DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier Review

DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier Aria Dry Light

  • The DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier is very different from the type of dehumidifier most of you are used to.
  • The DeLonghi Aria Dry Light DNC65 is a desiccant, or water absorbing, dehumidifier and does not need a compressor.
  • This technology makes the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier lighter, quieter and more compact than the more familiar refrigerant dehumidifier.
  • The main benefit is to make the DNC65 a very effective low temperature dehumidifier that will work well in cold weather in a boat, a caravan or as a garage dehumidifier.
  • The main disadvantage of the DNC65 is its much higher power consumption compared with a compressor based refrigerant model with the same water removal rate.
  • Like all desiccant dehumidifiers the DNC65 heats the air more than a refrigerant dehumidifier which may be a plus or a minus depending on your point of view.
  • Despite being quieter than a refrigerant dehumidifier the DNC65 is not a quiet dehumidifier, simply a less noisy one. It is certainly not silent and it is not "whisper quiet". Any such claims are merely "sales talk".
  • The bottom line is that I would choose the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier for my garage or boat in cold weather but would go for a refrigerant dehumidifier for use in the house./li>

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers have been widely used in factories and commercial businesses for many years. They are high capacity machines which can work just as well in high or low temperatures.

Until recently this technology could only be used in dehumidifiers too large for your home. Recent improvements in engineering have now made it possible for smaller dehumidifiers to make use of this process. The DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier is one of the few of these new desiccant home dehumidifiers currently on sale in the UK.

Until recently all home dehumidifiers were the refrigerant type. A refrigerant dehumidifier condenses water from the air on refrigeration coils, like those used in your refrigerator, from where it drips into the water collection bucket. This type of dehumidifier needs a compressor, for the refrigeration process, and a fan to suck in and blow out the air.

A desiccant dehumidifier works in a completely different way. It uses a rotor, coated with a desiccant (water absorbing) material, to capture water molecules carried by the air. It does not need a compressor because no refrigeration process is involved. It still needs a fan to create the air flow through the machine. In fact a desiccant dehumidifier needs two fans.

The desiccant rotor absorbs water until it is saturated. To remove the water the desiccant material has to be heated. The desiccant rotor turns quite slowly, only a few complete rotations a minute. During each rotation the rotor passes through a stream of heated air which dries it so that the rotor is ready to absorb more water.

The dehumidifier has to create that warm air flow and has a built-in heater and a second fan to do this. That is why it uses more energy than a refrigerant dehumidifier. The heat carried by that warm air flow has to go somewhere.

One of the differences between an industrial desiccant dehumidifier and a desiccant home dehumidifier, like the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier, is the way the heat used to dry the rotor is removed from the unit. An industrial unit blows the warm air containing the water vapour, through a vent, to the outside of the building.

Desiccant home dehumidifiers collect the water as liquid in a bucket and blow the warm, dry air back into the room. A desiccant home dehumidifier will return air to the room at 10-12°C warmer than the ambient temperature. This is roughly twice the heating effect caused by a refrigerant dehumidifier.

Pros and Cons of Desiccant Dehumidifiers

  • There is no compressor. This allows the dehumidifier to be smaller and lighter than the refrigerant type.
  • Without the compressor the dehumidifier is quieter. At its lowest fan setting the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier is one of the quietest available.
  • The water extraction rate is not affected so much by air temperature in the room and the DNC65 is effective at any temperature from 1-40°C.
  • No refrigerant is needed which is friendlier to the environment.
  • The main disadvantage is that the desiccant process uses more electric power than the refrigerant. This will be offset in low temperatures because the dehumidifier will work for less time each day to keep relative humidity under control.
  • One other drawback that you will never find mentioned on the "sales sites" is that a desiccant dehumidifier can produce an unpleasant smell. If there are odours in the room, such as tobacco smoke for example, these can be trapped by the desiccant material. When the dehumidifier is turned on again these smells can be released. This is one reason why you may prefer not to use a desiccant dehumidifier inside your home.
  • The heating effect I mentioned earlier may be an advantage or a disadvantage.
  • If the dehumidifier is being used in a cold area, as a garage dehumidifier for example, the heating effect is helpful. Heating the air lowers the relative humidity and makes condensation less likely. In cold weather the heating effect will be a benefit when the dehumidifier is being used in the home. It may also be useful for laundry drying.
  • If the dehumidifier is being used in the home when the weather is warm the additional heat will be a disadvantage for most people. This may have even more important for allergy sufferers who may need to use their dehumidifier year round and keep windows and doors closed.

Other Features

Low Temperature Operation

Due to the desiccant process the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier does not suffer from icing like a refrigerant model. Not only does it work well at low temperatures it actually performs at its best when the air is cool. If you are looking for a garage dehumidifier or have another cool place to keep dry this type of dehumidifier is a better choice than a refrigerant unit.


