Forming part of Meaco’s Platinum range of dehumidifiers the Meaco 20L is the big brother of the Meaco 12L and represents part of Meaco’s desire to provide higher quality dehumidifiers for the home which perform above and beyond the norm. It’s an energy efficient unit which means it will cost less to run than virtually any other units made by their competitors. In fact, the 20L comes backed with a Best Buy award from independent consumer research company ‘Which’ for both 2014 and 2015
But does lower running costs mean a reduction in power? And, can it still help rid your home of damp and mould? Wonder no more as we dive into the 20L as we see exactly what this unit can do!
Meaco 20L – Basic Features & Overview
The Meaco 20L is a big unit! It measures 38.5cm wide by 59.5cm tall and 29cm deep and weighs a hefty 13.6Kgs. It is quite heavy to move but to combat this Meaco have supplied a folding carry handle on the top of the unit which has an incredibly solid, well-built feel to it. It even arrives with casters pre-fitted to the base of the unit. These are discreetly hidden and came as a surprise to us when we found out we could simply wheel it around with ease! Some manufacturers require you to pay extra for the castors, but not Meaco, it’s little touches like this which really shows Meaco’s commitment to providing high quality, easy to use solutions for their customers. The wheels are firm enough that the unit won’t roll all over the place with the slightest push but still can be moved with ease.
Looking at the rest of the case it smacks of high quality. The plastic has a sturdy, high quality feel to it and everything is incredibly well constructed and doesn’t have the flimsy, bendy feel some other units can have.
Around the back of the 20L you’ll find the units dust filter. This requires cleaning every couple of weeks to help keep the unit performing at maximum capacity. For those of you with allergies you’ll probably already know what a HEPA filter is and we’re pleased to see that the 20L features a ‘True HEPA’ filter. This means it can catch most of the allergens in the air such as pollen, fine dust and pet dander – effectively cleaning the air as it operates. This kind of filter will also help prolong the life of the unit by preventing virtually all dust from entering the device.
At the base of the unit is a huge 6 litre water collection tank. It features a handy water level window at the front so you can easily see how the dehumidifier is performing – which is something we often found ourselves doing as we trialled this unit! Once full it can be removed by simply pulling it out of the front of the device using the two recessed handles on either side of the unit. A folding carry handle completes this unit and made it very easy for us to carry it to the sink and empty without fear of spillages.
Generally speaking the more powerful the dehumidifier the more energy it will consume, and the more it will cost to use. This is not the case with the 20L. It is probably the most energy efficient dehumidifiers available right now and costs considerably less to run than its peers.
Rated at just 255 watts power consumption the 20L costs 3.88 per hour to run – based on 15.32p/kWh. It is even cheaper to run than some 10 litre per day units. Making it ideal to be used daily without the fear of running up huge energy bills.
The main control panel for the 20L can be found on top of the unit and, like the panels found on its predecessors it is incredibly easy to use. Again, we found it very easy to setup the unit right out of the box without consulting the manual. The icons used to denote particular features are clear and intuitive and the bright segmented LED display is easy to read. Lets take a more in-depth look at each of the panels controls in turn…
The first button you’ll arrive at on your journey across the control panel is the fan speed button. This unit has two fan speeds – high and low. Pressing this button will illuminate one of the two corresponding fan speed icons above.
Fan speed is an important feature to consider – so its good to see this setting on the 20L. On high speed, the machine obviously makes more noise, but it is far better as dealing with damp and condensation quickly. However, this noise might not be suitable for use, say, in your living room where the unit might be too noisy. So the low speed setting here would be preferable.
Next up is the timer button, this works in conjunction with the up and down arrow buttons immediately to the right. Press this button once and it will begin to flash and the LCD display will show a double zero ’00’. Then press the up and down arrows to set the unit to run for a certain length of time from 1 – 24 hours. After the set time has elapsed the 20L will automatically switch off.
