We have gone through several dehumidifiers over the years, many of which either failed or got too noisy. This time I carried out extensive research, including reading many reviews and use feedback. Based on various user reviews such as on Amazon, most report the Meaco Platinum series as quiet running and energy efficient. Meaco is also one of the few manufacturers that state realistic extraction figures, i.e. 20°C @ 60% RH. Most other manufacturers only report 30°C @ 80% RH or higher – Sure, if you want to dehumidify a greenhouse!
I purchased this machine through Amazon and had no issue with the shipment. I already tried a desiccant dehumidifier, but found it far too power hungry. While it can function as an economical space heater, this heat is of no benefit during the summer. Our house also rarely dips below 18°C.
Our previous dehumidifier, a German made Trotec 75s served as well for about 4 years. However, it had several drawbacks including continuously running its fan, short cycle runtimes and droning excessively. In the final year, the droning noise got excessive to the point that I ran it on a timer. Finally, I decided to sell it as it simply got too noisy to operate with anyone home.
Update 21 Sep ’21: This Meaco dehumidifier has reached the end of its life, lasting 4.5 years since purchase. During its final year, it collected noticeably less water, running longer to maintain the humidity level. It also started making a droning noise during the final few months, although not excessive like previous dehumidifiers. It finally ceased, tripping the RCD.
When I switched the Meaco dehumidifier on for the first time, I waited for the familiar compressor hum. To my surprise, it was already running, but barely audible through the fan noise. For the first few weeks, it gave off a plastic odour, like a new car smell. It also gave off a brief swamp-like smell during the first few minutes each time it came on. Both smells have since ceased.
The machine came with a HEPA filter that fits snug in the rear air intake. After the first few days of operation, I noticed the dehumidifier did not collect as much water as the Trotec 75s for the equivalent runtime. However, when I removed the HEPA filter to check its impact, the water collection rate improved dramatically.
This Meaco Platinum 20 litre dehumidifier is larger than our previous Trotec 75s 24 litre dehumidifier. Personally, I would prefer it in black as the white finish clearly stands out wherever it is placed. I’m sure a black finish would make a good selling feature as most dehumidifiers are only available in white.
This is the quietest dehumidifier I have used to date, particularly on its low fan setting. After several months of use, it now makes a light droning hum each time it switches on. This fades after a few minutes, leaving a sound like a fan heater or column fan. Personally, I find this unobtrusive during the day and leave it set to high fan speed. Like most refrigerant dehumidifiers, it makes a noticeable thud sound when its compressor cuts in and out.
Its humidity readout reads 5-10% higher than several hygrometers I have. The higher the room temperature, the more it seems to drift. I mainly keep it set at 60%, which brings the humidity level to around 55% during the winter and 50% during the warmer summer days. This lower humidity level reduces the stickiness feel on warm humid days.
When it reaches 3% below the target humidity level, its compressor cuts out. The fan continues running for about 10 minutes and switches off. After about 30 minutes its fan starts up again to sample the air. If the humidity level is over 3% above the set level after 30 seconds, it starts the compressor. If the humidity level is low enough, the fan only runs for about a minute. This process repeats roughly every 30-minute interval.
For overnight operation, I run it in air purification mode. I insert the HEPA filter at the back, set the mode to ‘AP’ and the fan speed to low. In the morning, I remove the HEPA filter and set the mode back to 60. The daytime dehumidification operation is sufficient for keeping the humidity under control. Removing the HEPA improves the collection rate and energy efficiency as discussed below.
Extraction and energy usage
As with other compressor dehumidifiers, the collection rate varies depending on the room temperature and humidity level. At around 22°C 50%, it collects about 300ml per hour on its high fan setting. At around 20°C 65% while drying laundry, the collection rate climbs to about 400ml per hour. These rates are based on short continuous test runs of 1-2 hours with the readings from a room hygrometer. After several tests with and without the HEPA filter, the HEPA filter drops the collection rate by roughly a third.
With a watt meter, the power consumption varies between 230 and 250 watts. This is about 25% less than the Trotec 75s despite similar extraction rates. It is also about 1/3 the consumption of a desiccant dehumidifier for the equivalent extraction in heated rooms. The dehumidifier appears to have power factor correction, great for those with solar panels or running off grid. In fan only operation such as Air Purification mode, it consumes about 20 watts.
Its energy efficiency clearly stands out during intermittent operation. Let’s say the humidity level remains low enough to not require any dehumidification. This dehumidifier will run its fan twice a hour for a minute, totalling 48 minutes for a 24-hour day. This gives a power consumption of under 0.02kWh. The Trotec 75s runs its fan non-stop consuming 30 watts, giving a 24-hour power consumption of 0.72kWh. That power consumption is the equivalent to the Meaco machine dehumidifying for 3 hours.
I have yet to experience how well it performs in cold rooms.
