Let me paint a picture. I moved into a new house in April, It’s old, and part of it is 130 years old, which means it’s a property that needs to be maintained, it needs some TLC. Due to the age and construction of that part of the house, there is little to no insulation, and potential for dampness and condensation and that’s all become apparent now winter is here. So, to help manage this, I purchased the Meaco Arete One dehumidifier, to help me maintain humidity levels in the house, help with damp and also, dry my laundry, as that has become a new fad on socials. I’ve been using it for the last month or so and it’s great, I’m surprised at how much it helps.

Let’s run through the specs and features. Firstly in the range, there are different models, different sizes. So the one I have is the 12L but they also have a 10L, 20L and 25L and if like me, you think the L stands for litres, it doesn’t, as the 12L doesn’t have a 12Litre anything, and the water tank is only 2.5litres. This is a compressor-based dehumidifier, not a desiccant. The main difference between them is the room temperature they best perform at, where Desiccant can work at lower temperatures, whereas the efficiency of a compressor-based system drops at lower temperatures. You pick one to suit your environment but for a heated home, the compressor is fine. 

It weighs 11 kilograms, it has a handle and four wheels so it’s quite easy to manoeuvre around. Noise level is stated at 35 to 38dBA, which is hard to quantify, but I’ll touch on that later. Power consumption is stated at 151 watts online, but the manual states 165 watts, and we’ll run some calcs later to verify that. It’s got two fan speeds, a washable dust filter that you can upgrade to a HEPA filter if you wanted. Timing options, laundry mode, child lock, automatic shut off if the tank is full of water plus you can attach a hose if you want for continuous use. 


Walking around the machine, it’s quite compact, it’s a nice looking modern piece of kit in my opinion. To the top you’ve got the grille, flush handle which you pull up and then the display and controls. Four buttons, power on/off, humidity mode, laundry mode and night mode/child lock. The display shows the humidity level as a number, 1 to 99 and then below that are four indicator lights, showing what’s happening. To the front and very bottom is the water tank, which you simply pull out, empty and put back in. To the rear is the filter area and cable tidy, and as mentioned earlier, it sits on four wheels so you can easily move it around. 

Running through different modes and starting with the humidity mode. This is the default mode and once on, has a target to achieve a humidity level in the space of 55 and once hit, will stop. Once achieved, the fan will automatically turn on to test the environment again every 30 minutes and say it is at 55% but if it raises by 3 or more to 58, it will automatically turn back on and start working again. I mentioned those two fan speeds, well if the humidity in the space is 15% over target, so 70 if you’re using the default 55, the high fan speed will run. If it’s under 15% so under 70, it will run on low fan speed. 55 is the default, you can cycle through other options between 40 and 70 if you so wish. 


Laundry mode is the next feature mode, and as the title says, this is for drying your laundry. In this mode, the unit will set to a default target humidity level of 35% and will run on high fan speed. This mode runs for 6 hours and 6 hours only, and it will automatically turn off after that.  If that target of 35 is met, it will turn off sooner but in my experience, I never got anywhere near that.  

Other modes include air purification mode, which means the unit will not dehumidify, it will just recirculate the air and filter it, or purify it.  Also night mode means the fan speed will be reduced to low, the buttons will not bleep when pressed and all lights on the display will be turned off.

Performance-wise, I’ve been so impressed. Unfortunately for you guys, I’ve been using it so much and it’s been performing so well, it’s hard for me to actually show you how well it works. When I first got it, various rooms had a humidity over 70 but since I’ve been using it, that level has decreased and that lower level has been maintained with little top-up uses. For example, my living room, the oldest room in the house had a reading of 72 on day one, but now when I turn the unit on, It’s down to low 60s, so it’s removed that moisture and by continuing to use it, new moisture isn’t building up. 


Moving onto using it with laundry, it certainly does help but you’ve got to use it the right way and there are variables. So ideally, hang your laundry up on a clothes horse or similar, within a small, heated space, along with the unit. For me, I’ve got a small study, the heating would be on for a couple of hours in the morning and then in the evening too, maintaining 18 degrees or so. Clothes were washed and spun, no tumble drier or anything then hung up. Then setting the unit to laundry mode, in those 6 hours it would on average remove about 800ml of water, or 30% of the tank size. My clothes would be noticeably drier than if it wasn’t on but sometimes 6 hours wasn’t enough. Thicker items, a hoody or something would need another cycle, or I put it in the airing cupboard. However, it all depends on how many clothes, what type of clothes, the size of the space you’re drying in, the temperature of the room and whether the heating is on, then also if you put it in laundry mode or standard mode and monitoring the timings yourself. Put it this way, I’ve seen enough of an improvement in drying clothes for me to always use it in laundry mode now. 

The water tank has a level section to the front, so you can check the water level on the fly but the tank itself does have a float-in, which is now it monitors the water level and automatically turns off when full. If you want to continuously use the unit, you can remove the water tank, remove the right-angle adapter thats located in the tank, and attach it to the the spout on the unit. This then allows you to attach a hose to the spout and you can run that to a larger bucket or ideally, to a drain. 

Let’s talk about running costs. So I bought my Jackery power station. This thing displays power draw from whatever you plug in, so I plugged in the dehumidifier. The wattage peaked at 136 for me, and it didn’t matter if it was on low or high speed, if it had just started up or was running for an hour, so that’s a little bit less than the states 151 or 165watts by Meaco. I also didn’t see a great variance depending on the temperature of the room OR the current humidity level, it fluctuates a bit but not much. So that’s good anyway, lets work on Meacos average figures and if it runs draws less power, it’s a bonus.

I’m currently with Octopus, their standard tariff and they charge me 28p per kw hour excluding the standing charge. So if we run with the higher figure stated in the manual of 165watts, divide that by 1kw, that’s pretty much 6 or 6hours. So for 28p or 1kwh, you can use the dehumidifier for 6 hours. Or work it the other way around, that’s 4.7p per hour to use it. If you need to run it constantly for 24 hours for whatever reason, that will cost you about £1.12. That’s pretty cheap, and if you use it for drying laundry and you compare that to a traditional tumble drier, not a heat pump one, that’s circa 3kw’s, that’s 84p per hour. Performance differs greatly but even leaving it on for 12 hours is cheaper than a tumble drier. 

This dehumidifier is great, I love it, my wife loves it and I can see us using it for many years to come. It’s a little bit of an investment at £180 when on sale but it’s competitive if you look at what else is around. You could go for the smaller model, or a bigger one, I don’t think you’d be disappointed.