any of the Zambezi’s controls.  A few button presses are all that is required to configure the most common settings and you can have the device ready to go in seconds.

Comes With a Plethora Of Functions to Eradicate Damp and Control Mould

Air flow plays a major role in reducing humidity quickly and drying problem damp spots. This is why the Zambezi sports a motorised louvre. This can be used to direct the warm air flow exiting the machine across an entire room or you can focus it in a small arc to deal with problem damp spots quickly.

The Zambezi features Meaco’s Laundry+ Drying System

If you already own a dehumidifier you’re probably aware at just how useful they can be when it comes to drying washing. Meaco are aware of this too and have introduced their Laundry+ system into the Zambezi. This smart system keeps an eye on the relative humidity and automatically switches the dehumidifier on or off as it is needed. This not only helps dry your washing but it can also use up to 600 watts less energy too.

High humidity brings with it a plethora of problems and bacteria and spores released by mould and mildew can be a real concern because they are not healthy to inhale. This is why the Zambezi comes equipped with a medical grade Ionizer which is (at the time of this review) the only dehumidifier available to sport this impressive device.

This Ionizer is so powerful is can eradicate dust, germs, odours, spores and bacteria within a massive 10m radius of the device. When you compare this to the current 1m radius offered by other machines it is an impressive improvement. The secret behind the power increase is due the inclusion of a high voltage, ceramic Ionizer which releases a wave of hydrogen and oxygen ions into the air to create a cleaner environment within your home.

 ‘Control Logic’ Technology

The control panel features some impressive functions which improves the Zambezi’s efficiency and lowers running costs

Sometimes we just want things to work with minimal fuss and when you first get your dehumidifier you may not be sure which settings are ideal for you home. But with the Zambezi you can literally never make the wrong choice thanks to Meaco’s 20+ control logic.

Essentially this feature will check to see if the humidity is 20% above or below your desired threshold and then boost or decrease the fan speed as necessary to keep on top of the humidity. This makes sure the device is only running on high power when it is needed to keep operating costs as low as possible.

Water Collection

Once the roomy 3 litre collection tank is full the device will beep 3 times and the display will show the ‘full tank’ icon. At first glance this seems like a pretty standard feature. But the Zambezi applies a very clever twist to this. It will ensure the device has fully finished emptying into the tank before it alerts you the device is full. This prevents the machine from dribbling out water whilst you are emptying it – a common problem with some other devices. When you combine this with the anti-mould coating on the tank itself you really begin to see the features and forethought Meaco have placed into this device which make it stand apart from the crowd.

Conclusion

The Zambezi is not the cheapest dehumidifier on the market. But, if you’re looking for a ‘smart’ unit which is not only portable, but powerful and very economical to use then you won’t be disappointed with the DD8L Zambezi.

Meaco 12L Platinum

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The 12L Platinum is the smallest dehumidifier we have on our list measuring in at just 48.5cm tall by 32.5cm wide by 24.8cm deep. But don’t be fooled by it’s minute dimensions this unit packs some real power.

Just like some of it’s larger counterparts the 12L features Meaco’s control logic system. This smart piece of engineering allows this dehumidifier to actively lower its running costs because it knows when it is NOT needed and when it IS.

Ease Of Use and Energy Saving Features

Once the humidity falls at least 3% of the desired threshold for more than 10 minutes the 12L will put itself into sleep mode. It will then wake up and sample the air every 30 minutes to determine if it needs to operate. The money saving advantages here are obvious and it is an impressive feature.

The 12Ls simple and clear control panel makes using the device a breeze

The top of the device is home to an easy to use digital control panel. You can set the desired humidity threshold in handy 5% increments using the up and down arrow buttons. You can also set the auto shut off timer by pressing the timer button which runs in one hour intervals.

Wrapped around the control panel is a folding carry handle. This makes picking up and moving the 12L a breeze and we had no problem at all moving it up and down stairs and between rooms.

In front of the control panel is the manually adjustable louvre. This adjusts the direction of air flow exiting the machine and can be set to point at problem damp spots or towards washing to help drying. This moves with satisfying click and locks itself securely in place. Speaking of air flow, the 12L only has one fan speed which means you can’t knock it up a notch if needed. However, this does have the added value of making this one of the cheapest dehumidifiers to operate available. It costs only 2.5p an hour to run (based on 15.3pkWh).

