Meaco founder Chris Michael and his team have done it again with the release of the desiccant Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier which is possibly the world’s best dehumidifier.
The Meaco DD8L Zambezi is the result of Meaco listening to its customers, acting upon the collected information and the final development of this benchmark dehumidifier.
What sets the Zambezi apart from other dehumidifiers is that the unit features six features which are not found on any other dehumidifier. Our favourite feature is a timer which you can set so that the unit turns itself on when the operator is not able to do so (very handy for early morning condensation)!
In fact there are a lot of cool features on the Meaco DD8L Zambezi which makes the unit very attractive so read on……
As there are many great features on the Zambezi this review is much longer than our usual review. The review runs at around 3,500 words so we thought a basic index would help you find what you are looking for more quickly.
- 6 Special Features
- Zambezi Features
- Compare Prices
- Zambezi Filter and Extraction Rate
- The Zambezi Water Tank
- Zambezi Control Panel and Digital Display
- What Is Zambezi and How You Can Save Elephants
- Other Functions and Settings
- Test Results
- Zambezi Running Costs
- Zambezi Video
- Final Thoughts
6 Special Features
Before I set out the usual dehumidifier review template I want to touch upon the 6 special features which are not found on any other dehumidifier in the world.
- Turn on/off timer setting: This feature allows you to set the timer so that the dehumidifier comes on at a future time (ie 5 am to battle window condensation)
- Low energy ‘Laundry Mode’: Power output cuts in half when 35% relative humidity is reached
- Anti-bacterial and anti-virus ioniser: The most powerful ioniser placed in a dehumidifier yet
- High Humidity Turn-on Notification: The dehumidifier notifies you to turn it on when the humidity becomes too high
- Child Lock: Allows to lock the control panel so that little fingers can’t change the settings
- Unique Meaco 20+ Control: If you have chosen the wrong dehumidifier setting in an isolated location (ie boat, caravan, garage, shed etc) then the Zambezi will automatically toggle to the next fan setting if the humidity increases by more than 20%
The Zambezi also features Meaco’s famous energy-saving technology Control Logic which also sets the unit apart from its competitors.
These unique points, and many more, will be covered in-depth in this review.
If you are new to dehumidifiers please note that this review is for the Meaco DD8L Zambezi which is not to be confused with the Meaco DD8L Compact ( twice a winner of the Which? awards) or the Meaco DD8L Junior (which is our choice for best garage dehumidifier).
The Meaco DD8L Zambezi is full of great features so there are too many Pro points to list. Here is an abbreviated list:
- Great brand name
- Control Logic energy-saving technology
- Energy saving technology adapted for Laundry Mode
- Ability to set timer for dehumidifier to come on in the future
- Super strong extraction rate & large water tank to match
- Child lock (important as we know from personal experience)
- LED display with temperature and humidity readings
- Best ioniser on dehumidifier so far (ideal for those with allergies etc)
- Adjustable Louvre
There is very little that is not right with the Meaco DD8L Zambezi and we are basically nitpicking here:
- A little louder than other desiccant dehumidifiers
- Visually we prefer the look of the Meaco DD8L
- The unit is quite sizable
- Power Consumption: 45/330/660
- Power Supply: 220-240V / 50Hz
- Water Tank: 3 Litres
- Air Flow: 85/105/150m³/h
- Ideal For: Up to small 5 bed homes
- Operating Range: 1°C – 37°C
- Dimensions (mm): 358w x 200d x 548h
- Net Weight: 7.8kg
- Gross Weight: 9kg
- Volume: 41/45/50dB
- Ionisation Rate: 6×10(5)m³
- Ozone Rating: 0~0.5ppm
- Fuse Rating: 250V/10A
- Very comfortable fold up/down carry handle
- 180cm power cord
Compare Zambezi Prices
Simply click on the links below to find the best price for the Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier.
Zambezi Filter and Extraction Rate
As expected from an appliance of this quality the filter is an anti-bacterial filter and as such should only be cleaned with a quick hoover. Washing the filter will remove the anti-bacterial properties.
8 Litre Extraction Rate
The Zambezi extraction rate is 8 litres per day which is quite large for a desiccant dehumidifier.
It is important to remember that while compressor dehumidifiers boast a larger extraction rate their actual extraction rate is far lower than the stated rate.