Emptying, cleaning and ease of use
Once its water container is full, it shuts off and makes 5 loud beeps. Unfortunately, there is no option to disable the beeper, one reason I run it as an air purifier overnight. The water container holds 5.9 litres based on measuring the water after it flashes the bucket full light.
The container has a slopped base, however, it does not spill when gently setting it down. It is the easiest I’ve come across to remove with a recessed grip on the left and right. The container has a handle on the top that lifts. As shown on the right, it has a cover to reduce splashing and has a slot to pour the water out. Once empty, it slides into the dehumidifier as easily as closing a drawer.
The air filter is very easy to clean as the mesh is integrated in the rear panel. This lets me vacuum the dust off the back panel without having to remove it. The panel easily lifts off to access the HEPA filter. With the panel off, the HEPA filter slots in at the back of the dehumidifier. I periodically vacuum the HEPA filter to help prolong its life.
It has four castors and the machine swivels reasonably well even on carpet. The top louvre automatically lifts upon powering up. It can swivel back and forth by about 45 degrees with the automatic louvre button. It closes the louvre when the machine it put into standby. There is a large carry handle that lifts on top to reposition the machine.
Timer operation and power cuts
The dehumidifier has a timer feature that counts in 1-hour increments. This can be useful for unattended use such as drying laundry. Once the timer reaches zero, the machine goes into standby and remains off.
Unlike manual dehumidifiers such as our previous Trotec 75s, this machine loses its settings when it loses power. Once it receives power again, it remains off in standby mode, ruling out the ability to use an external timer. Similarly, after a power cut, the user needs to switch it on, set the fan speed and target humidity level.
A few niggles
This dehumidifier performs very well at its main job – Maintains the humidity without periodic adjustments to conserve energy usage. However, I have come across a few minor niggles I think Meaco could fix or improve upon with their next revision.
Beeper – The machine makes a loud beep with each key press and beeps 5 times when it is full. It would be great if I could switch this off in the evening.
Display – When the dehumidifier is idle, it reads meaningless high levels from inside the machine as shown on the right. I would prefer it held readout from its last operation. For example, if it read 61% during the last air sample operation, it should continue showing 61% until the next time it spins the fan.
Louvre – The dehumidifier only closes its louvre in standby mode. It remains open while idle with the fan off as shown above. It even leaves it open when its bucket is full. For aesthetic reasons and to keep the dust out, I would prefer it shut when the fan is not running.
Children – While the dehumidifier has childlock to protect the buttons, the main issue I had with children is that they close the louvre. Unlike the desiccant dehumidifier I had, this dehumidifier does not automatically reopen the louvre. However, there is a small gap around the louvre to let some air through while shut.
HEPA filter – As mentioned above, the HEPA filter cuts the collection rate by about a third. One improvement would be to offer a third higher speed to compensate for the air flow reduction. For example, if the machine is drying laundry in a closed room, the added noise will unlikely be an issue.
This dehumidifier has a few other oddities and features that I thought I’ll mention.
Fan speed – When the dehumidifier shuts its compressor off, it disables the fan speed button. To change the fan speed, I need to change the mode to Air Purification mode temporarily. Alternatively, if I put the machine into and out of standby mode, I can change the fan speed.
Air flow – With the louvre facing up, the air flows out towards the right. For example, if I stand directly on the right of the machine, the air flows towards my face. With the louvre oscillating, the airflow varies between straight up and forward about 30 degrees, again biased towards the right.
Fill level – There is a transparent strip on the water container that shows the water level, as shown on the right. It needs to collect about 2 litres before the water level reaches the bottom of the strip. The machine cuts out when the level reaches the upper tip.
Coil colour – The rear evaporator coil on my machine is a brass colour. The condenser coil I can see through the top fan vent has a blue colour. In online video reviews of this dehumidifier, these colours were the other way around. I asked Meaco for curiosity as I thought it may be a defect. They came back stating that the rear condenser coil can be blue, silver or golden colour.
The Meaco Platinum 20 litre performs the main task of controlling the humidity level very well and certainly is the most energy efficient dehumidifier I’ve owned. Its noise is no more obtrusive than a fan heater or column fan and lacks the loud droning noise of some compressor dehumidifiers. It appears to be well built, a lot easier to empty and clean than any of my previous dehumidifiers.
The HEPA filter is a nice bonus, however, it knocks about a third off the dehumidification performance. As a work around, I recommend running it in air purification mode overnight with the HEPA filter, then remove it during the day to run in dehumidification mode. Unlike some air purifiers, the replacement HEPA filters have a reasonable price.
I also recommend watching this review on YouTube, carried out by a roofing trader. This person shows a tour around the machine, including noise and air flow demonstrations. This video was one factor that led to me purchasing this dehumidifier as most video reviews do not include any real world tests.