Water Collecting Power

Around the back of the unit you will find the very ample 2.5 litre water collection tank. It can be removed with a simple pulling motion when it needs emptying. It is a little disappointing that there is no carry handle on top, but this doesn’t present any problems while emptying.

Conclusion

Overall it is hard not to be impressed with the 12L it is very reasonably priced and, thanks to its smart logic system, it is very economical to run. This dehumidifier is ideal for smaller homes or flats where space is at a premium or any damp problems are not too severe.

Meaco 25L Dehumidryer

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Representing the latest in Meaco’s ‘Platinum’ range the 25L Dehumidryer features a powerful DC motor and is designed to provide a cost effective way of drying your washing – without using an expensive tumble dryer.

But, this doesn’t mean it is unsuitable for dealing with high humidity and damp within the home. In fact it provides a number of very useful settings made just for this purpose. So, let’s dive right in and see what this device can do.

An Overview of The 25L Dehumidryer

The 25L can hold an impressive 5L of water in its ample water tank – which features a folding carry handle

The 25L is one of the largest dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed and measures 28.7cm deep by 37.8cm wide and 64.4cm high and weights a hefty 15kg. It does come with casters to make wheeling between rooms easier, but this device is not light to lift and carry. So if you plan on moving your dehumidifier around your home you may want to check out a lighter desiccant model such as the Zambezi or MK5 Classic.

However, with this weight increase comes a massive increase in performance and the 25L can extract up to 26.4 litres of water from your home over a 24 hour period. The water it collects is stored in its huge 5 litre collection tank. You can also use the supplied hose to feed the water it collects directly into a drain or sink for continuous drainage – removing the need to manually empty it. The water tanks itself features a handy viewing window so you can see how much water has been collected and it has a collapsible carry handle – which makes emptying it a breeze.

Money Saving DC Motor

Inside the 25L is another innovation by Meaco – a DC motor. This might not sound too impressive however this was a shrewd move because the harder you work a DC motor the less energy it uses. This makes this device incredibly economical, even on its highest setting. Which means you can use it to deal with damp or dry your washing without worrying about your electricity bill rocketing.

Powerful air-flow from the 25L’s auto-moving louvre makes short work of drying washing and problem damp spots

The front-mounted digital control panel gives you quick access to the 25L’s functions. You can for example set it on dry mode to reach a desired humidity level, laundry mode to help dry your washing or you can set auto mode.

Auto mode is a ‘smart’ function which allows you to set and forget your dehumidifier. It periodically samples the air and automatically knows if it should be working or not. The ‘smart’ facility this function offers is that it does not simply switch on or off, rather it samples the air, works out how hard it should be working (if at all) then adjusts the fan speeds in increments depending on the humidity level. It represents the perfect balance between power consumption and performance.

Lastly there is a timer function and child lock. The timer can be used to automatically turn the dehumidifier off after a set time – this runs in 1 hour intervals. And, the is a child lock is a nifty features which locks the control panel to prevent small hands from accidentally changing the settings.

Conclusion

The 25L is definitely an impressive all rounder. Its powerful humidity extraction rate and economical performance means it can be perfectly at home in anything from small flats up to large 5 bedroom houses. However, you may want to choose a lighter model if you plan on moving your dehumidifier around your home and think its 15Kg weight might be a little on the hefty side.

EcoAir DC12

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The DC12 fits into EcoAir’s smaller range of compressor units and represents an excellent value, mid-range dehumidifier. The DC12 is the smaller brother of the much larger and bulkier DC18 and is rather compact measuring just 49.6 cm high by 35.3 cm across and 22.5cm deep.

It weighs in at 11kg, which makes it around average for a compressor dehumidifier. The base of the unit is fitted with casters which help ensure moving the unit is simple and fast. However, if you do need to pick it up two recessed carry handles make lifting and holding the DC12 easier when compared to other compressor units which often only provide one handle.

How Effective is The DC12?

A clear and impressive control panel gives quick access to the DC12’s functions

When it comes to performance the DC12 does not disappoint. It can extract up to 12L of water over a 24 hour period which it collects in its 3.5 litre collection tank. For such as small machine this size tank is impressive and it even features handy viewing window so you can see at a glance how much water is being collected. However, if you would prefer not to empty the tank at all the DC12 comes supplied with a handy hose for continuous drainage.

The top of the DC12 is home to its impressive digital display panel. A large LCD display clearly shows the humidity level and two buttons either side of this allow you to set the humidity threshold in handy 5% increments ranging from 30% RH up to 80% RH.