This is due to two reasons;
The first is that compressor dehumidifiers are typically tested in higher temperatures than desiccant dehumidifiers are tested in.
Test climates for compressor units average around 30°C and 80% relative humidity (RH). Of course in the UK we only dream of weather like that.
Overall we noticed that the Meaco DD8L Zambezi extraction rate is higher than the Meaco DD8L extraction rate. if you are looking for a very powerful extraction rate the Zambezi will tick your box (read more here).
The Meaco Zambezi was tested at 20°C and 60% RH.
The second reason why desiccant dehumidifiers extract better in UK climates is because desiccant units become more efficient the lower the temperature falls while compressor units become more efficient the higher the temperature climbs.
The two are as efficient as each other, depending on the dehumidifier models, at a temperature of around 20°C – 25°C. Therefore it generally makes sense that desiccant dehumidifiers are the more popular dehumidifier in Britain.
The Zambezi Water Tank
3 Litre Water Tank
The Zambezi water tank is quite large at 3 litres however you would be surprised at how fast it fills with an 8 litre desiccant extraction rate.
While a 3 litre water tank is large for a domestic dehumidifier we think that such a water tank is ideal for the Zambezi due to its strong extraction rate.
Due to the size of the tank you need to remove the tank with both hands from the bottom front of the dehumidifier. The tank comes with an anti-spillage top which makes it easy to remove the tank without worrying about spillage.
Anti-Mould Coating on Water Tank
A problem with dehumidifiers is that when they are put away the user may forget to dry out the water tank resulting in mould growth (yes, ironic, I know). The Zambezi water tank features an anti-mould coating ensuring that mould will not grow inside the tank.
Continuous Drainage Facility
The Zambezi comes with a continuous drainage option making the unit ideal for use on boats, caravans, garages, sheds, holiday home, motor home or other remote location.
The hose is inserted into the side of the unit before it is connected to the water outlet where the water tank is located.
The continuous drainage option is gravity led so you must ensure that the dehumidifier is placed higher than the drain or sink. Ensure the hose runs down straight without any kinks etc that could hamper the drainage effect.
At ByeMould we prefer gravity led systems over motorized systems as we feel that the motorized systems are liable to breakdown more often.
If by chance the water does not run down the hose while everything is set up correctly make a small hole in the hose approximately 30cm from the dehumidifier. This shift in air pressure should be enough to encourage the water to flow.
When the tank is full the Zambezi will beep 10 times before turning itself off.
To turn the unit back on again the tank needs to be emptied.
This is a safety feature of all dehumidifiers and saves accidents and spillages.
The front of the water container features a clear plastic window through which you can monitor the water level.
This is a handy feature as you can empty the water from the tank before the tank is full thereby allowing the dehumidifier to work continually rather than waiting for the unit to turn off because the water container is full.
Zambezi Control Panel and Digital Display
The Meaco Zambezi control panel and digital display are unlike any that we have seen before.
We must stress that while upon first look the control panel and digital display look complicated the operation is actually quite easy (even very simple once you get used to it).
Both items are located at the top of the unit (next to the adjustable louvre) with the control panel on the right hand side and the digital display located in the middle.
The control panel simply consists of 5 soft touch buttons.
The middle button is the ‘on’/’off’ button which you must hold down for a few seconds to operate.
The other buttons are left and right directional buttons for moving from option to option on the digital display. use the up and down directional buttons to change the settings.
Press the left or right directional button to save the changes you have made or press the ‘on’/’off’ button to save the changes and exit.
If no button is pressed for 10 seconds than the Zambezi will exit editing mode and no changes will be saved.
In our previous reviews we have often lamented that more dehumidifiers should have a digital display that shows both the relative humidity level and the temperature.
Meaco listened and have provided a very in-depth digital display which we will cover now.
The digital display shows 3 rows and we shall start at the bottom row moving right to left.
The first item we come across is a 24 hour clock setting which is used to set the timer (described later).
The Zambezi features a child lock to stop children tampering with the controls. From personal experience we highly regard this feature.
Empty The Bucket
The ‘Empty The Bucket’ light activates when the water tank is full and needs to be emptied.
As with all other dehumidifiers the Zambezi stops operating automatically when the water tank is full. This prevents spillage and accidents.
This very handy feature shows the current humidity level of the room.
