|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 when...um...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.
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.
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