Beneath the display you’ll find series of blister buttons which can be used to configure various options on the machine with nothing more than a few presses. It features a timer function and two fan speed settings. Plus it also provides a handy water tank indicator light – so you know exactly when it needs emptying – and a light which indicates when the filter needs a clean to make sure the DC12 is always operating at peak efficiency.

Conclusion

For smaller homes and flats the DC12 is sure to please. And, for a mid range dehumidifier it packs some surprisingly good features. If you want something with a bit of power, but which isn’t going to break the bank we recommend taking a look at this nifty, compact device.

DD1 Classic MK5

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Featuring powerful performance combined with ease of use and energy saving features it is easy to see why the DD1 Classic MK5 (formerly the DD122fw Mk5 classic) is one of the UK’s most popular dehumidifiers.

It has a rather compact footprint and measures just 17.5cm deep by 29cm wide by 47.5cm high, making it ideal to be tucked away in small spaces or to be used in rooms where space is at a premium. It is also incredibly portable weighing just 6 Kg and featuring a top mounted carry handle it is easy to pick up and move.

How Well Does It Work?

When compared to some of the compressor models we’ve reviewed the DD1, on the surface, appears to be lacking in power and is quoted at being able to remove up to 6 litres of water over 24 hours. But, remember this is desiccant technology and, as we mentioned above, this is far more effective in typical UK conditions than compressor based units. This means this device would be comparable to buying a 12 – 14L compressor dehumidifier.

Inside the unit is a moderate sized 2L collection tank. When full it can be slid out of the side of the machine and features a top mounted carry handle – so there’s no need to worry about spilling any water as you carry it to the sink for emptying.

Impressive Features and a Wide Range Of Functionality

The DD1 MK5 allows you to easily access its functions through its simple control panel

When it comes to useful features the DD1 is literally packed with them. Making it one of the most impressive dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed. Around the back of the machine is a silver filter which kills bacteria and spores on contact. When you combine this with the built-in Ionizer this impressive device comes equipped with everything you need to not only dry out your home but also eliminate the problems caused by damp such as bacteria, spores and mould in the air.

As you would expect with any good dehumidifier the DD1 features a digital control panel. Moving across the panel from left to right you can turn the ionizer on or off, set the auto shut-off timer to operate for 2, 4 or 8 hours, configure the direction of air flow, turn the laundry mode on and set the drying mode.

Just like Meaco’s Control Logic system EcoAir have their own version called Eco E7. This piece of smart tech monitors the ambient humidity AND temperature and uses this to decide whether it should operate on full power, economy or go into standby mode. The end result is reduced energy consumption because the device only operates when it is needed.

The EcoAir DD1 can also operate comfortably in some pretty impressive conditions. On this review page we’ve mentioned that, in particular, compressor units begin to have problems working effectively when the temperature falls to 10 degrees or below. Well, this device can operate effectively down to temperatures as low as 1 degree! This means you have a so much great degree of flexibility where and when you can use it.

Conclusion

It is hard not to be impressed with this device. It is very well thought out, packed with useful technology and can operate in effectively in even the coldest conditions within the home. It’s silver ion filter is also a big plus point considering it can eliminate the bacteria and spores produced by mould, making the air in your home cleaner and healthier.

Meaco DD8L

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This unit is the second compact unit we’ll review in this guide. It measures just 50cm high by 35cm wide and weights a respectably light 7Kg. The carry handle is a simple recessed grip (which we’re not a fan of) but given the size and weight of this unit does not present any real problems.

How Well Does The DD8L Work?

A supplied hose allows the DDL8 to run constantly without the need to empty the tank

The 8 in the DD8L prefix lets us know that this unit is capable of extracting up to 8 litres of water every day. As we’ve already mentioned this may not seem like a lot compared to some compressor units which can extract 16 or 20L of water a day, it is worth remembering these figures are measures at conditions which are not often found in the UK. Plus, because this is a desiccant device its won’t suffer the performance problems that compressor units can in lower temperatures (below 10 – 15 degrees) and will remain consistently effective.

Like most Meaco units the 2 litre water tanks features handy water level window so you can easily see how much water has been collected and it comes with a hose for continuous drainage – should you wish to bypass the water tank all together.

Easy To Use Control Panel

The top of the device is home to a simple 5 button control panel. Each button corresponds to a different setting and a press of each button cycles between the different modes for each. You can choose from 3 different fan speed, 3 drying modes (including a laundry function), set the timer to shut the unit off after 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours or switch on/off the ionizer. And, of course, turn the unit on or off.