Without a compressor the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier is light and compact. It will fit neatly into tight spaces and can be carried easily using its top mounted pull-up handle.


The electronic humidistat controls relative humidity according to the setting you choose. Working like a thermostat it switches the dehumidifier on and off as needed to keep the room free of moisture. This also helps to keep your energy bills under control.

Three Fan Speeds

The high speed setting is for drying laundry and other uses where quick removal of moisture is needed. The minimum speed should be enough to keep humidity at the chosen level in any suitably sized room. The middle speed is "automatic".

Most noise from a dehumidifier is caused by the fan(s) and this is why the noise output given in the table below shows a range from 34-44dB.

Continuous Drainage

Continuous drainage works in the same way as with any other dehumidifier and only involves attaching a hose to the water outlet and running it to a nearby drain. As this is gravity fed system the hose must run "down hill" all the way!

This feature is essential if the dehumidifier is left unattended as it may be, for example, if it is being used as a boat dehumidifier.

Automatic Shut-Off

This is a simple timer switch that allows you to set the dehumidifier to switch off at any time up to eight hours ahead. Unfortunately there is no way you can set the unit to switch on again automatically.

Three Position Louvres

The adjustable louvres allow you to direct the air flow from the machine. As this air is much warmer than the temperature of the room this feature is particularly useful when drying the washing.

Anti-Bacterial Filter

This sounds good but its effectiveness is fairly limited. This is a dehumidifier not an air purifier.

Separately Controlled Ionizer

Personally I have never found that an ionizer makes a difference to me but some reviewers have praised this feature so I guess it depends on the individual and I will not express an opinion.

Water Extraction Rate

The DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier is rated at a water extraction rate of 6 Litres per day (@32°C/80%RH). As you probably know this rate is low compared with most refrigerant dehumidifiers.

Many web sites will tell you that this 6Ltr daily extraction rate is the same regardless of temperature. This is, at best, an over simplification. What is true is that a desiccant dehumidifier will pull a lot more water from the air than a refrigerant model when the temperature is low. Below 10°C a refrigerant dehumidifier is virtually useless but a desiccant model will continue to keep your garage or boat dry even when the outdoor temperature is below freezing.

This is why I recommend this type of dehumidifier as a low temperature dehumidifier. At normal room temperature a refrigerant model will be more effective, cost around half as much to run and won't generate an unpleasant smell either :).


Brand DeLonghi
Model DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier
Application(s) Domestic
Suitable for Smaller homes, garages, boats, caravans
Portable Yes
Carrying handle Yes
Wheels/castors No
Weight (kg) 5.5
Dimensions mm (WxDxH) 289 x 170 x 470
Dehumidification process Desiccant (absorption)
Water extraction (@32°C/80%RH) 6 litres per 24 hrs
Water container capacity (Litres) 2.0
Container full indicator Yes
Auto-power cut off when full Yes
Continuous drainage option Yes
Operating temperature range 1-40°C
Air Flow Volume 100-160 m3/hr
Auto-defrost Not applicable
Electronic controls Yes
Humidistat Yes, electronic
Variable fan speed settings Yes (3)
Noise level 34 - 44dB
Power supply 520 Watts

Consumer Reactions

  • Most user reviews of the DNC65 are positive. The unit is described as "effective", build quality as "good" and most people like its lightness and portability.
  • Comments about noise vary. Some users are impressed with the DNC65's quietness others are disappointed that it is not quieter.
  • There is overwhelming support for the DNC65 for use in cold areas such as boats, garages and unheated holiday homes.
  • Some have found the water collection bucket hard to remove without spillage
  • A small number of reviewers have reported that their DNC65 was faulty when delivered.

My Recommendation

  • Wherever it's cold a desiccant dehumidifier is the best choice. The only alternative is a refrigerant dehumidifier with "hot gas defrost" which will typically cost around £100 more.
  • The DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier is effective, well made and well liked by users. I am happy to recommend it for your caravan, boat, holiday home, unheated conservatory or as a garage dehumidifier to protect your car and tools.
  • For the living areas in your home a refrigerant dehumidifier is better. It will control moisture equally well, cost less to run, not make an unpleasant smell and will not heat up your room as much.
  • The DNC65 is less noisy than many dehumidifiers but you will hear it, especially on the highest fan speed setting. It may be a choice preferred by some for drying the washing.

If you do decide to use the Delonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier in your home please let me stress once will cost around twice as much to run as a refrigerant dehumidifier.

If you are looking for alternatives to the DeLonghi DNC65 Dehumidifier you could consider these two. The Meaco DD122FW MK4 Desiccant Dehumidifier is an equally effective desiccant dehumidifier while the Mitsubishi MJ-E16V Dehumidifier is a highly capable refrigerant dehumidifier with hot gas defrost.

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