It can be hard to treat mold in your basement and usually requires professional help. There is less air circulation and generally cooler temperatures, it creates an opportunity for pockets of moisture to build up. Keeping your basement dry is an important part of keeping mold out of your basement, and ultimately your entire home. This is especially important if you have a finished basement and a bathroom or shower installed.
Using a dehumidifier can help keep mold out in the first place. You can avoid costly professional clean-up or hours of your own time spent scrubbing. Our favorite basement dehumidifier is the EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE Desiccant Dehumidifier. Check out our in-depth analysis below to find out why.
Why do I need a desiccant dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers that rely on compressors do not function very efficiently in colder environments like the basement. Compressor dehumidifiers have peak efficiency around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need your dehumidifier to work well in the cold, look for a desiccant dehumidifier. They will function well all the way down to 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
The added temperature range is very important for keeping humidity levels down in a cold basement. People often set up their dehumidifiers in their basement because of the readily accessible floor drain. The better dehumidifiers, like the EcoSeb, come with drain hoses that allow for continuous operation as long as there is somewhere for the water to drain.
Desiccant dehumidifiers use small wheels or discs with silica gel to remove moisture from the air. They continuously regenerate the silica gel with slightly heated air so that you do not need to replace the silica gel. Another advantage desiccant dehumidifiers have over compressor dehumidifiers is that they can run very quietly. They only use a fan, which does not make as much noise as a compressor will.
Compressor dehumidifiers use a compressor to cool down metal coils. This is the same idea as condensation on the outside of a glass of ice water. This condensed water from the air falls into the tank or gets drained by a hose. The problem with compressor humidifiers is that if the air is already cold, they will struggle to cool their coils enough to cause condensation. This is why we recommend using a desiccant dehumidifier to help remove mold from your basement. Water damage restoration professionals rely on commercial grade desiccant dehumidifiers for this same reason.
Below we review some of the functions and capabilities of the EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE dehumidifier.
Operating Temperature Range
DD122EA-SIMPLE operating temperature range is 34 to 95 degrees F. Compressor based dehumidifiers have a peak efficiency of 68 degrees F. If you need the dehumidifier to work in a place with temperatures lower than that, the desiccant dehumidifier is the best choice. It is sufficient for most of the operations, and thus it makes the design one of the best suited for diverse applications.
The EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE can be set to a relative humidity range of 40 percent to 80 percent. It is done by manually adjusting the knob and works fine. In general, anything below 60 percent will keep mold away. 40 percent is generally low enough to keep condensation on your windows to a minimum.
Number of Fan Speeds
Usually, the compressor based units come with two fans setting, high and low. It helps in controlling the noise due to fan operation, the higher the fan speed the louder the noise. Though in case of EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE one cannot directly regulate the fan speeds, the operation logic does use the feature of automatically adjusting the fan speed as per the operational needs.
The unit EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE has relatively simple control consisting of one adjustable dial knob and one selection adjustor switch.
The unit is equipped with a continuous mode-called laundry mode, in which the unit will not shut off, irrespective of what the humidistat reads as the ambient air’s humidity level. The unit will shut only when the water collection bucket is full, that has the switch to turn off the dehumidifier unit.
The DD122EA-SIMPLE also has the provision of multiple auto modes of low, medium and high settings.
In DD122EA-SIMPLE you can set the unit to the economy or the turbo mode. This can be done by operating the switch on the control panel. The economy mode is for low power consumption, in which the low fan speed is used. In turbo mode, the dehumidification shall be achieved to the desired level faster due to higher fan speed, but you will have to face higher energy bills and more noise levels.
As per the mode selected by the user, the DD122EA-SIMPLE consumes from 300 to 615 watts power. The power consumption in high, dry or the turbo mode can be as high as 615 watts. This comparable to the compressor based units, which consumes 300-400 watts with low capacity designs of 30 to 40 pint. The bigger units can consume power up to as high as 700-800 watts.
DD122EA-SIMPLE is easily portable. This is one significant advantage compared to the compressor based units that are heavy as they consist of heavy parts like compressor, condenser and the evaporator. The desiccant design, similar to the DD122EA-SIMPLE, has lighter parts. The unit weighs only 13.2 pounds. The compressor-based unit of similar operation capacity will weigh as much as 30-50 pounds. If you have to move quite often, then DD122EA-SIMPLE is the best choice for you.
The DD122EA-SIMPLE has two years manufacturer’s warranty. This is better than the compressor based units that come with one year warranty. Extra warranty of any covers typically only the compressor.
The DD122EA-SIMPLE is one of the cheapest in the range. Its price comes somewhere between the cost of 30 to 50-pint compressor based designs. But, looking at the versatility of DD122EA-SIMPLE it is the best value for money.