For such a compact unit it is good to see that it comes with Meaco’s Control Logic technology. When the target humidity level has been reached the device will run the fan for 10 minutes to ensure everything is ok before going to sleep for 30 minutes. After this time has elapsed it will sample the air again, if the target humidity level has been exceeded it will start the dehumidifying process again, if not it will go back to sleep! But, what does this mean for you? Well, in most cases, it will only cause the dehumidifier to run for 10 minutes every hour effectively using 1/6th of the power of other units. This is a great money saving feature.

Conclusion

Overall the DD8L is an impressive unit for one which is so compact. And, you can even buy a slightly cheaper version should you wish to save a little money. The only difference is that it does not come with an Ionizer and is called the DD8L Junior. It is easy to see why this device is so popular and has won a total of 3 Which best buy awards.

Trotec Dehumidifier TTK 69 E

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Trotec are another brand which seems to be making waves in the dehumidification market. The TTK 69 E is getting a lot of great reviews and definitely seems to be a great performer. It is priced at around the £130-140 mark (at the time of writing) – making it exceptional good value for money. Let’s dive right in and see exactly what you can expect from the TTK 69E…

An Overview of The TTK 69E

The TTK 69E a stylish analogue control panel that is simple to use, if lacking in features, compared to some other dehumidifiers

Like most units the control panel is housed at the top of this very stylish unit. 5 brushed steel style buttons are all you need to access the major functions which makes setting this device up a breeze.

The device itself it about average for a compressor unit and measures 57.5 cm high by 34.5 cm wide by 21 cm deep. It comes with most features you would expect for a unit which costs slightly more which pleasantly surprised us. One such notable feature is the auto defrost function which prevents the unit from freezing up and helps maintain efficiency in lower temperatures. Whilst its performance will decline under 10 – 15 degrees the defrost facility will certainly help.

You can choose from 3 fan speed settings which allows you to get a burst of performance when you need it turn the unit down when you don’t. This also gives you a little control over how noisy the unit is. Lower fan speeds obviously mean less noise.

Impressive Safety and Maintenance Features

There are also a number of safety features in the Trotec. One is an overflow protection switch which turns the unit off when it is full (this is quite common) and a child lock to prevent children from accidentally changing the settings (this is still quite a rare feature and is nice to see).

There are also a number of other features which show just how well built this device is. One such feature is that the vent at the back slowly opens up when you turn the unit on, to allow for maximum airflow, and then closes automatically when you switch it off. A little but nice touch.

It also comes with a filter warning light which lets you know when the filter needs cleaning. But, unlike some units made by Ebac, you can actually remove this filter and wash it. Which will definitely save on running costs because you will not need to buy extra filters.

Conclusion

Overall, this nifty little device impressed us. It is priced very reasonably and offers a lot of functionality in a rather stylish case which should look right at home in most peoples houses.

Inventor CARE C2-12LBS

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Inventor is a brand we’ve seen shoot up in the sales charts for dehumidifiers. The units they produce are gaining a reputation for being cost effective, simple to use and reliable and they are getting the reviews to back this up.

The CARE C2-12LBS is a simple unit when compared to some of the others we have reviewed but this does not mean it is ineffective. It can extract a respectable 12L of water a day and because it is a compressor unit features an auto defrost function for those colder days. This feature prevents the device from freezing up and makes sure it remains as effective as possible even in lower temperatures.

An Overview of The Inventor CARE

The top-mounted carry handle and caster wheels at the base of the Inventor CARE make moving this appliance very easy

The unit weights a relatively hefty 11Kg but this not surprising for a compressor based device. However it does come with a sturdy carry, top mounted carry handle and casters to make moving it as easy as possible. This is a very welcome addition considering most compressor units only feature recessed grips for picking up the device – which some people find difficult to use.

At the bottom of the unit you’ll find the 12LBS’s 2l water collection tank which, like most units, has a handy viewing window for seeing when the tank is full. There is also a ‘tank full’ light on top of the device which serves the same purpose.

How To Use The CARE C2-12LBS

The digital control panel is very simple to use and you can pretty much figure out all of the functions with a single glance. Moving across the panel from left to right you’ll first see the continuous operation mode, which is handy for quickly reducing humidity in very damp environments or drying washing. Next to this is the timer button which runs up to 24 hours allowing you to keep a control over running costs. In the middle of the panel you’ll find a small LCD screen and a ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ button which allows you to set the target humidity level in 5% increments. Lastly there’s the silent mode button and power button.

