The EcoAir DD128 reminds us greatly of the DD122 range (which is often regarded as EcoAir’s top range) and the DD128 has been hailed by EcoAir as a ‘star’ product. We’ve review many of EcoAir’s units here at Dehumidifier Reviews HQ – so we were curious to see what made this unit so special.
It was released in November 2013 and was shortly followed by the release of the EcoAir DC12 and in our opinion sits somewhere between these two ranges in terms of functionality and performance. So, lets see what this unit can do and see if it is a worthwhile investment.
DD128 – Overview
EcoAir certainly get a lot of things right when it comes to dehumidifiers. The DD128 is very small and very light. It weighs only 6.1 Kg and measures 32cm wide by 55.9cm high by 21cm deep; and, to help you move around this already light unit, EcoAir have placed a sturdy folding carry handle on the top – so you can quickly pick it up and move it as needed.
Extra features such as an ‘anti-tilt’ auto shut off system and a 2 year manufacturer warranty really help set EcoAir apart from its competitors. And for those of you who want something a little more stylish the DD128 is available in a range of 4 colours (see the image above).
The DD128 is definitely on the quieter end of the spectrum of noise for a dehumidifier. In its low power mode the quietest it can operate is at 34dB(A), which is about the same as a quiet extractor fan. Whilst on its most powerful setting it jumps quite a bit to 47dB(A), but to put this in perspective this about average for most compressor dehumidifiers (which are typically noisier than this desiccant model – more on this below) so you can see already just how quiet this can be. I have mentioned this before, but the truth is there are not whisper quiet units available so anything below about 37-38dB(A) is pretty good in our opinion.
Also included with this machine is an anti bacterial air filter which kills virtually all bacteria on contact. Often called a Nano Silver filter this healthy little feature kills anything from bacteria to fungus and spores directly upon contact and can help alleviate the smells associated with mould and even make the air healthier for asthma sufferers – to name just a few of its benefits. It can also be cleaned periodically to help extend its life by gently vacuuming or brushing it.
Using The DD128 – Controls
EcoAir’s dehumidifiers all feature a very similar control panel and the DD128’s panel continues this trend. The panel is incredibly easy to use whilst still offering a very good range of features that will you allow you to set the machine to your exact needs. Pressing each button multiple times allows you to set the mode of the machine, with the currently selected mode indicated by a softly glowing LED above its corresponding button.
So, what can you do with this dehumidifier? To best answer that question we will take a brief look at the modes in turn so you can see exactly how this unit could help you.
Like all good dehumidifiers you can select the drying modes of the unit and is signified by a single water drop and is the first button on the control panel. In total there are 3 dry modes that will achieve a relative humidity (RH) of between 40% – 60% collectively. The most powerful of these is the ‘Hi’ mode and it will run the unit until an RH of 40-45% is achieved before switching the unit off. In this mode the unit uses the most energy and ideally you will only need it to treat damp problems very quickly or to dry out your bathroom after showering. Once any noticeable damp and condensation has been absorbed flip the machine into the next mode we’ll look at: ‘Economy’.
Economy mode is the mode you will use the most because it is the most energy efficient and suitable to keep most homes condensation and damp free. When in this mode the machine will attempt to achieve a relative humidity of 50% – 60% – which is adequate enough to keep condensation at bay which is the most common cause of mould growth (although you may need to knock this up to ‘Hi’ on very cold days to keep condensation at bay). Although 50 – 60% RH might seem quite high it is in fact the ideal comfortable humidity range for homes in the UK.
The final of the Dry mode settings is ‘Auto’. This setting aims to keep your home at 50 – 50% RH at all times without intervention. Once the humidity threshold has been reached it will go into standby mode and test the RH levels periodically. If the RH rises too high the machine will switch itself on again until it has been lowered. This is the most efficient of all settings because it keeps your home at a comfortable level without the need to keep using the ‘Hi’ mode. It also means you can virtually leave it to run virtually unattended and basically forget about it.
