Anyone who has to store their car, boat or caravan knows moisture in the air causes a lot of problems, particularly over the winter period. Damp gets into everything, causing mildew on convertible tops, mouldy upholstery, rotting sails and degrading rubber seals and tyres. Most storage places are susceptible to damp – barns, garages, storage facilities, boat chandlers, etc, so for many it’s an on-going and unavoidable problem. Whilst car covers, caravan covers and boat tonneaus are very popular as indoor protection from dust, knocks and scrapes, they help alleviate the issues rather than tackling the root cause – the relative humidity.
The ideal solution is a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the ambient environment. Meaco is a British designer and manufacturer of dehumidifiers (and air purifiers) and has become a market leader in humidity monitoring and control systems. As well as their own designs they are also the original importer and distributor for Mitsubishi dehumidifiers. Their most popular model in 2010 was the DD122FW Mk4 dehumidifier which won numerous awards including being voted “Best on Test” by Practical Boat Owner Magazine. This year the new and improved DD8L looks set to take the market by storm.
Like the DD122FW Mk4, the Meaco DD8L and the brand new DD8L Junior both work on desiccant technology, a far more efficient system than compressor units particularly at lower ambient air temperatures. And because the desiccant models blow out warm air they eliminate the need for any extra heating. Plus because the air is drier it takes less to warm it up – so it’s a definite win-win situation!
The DD8L has some new and very useful features which the DD122FW MK4 didn’t have – primarily the DD8L and the new DD8L Junior, rather than running continuously will cut out when optimum relative humidity level has been reached, waking up every 30 minutes to take a sample of the air and going back to sleep again should the humidity levels still be at acceptable levels. This intelligent system means the running costs (which were minimal anyway) will potentially be about 1/6th of the original models.
The difference between the DD8L and the DD8L Junior? Well, Meaco removed the ioniser and the silver nano antibacterial filter to make the Junior. The ioniser is designed to trap pollen and dust, whilst the silver nano filter kills any bacteria present. Whilst these features are desirable dehumidifiers in the home or on a live-aboard boat they aren’t really necessary for vehicles in storage. By removing these two features Meaco were able to reduce the price, making the Junior a highly cost effective option for people looking to use their dehumidifier whilst their car, boat or caravan is tucked away for the winter months.
Dehumidifiers are also very useful in the home where every day activities such as cooking, washing, heating systems and laundry generate additional moisture. To assist with condensation in the home many of the Meaco dehumidifiers feature a “laundry drying” mode – reducing the moisture in the air allows laundry to dry faster. Keeping the relative humidity at optimum levels in the home also helps to control dust mites and asthma and allergy sufferers benefit enormously from the drier, purer air. Conservatory windows typically attract a lot of condensation and a dehumidifier will combat this issue too. You don’t even have to place it in the conservatory – a dehumidifier strategically positioned at the mid point of the home will draw moisture from all over the house. And with the desiccant models being so quiet and having slim line profiles you’ll hardly even notice it’s there.