The silent mode, we think, is a little oversold. It implies that the dehumidifier makes no noise when in this mode. This is not true, the fact it is a compressor unit means it will always be a little noisy. So, whilst this isn’t a big problem as no unit of this kind is silent, we thought it was worth mentioning so that your expectations were in-line with what this device can offer.

Conclusion

The 12LBS is a very respectable little unit. Whilst Inventor are not so well known in the dehumidifier market we believe they will gain more recognition over the coming years thanks to well priced devices like this. If you’re looking for a solid unit and don’t mind going with a relatively unknown brand we don’t think this will disappoint you.

The Different Kinds of Dehumidifier

No self respecting guide on dehumidifiers would be complete without explaining the different types available to you, along with their pros and cons. We’ll cover the two main types of dehumidifier here and we’ll touch on the ones we think you should avoid.

1. Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Without a doubt these are, in our opinion, the best dehumidifiers you can buy in the UK.

They can operate down to temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius and also warm the room when they are in use – making them perfect for drying washing during the colder winter months.

Inside the machine you will typically find a wheel made of a highly absorbent material called zeolite. Humid air is drawn into the device and passed through the zeolite causing the amount of water it contains to be drastically reduced.

The saturated wheel is passed through a small heating system inside the device which removes the water and collects it inside a storage tank. The warm air produced is mixed with the dry air and exits the machine. This process is repeated and causes the relative humidity of the room to drop.

Pros
They are one of the lightest kinds of dehumidifier available making them easy to move around the home.
Modern units are very becoming more cost effective to run when compared to models made in the recent past.
They can be used in much cooler environments where compressor models can’t.
Perfect for drying washing and dealing with condensation quickly because of the warm air they produce.
Cons
The heating element makes them slightly more expensive to run than compressor models.
The zeolite can produce a slightly sour smell when the machine is in use – although this will fade over time.

 

2. Compressor Dehumidifiers

If you were to sit a desiccant and compressor dehumidifier side by side it would be hard to tell them apart. From the outside both kinds of unit appear virtually identical and, to the end user, do the exact same job.

It is what is inside the machine which differs and one key indicator of this is the weight of each machine – a compressor dehumidifier can be quite heavy!

The reason for this is due to how the device extracts water from the air. Inside the machine is compressor pump and a series of metal pipes or plates. The compressor expands and contracts a refrigerant gas like freon to cool these pipes.

When air comes into contact with the now cool pipes the water it contains condenses and drips away into a storage tank. The downside is that, although this process is efficient, the compressor pump can often weigh a lot.

Pros
The running costs of these machines are very low.
The compressor technology inside the machine is highly effective, proven and reliable.
They are highly effective in warmer temperatures of 15 degrees and above.
These devices are typically very durable and can last for many years if cared for.
Cons
They are not effective in lower temperatures of 10 degrees and below such as those you might find in sheds, garages or caravans.
The compressor unit makes them heavy.
Traditionally the compressor unit can be quite noisy, however more modern units are getting quieter.

 

3. Dehumidifiers You Should Avoid

As with every appliance you can buy for the home there are some which do not always provide the best value for money. When it comes to dehumidifiers these are the units which, in our opinion, we think you should avoid.

1 Peltier Dehumdifiers

Despite being relatively uncommon you may come across a Peltier unit. On first glance they appear to provide everything you need. They are virtually silent and have fewer moving parts which could wear out or break down.

They work by passing an electrical current between two different layers of material. Where the materials join a heat flux is created and heat is drawn from one material to another. This creates a cold spot on which water can condense and be collected.

The problem is that this technology is highly inefficient and expensive to run, especially when compared to desiccant and compressor based dehumidifiers. It is for these reasons we do not recommend you buy a Peltier unit.

2 Non Electric Desiccant Units

These are only suitable for the most minor of humidity problems

Despite some clever marketing these kind of non-electric dehumidifiers are nothing more than glorified moisture traps. You will have probably seen these before and they typically look like small containers filled with beads or gel. The material inside is hygroscopic and absorbs a small amounts of water from the surrounding air.

They are only really suitable for minor humidity problems – such as fusty odours in cupboards or in your car – and they will not deal with problems caused by anything other than the smallest amount of humidity.

