A damp garage is your enemy. Your car, motorbike and bicycles will rust, mould will grow on your upholstery and your cardboard boxes and stored paper work will see dimensional change and will start to degenerate.
Furthermore tools will rust as will paint-tin lids and your freezer, washing machine or dryer, if stored in the garage, will have condensation running down them shortening their life expectancy by a mile.
Other items such as tents and tarps etc will also be affected by damp conditions.
Garages typically aren’t as well insulated as our homes therefore they are prone to damp problems such as condensation and mould.
A Ventilated or Sealed Garage?
In order to keep damp problems at bay in homes ventilation is a must. However garages should be well sealed to keep any moisture such as rainfall out. You probably don’t want to be running across to the garage in a rain shower just to close the garage windows! Open garage windows also pose as a security threat and allow animals such as cats, birds and slugs to enter the garage.
However even sealed garages have their problems as any moisture that does find its way inside will take longer to evaporate thus having more exposure to metal surfaces etc.
With the use of a dehumidifier you can keep the moisture levels down during the winter months.
Therefore the combination of a sealed garage and a garage dehumidifier is best to protect your garage stored valuables.
Compressor or Desiccant Garage Dehumidifier
Generally speaking compressor dehumidifiers work best in temperatures of over 20°C and increase in efficiency the higher the temperature goes (up to 35°C).
Desiccant dehumidifiers work best in cooler temperatures of below 20°C and increase in efficiency the lower the temperature falls (down to low single digit temperatures).
Compressor models also become largely ineffective in temperatures of below approx 10°C as the unit spends more time in defrost mode.
Compressor dehumidifiers work by pulling air over coils, this air leaves condensation on the coils which then falls down into the water tank. As temperatures fall the condensation ‘freezes’ so the unit toggles into defrost mode.
Desiccant units can still work effectively down to approx 2°C as these units work with silica to bring down the humidity. Silica can operate at much lower temperatures than the coils in a compressor dehumidifier.
In the UK we are happy with temperatures of over 20°C in summer time while winter temperatures are much lower. Therefore a desiccant dehumidifier would be your best choice of garage dehumidifier.
Next you should consider a dehumidifier with a continuous drainage option (CDO).
A continuous drainage option allows the dehumidifiers water tank to drain automatically without operator interference. Obviously this is a handy feature for an isolated place such as a garage.
There are two types of continuous drainage options:
- Gravity CDO’s
- Motorised CDO’s
Gravity Drainage Options
As the name implies, gravity drainage options allows gravity to pull the water down the hose when the water level in the tank reaches the hose.
For gravity led systems the sink or other drainage point should be situated below the dehumidifier so that gravity can do its work.
Typically dehumidifiers which are sold with a continuous drainage option come with a hose supplied. However some companies realise that not everybody uses the continuous drain option so they don’t supply a hose for this purpose.
If, by chance, you purchase a dehumidifier and a hose is not included then you can simply use a length of ordinary UK garden hose with a clamp.
Motorised Drainage Options
Motorised drainage options are able to pull the water up the drainage hose which allows you to place the dehumidifier below the sink or drainage point.
In ByeMould’s view motorised drainage options are more liable to break than gravity led units therefore we would suggest that you buy a gravity led continuous drainage system.
Another great feature that you should look for when buying a garage dehumidifier is the auto restart feature.
Auto restart allows the dehumidifier to restart in the same setting as it was operating in prior to a power cut. Dehumidifiers without auto restart often convert back into fan-only mode when restarting after a power outage. They then have to be reset into the prior setting by the operator.
Dehuidifiers with auto restart therefore are not only more effective but they can also be used with a plug timer.
For domestic use in the home our favourite type of filter is some sort of anti-bacterial filter as these type of filters provide a cleaner air thus promoting greater health, relaxation and lower stress and anxiety levels.
In a garage however this type of filter would not be necessary so a standard dust filter would do the job nicely.
Similarly at ByeMould we are big fans of ionisers which enable easier breathing by taking excess dust mites, dirt particles, pollen and mould spores out of the air through the release of negative ions.
However, again, this feature would not be necessary on a garage dehumidifier.
Other Handy Dehumidifier Features
A nice feature for a garage dehumidifier would be to heat up the surrounding air so that no other form of heating would have to be used.
Also a low energy dehumidifier would be great so that your electricty bills are kept under control.
We will discuss these two points below.
Placement of Garage Dehumidifier
Your garage dehumidifier should be placed near a power point so that no extension power cord needs to be used. This will eradicate the main cause of electrical accidents.
Also ensure that the unit is placed away from walls and that the dehumidifier is not covered with clothes or tarp etc. There should be plenty of air flow around the dehumidifier as well as the items which you are trying to protect.
We would recommend that the garage is sealed as tightly as possible to avoid contamination from outside air.
