Delonghi have a good range of dehumidifiers to their name and the Delonghi DEM10 Compact represents one of their earliest models that has been on the market for some time. It is very basic and, when compared to most modern units, that feature antibacterial filters, timers and a host of other settings the Dem10 is definitely lagging behind. However, as a well constructed and reliable dehumidifier it still has something going for it. Especially since it is still a popular seller which consistently gets good reviews.
Delonghi Dem10 – Overview
Taking a quick look at the Dem10 it is pretty standard. Measuring a nicely compact 33 x 35 x 42 cm it is ideal for small homes and apartments. It is still a rather weighty 10kg and could by a little difficult for some people to move around – although this is expected for refrigerant devices which are typically the most heavy kind. To counter this Delonghi has included a folding, top mounted carry handle making it much easier to grip than the indented handles on some devices.
There is only one fan speed on the Dem10 which means you cannot get the extra boost of power when needed and the quietness when you don’t. It might be too noisy for some people to use in, say their living room or bedroom, but placed in a hallway or landing it should not present any problems.
When the ambient temperature starts dropping below around 8-10 degrees Celsius it is well known that refrigerant dehumidifiers, like the Dem10, start to run into problems. The efficiency begins to decline rapidly and usually below 5 degrees these kind of devices can stop working and in some cases even freeze up. The Dem10 seems to buck this trend and the manufacturer claims it can operate down to temperatures as low as 2 degrees and as high as 30. This is a wide range for a refrigerant model and offers a range typically only seen in desiccant models. It also features an electronic frost protection device that protects the machine by turning off the compressor pump when the water collection coils freeze. Despite this claim Delonghi recommend that you heat the room if the temperature drops below 5 degrees to aid the evaporation of condensation so it can be collected by the dehumidifier. This will obviously help speed up the removal of damp etc, but it is clear this unit will begin to drop in performance as the temperature drops -as we would expect it to. So we recommend only using it indoors (not in out buildings etc) and in temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius.
During the course of a day the Dem10 can collect up to 10 litres of water and features a 2 litre water collection tank. Whilst a 2 litre tank seems a little small it is in fact average for most dehumidifiers, especially for a unit as compact as this, and it and even the norm for larger devices such as the EcoAir DD122. The water collection tank is located at the front of the unit is made of a transparent plastic allowing you to easily see how much water it is collecting. The machine will also turn itself off when the collection tank is full – so there is no need to worry about it overflowing.
Just like with most dehumidifiers this unit comes with a continuous drainage option. In fact, the manufacturer describes it as having a ‘Permanent Drain Facility Kit’, which is a very over the top way of saying it comes with a hose! The hose is attached to the back of unit and allows the dehumidifier to bypass the water collection tank. The obvious advantage here is that you do not need to empty the tank and it can be allowed to run continuously without intervention. The only caveat is that the hose must slope at a downwards angle, IE you cannot angle it upwards to drain. Typically the solution to this is to place the unit on a kitchen work-surface and allow it drain into your sink. And, given the Dem10’s compact size it could fit snuggly on most kitchen tops – although it is quite heavy for its size and some people may find it a little bit of a struggle to lift and set in place.
There is no advanced air purification system on the Dem10 the only filtration it offers is a dust barrier via a washable air filter that is removed by pulling it out of the back of the machine. This is designed to stop debris from building up on the cooling coils that would obviously decrease the efficiency of the machine.
The Dem10 features only a very basic control panel and, in our opinion, is lacking in some features that we would have preferred to see when compared to some of todays equivalent units. The flip side of the coin here is that the operation is a breeze and requires nothing more than the twist of a dial to operate. The panel is mounted on top of the device and consists of a twist dial and 3 indication lights.
The dial ranges from ‘off’ to ‘continuous’ and Delonghi recommend that you twist the dial to continuous and allow the unit to run until signs of excess moisture (like condensation) have begun to significantly decrease. Delonghi then recommends turning the dial anti-clockwise until the unit switches off. The dehumidifier will then keep the humidity at the selected level. It can achieve a relative humidity of anywhere from 30% to 80% and turned to the ‘continuous’ setting the unit will attempt to achieve the lowest level possible. This is analogous to the turbo or laundry mode on newer devices and is the setting we often recommend to dry your washing, deal with extreme damp or to dry your bathroom after showering.
Whilst this is not a bad operational premise it is missing a few basic features that would allow you to keep control over the cost of running the unit. The most notable of which is a ‘timer’ function. With moderate to severe damp problems it can take several weeks to get the damp in check. A timer would allow you to run the unit for only a set amount of time each day to keep running costs at a level you are happy with. A simple inclusion of relative humidity (RH) ranges on the dial would also allow you to see roughly what RH you were aiming to achieve. This would allow you to more easily keep your home at the ideal RH for UK homes which is around 50%. Too low a humidity can also cause problems such as dry and itchy skin and even static shocks!
Above the dial are 3 indication lights common to most units. Moving across the panel from left to right, the first panel light illuminates when the unit is in standby mode or when it is attempting to operate in lower temperatures. Next along the panel is the ‘tank control system’ light. This serves two main purposes: the first is obviously indicating that tank is full or inserted incorrectly, and the second relates to the continuous drainage option. If you are using continuous drainage and this illuminates you need to make sure the hose is not obstructed or is not raised too high. This is worth checking every now and then because it could cause the machine to fill the tank rather than drain the water it is collecting! Once any issues have been remedied the machine will automatically continue its normal operation.
What we think about the Delonghi Dem10
The Dem10 is a solid model that performs well but is lacking on, what we would today consider, basic features. When compared to other units in a similar price bracket such as the Ebac 2650e the Dem10 does fall behind somewhat. But perhaps we are comparing it against a benchmark it could never achieve because it is (in technology time!) quite an old-style model.
It is an easy to use device and would appeal to anyone who is looking for the most basic device without paying too much. But if you’re interested in getting a slighter newer model with a few extra gizmos you may want to check out the Ebac 2650e before deciding on the Dem10.
Next Review: Meaco 20L