“ Brand: Meaco „
This is our first winter in our new house and it didn't take too long for it to become apparent that we would have an issue with condensation on the bedroom windows. I decided to look for a solution to the problem online as I was sick of wiping them down every day and was worried about potential damp issues. At first I opted for small plastic dehumidifiers t sit on the windowsill but these did very little and I decided I needed to invest in something a bit bigger - a proper, electric dehumidifier. After a fair amount of researching online I opted for a Meaco Home Dehumidifer with a 10 litre capacity from Amazon for £124.90.
WHAT IS A DEHUMIDIFIER
A dehumidifier, put simply, is an appliance that decreases the humidity in the air. In a home, humid air can lead to damp and the growth of mould and mildew which can pose health issues (a particular concern to me as I have two very young sons). Dehumidifiers work to collect moisture from the air and can help to reduce the amount of condensation in the windows in the home.
THE MEACO 10 LITRE
The unit is suitable for flats and small houses (up to three bedrooms) and can be used to keep condensation off the windows and to dry washing. This is a compressor dehumidifier. This means it draws the air from the room over a filter and passes it over cold coils which causes the water to condense and drip into the bucket. The air is reheated to room temperature and blown back out of the dehumidifier.
It is a medium sized white unit - dimensions are 48.3cm (H) x 29.6cm (W) x 18.6cm (D). The unit is predominantly white in colour with a grill like vent at the top and back. At the bottom of the back, there is a dark blue plastic drawer which is where the water collects. On the top there is a control panel with an on/off switch and a large water droplet button. This can be pressed to flick through and select one of the four settings labelled to it's side - these light up when selected. These relate to the level of dehumidifying required - one water droplet for the lowest level and three for the highest. The one with two droplets has a thumbs up sign by it as, on this setting, the humidistat is used to switch the dehumidifier on and off when it deems a suitable level of humidity is reached. The other setting is a picture of a T-Shirt and this setting helps to dry clothes when inside on airers. On the other side of the control panel, there are three symbols which also light up - one to indicate the unit is turned on, one that shows the water tank needs emptying and one that shows the dehumidifier needs defrosting (this happens when it is used at low temperatures) It has a carry handle attached at the top, this is hinged so can lie flat when not in use. The unit is quite heavy at 8.75kg but it is perfectly moveable using the handle.
The dehumidifier is said to be 'very quiet' at 43dBA - with the low noise due to a highly efficient rotary compressor and a good design with a carefully engineered air outlet to reduce wind noise. The unit has an extraction rate of 10 litres per day maximum - although at normal domestic temperature this is typically 4-6 litres. There is also a hose contained so you can set the unit for continual drainage of you so wish. The tank has a capacity of two litres so requires emptying if the unit reaches drainage above this. It has an airflow of 88 cubic metres and hour and power consumption of 220W. There is a one year warranty on the product.
The dehumidifier is very simple to use - it comes with basic instructions but tells you to download the main instruction manual online. This is not something we have bothered to do as it is pretty self explanatory to use the controls. It was just a matter of unpacking, plugging in and away we went.
There were certain questions that we had though, which are best answered in the manual. Questions such as : where do we need to put it? and how long should it be on for? The instructions say it needn't be placed in the worst affected room. In order to get the best results in a three bedroom house such as ours, it should be placed at the bottom of the stairs with all internal doors left open - this should dehumidify the whole house. You also need to place it a decent distance away from surfaces.
We place this at the bottom of our stairs and allow it to run overnight. We use it on the second setting so the humidistat will turn it off should a decent level of humidity be reached. I wouldn't describe the machine as quiet but it is certainly not overly noisy and it is bearable at this distance from the bedrooms overnight - I wouldn't want it in the room with me. We find that it generally runs most of the night and doesn't switch off much if at all - but obviously this is dependent on your home and ours obviously has a high level of humidity. By morning, the two litre tank is almost always nearly full of water - sometimes the machine will stop as it is full and needs emptying. You are alerted to this by several sharp bleeps. It is simple to empty, you just pull the blue drawer out and tip it out before replacing - the machine will then start up again.
I find that the electric cable to the plug is quite short and doesn't always allow me to position the dehumidifier exactly where I would like it. This is not an issue when using it overnight but if used in the day, I would like it to be out of the way and the stretch from the socket sometimes does not allow this. This is also true for when I use the clothes drying function and wish to position it near my airers.
We noticed improvements from the first time we used the dehumidifier. The condensation on our windows was noticeably reduced from first use. After a couple of nights of running it, there was no condensation on the windows in the morning - results were above even our level of expectation. Not only were there effects on the condensation, patches of mould that we had cleared then did not appear again and the walls seemed to have dried out well where this could be a problem.
In the clothes drying mode, it is also very effective. Don't get me wrong, it is not a miracle worker and will not dry clothes in super quick time but it definitely helps dry clothes in a quicker time than they would dry ordinarily.
Another benefit of the dehumidifier, that we had read about prior to purchasing, is that it is easier to heat a less humid house - and so it should save us money on our heating bills. So far, we have definitely found this to be the case. The house feels warmer when this is running and our heating certainly clicks on less when thermostatically controlled. The dehumidifier costs approximately 2-3 pence per hour to run so, hopefully, this works out to be economically advantageous to us. The same can be said of the cost of running this to dry washing versus using the tumble dryer.
The dehumidifier was a fairly costly initial investment for us (although not a bad price for a dehumidifier) and there are running costs too but our house feels more comfortable to live in. With two young sons, the condensation and damp was a health concern for us so this has improved our quality of life. It has also helped rid us of (or at least vastly reduce) the unsightly condensation on our windows each morning. Therefore I am very pleased with our purchase. It is easy to operate too and portable, if a little on the heavy side. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a dehumidifier for their home.