Meaco 12L Platinum Low Energy Review

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Our Verdict:

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The Meaco Platinum 12L is a low energy dehumidifier which sits beneath the 20L in Meaco’s incredibly effective ‘Platinum’ range of dehumidifiers. It’s a pint-sized unit which can be set discreetly away to do its job. And, despite its small size it is still an exceptional performer and surprised us with just how effective it is in even the most humid of environments.

The 12L is part of Meaco’s range of dehumidifiers which are intended to be well designed, easy to use and incredibly economical. But how well does it work? And it is inexpensive to run? Find out everything you need to know about the 12L in our hands-on review…

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Meaco 12L – Basic Features & Overview

meaco-12l-side-topSporting a white case with green highlights the 12L Platinum looks virtually like a smaller version of the 20L. The build is quality is just as high too. The case feels like a high grade plastic and it is incredibly solid and has no flimsy or weak parts. We even lifted tested the quality of the air outlet grill by giving it a good press! To Meaco’s credit this held firmly in place and appears to be made of a heavy, durable plastic.

When comparing the 12L to its bigger brother the 20L there are some obvious differences. Firstly the 12L is a lot smaller and lighter. It measures 48.5cm tall by 32.5cm wide by 24.8cm deep and weighs 9.8Kg.

There are no castors fitted to the 12L – but it doesn’t really need them. We had no problem picking up and moving the 12L, and whilst it isn’t quite as light in the hand as Meaco’s flagship Zambezi dehumidifier, it is still reasonably light for a refrigerant dehumidifier – although how heavy it feels from person to person is obviously quite subjective.

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Don’t forget to open the vent before switching the 12L on!

The 12L also comes with an adjustable louvre to direct the air flow to an exact spot (for fast drying) or it can be opened up fully for overall, increased airflow. Setting the louvre is easy and it can be adjusted, by hand, in seconds. It subtly clicks as you lift/lower it and locks firmly in place when you’re done. It is important to make sure you have this open to some degree before you begin using the device and Meaco have handily included a nice warning sticker on the top of the louvre to remind you to do this.

12l-water-tankAround the back of the unit you’ll find the water collection tank. There is no window on this so you can’t tell how full it is without removing it. But it is, like the rest of the unit, very well constructed and the curved shape made it easy for us to hold and empty. It is a shame there is no handle on the top but this wasn’t too much of a problem because the lid prevented any spillages. It can hold a very respectable 2.5 litres of water before it needs emptying.

Because of the 12L’s compact size you can also set it on a worktop, next to a sink, with ease and employ the continuous drainage option. This means you won’t need to worry about emptying the tank, although you will need to get the correct size and length of tube.

Meaco Control Logic

This smart piece of technology by Meaco makes makes the running costs of the 12L even cheaper! Essentially it makes sure the dehumidifier is only operating when it is needed and puts it into sleep mode when its not.

If the humidity falls 3% below your desired threshold for around 10 minutes the unit knows it is not needed and goes to sleep. It will then wake up every 30 minutes, test the air and begin operating if it is needed or go back to sleep if it is not.

The money saving advantages here are obvious and we think its a great feature.

Controls

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For anyone who has read our review on the Meaco 20L you’ll see that the 12L has virtually the exact same, albeit slightly cut down, control panel. Featuring soft press, blister buttons and bright, without being harshly glaring, indication lights it is easy to use and we found it simple to setup without consulting the manual.

There are only a total of 4 buttons on the panel, a bank of 4 indicator lights and a small, but perfectly visible LCD screen. To give you a real overview of what you can expect from the 12L we’ll take a look at each in turn…

The left most side of the panel is home to the timer button. As we’ve mentioned in previous reviews, this handy little feature allows you keep control over the running costs. But, how? Well, damp doesn’t follow our daily schedule so if your need to combat damp in your home whilst you’re at work, but don’t want the dehumidifier to be running all day, simply set the timer and allow it to work. Safe in the knowledge it will automatically shut off after the time you’ve specified, help with the damp and not cost a small fortune doing it! Pressing the timer button once will cause it to flash. You can then use the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrow keys to set the timer from 1 to 24 hours.

Next on the panel are the arrows keys. These allow you to set the relative humidity (RH) level you want your home to reach in handy 5% intervals ranging from CO (Continuous Operation) right up to 80%. For most homes this needs to be set at 55%. However on colder days, or for more severe damp problems, you may need to lower this to 45% to achieve a damp and condensation free home. We love this handy feature because you can see precisely what RH level the dehumidifier is trying to reach and is far superior to most other dehumidifiers in this price bracket which only offer three general settings – low, med or high.

Finally we reach the power button – no explanation needed for this one!

Feedback

One of the most remarkable things about the 12L is just how sophisticated its feedback system is for a mid-range dehumidifier. Most units limit themselves to one light which can be used to represent a variety of functions – and some have none at all. This means, with the 12L, you can literally see at a glance what the dehumidifier is doing and if it needs your attention. It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but it really lets you know that it is working and that it’s getting the job done.

The left most light is the defrost mode light, when illuminated it means the temperature of the room is too low for the dehumidifier. To prevent ice from forming in the machine and to increase its efficiency the 12L will periodically switch off its cooling system and only run the fan – this is defrost mode.

Timer active light - this appears much brighter in the photograph than it really is.

Timer active light – this appears much brighter in the photograph than it really is.

Next up is the timer light. This glows a nice orange if the timer is active.

Next is the small LCD display. This is, in our opinion, the best part! Using the units hygrometer it shows you the RH level of the room. You can see this drop, over time, as the dehumidifier is working and it gives you a real sense of how damp your room was and just how much it has dried out whilst the unit has been active.

Finally we reach the tank full and dehumidification light. The first will obviously illuminate when the water collection tank is full and the second illuminates whilst the unit is actively collecting water from the air.

One more feature of the controls which is worth mentioning is the child lock. This is virtually unheard of, but a really good idea, because little hands like to explore everywhere! Pressing the up and down arrows simultaneously will lock all of the controls. Doing the same again will unlock them.

Performance

Because the 12L is not designed to be a power house of a unit (ideally suited to flats and 3 bedroom homes) we were a little bit more gentle with our testing than with other beefier dehumidifiers such as the Zambezi or 20L.

We placed the unit in our kitchen after raising the humidity to 86% – which is very easy to do when cooking! For its size and power it did a remarkably good job at lowering the humidity to around 63% in good time and then held it in the late 50’s reasonably comfortably. It obviously didn’t work as fast as the 20L but it was never supposed to. And, when compared to other dehumidifiers we’ve tried in its class, it outperformed most we’ve seen and managed to remove all of the condensation from the windows – something our previous dehumidifier just couldn’t do.

There is only one fan setting on this dehumidifier which is, in part, why the running costs as so low. In fact it costs only 2.5p per hour to run (based on 15.3pkWh) making it possibly the cheapest dehumidifier to operate today.

What We Think About The Meaco 12L Low Energy:

The 12L is incredibly effective for a dehumidifier of its size and power and it outperformed other units we’ve tested of the same class – such as some Ebac models. It should have no problem keeping mild damp and condensation at bay in small homes. It’s high build quality, ease of use and low running costs impressed us highly and we believe Meaco have made yet another winning model.

However, for those of you who still want the features of the 12L, but with more power for larger homes and damp problems you might want to check out the 20L Platinum before settling on the 12L.

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