Well, we have managed for hundreds of years without air purifiers and dehumidifiers so why are they the next big thing?

In part, humanity has caused the issue. Beginning with the industrial revolution burning fossil fuels and belching out CO2 into the air affecting the ozone layer and increasing global warming. Let’s not open that can of worms today but cleaner, dehumidified air is a priority in heavily industrialised cities like Beijing or even Sydney.

Humidity is the amount of water the air can hold.

Think of air like a sponge, and it rains when it is 100% full. Sydney has an average annual humidity of 69% ranging from 61 (Spring) to 74 (Summer). Brisbane has 66. Cairns has 72.

Humidity below 45% is considered too ‘dry’ affecting hair, skin and even vocal chords. That is why we feel colder at lower humidity as sweat evaporates too easily.

Humidity between 45 and 50% is comfortable. We classify 60% as a little muggy, and after that, it goes to uncomfortable and unbearable.

A dehumidifier is designed to remove some water from the air. In doing so, it makes higher temperatures more bearable.

IonMax loaned GadgetGuy an ION610, a $299 entry-level dehumidifier for a month to see if it made any difference. This article is not a review as such, more our first look at dehumidifiers and to answer the question do we need them?

It is a desiccant dehumidifier. Instead of using condensation (on cold evaporator coils) to remove humidity, desiccant dehumidifiers use a chemical. The desiccant absorbs water and when gently heated releases it. Technically heating recharges the desiccant so that it can absorb moisture again.

The ION610 has a coverage of about 25m2 (5 x 5) and will remove up to 6 litres per day. The tank is 1.8L, and it stops when full or you can fit a hose for continuous water removal.

Humidity settings include laundry (driest), 40, 50 or 60%.

You would use the laundry setting in a laundry or bathroom to assist drying. 40% will help dry a damp room. 50% is good for inhibiting mould and bacteria growth. 60% is the comfort setting.

dehumidifier

The lower you set the dehumidifier, the harder it must work. Fan noise ranges from 45dB at 40% to 34% at 60% – perfect for sleeping.

We tested the unit over two days when humidity was 63%. The left graph shows the decline from 6 am to noon set on 40%. We then set the unit on 60% where the right graph shows humidity rising from 40% to eventually back to 60%.

GadgetGuy’s take – a dehumidifier works in a typical large bedroom or lounge room.

The only caveat here is that you have humidity to remove in the first place. Considering most of Australia is ‘moist’ (above 60%) it can reduce the water in the air.

The Ionmax range is distributed in Australia by Andatech (who make the portable breathalysers previously reviewed here). They appear to be well made and backup is from a good company.

Ionmax Desiccant dehumidifier models

  • 610, 6 litres a day, areas up to 25m2, $199
  • 612, 7 litres per day, areas up to 30m2, $469
  • 632, 10 litres per day, areas up to 59m2, $599

Ionmax also makes a range of humidifiers, air purifiers, far infrared heaters and aroma diffusers.

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