A new name in dehumidifiers in the USA but a very well established brand in Britain and Europe, Meaco has introduced a range of domestic desiccant dehumidifiers for winter 2018.
Established in England in 1991, Meaco has a long history of producing award-winning dehumidifiers that offer something slightly different, so how do their desiccant dehumidifiers stack up?
Meaco DD8L Zambezi Desiccant Dehumidifier
This interesting dehumidifier is on top of the current Meaco offering in the USA. The first thing you notice as you unpack it is how much lighter it is than a compressor dehumidifier. At under 20lbs and with the center top handle, it is easy to move about.
Once you plug it in and start to run, you notice the other big difference at 40dB, just how much quieter it is than a compressor dehumidifier. For anyone who has experienced the continuous compressor hum of a 50-pint dehumidifier, just having a much gentler fan noise will come as a welcome relief.
The reduced weight and noise are because this dehumidifier does not have a compressor or any coiling coils. This removes a lot of weight, and the noise reduction comes from not having the compressor rumbling away.
What is the point of a 17-pint dehumidifier?
In America, we are used to our dehumidifiers being at least 50 pints in size, with 70-pint dehumidifiers being the most popular, so what is the point in a 17-pint dehumidifier?
Those 50 or 70-pint dehumidifiers only remove that amount of water when the conditions are perfect for them and very hot and humid. As the temperature and relative humidity fall, so does the amount of water they can extract out of the air.
With a desiccant dehumidifier, the amount extracted hardly changes at all as the conditions change, so while a compressor definitely makes more sense during the hot and humid Floridian summer, it makes less sense in more temperate States when the temperatures are cooler.
In fact, at 68°F, you would need a 42-pint compressor to extract the same amount of water as a 17-pint desiccant dehumidifier, and at 41°F, you would need an 84-pint dehumidifier!
So they are for colder spaces?
A desiccant dehumidifier in a space where a compressor dehumidifier is not adequate is one of the big pluses. So think garage, RV, cabin, boats, and any other space that gets colder during autumn or winter but needs to be protected from damp.
Is that the only use for them?
The lower weight and the low noise level also make them good to use around the bedroom and smaller properties like apartments where noise is a big concern. We spoke to one user who used a 50-pint dehumidifier in her bedroom and couldn’t believe that a dehumidifier could be so small and quiet when she looked at the Zambezi.
One of the major sources of damp and moisture in apartments is drying washing. The Zambezi has a special laundry drying mode that drives heat and dry air across the clothes to dry them faster. It even works out when it thinks the laundry is dry so it can minimize its power consumption.
Any other features?
The manufacturer claims that it has six world firsts for a desiccant dehumidifier, and it certainly does have more options than any other dehumidifier we have seen.
The display gives you access to;
- A fully variable humidistat
- A readout of the current temperature and relative humidity
- On Timer
- Off Timer
- Daily Run Timer
- Variable fan speeds
- Rotating air deflector with variable angles
- Laundry mode with the power consumption control
- Sterilizing air ionizer
- Child Lock
- Meaco Control Logic
- Meaco 20+ control
- Anti-mold coating on the water tank
- Unique charity donation to support an elephant orphanage in Africa
Run the dehumidifier only when you want
One of the more useful features on that list is the Daily Run Timer, which allows you to set the time period that you want the dehumidifier to turn on and off each day, and it will repeat that cycle each day for you.
That in combination with the auto-restart after a power cut and the Meaco 20+, which increases the extraction rate of the dehumidifier automatically to maintain your target humidity, makes this dehumidifier a compelling choice for use in applications where you are not present (boat, garage, cabin, RV, etc.).
A nice little extra feature about this dehumidifier is that Zambezi’s name comes from a real orphan elephant rescued in Zambia after poachers killed its mother. Meaco donates to the charity for every unit sold. On display, you see a happy or sad caricature of the elephant display, depending on whether the machine is dehumidifying the air in standby.
The Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier is a feature-rich machine that will apply to those like their gadgets and offer an interesting alternative to a standard compressor dehumidifier. Although it will not replace the compressor dehumidifier in southern basements during hot summer months, we can certainly see people using this dehumidifier to look after RVs, boats, and garages bedroom or to dry washing in apartments.