Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review: Ivation Mini-Dehumidifier

As part of the process of dealing with Winter, we've been casting about for solutions to some of our condensation problems.  We've done such things as venting the boat out occasionally to remove some of the warm, water laden air.  We've also been using some of the chemical moisture removers like DampRid.  All of these things work. . . .somewhat.  I suspect in any typical boating situation they would be adequate.  The problem is, we LIVE here, and the combination of our own exhalations and our incessant cooking fills the air with moisture that your typical sports boat might never see.
yeah, its freakin winter.

One of the recent attempts to help things is our purchase of an Ivation mini Dehumidifier on the InterTubes for about $60, so having lived with the device for a bit, I thought I'd do a bit of a review.

No, this is not a speaker.

The unit, one of a whole line of dehumidifiers made by the company, uses Peltier effect instead of a compressor to remove water from the air.  It's extremely compact, only about 7" on a side, and with the exception of a slight fan noise, it's silent and vibration free.

Water is condensed and dropped into a cassette accessible from the back of the unit so you can dump the liquid.  It has a single control, an on-off switch, and a light on the top that glows blue when on, amber when full, and off

To empty, pull the cassette, open the little black rubber stopper to the lower left, and dump.

The Cassette holds about 22 oz of fluid.  In the picture above, you can see two little squares on the cassette on the upper right corner. Those are electrical contacts for two electrodes that go into the cassette and tell the unit when it's full, shutting off the fan and the thermocouple.

How did it work?  Okay, first of all, let me tell you what this is NOT (I've been looking at some of the comments on the unit on them inter webs, and they're kinda clueless).  This is NOT a compressor driven, 2000 watt dehumidifier that you stick in your basement and that removes gallons of water from the air a day.  The Peltier thermocouple, invented by Jean Peltier in the 1830's, creates a temperature differential of about 30 degrees F. between the two sides of the circuit, enough to cause water to condense on the cold side of the thermocouple (provided your ambient air isn't too cold, in which case, as with a compressor system, it freezes up).  This is the same device that runs those little coolers you plug into your cigarette lighter.  Lacking moving parts of any kind save the fan, the unit has almost nothing to break.  The fan provided is like one of those computer cooling fans.  This thing does NOT process a huge amount of air, and consequently, it is unlikely to dehumidify air that it DOESN'T pull through the unit.

Nuff said.

What this does do is an admirable job of pulling about 10 OZ of moisture out of the air every day in a gradual, nonintrusive way.  It works at least as well as the chemical dehumidifiers, but since you never have to replace it, it rapidly pays for itself.  It will, however, rather rapidly drain your batteries unless you have a really robust system.  Hooked to shore power, it's 22 watts is hardly noticeable.

The little unit hasn't completely solved our problems, but it definitely HAS helped noticeably, and I could see that in a smaller boat, or in a small cabin, RV, or trailer, not to mention closets and storage areas, that this thing could be a major plus.

Would I buy it again?  Yep.

Hey we've got new stuff coming up on our Onboard Cooking and Life, Art, Water blogs, check em out.

And please, if you would, do us the kindness of checking out one of our lovely advertisers whose ads are scattered like so many occasional rugs about this blog.  They're how we're able to keep doing this, and they would love to see you stopping by.

more shortly



  1. Hey Mungo,
    It's true, after all it is a MINI Dehumidifier. Why some people expect it to behave like a bigger dehumidifier it beyond me.

    It does the job well for it's size.

  2. We've been very pleased with the little thing. We mostly run it up in the sleeping loft in winter, and it helps keep it from….well….raining in there.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. BTW with a nod to Rosalba above, if you want to find out just about everything you ever wanted to know about dehumidifiers, check out :


  4. The unit, one of a whole line of dehumidifiers made by the company, uses Peltier effect instead of a compressor to remove water from the air. deshumidificador

  5. Really great review, for that kind of size it does its job very well and i think its worth it !

  6. I bought this to dehumidify a small office that is separate from my house. We had another brand in our bathroom for about a year and then it quit working. This design is much better. The feature I like the best is the removable washable filter. I think it should make the device more long lasting. It also seems to suck the water from the air more efficiently..

  7. I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have a lot of writing talent.

  8. Thanks for taking the time to discuss that, I feel strongly about this and so really like getting to know more on this kind of field. Do you mind updating your blog post with additional insight? It should be really useful for all of us. dehumidifier

  9. Thank you for sharing this important information. The place where I live is also very humid, but until now, only one dehumidifier is satisfactory to me.