Is an equivalent to the Meaco DD122FW MK4 Desiccant Dehumidifier available in the USA?
by Alexandra Smith
(San Francisco, California, USA)
I live in San Francisco in an old home that is generally hovering in the 50-62 degree F range inside the living area (not just the garage/basement). I read your page on garage dehumidifiers, which I was very excited to read, but then realized that all of the options you mentioned are only available in the UK. Do you know of any desiccant dehumidifiers that are available in the US that are comparable to the Meaco DD122FW MK4 Desiccant Dehumidifier?
Hello Alexandra and thank you for your question.
The short answer is no, there are no models equivalent to the Meaco DD122FW MK4 Desiccant Dehumidifier available in the USA.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are widely used in the USA but their use is almost entirely restricted to commercial and industrial applications. Some of these units are available for sale to private individuals for domestic use but they are very
expensive compared with refrigerant dehumidifiers.
Commercial desiccant dehumidifiers are different from small, portable units like the DD122FW MK4. Whereas the Meaco model collects the moisture as liquid, in a bucket, commercial units vent the moisture, as vapor, to the outside of the building through ducting. The cost, and possible inconvenience, of the ducting must be factored into the equation. In addition desiccant dehumidifiers use more energy than refrigerant models which makes them unattractive as home dehumidifiers for the vast majority of people.
Commercial users are prepared to pay these costs where their production processes or storage facilities require humidity control that no refrigerant dehumidifier can provide. Private individuals are only likely to consider this type of dehumidifier if they are protecting something of great intrinsic and/or monetary value, such as a lovingly restored classic car worth tens of thousands of dollars.
The only alternative to desiccant dehumidifiers for domestic users is a refrigerant dehumidifier with hot gas defrost. An example is the Mitsubishi MJ-16EV which, like the Meaco unit, is not generally available in the USA.
Once again this feature is pretty much restricted in the USA to dehumidifiers designed primarily for commercial applications. The good news is that small dehumidifiers with this feature are much less expensive than commercial desiccant units; the bad news is that they are still much more expensive than a typical portable dehumidifier such as a Frigidaire or Danby.
Depending on the urgency of your need you may want to consider a model such as the Ebac CD30 but I suspect that the price, around $700, may be much more than you want to pay. I mention it, nevertheless, in case you are
the proud owner of a priceless antique automobile. :)
A better buy is the recently re-introduced Oasis dehumidifier which is commercial grade but aimed at domestic users. It is currently available at $549 and is effective at temperatures down to 43F. This is still expensive but the unit does come with a five year warranty. You can see my review of this model on:
the Oasis page
The only alternative is a small crawl space dehumidifier, such as the Santa Fe Compact, which is effective in temperatures down to 40F, but is even more expensive at around $1000 or more.
I am sorry that I can't be more helpful with respect to desiccant dehumidifiers but I have tried to cover the alternatives and to give you some options if your need is great enough to justify the expense.