Previously, without this feature, you had to buy a hygrometer in order to know what the exact humidity level of their rooms were. Now you can simply turn on the Meaco Zambezi to feel the statistician inside yourself come alive.
Moving onto the next row from right to left we have;
Daily Timer Switches
There are two daily timer switches – ‘on’ and ‘off’. To use the daily timer the clock (discussed above must be set).
These switches control at what time the dehumidifier gets turned on and off each day.
Full instructions on the operation of the timer is included in the instruction manual.
The Zambezi ioniser is a stronger ioniser than found on other dehumidifiers.
While other ionisers are effectively dust removers the Zambezi ioniser is clinically proven to remove mould spores, germs, odours, bacteria and more from the air.
Laundry Mode, as the name implies, is ideal for drying clothes and laundry indoors. In this mode the dehumidifier works at full power to bring the relative humidity down to a very low 35%.
Energy-Saving Laundry Mode
Meaco have made great strides with incorporating their famed energy-saving applications into laundry mode.
When the RH reaches 35% the Zambezi halves its power output to 300 watts.
If the RH consequently drops below 35% the unit goes into fan only mode.
If the RH then increases to 40% the Zambezi will operate at 300 watts again.
If the RH then creeps up to 45% the Zambezi will resume operations at full power in order to drive the RH back down to 35%.
This feature simply shows the room temperature.
During testing we found that the Meaco DD8L Zambezi can give off good heat, especially when used in the more powerful settings. Therefore don’t be surprised if the air temperature rises as the Zambezi is being used.
Moving onto the top row from right to left;
The adjustable louvre is used to great effect with Laundry Mode when drying laundry inside or when needing warm air for quick drying such as for DIY projects (think painted walls etc).
There are 4 settings:
Up Angle = 85° to 25°
Bottom Angle = 25° to 0°
Middle Angle = 55° to 0°
Wide Angle = 85° to 0°
You can thus set the louvre to concentrate on a small stubborn damp spot on a wall or a much wider area such as a freshly painted wall.
You will find that when you turn the Meaco DD8L Zambezi on the louvre automatically opens up and vice-versa when you turn the Zambezi off the louvre automatically closes down.
There are 3 fan speeds low, medium and high
‘On’ Timer and ‘Off Timer’ Function
This feature is used to turn the timer ‘on’ sometime in the future such as when in a deep sleep to keep the condensation of the windows.
This feature is also used to turn the dehumidifier ‘off’ sometime in the future such as when you are running out the door to work etc.
Full operating instructions are included in the instruction manual.
Humidity Set Point
You can use this feature to set the required humidity that the Zambezi will work towards achieving.
Basic Day to Day Dehumidifier Features
Meaco has separated the above features into basic and advanced.
The basic features are:
- ‘On’/’Off’ Button
- Humidity Set Point
- 3 Fan Speeds
- Adjustable Louvre
These four features are enough to run the dehumidifier on a day-to-day basis.
All the other features have been described as advanced features (but don’t let that scare you).
What Is Zambezi and How You Can Save Elephants
Zambezi is the name of an actual elephant rescued from the wild and through the involvement of the African name and elephant design on the control panel the Meaco team have tried to give the Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier its own personality.
To this extend Meaco has stated that for every Zambezi dehumidifier that is sold the company will donate £2 to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) to help save elephants in the wild.
The control panel features two drawings of an elephant by acclaimed wildlife artist Jonathan Truss.
The elephant has been given the name Zambezi by the Meaco team and is depicted either as ‘Happy Zambezi’ or ‘Sad Zambezi’.
Other Functions and Settings
The happy Zambezi image displays on the control panel when the dehumidifier is working correctly and collecting water
Sad Zambezi is displayed when the dehumidifier is not working correctly and is not collecting water.
If you see sad Zambezi the dehumidifier needs attention.
The Meaco Zambezi memory function is more than just an auto-restart function which is featured on many dehumidifiers.
Auto-restart occurs after a power cut and means that the dehumidifier restarts in the settings that the dehumidifier was in before the power cut.
Zambezi goes one better. If you turn off the dehumidifier by the power button the next time you start the Zambezi it will start in the last used settings.
We have found this to be a great time-saving feature.
High Humidity Turn-Me-On Notification
This is a fantastic feature which lets you know when to turn the dehumidifier on.
