Meaco are a British manufacturer who have been producing dehumidifiers and other air treatment appliances since 1991. Having succeeded in becoming a household name in the UK, they have now expanded into the US market with several dehumidifiers which are proving popular with consumers.
We’ve managed to get our hands on their DD7L Junior model which has been manufactured in collaboration with Keystone, another well regarded dehumidifier giant. But how does this model stack up and is it worth your money? We’ll bring you our verdict in this review.
Features And Benefits
What is particularly of interest with this model is that it utilizes desiccant technology rather than the more common compressor-based route to humidity reduction. Meaco claim that taking this step has enabled them to produce a far more efficient dehumidifier that is far better suited to the average home.
Like most desiccant dehumidifiers, the DD7L is rated to a lower level than the equivalent compressor dehumidifier in terms of how much water can be removed from the air in any 24 hour period, with this model coming in at around 14 pints.
More information on desiccant dehumidifiers can be found in our resource guide.
One significant benefit of desiccant dehumidifiers is their ability to operate at lower sound volumes, due to the lack of a noisy compressor. This model goes one step further by introducing a quiet mode which is quiet enough to allow you to place this dehumidifier within a bedroom and still receive a good night’s sleep.
In practice, this translates into a noise output of 38 decibels on the lowest fan setting, quieter than your average conversation and barely audible. On the highest fan setting, an output of 50 decibels was measured which is 3 times quieter than the leading compressor dehumidifier under similar conditions.
Unusually, Meaco have decided to forego the inclusion of a digital humidistat, instead choosing to rely on a 3-stage method of humidity control. Rather than specify your own personal preference in terms of desired relative humidity, you have the option of 40, 50 and 60% rh.
Initially we considered this to be a downside to this model, as we prefer to be able to really fine tune what our dehumidifiers are doing. But in reality, most consumers want a simple approach to humidity reduction, and this model provides just that.
Our recommendations for each setting are as follows:
- 40% rh
The setting to choose if you’re suffering from a significant damp or condensation problem which is affecting the quality of air in your home and contributing to the formation of mold.
- 50% rh
The setting that most users will benefit the most from. Provides a comfortable environment that is neither too ‘dry’ or ‘wet’ whilst combating the spread of allergens and preventing mold growth.
- 60% rh
Perfect for environments where low humidity levels aren’t critical. A garage, utility room or laundry room would benefit most from this setting.
Mold and mildew in addition to airborne allergens grow and spread much easier as soon as the atmosphere reaches 60% relative humidity. It is for this reason that we recommend most homeowners utilize the 50% rh setting.
We would also suggest that you purchase a digital hygrometer to get an accurate reading of the humidity levels within your home.
Flexible Operating Temperature Range
Desiccant dehumidifiers are far better suited to operating in low temperatures than their compressor-based counterparts. This is because there is no refrigerant system on board which removes the drop in efficiency suffered as the mercury falls.
This means that it is capable of working just as efficiently when the ambient temperature is as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Desiccant dehumidifiers are great for use in basements for this reason. If you need a reliable dehumidifier that will operate in all temperatures, a desiccant model should be high on your list.
What is unique to desiccant dehumidifiers is that they convert the energy they consume into heat and return it back into the room they are dehumidifying. It is for this reason that they are perfect for unheated spaces such as an RV, a boat or a garage, providing an efficient source of heat.
Onboard Water Tank
As you would expect, the DD7L Junior features a water reservoir which holds the water that is removed from the atmosphere. It has a maximum capacity of 4.22 pints which could require emptying up to 4 times a day if used in a very humid environment on maximum performance mode (fan setting 3).
The tank can be removed and reinserted as easily as any dehumidifier we’ve tested.
Optional Drain Hose Functionality
What we particularly like about this model is that Meaco have opted to include a drainage hose in the box, removing the need for you to go and buy one separately.
As this dehumidifier is specifically marketed as one that is suitable for leaving unattended in an RV, a boat or a garage, this is a welcome addition. See our drainage guide for more information on how this feature works.
Meaco have included a feature that is rarely seen on dehumidifiers which is their Laundry Mode. As the name suggests, it is specifically designed to assist in the drying of clothes that have been left to dry within a laundry room, reaching and maintaining a target level of 35% rh.
We found that clothes dried much faster than they would if natural ventilation such as an open window was relied on. The other added benefit is that your laundry room will no longer be a breeding ground for mold.
As with any good dehumidifier for home usage, this one has been programmed so that it will restart in the event of a power outage. If power is lost, it will continue operation in the mode it was in as soon as power is restored.
Low Power Consumption
The Energy Star certification scheme only applies to compressor dehumidifiers, but this doesn’t mean that desiccant dehumidifiers are power hungry or inefficient.
Despite the higher average wattage rating, this model is actually more energy efficient than other dehumidifiers because it will extract water much faster meaning that it will run for less time. You will often find that only 10 minutes of operation is required in every 60 minute period, dramatically lowering your energy bills.
Pros And Cons
The DD7L Junior provides a useful and practical set of features, making it suitable for a variety of uses. But what are its real-world advantages and shortcomings? Here we’ll cover both the pros and cons of this device.
- Easy to use. Simple is often best and it doesn’t get much simpler than this dehumidifier. Simply switch it on, select a fan mode and set your desired level of humidity.
- Super quiet. We’ve tested some quiet dehumidifiers in our time, but this model is one of the quietest we’ve come across. So quiet in fact, you could use it in a library without disturbing anyone.
- Versatile. Perfect for a variety of environments. Many will love its ability to heat a room by a few degrees.
- Efficient. The beauty of this model is its ability to extract moisture from the air at an astonishing rate, allowing it to power off and conserve energy.
- Ultra Portability. This model weighs 15 lbs which is significantly lighter than any compressor model available.
- It doesn’t have any castor wheels. You might argue it doesn’t need them with its low weight, but they would have been a welcome addition.
- The water tank is small. If you’re unable to make use of the included drainage hose and won’t be around to empty it, you might be better off choosing a different model.
We rarely get our hands on a desiccant dehumidifier as compressor models are just so prevalent and make up the bulk of the domestic consumer market.
But we can honestly say that the Meaco (Keystone) DD7L Junior is a breath of fresh air and impressed us considerably during our time testing it.
Whether you live in an apartment or wish to dehumidify rooms within a larger house, this model is worth a look. And if you’re looking for an RV dehumidifier or a way to keep your boat dry when not in use, we can’t think of a better dehumidifier for the job.