Following in a trend of more compact dehumidifiers the EcoAir DC12 is a small unit which does not compromise on performance. It measures only 353mm x 496mm and can extract a very respectable 12 litres of water every day.
It also came as a surprise that its small case is home to an impressive 3.5-litre water collection tank (sometimes known as a condensate tank). To put this in perspective we have seen much larger dehumidifiers that still can only collect 2 litres of water before needing to be emptied. The DC12 seems off to a promising start. Let’s take a look at what else you can expect from this little unit…
EcoAir DC12 – Key Product Specifications
Prices & information last updated on 2021-04-16
EcoAir DC12 – Overview
Dehumidifiers are never really going to be a trendy device. But, if you’ve read any of our other dehumidifier reviews it is clear the more modern devices, such as this, are being designed in a more aesthetically pleasing way over the large grey boxes of the recent past.
The case features a top mounted, digital control panel. It is simple to use and provides a good array of features that we would expect to see on any modern device. We’ll cover these in more detail in the ‘Controls‘ section of this guide below.
The water tank is stored in the front-bottom of the device. It features a handy water level window, so you can easily see when it is getting full and can hold 3.5 litres of water before needing emptying.
The tank is removed using two recessed ‘grips’ located at either side of the tank. A simple pull is all that is required to remove it.
It would have been nice to see a carry handle on top of the tank to make emptying it a little easier. This is particularly helpful if you have to carry it between rooms to empty.
Given that there is a recess on top of the tank it is surprising that EcoAir choose not to include one as there is room for a folding handle (like the one provided on the EcoAir DD122 Classic).
For those of you who want the unit to run continuously without emptying the tank, a continuous drainage option has been provided.
This is standard of nearly all dehumidifiers and works via a supplied hose which is connected to the back of the machine. This hose causes the tank to be bypassed and the water drains out through the hose and into a sink or drain.
How Quiet is the DC12?
Noise is always an important consideration when choosing a dehumidifier. This ultimately determines when you can use it and where. If it’s too loud and is needed within a room you spend a lot of time in, it is not going to be practical to operate the dehumidifier when you’re using that room. This cuts down how effective and useful the dehumidifier can be.
EcoAir have taken this potential problem into consideration when designing the DC12 because it arrives with a variable two-speed fan. In low mode, the machines noise footprint is vastly reduced so much so that EcoAir even suggest you could use this mode overnight.
But, at 41dB this would probably be too loud for all but the heaviest of sleepers. If an ultra silent, but low power, dehumidifier is what you need then the ProBreeze 500ml would be a better choice.
This unit is what is referred to as a refrigerant or compressor dehumidifier. Inside is a compressor pump that is used to cool the water condenser plates – this is what ‘absorbs’ the water from the air.
This technology is very efficient and cheap to run but has the drawback of being quite heavy. The compressor pumps are quite weighty and can make moving the dehumidifier a bit of a challenge.
So it is nice to see that EcoAir have included some casters on the base of the device so you can literally ‘wheel’ it in between rooms instead of having to pick up and carry the unit. This is handy as the DC12 weighs about 10.5kgs.
The only downside is that the DC12 does not feature a proper carry handle. Instead, EcoAir have opted to use recessed grips on either side of the appliance. There are two which makes lifting a little easier compared to a device like the 25L which is just as weighty but has only 1 grip.
Around the back of the unit is the air inlet which draws damp air into the unit for processing. It is also home to the included air filter.
Unlike some other units we’ve reviewed this filter provides only basic dust and dirt filtering and does not provide any antibacterial or anti-allergen properties like those found on EcoAir DC202.
Despite this, it will be adequate for most needs and can even be removed for easy cleaning with a vacuum cleaner.
The filter is held in place with two easy to press clips for fast and simple removal. Cleaning the filter every now and then will prolong the life of the dehumidifier and also means you will rarely need to buy a new filter.
We mentioned above that the DC12 featured a modern control panel that provides a host of settings to help with anything from excess damp, to condensation problems and even to help dry your washing.
With such an array of features, it might seem like the DC12 could be difficult to use. But this couldn’t be further from the truth and the panel is very intuitive.
In fact, it is remarkably well designed and provides some helpful features that even some of its more expensive competitors do not. There are four membrane buttons located at the base of the panel and two membrane buttons at the top with an LCD screen placed between them.
Starting with the topmost buttons we’ll briefly move our way across the panel highlighting the important features you should know about.
1) Humidity Controls
We’ll start with the two buttons that surround the LCD screen. These allow you to select the target relative humidity in 5% boundaries – between a range of 35% and 80%RH.
This useful feature that will allow you to set the dehumidifier to operate at your exact comfort level or needs. This also has the additional benefit of keeping the running costs down.
Some dehumidifiers run in rather large boundaries, often encompassing 20% ranges of RH. This often means the dehumidifier is using more power than it needs to as it tries to get the humidity level down lower than it may be required.
The fine tuning of the DC12 will allow you to very precisely select the desired humidity level and avoid the unit running for longer or at a higher setting than required. Ultimately saving on running costs.
First up is the timer button. Usually, we would expect to see at least 3 options here: 2, 4 and 8 hour running times are the most common settings. But the DC12 provides only 2 timer setting: 2 and 4 hours.
Some manufacturers claim that it takes around 4 hours to dry washing, which is typically what the timer setting is used for. But in our experience, we’ve found this can take a little longer. So, it would have been nice to see at least one more option for 6 or 8 hours. Two settings feel a little limited.
3) Fan Speed
Next up is the fan speed button. Two settings are available here a ‘High’ or ‘Low’ speed. As their respective labels suggest the high speed will set the fan to run at a faster rate for increased moisture extraction. Whilst the lower speed will reduce the speed, and therefore, running costs.
Generally speaking the high setting will only used to dry excessively humid (about 65%RH) rooms or to dry washing. Beyond that the ‘Low’ speed would be the setting most commonly used.
4) Power Button
The first of which illuminates when the machine is powered on and working. The second is the ‘tank full’ indicator light. The machine will automatically switch itself off when the tank is full. So, there is no need to do this manually.
5) Filter Reset
This button is used to tell the machine that the filter has been cleaned or a new one has been installed.
Above this button, you’ll find the indicator light for cleaning the filter. This will glow when the filter needs cleaning and obviously pressing the reset button will switch this light off.
Directly above this light is the ‘Laundry or Continuous Operation’ indicator light. This illuminates when the machine is run continuously no matter the RH achieved. To access this function simply press the ‘+’ button to left the left of the LCD screen until it shows ‘CO’.
DC12 Pros and Cons
What we think about the DC12
The DC12 is a great all-rounder but, It does suffer from a few minor drawbacks. The most notable of which is the lack of carrying handle and its 10.5Kg weight. It also lacks a flexible timer which is a slight disappointment.
But this offset by its impressive performance, easy to use control panel and compact size. Plus in recent years its price has dropped dramatically and this is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
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Prices & information last updated on 2021-04-16