The Meaco Portable Compact DD8L is Meaco’s most popular dehumidifier and comes in two guises, the standard ‘DD8L’ and the ‘DD8L Junior’. The only difference between these two models is that the ‘Junior’ model does not have an ioniser or antibacterial filter and it is therefore a little cheaper. We really liked its closest desiccant dehumidifier rival, the EcoAir DD122FW and so this Meaco model is going to have to excel to compete.
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- Best-in-class moisture extraction rate, particularly effective at lower temperatures (<15°C)
- Simple, easy to use digital control panel
- Good array of functions and ‘modes’
- Fan turns off and on automatically, improving device longevity and preventing burning smells common with competitors
- Ioniser and bacterial filter
- Three fan speeds
- Not quite as quiet or light as competitors (slight)
- A little pricey
|Value for Money|
The Meaco DD8L has a large, top-mounted digital control panel featuring buttons that drive each of the five menu choices (or four menu choices if you buy the ‘Junior’ model).
Moving from left to right across the control panel, the first button is simply the on/ off switch, below which is a warning light (e.g. air intake is blocked) and a ‘tank-full’ light that illuminates when the water collection bucket is full. The machine switches itself off automatically when the water collection bucket is full, so there’s no chance of the water collection bucket overflowing.
Next there are three different fan options, either low, medium or high, with the latter denoted by a laundry symbol. It’s great to have the fan speed setting independent from the dehumidifying setting, as the fan speed makes all the difference to the amount of noise that the machine produces. To give you an example of why this is of benefit, with the DD8L you could have the dehumidifying setting on high, but the fan setting on low (e.g. quiet), which wouldn’t be possible with machines that don’t split these two functions, where a high dehumidifying setting could force a high fan speed setting. Having three fan speeds rather than just two or even one speed as seen on many other dehumidifiers also gives you much more flexibility between power and quietness.
Interestingly, when the machine is set to the high fan speed it’ll run the fans continuously and will not turn them off, even when the room has reached the desired humidity. In the right setting this can be beneficial as it maintains air circulation and ensures the machine constantly monitors the humidity, which will allow laundry or a particularly damp room to dry faster.
One thing to note about the DD8L is that the fan has to be set to either the medium or high fan speed setting for the regeneration heater to work on maximum power. The regeneration heater’s job is to dry out the desiccant (water collecting) material in the dehumidifier, so the DD8L can only be extracting water to it’s maximum capacity at these speeds.
The next button controls the humidity the DD8L will aim for. One, two or three droplets are equal to 60%, 50% and 40% relative humidity respectively. The fourth setting, again with a laundry symbol will simply ask the machine to aim for 35% humidity. Once the machine reaches the set humidity it will stop dehumidifying and go to sleep for 30 minutes. After half an hour in sleep mode, just the fan will turn back on for 10 minutes to check the humidity hasn’t increased. If the machine senses the humidity has increased then it’ll start dehumidifying again, if the humidity is still at the desired level it’ll sleep for another 30 minutes. Meaco call this process their ‘Control Logic’, which is different from other dehumidifiers in the market because the dehumidifiers of other manufacturers leave their fans (not dehumidifying parts) running continuously, so Meaco models save energy this way. There are two other, less obvious, but major benefits to this ‘Control Logic’. Firstly, stopping the fans routinely extends the life of the desiccant material, which is otherwise subjected to constant drying. Secondly, not over-blowing the desiccant material reduces the risk of burning smells, which are a known issue with other desiccant dehumidifiers.
What we also like about the DD8L’s dehumidifying settings is the range of options. Firstly there are four different options to choose from, rather than just three, which is typically seen in the market. Secondly the settings range from maximum relative humidity of 60% to 35%. 40% to 60%RH is considered the ideal range for human habitation, with 40% being ideal when it’s below 5°C outside, 50% being ideal for the rest of the time and 60% being the ‘economy’ mode, still within the ideal range. 35%RH is then useful for drying laundry or a particular room faster. This is better than some other dehumidifiers that have an 80%RH setting, which is useless in UK conditions.
The next button is for the timer, with options for either 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours. This is a great energy saving feature should you plan to use the dehumidifier just to dry laundry or in the mornings.
The final button is for the ioniser, but remember that this button will not be present if you buy the ‘DD8L Junior’. Ionisers work by charging allergens in the air, which become attracted to one another, causing them to clump together and drop out of the air, where they are removed through normal cleaning practices. Ionisers have been scientifically proven to dramatically improve air quality and this feature is therefore a welcome addition on this dehumidifier.
Of course on the standard DD8L (not Junior model) you also get an antibacterial filter, further helping to improve air quality by killing allergens upon contact with the silver coating. A great bonus for someone who suffers allergies. On the Junior model you just get a standard dust filter.
The water collection bucket on the DD8L has a 2 litre capacity, which is the standard capacity for a dehumidifier of this size and power. It’s easy to remove from the back of the machine and features a splash proof cover to minimise the risk of spillage as you’re walking over the nearest sink. I really liked the large window into the water bucket on the front and reverse of the machine, which makes checking the water level at any point of time very easy.
There is, as you’d expect, an auto-drain ability should you be able to position the DD8L above a sink and Meaco kindly supply the required piping in the box.
Being a desiccant dehumidifier the DD8L was always likely to be light and at 6.4kg, it is. Not quite as light as some of its competitors, which are closer to 6kg, but there’s not enough difference to notice in my opinion.
It has dimensions of 19cm deep by 50cm high by 35cm wide, which does make it slightly larger than some of it’s competitors by a few centimeters in all dimensions.
For a handle is has what I can best describe as a ‘scoop’ in the back of the unit, that, due to the low weight of the unit, is OK to use.
Meaco dehumidifiers are usually covered in swathes of ‘appliance-white’ plastic and the DD8L is no different. The blue bands down the sides of the unit do break up the white though. We don’t love the look of it, but we do love the design of the top-mounted control panel, viewing windows and collection bucket, so we’ll let them off.
Meaco rate the DD8L to produce 39dB on the lowest fan speed, which is very good, although not market-leading for a desiccant dehumidifier.
In the real world, it is very quiet on the low fan speed, which is probably the setting you’ll have on the majority of the time. It’s quiet enough to comfortably keep it in the bedroom or in the room that you watch television and is getting very close to being truly ‘whisper quiet’. On the highest fan speed it sounds like a cooker extraction fan, but this is to be expected.
The ‘8’ in the DD8L signifies that it can extract up to 8 litres per day. While this doesn’t sound like a great deal when compared to 10, 16 or even 20-litre refrigerant dehumidifiers, remember that these higher figures are usually measured at 30°C and 80%RH, which are conditions that are totally unrealistic in the UK. In fact, at standard UK room temperatures you’ll find the DD8L at least matches, if not beats 16L or possibly even 20L rated machines for water extraction.
If you’re going to be keeping the DD8L somewhere that often gets below 15°C then of course the DD8L, being a desiccant dehumidifier, will continue to extract a similar amount of water, whereas competing refrigerant dehumidifiers would be much less efficient and can frequently require defrosting.
The DD8L is actually the most powerful of the popular domestic desiccant dehumidifiers available, which makes it a great choice if you’ve got a particularly bad mould, humidity or damp problem. We’d rate it suitable for a 4 bedroom house (maybe 5-bed at a push).
Meaco DD8L Review – Value for Money
So in conclusion, the DD8L is a well thought out, feature-packed and powerful desiccant dehumidifier and a great choice for the family home or cold area like a garage/ boat/ shed/ holiday home/ caravan. There’s a good deal and free delivery at this store, so check it out if you like a bargain.