Plus some cannot be reused and you have pay for refill cartridges – which can rack up in price very quickly. It might be tempting to go for the cheaper option but in the long run it will end up costing you a lot more and you will still have a damp problem.

Buyers Guide

Here are the 4 key points we think you need to consider when buying a dehumidifier:

1 Features

Decide if you want a digital or analogue controls. Typically analogue controls are much easier to use but you sacrifice useful features such as auto-shut off timers and precise control over the target humidity levels.

Take a look at the filters which come with the device (if any). Do they need replacing often? Or can they be taken out and cleaned? Also check to see if the filter has any antibacterial properties which can be used to kill the spores released by mould and mildew. This is particularly useful if you have children or anyone in your home suffers from breathing problems such as asthma.

Lastly look at the water collection tank size. These can range from a few hundred milliliters up to 5 or 6 litres. The size of the tank and the extraction rate of the machine will dictate how often you need to empty the tank. All dehumidifiers feature an automatic shut off system, so you’ll never need to worry about the device overflowing. The problem is when they are full they are not removing moisture from the air.

If you think this might be a problem for you check to see if the dehumidifier has an auto drain facility. This means you can place the machine next to a sink or drain and have the collected water drain out of the machine rather than it being collected in the internal storage tank.

2 Price

The truth is dehumidifiers are not the cheapest appliances you can buy for your home. Most range from £80 (for a basic unit) to £250 (for a top end device). Once you start falling below the £70 – £80 mark the effectiveness of the devices drops rapidly and, depending on your needs, may be a false economy to buy.

Most decent dehumidifiers can be picked up for around the £160 and, in most cases, will fit the majority of needs.

3 Portability

Will you dehumidifier stay in one place in the home? Or will you move it around? For example, will you use it to dry your bathroom in the evening after everyone has showered and then use it to help dry washing in the day?

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are easily the heaviest you can buy and weigh in at around 9kg on average. Although the more powerful units such as the Meaco 25L Dehumidryer tips the scales at a whopping 15kg. When you compare this to desiccant models which can weigh as little as 6kg the difference is apparent and it is easy to see which kind is the most portable.

Another factor, aside from weight, which plays a role in portability is the presence of a decent carry handle. The best designed handles fold flat on the unit when they are not in use and are very easy to grip. Some feature small recessed grips which you can use to pick up the unit. These aren’t the best to use. Not only does it feel like the dehumidifier is going to slip out of your hands you are hunched over and shuffling as you move the unit.

Lastly check to see if the device comes with any casters on the base if it is a heavy unit. These may not always look the most aesthetically pleasing but they are a real life saver and make moving even the heaviest units between rooms a breeze.

4 The Size Of Your Home

The size of your home plays a role in how effective and how powerful a dehumidifier you’ll need. You will also need to take into account the severity of the humidity problem your home has and the target relative humidity you want to achieve in your home. Around 45%RH to 60%RH is considered the most ideal for UK homes.

Typically dehumidifiers measure their effectiveness in litres of water extracted over a 24 hour period. The higher this number the more powerful, and therefore more quickly, it will be able to deal with your humidity problem.

The problem with this measurement is that most manufacturers test their units in temperatures and humidity conditions which are just not applicable to the UK. The most frequent test conditions quoted by manufacturers are at 30 degrees and 80% RH, and the UK is not known for its tropical climate!

You also need to bear in mind that as the temperature drops so does the effectiveness of compressor dehumidifiers. Where as desiccant dehumidifiers provide a relatively consistent performance no matter the temperature. This means a desiccant model quoted at extracting 7 litres of water per day can outperform a compressor model quoted at extracting 12.

For more of an idea what dehumidifier would suitable for your home take a look at our comparison table above.

Conclusion & Next Steps

Believe it or not however most of the time the damp and condensation problems in our home our problems we cause.

During the course of a day the average home produces up to 24 pints of water which needs to go somewhere. The home can absorb a certain amount however, the excess condenses on surfaces causing damp patches, mould and mildew. In these situations a dehumidifier is your best friend.

They can easily suck up the excess moisture from showering, cooking, drying washing and even breathing (yes, we exhale water when breathing!). Preventing the horrible fusty odours and unsightly mould patches excess humidity can cause.

By now you should have a pretty good idea of what to look for in your next dehumidifier. But, if you’d still unsure we recommend taking a look at our comparision table and reading our reviews of the top 8 dehumidifiers.