We looked at water extraction claims from six leading dehumidifier brands – DeLonghi, Dimplex, Ebac, EcoAir, Electrolux and Meaco – and found the claims are often based on unrealistic conditions you’re unlikely to ever experience in your UK home.
Many refrigerant dehumidifiers – the most common type in the UK – base claims on how much water is removed over 24 hours at 30?C and 80% relative humidity. These conditions better represent a tropical rainforest than your home.
They also denote maximum, rather than typical, performance. Plus conditions can vary between manufacturers – for instance, Ebac told us that it bases water extraction claims on 30?C and 85% relative humidity.
While there’s no specific European standard regarding dehumidifier water extraction claims, we believe this is misleading and confusing for anyone looking to buy a dehumidifier.
Which? tests dehumidifiers in more realistic conditions. We measure how much water each dehumidifier pulls from the air at 21?C and 10?C, both with 59% relative humidity.
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What about desiccant dehumidifiers?
Just to add to the confusion, you can also find dehumidifiers that have their water extraction claims based on 20?C and 60% relative humidity.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are designed to work better at lower temperatures and humidities than refrigerant models, so are more suitable for an unheated garage. Both refrigerant and desiccant dehumidifiers are typically listed alongside each other on retailer websites, adding to the complication of water extraction claims. This ultimately makes it more confusing for you to buy the best dehumidifier for your home.
Out of the six brands we looked at, only EcoAir and Meaco have a desiccant dehumidifier range.
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The manufacturers respond
We spoke to the six leading dehumidifier brands, giving them the chance to comment.
Electrolux neither provided us with comment nor told us what its water extraction claims are based on.
More positively, the other five brands agree that this is an issue worth addressing. DeLonghi, Ebac and Meaco told us that they have addressed this issue themselves in the past, with Meaco adding that it has done more than anyone to try to provide greater transparency.
EcoAir told us that it wanted to change the way that water extraction claims for refrigerant and desiccant dehumidifiers vary – instead, making the two types follow the same test conditions so that consumers can better see the difference between the technologies.
Which? will continue to encourage manufacturers to make more useful claims to help make it easier for all consumers to buy the best dehumidifiers for their homes.