The Dimplex Forte 10L DXDH10N is one of just a couple of refrigerant dehumidifiers that Dimplex, better known for their trusted array of heaters produce and of those this particular model is by far and away the most popular.
From first glance it’s a great-looking unit produced by a trusted manufacturer, which is surely a winning combination, right? Well there’s stiff competition in this area of the market from the EcoAir DC12 and a deeper look at the Dimplex unit reveals some flaws that we will explain in this review.
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- Good-looking machine
- No-nonsense and easy to work
- Trusted manufacturer
- A little on the noisy side
- Basic manual control panel
- Low moisture extraction under UK conditions
- Only one fan speed
|Value for Money|
The DXDH10N comes with one of the simplest control panels imaginable. It features just one moveable part – a rotary dial that acts as the on/off switch, determines the power of the dehumidifier and turns on the ‘continuous’ mode.
Turn the dial away from its most counter-clockwise position and the machine will spring into life. You can then choose to set it between ‘1’ and ‘9’, which doesn’t tell you an awful lot about what humidity your set number is going to give you, so if you buy this model you may also want to consider getting one of those very cheap hygrometer/ thermometer/ clock devices or alternatively rely on your intuition to tell you whether the machine needs turning up or down. A higher number will result in a lower humidity in your home. The way this works is that the Dimplex Forte 10L has an in-built humidistat that senses the relative humidity of the room, the higher the number that you set on the dial, the lower the dehumidifier will allow the humidity of the room to drop before it stops dehumidifying and switches into fan-only mode. It will then remain in fan-only mode until the humidity rises again and the dehumidifying components kick in.
It’s advisable to start off with to set the dial to ‘6’ and see how you get on, as this should target the machine to hit around 50% relative humidity, which is in the middle of the ‘ideal’ 40% to 60%RH range. During cold snaps where it’s regularly below 5°C you may want to consider increasing this number and thereby dropping the humidity lower so that the air in your home continues to feel comfortable.
Turn the dial right around to its most clockwise position (see “cont.”) and you’ll trigger the continuous mode. This is similar to the ‘turbo’ or ‘laundry’ setting that you may see on other dehumidifiers, where the machine will dehumidify continuously, no matter how dry the air is until you switch the setting off. This feature is useful to drive moisture out of a particularly damp room or laundry faster. The difference between this model and other models with ‘turbo’ or ‘laundry’ settings is that the Forte 10L only has one fan speed, whereas most other dehumidifiers have two these days, which means you don’t see as big of a boost in extraction rates in the continuous setting as you would in other dehumidifiers.
You’ll also notice three lights on the control panel. ‘Operation’ just tells you that the unit is working. ‘Tank full’ turns on when the water collection bucket is full and requires emptying. Pay attention to this light as the machine will stop dehumidifying when this occurs to avoid overflowing the collection tank. The third light is for “defrost”, which illuminates occasionally when the unit is defrosting itself. This occurs because as in all refrigerant dehumidifiers, the refrigerant parts occasionally get clogged up with frost and become inefficient, so the automatic defrosting keeps these parts frost-free without you needing to do anything. Using the dehumidifier in rooms below 15°C will mean that this setting will come on quite a bit of the time. All refrigerant dehumidifiers should really be kept above this temperature because of the way they work.
The water collection bucket has a capacity of 2.3L, which is bigger than average for this power of machine. It’s accessible from the back of the machine, which is a slight pain, but it is easy enough to take out and put back. It doesn’t have a lid or much of a handle, so you need to be careful when carrying it over to the drain to empty it, however because it’s quite tall and narrow it doesn’t slop too much. Unfortunately there’s no way to see into the water collection bucket to view the current water level, so if you wish to see how it’s doing then it’s a case of spinning the machine around, opening it up and peering in.
At this end of the market you wouldn’t expect to see an ioniser or an anti-bacterial filter and there are no surprises here. There is a dust filter covering the intake on the back of the machine, which is relatively easy to remove and insert for cleaning.
The Dimplex Forte 10L is mounted on a set of castor wheels, which make rolling it around, even on carpet, a simple task.
Should you need to pick it up then there are grooves on either side of the machine towards the top of it, which we don’t like as however strong you are they’ll likely leave you hunched like a gorilla while and after lugging it around.
These poor handles are emphasised by the weight of the machine, which at 10.6kg is about average for a refrigerant dehumidifier, but still heavy for us cotton wool-wrapped office workers.
The 10L measures 22cm deep by 36.5cm wide by 49cm high, which is again about what you’d expect.
There’s no denying that the Dimplex Forte 10L is one of the best looking dehumidifiers on the market, with its matte, curved, off-white minimalist front panel nicely contrasted against the black sides.
What the model loses points for is from a design practicality perspective, with the control panel looking like it’s come straight out of the 1990’s, the handles being awkward and the water collection bucket being on the reverse of the unit making it difficult to access, with no way to gauge the current water level.
Dimplex claim that the Forte 10L produces just 42dB of sound, which is like a quiet computer hard-drive whirring. This is likely correct when the machine is coasting in fan-only mode (i.e. not dehumidifying). However when the machine is dehumidifying the sound of the compressor does drive the noise well above this level, to the extent that you definitely wouldn’t want it in the room that you watch television in or in your bedroom.
Compared to the competition it is definitely less refined and more noisy than most (remember it’s also cheaper than most too), which probably shows how far the technology has moved since the Dimplex Forte 10L was first released.
The Dimplex Forte 10L is rated to produce 10 litres per day, but note that this figure will have been recorded at the perfect conditions for extraction, which will be around 30°C and 80% relative humidity. Many people are therefore disappointed when they see their machine extracting less than 2 litres per day, which is the amount that you could expect under UK conditions.
Remember that the Dimplex DXDH10N, being a refrigerant dehumidifier, works by being the coldest spot in the room, allowing condensation to form and drip into the collection bucket. Therefore the temperature and the relative humidity of the room makes a big difference to the amount of water it collects.
A 10L-rated unit is as weak as refrigerant dehumidifiers come and the Dimplex Forte 10L seems to perform worse than the competition under UK conditions. This discrepancy is probably due to it only having one fan speed, which leaves the machine unable to kick it up a notch when required. Therefore I would rate it as suitable for up to a maximum of a two bed or small three bedroom house.
Dimplex Forte 10L DXDH10N Review – Value for Money
You can probably tell from what was written above that we weren’t particularly impressed by the Dimplex Forte 10L DXDH10N. However, what really grabbed our attention was the sale price seen here, which could tempt us to purchase it over the more modern EcoAir DC12.