Dimplex’s slogan for advertising this dehumidifier is ‘where others try we deliver’. But have they delivered with the Forte 10L? Dimplex has a relatively small offering in the dehumidifier market and 10L is represents one of their ‘budget’ models. It is a modern and relatively stylish unit that is a good seller for Dimplex but on closer inspection to 10L does have some drawbacks. Let’s take a detailed look, and see if it is good value for money.
Forte 10L – Overview
In ideal conditions the Forte 10L can remove up to a maximum of 10 litres of water per day, which is where the 10L’s name originates from. Measuring 36cm wide by 22cm deep and 49cm high it is a relatively compact unit.
The small size does not reflect it’s weight however and it, like most dehumidifiers of its type, is quite heavy weighing in at 11Kg. To counter this Dimplex have provided two very generous and easy to grip handles on either side of the unit so you can easily use two hands to pick it up. The bottom of the unit also sports some hidden castors so you can literally wheel it between rooms without lifting it.
Forte 10L – Controls
The controls on the 10L are about as simple as you can get. Consisting of little more than dial and 3 signal lights. The machine is turned on and off by twisting the dial. At the counter-clockwise most position the machine will switch off and at the most clockwise position the machine will run in ‘continuous’ mode.
Inbetween the ‘Off’ and ‘Cont’ positions on the dial are a sequence of 9 numbers which allow you to set how powerful you want the machine to run. Each number corresponds to a relative humidity (RH) level the machine will attempt to reach from 20% RH up to 80% RH. These run in 10% boundaries and for an entry level machine like the 10L this is surprising amount of control. The only exception is the omission of position ‘5’ between positions 4 and 6. In this instance the machine jumps from 40% to 60% RH. We believe the 5 has been omitted to allow the dial to fit comfortably onto the panel. This is a little disappointing because we would recommend 50% RH as the ‘sweet spot’ for most homes. However in its absence 40% or 60% would be fine depending on the level of damp/condensation you experience. With 40% the recommendation for more severe problems and 60% for more ‘gentle’ problems.
Dimplex claim that this device is very quiet and produces just 42dB of sound whilst operating. Although manufacturers often only quote the quietest noise the machine makes – usually when it is in standby mode and only the fan is running. And we suspect it would be considerably louder when operating fully and that the 42dB quoted refers to when the fan is operating without the compressor. And, in our experience, most lower cost units such as this are often noisier than there more expensive counterparts.
Inside the machine is also a basic mechanical humidistat that will turn off the machine when the desired humidity level has been reached. The unit then turn itself on and off periodically to maintain a comfortable humidity level.
The final part of the panel is home to the 3 indication lights and they are pretty standard. The first light lets you know the machine is operating, the second indicates when the tank is full or inserted incorrectly and the final light lets you know when the unit is defrosting (more on this below).
The 10L is always going to work best when placed in the room with the damp problem. It isn’t powerful enough to deal with severe damp across the home and is ideally suited for flats/apartments and 2 (3 at the very most) bedroom properties. However it will deal with damp problems in a single room effectively, and is ideally suited for rooms up to a maximum of around 15m² to 18m² – depending upon the temperature and relative humidity.
As with every refrigerant dehumidifier the 10L will suffer from reduced performance and freezing problems at lower temperatures. To help prevent the unit from freezing up the 10L has an automatic defrost feature. This stops the compressor pump in the unit from cooling the coils (this is the part where the water condenses and is collected) to allow them time to defrost or to prevent them from freezing up – allowing the unit to remain operational.
You can use this unit down to around 5°C although we would really recommend 10°C and above to provide the best performance. To put this into perspective at 59%RH and at 10°C the device will only collect 0.4 litres of water per day. But, if the temperature is raised to 21°C the device can collect around 3 litres of water per day. This represents an increase in efficiency of over 7 times! If you are looking for a dehumidifier which can operate effectively in lower temperatures (and for a similar price) we recommend taking a look at the EcoAir DD122 mini, which is a desiccant model and, as such, does not suffer with the reduced performance in lower temperature like the 10L does.
The water tank is located around the back of the unit and this device does, of course, feature an auto shut off system when the tank is full. Although you shouldn’t be emptying it too often because it can hold up to 2.3 litres – which is very large for a machine of this price and power. The tank is pulled out of the back of the machine and emptied. There is no carry handle mounted to the top of the tank and no lid. But, because the handle is very sturdy, and the tank is quite tall and thin, there isn’t much chance of spilling it on your way to empty it.
You can also configure the unit to ‘continuous drain’. Using this feature allows you to connect a hose to the back of the device and have the water drain out through the free end of the hose – meaning you’ll never need to empty the tank. To do this the tank needs to be removed, the hose inserted and the tank replaced. This action tells the device you want it to continuous drain.
A basic dust filter is provided on the back of unit. To access it the tank must first be removed. The filter can then be slid downwards and out of its slot by gripping its handle and pulling in a smooth downwards motion. Because the filter is a basic dust barrier (and does not contain any antimicrobial coating) it can be cleaned with a vacuum or using warm water. On the more expensive models which have an antibacterial layer, using water degrades its effectiveness and prevents you giving it a good clean with anything other than a hoover. If you do use water to wash the filter it must be left out the machine to dry naturally before being reinserted.
What We Think About The Dimplex Forte 10L:
The 10L does have some downsides. But, this is basically an entry level model and it has a price to match, so it would be unfair to compare it to the more expensive models where an increase in price means you get more features, power and a quieter unit – after all that is why this unit is so cheap (£110 at the time of this review). It does do its job well and if your just looking for a basic model which doesn’t cost much, and you don’t mind it being slightly on the noisy side, the 10L might just be what you’re looking for.
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