Timers are hugely beneficial feature because they allow you to use the dehumidifier at night or whilst you’re at work, for example, and allow you to keep a lid on the running costs. So you might want the unit to run whilst you’re in bed, but not all night, this means you can set the timer and let the unit switch itself off after the time you’ve specified – simple!
The Up and Down Buttons
When you’re not setting the timer the up and down arrows are used to set the desired humidity level in 5% increments from CO (continuous operation) up to 80% RH (relative humidity). This gives you a wide choice of settings which is usually not available on most machines which usually only provide 3 settings. The generally agreed RH level for the home is 55% which is where we would recommend you set the machine. Of course on colder days or to dry damp problems in your home faster you will need to lower this to around 45% or use the CO (continuous operation) mode.
You can also use these buttons to activate a child-lock safety feature by pressing them both simultaneously.
Louvre Swing Button
By default, when you switch the 20L on the louvre swings open fully and stays in an open position for maximum air flow. Switching this on causes the motorised louvre to spring into action and it gently arcs back and forwards for better air distribution.
Above the power button you’ll find the ‘tank full’ and ‘defrost/dehumidifying’ lights. The tank full light will, obviously, illuminate when the machine is full – but this might take some time thanks to its huge 6 litre water tank.
The defrost/dehumidifier light will illuminate a steady orange when the machine is actively drawing water from the air and flash when it is in defrost mode. Just like with most dehumidifiers this feature actively ensures that the unit does not begin to reduce in performance and prevents the formation of ice on machines internal components. Essentially this is features prolongs the life of the machine and makes sure it remains as effective as possible – even in lower temperatures.
Meaco Control Logic
When would be remiss if we didn’t mention Meaco’s ‘Control Logic’ system. This energy saving feature ensures the unit is only operating as it is needed. Once the relative humidity falls 3% below your target threshold the dehumidifier will stop drying the air but, continue to run the fan for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes have elapsed, and the air is stable, the unit will go to sleep for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes the device will wake up and sample the air by switching on the fan for 2 minutes. If the unit detects that the relative humidity has risen 3% above the desired threshold it will begin to dry the air again automatically. If not, then the device will go to sleep for another 30 minutes.
This smart feature makes sure the unit is only operating when it is needed for enhanced money saving and energy efficiency.
We believe good air flow is one of the keys to helping reduce damp and condensation and the 20L does not disappoint here either. The powerful, top mounted louvre emits a continuous, powerful blast of air which can be used to help quickly dry damp patches or help quickly circulate air in the room for speedy drying.
Once more (as we previous reviews) we took the 20L Platinum into our Kitchen to put it through its paces. This time we allowed the condensation and humidity to build in the room for a day or two – fortunately this happens automatically in the winter (which it is as the time of this review!). We then began using the gas rings and boiling some water to simulate cooking.
So how did the 20L perform? Superbly well! At the time we switched on the dehumidifier the humidistat on the device read a very damp 86% relative humidity (RH) within a few minutes the 20L had the humidity down to a very respectable 70% and held it at this level whilst we continued to simulate cooking. Once we finished ‘cooking’ the 20L quickly got on top of the humidity and brought it down to 56% within only half an hour – this is around the generally agreed ideal level for most homes. Within about 40 minutes virtually all of the condensation had gone from the windows. This is incredibly impressive and shows this device should be able to cope with the worst most homes could have to throw at it.
In general the 20L will be at home in flats and houses of up to 4/5 bedrooms making it ideal for most people.
What We Think About The Meaco 20L Low Energy:
It’s hard not to be impressed with the Meaco 20L Platinum. It literally sucks water from the air and had no problem dealing with the harsh test conditions we put it through. It is really easy to use, comes packed with energy saving features and can be left to run virtually unattended. When compared to other refrigerant dehumidifiers we believe this one comes out on top and, because it is backed by Meaco’s fanatical support, is a perfect buy which you can have complete confidence in.
Next Review: Meaco 12L Low Energy Platinum