The Best Garage Dehumidifier
In our opinion you can’t beat the Meaco DD8L Junior as the best garage dehumidifier.
First off all the Meaco DD8L Junior is a desiccant dehumidifier giving all the features discussed in this guide including the auto restart function.
Further advantages of desiccant dehumidifiers over compressors is that they are:
- No CFC gases so environmentally friendly
When working at full-power the Meaco DD8L Junior can heat the surrounding air temperature by up to 12°C. This increase in heat benefits the air and protected items in a big way plus no other heating source needs to be used in the garage.
Energy-Saving Control Logic
A big plus of the Meaco DD8L is the fact that it features Control Logic which saves more electricity than any other dehumidifier.
When looking at the power consumption of dehumidifiers you’ll find that the Meaco DD8L type dehumidifiers operate at a consumption rate of about 15% over the average rate of consumption.
However this figure is misleading due to Control Logic technology.
What happens in the average desiccant dehumidifier is that when the set humidity level has been reached the dehumidifier switches into fan-only mode.
The Meaco DD8L Junior goes one better. When the set humidity level has been reached the unit switches to ‘sleep’ mode. That is, the unit stays on but the fan turns off. After half an hour the fan runs for 5 minutes to check the humidity level.
If the humidity level has increased the dehumidifier will automatically toggle into the best setting to tackle the humidity level in order to bring it bsck down to the set level.
If the humidity level has stayed the same then the DD8L Junior will go back to sleep for another half hour before testing the air again.
You can see that while the average desiccant dehumidifier could run on fan only mode for an hour the Meaco DD8L would only run on fan only mode for 10 minutes out of that hour thereby saving a massive amount of power consumption.
Our Personal Dehumidifier Recommendation
The Meaco DD8L Junior is the smaller brother of the Meaco DD8L. Actually that’s a slight misnomer as the extraction rates and water tanks are the same size.
The DD8L Junior just doesn’t have the anti-bacterial filter and ioniser that the DD8L contains. However as explained above a garage dehumidifier doesn’t need these features.
We have not only reviewed the Meaco DD8L but we also own one ourselves and have given it a thorough going over. As a result we are only too happy to recommend the DD8L and DD8L Junior, which is basically the same machine, to anyone looking for a dehumidifier.
Our Second Garage Dehumidifier Recommendation
While other websites recommend the EcoAir DD122FW Simple as a garage dehumidifier ByeMould actually recommends the EcoAir DD122Mk5.
We prefer the MK5 as it contains EcoAir’s fabulous E7 energy saving technology allowing you to save power consumption costs over the medium and long term.
The MK5 also features an electronic control panel while the DD122 FW Simple has a rotary dial control panel. We feel that rotary dial panels are liable to break more easily than electronic panels.
Considering that the DD122MK5 is an automated dehumidifier while the DD122FW Simple is a manual unit we think that it is worth paying the extra price for the MK5.
With that said we should also mention that if you have a large garage which is suitable for several cars or a large boat then we highly recommend the EocAir DD128.
The DD128 is basically a larger version of the DD122MK5 so the points below describe both model dehumidifiers.
Both models are exactly the same however the DD128 features an 8 litre extraction rate vs 7 litres of the MK5. The other difference between the two models is that the DD128 has a 2.2 litre water container while the MK5’s water tank is 2 litres in size.
The DD122mk5 features both continuous drainage and auto start as well as EcoAir’s famous E7 technology which allows the dehumidifier to auto toggle to the best setting in order to fight humidity.
Once the set humidity level has been reached the dehumidifier will switch into fan only mode until the humidty level rises.
Being ByeMould’s Editors Choice we can highly recommend the EcoAir DD122MK5 desiccant dehumidifier.
The DD122MK5 contains both an anti-bacterial filter and ioniser so is perfect for use in the home as well.
The MK5 also features an adjustable louvre with which you can focus the warm air generated by the dehumidifier on a particularly stubborn damp spot or over a wide area such on the side of a car after painting or washing.
What To Do Next
So now you know the important features to look for when buying a garage dehumidifier.
- A Desiccant Model
- Continuous Drainage
- Auto Restart
- Heat Generator
- Energy Efficient
- Standard Dust Filter
Next it is worth reading the reviews of the dehumidifiers listed above and selecting one for purchase.
For your convenience we will list them here again
Finally for the best results make sure that your garage is as air-tight as you can get it so that the external air won’t affect the air inside the garage.
Also as stated in the article above ensure that your dehumidifier is placed near a wall plug and try to avoid the use of an extension lead especially if leaving the dehumidifier unattended for long periods of time.
If you have previously used a dehumidifier in your garage before, for better or worse, then please let us know the brand and model of the dehumidifier that you used and the results you got. Would you recommend your dehumidifier model?
Also if you purchase a garage dehumidifier after reading this article then let us know which brand and model you purchased and whether you are happy with it.
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