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I absolutely adore the summer... especially because it means freshly washed clothes drying in the breeze and smelling delicious when you bring them in. Sadly this image is often short lived with British weather and I seem to spend at least half the year drying my clothes inside on a clothes horse. As I only have two bedrooms I tend to put my clothes horse in my only spare bedroom... which resulted in that room smelling rather damp during the latter part of last year despite having the heating on most evenings. There's something so musty smelling about drying clothes inside, especially thick clothes that take a couple of days to dry and then leave my room smelling damp!
After experiencing the delights of a dehumidifier in my car I decided to invest in one for my house as my dad assured me this would solve all my clothes drying problems! In simple terms (trust me, it has to be simple for me to understand) a dehumidifier takes moisture out of the air by sucking the moist air in on one side, removing the moisture from it which is then turned to water, and then pushing the resulting dry air out the other side. This process then continues to repeat until all of the moisture is out of the air. Therefore when drying clothes inside it helps to remove the moisture that is taken off the clothes and transferred into the air particles, which in turn alleviate the horrible damp and musty smell that seemed to collect in my spare room!
As I was so pleased with my mini dehumidifier that I keep in my car by Meaco I decided to invest in one from the same brand. After researching the different options available (thanks Dad!) I purchased the Meaco 20 L Dehumidifer which cost me £159.99 from the Meaco website (www.meaco.com). It was advertised as being suitable for warm houses (thanks to the neighbours on both side having a desire to live in tropical temperatures, my house seems to get quite warm even when the heating isn't on!) and the most energy efficient model they offered (running costs did initially worry me a little but I was very pleasantly surprised... see further on here).
The Meaco 20 L Dehumidifer is white in colour and looks like some new age heater of some description! It measures 26cm (width) by 35cm (diameter) by 56cm (height) and it weights 11.8kg so it isn't overly easy to carry! Luckily it has castors on it so it can be moved quite easily, especially when the floor is wooden like in my house. It has also got a white retractable carry handle which is very strong too. It has a very clean and modern look to it and it doesn't really stand out at all in my house which I was glad about. To operate the dehumidifier it must be plugged into a power supply and it can then be moved around quite easily as it has a 1.5m cable attached to the plug. It should be placed on a flat surface with nothing blocking any of the vents on it so it can easily access the air. It can be placed in any room or area of the house too.
It came with an instructions booklet (thank goodness) that was easy to understand (thank goodness again). There are four different functions on the control panel at the top which are all operated via buttons. On the right hand side is the power button which turns the dehumidifier on and off. Next to that is the fan button which allows you to choose between high and low fan speed. Next to that is the timer button which allows you to run the dehumidifier for 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours before it turns itself off (please note it will also turn itself off when it has removed all the moisture from the air or when the water tank is full). On the left hand side is the mode button which allows you to choose from laundry (when drying washing), maximum (runs to achieve a relative humidity of 40%), normal (runs to achieve a relative humidity of 60%) and minimum (runs to achieve a relative humidity of 80%). I tend to only use the mode and the power buttons but it is incredibly easy to follow the instructions and work it too.
When the dehumidifier is working you'll notice there will be a slight whirring noise which, according to the advertising, is only 46 dB which is very quiet in comparison to other dehumidifiers. Similar noise levels can be found by very small dehumidifiers but to get one of this capacity and size with such a low level is really quite unique. I can't say I even notice the sound very much now but I could imagine it would be a little too loud to sleep through! The dehumidifier can be left working as it does turn itself off when the humidity is achieved or the water tank is full as already mentioned. The water tank is in the back of it and simply pulls out before slotting back in once empty. As the name suggests it holds 20 litres of water so I don't have to empty it every single time I use the dehumidifier and it only takes about a minute to do it anyway.
I tend to use the dehumidifier whenever I'm drying washing so I probably have it on about three to four times a week. Now it doesn't instantly dry washing, if I'm drying something like my boyfriend's work shirts they'll normally be dry after about 4 hours whereas thicker items such as jeans would take double this at least. To dry bedding I once left it on all day, for around 7 hours, and the bedding was completely dry at the end of this time. I usually switch the dehumidifer on around 5pm and then leave it on until I go to bed around 10pm at night. On average I'd say it's probably on around 20 to 30 hours a week and I can honestly say it's made such a tiny dent in my electricity bill that it's hardly noticeable at all! The instructions manual suggests it costs between 2p and 3p an hour to run, depending on your electricity tariff, and I'd say this is very accurate as my bill in January was £2.12 more than December and I hadn't really altered my electricity usage in any noticeable way other than using this.
In addition it's also got an anti-bacterial filter which helps to clean the air but also to kill any bacteria that comes into contact with the coating which is a great bonus I think. It also samples the air at intervals to calculate when dehumidification is required to reduce energy consumption. When the target relative humidity has been reached the drying circuit is turned off and the dehumidifier will then "go to sleep" for 30 minutes and then "wake up" for 5 minutes to test the relative humidity once more. This process is repeated every 30 minutes until it needs to come back on again. It is recommended that you can leave it on all the time as it'll automatically check when it needs to switch on and when it can "go to sleep" in a sense but I rarely do.
I've had this since the end of December and can honestly say it's been a huge help around the house. I no longer have a damp smell, the tiny bits of mould that were starting to grow in the spare bedroom corners have gone and there is a lovely fresh smell once again to my washing. Despite the initial cost being quite high (£159.99) the running costs are extremely low, having it on all day every day would only cost me about £6 extra a month which is a smell price to pay to have a damp free home! I really can't fault my dehumidifier and can't really think of any negatives. The only thing my boyfriend has commented on is that it raises the temperature of the room it's operating in but as the air is drier it feels much more pleasant anyway. Obviously the continuous noise that is produced while it's turned on means you probably couldn't sleep with it on, however I have got used to it now and don't really notice it anymore. So if you're considering a dehumidifier I'd 100% recommend the Meaco 20L one!
Thanks for reading!