The next button on the panel is another common feature to all good dehumidifiers: Laundry mode. It’s name is pretty obvious, and you can use this to help dry your washing when you can’t hang it outside. In total you can select between two modes: ‘Normal’ and ‘Turbo’. These settings are analogous to the ‘Hi’ and ‘Economy’ dry mode settings. The difference here is that the machine will naturally using a little more power overall because it is working harder to help dry damp clothes. Normal mode is recommended for use in Summer days and Turbo for use in the winter. EcoAir claims that it can take around 2-4 hours to dry your washing, but we find it usually takes a little longer (depending on the ambient temperature of course) and would probably say you’ll need about 6-8 hours for it to dry completely.
As we continue our journey across the panel the next button we find allows you to control the swing of the machines louvre. But what is it? Well, in a less fancy way of putting it, you can direct where the dry air leaving the machine goes! This is especially useful because you can literally point the warm air at damp patches or your damp clothes to help speed up the drying time. You can pick 3 swing arcs and one static mode – where the lourve is fixed in one spot. Setting it in the ‘Up’ mode directs it towards the ceiling in a 100° arc whilst ‘Front’ and ‘Wide’ push the air out in front of the device in 50° and 150° arcs respectively. You can also adjust how focused the air is directing it in a narrow or wide stream. This, however, cannot be set from the control panel and you need to flip up the louvre lid and rotate it to either the ‘spot’ or ‘wide’ positions.
The final of the modes which help dehumidifying processes is the timer button. Just like an egg timer you can set the machine to run for 2,4 or 8 hours continuously before it switches itself off. The advantages here are obvious and are mostly financial(!), allowing you to keep the unit as economical as possible. I often find this setting the most beneficial when you need to allow the dehumidifier to run whilst you are at work, for example, but do not want it to run all day. By setting the machine to run for a few hours you get the benefits of a dry home and low running costs.
The final setting on the control panel doesn’t have much to do with dehumidifying at all, but is a feature that we’re seeing more and more on dehumifiiers and that is an ‘Ioniser’. In short this setting causes the unit to emit negatively charged ions into the air which ‘purifies’ the air. Essentially the ions cause dust and other airborne nasties to clump together, making them too heavy to stay airborne, so they fall out of the air we breathe. Some people say its like the crisp and fresh air next to waterfall – it’s not quite that good! But, it can help people with breathing problems or who just want a fresher home.
On top of the unit you will also find two small feedback lights; the ‘Check’ and ‘Water Tank’ lights. These are designed to alert you to general problems with the machine and if there is a problem with the water tank (IE if it is full or inserted incorrectly).
Generally speaking the ‘check’ light will only usually illuminate if the humidity is too low (IE below around 40%) or if the filter needs cleaning and you will only really need to keep an eye on the ‘water tank’ light.
Where can you use it?
At this start of this review we mentioned that the DD128 uses desiccant technology to absorb moisture from the air. This technology is not only one of quietest available, but it is also one of the most efficient and allows you to use the unit in almost any room or outbuilding. In fact the DD128 will operate in temperatures ranging from 1°C up to 40°C making it ideal for use the home but also in caravans, garages or outbuildings whilst still remaining effective.
Although, as a general rule of thumb, we always recommend using your unit in temperatures of at least 10°C for the best performance.
So, what can you expect from the DD128? Well, a reasonably good water extraction rate to start with – it can collect up to 8 litres of water per day. If you’ve checked out any other dehumidifiers you may be thinking this does collection rate does not sound like too much. After all, some units claim to collect up to 20 litres of water per day! But the truth is these units are tested in humidity and temperature conditions never found in the UK and you would be incredibly unlikely to collect 20 litres of water a day – unless you live in a damp greenhouse! EcoAir provide a much more realistic quote at 8 litres per day and was tested this at 60% RH and 20°C – much more reasonable for the UK.
The water collection tank sits at the bottom of the machine and can hold, an average, 2.2 litres. It can be emptied by sliding it out of the side of the machine and using the convenient carry handle to totter off with it to empty down a sink. You can also fit the supplied drainage hose to allow the unit to run continuously without needing to empty the tank. All you need to do is postion the hose at a downwards slope into a sink to let the water drain away.
What We Think About The EcoAir DD128:
Overall the DD128 is a great dehumidifier, as expected by EcoAir, but the truth is we can’t see anything EcoAir have added over other models to deem this one a star product. If you’re looking for a slightly newer and more powerful model you may want to check out the EcoAir DC12 before deciding on the DD128. But this is a superb unit that you could not go far wrong with should you decide on getting one.
Next Review: Meaco DD8L Zambezi