If the dehumidifier is left in standby mode (plugged into the mains but turned off) and the relative humidity rises over 70% then the machine will display the word ‘HI’ on the LED display.
This is an indication that the humidity is too high and that the dehumidifier should be turned on.
Meaco Control Logic
The Meaco DD8L Zambezi features Meaco’s famous Control Logic which allows the user to save more energy than any other dehumidifier.
The way Control Logic works is as follows;
Suppose you set the humidity level at 50%. The dehumidifier will work until the humidity level of 50% is reached.
Once this occurs the dehumidifier effectively goes to sleep. It will turn the fan off for half an hour before turning the fan back on for 5 minutes to sample the air.
If the humidity level has stayed at 50% then the dehumidifier will go back to sleep for another half hour.
If the humidity level has risen then the dehumidifier will wake up and work until the humidity is back down to 50%.
Note: Control Logic turns the fan off which potentially would allow the unit to operate the fan for only 10 minutes every hour.
Energy-saving systems of competitors leave the fan running the whole time.
Therefore Meaco’s Control Logic will offer the best running costs over the medium and longer terms.
The Meaco DD8L Zambezi comes with Meaco’s standard 2 year warranty.
We have tested the Zambezi rather rigorously and we are pleased to share some of the data with you.
Test 1 – Bedroom Test
This was our first test and, to be honest, this was the test which astounded us due to the extraction rate.
We set the Meaco Zambezi up in a bedroom measuring 4m x 5m, in a temperature of 16°C and a relative humidity level of 67%. Fan speed 3.
The results were as follows:
After 1 hour; temperature 19°, RH 46%
After 2 hours; temperature 20°, RH 36%
After 3 hours; temperature 20°, RH 34%
Total water collected: 1.8 litres
Test 2 – Condensation Test
We set the Zambezi up in the same bedroom as test 1 and blocked as much ventilation as we could in order to really let condensation build..
The objective was to see how fast the Zambezi could remove the condensation from heavily affected bedroom windows.
Indoor temperature was 16°C, outdoor temperature was -2°C, humidity level was 69%. Fan speed 3.
The condensation level at 8am was very heavy. After half an hour the condensation was nearly gone and after an hour the condensation was completely gone.
Since the dehumidifier was located 2.5m away from the windows the clearing time would have been longer than if you had placed the dehumidifier next to the windows.
Zambezi Running Costs
A very commonly asked question regarding dehumidifiers is ‘how much do dehumidifiers cost to run?’.
Calculating the exact running costs is very difficult as it all depends on which settings you are using and how long you use each setting for. Some people would run a dehumidifier for longer than others.
However if we take a tarrif rate of 10p per kWh (check your own electricity bill for your exact rate) we can deduct that the Meaco DD8L Zambezi costs 3p per hour to run (at 300w) in the low fan speed and 6p (at 600w) in the high fan speed.
This would equate to 72p per day (£5.04 per week) in the low setting and £1.44 per day (£10.08) in the high setting.
Remember that Control Logic and the energy-saving feature in Laundry Mode could bring these costs down significantly.
Meaco DD8L Zambezi Video
Here is ByeMould’s Meaco Zambezi video which encapsulates the information above. To thoroughly understand this magnificient machine we do urge you to read the whole review above. We promise that you won’t regret it.
We want people to realise what an exceptional machine this is and that many of its great features are not found on any other dehumidifier.
Initially the control panel may seem difficult or confusing but trust us, sit down with the instruction manual for 5 minutes and you will know exactly how to navigate it.
We dare say that the Zambezi has more features than any other dehumidifier and again by reading the instruction manual you will become familiar with them very quickly.
And once you become familiar with the Meaco DD8L Zambezi you will realise what a great dehumidifier this is and that it is the current industry benchmark model.
The incorporation of Control Logic technology immediately qualifies the Zambezi as a very high quality dehumidifier. When you add in the unique features such as the new timing system and automatic energy-savings in Laundry Mode etc you know that you are dealing with something special.
We would definitely recommend the purchase of a Meaco DD8L Zambezi.
We already own the Meaco DD8L but the strong extraction rate and extra features makes the Zambezi our new favourite Meaco dehumidifier.
Disclaimer: I must state from the outset that I was very kindly send a handmade prototype Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier for testing purposes by Meaco.com. Though the act was kind the opinions below are entirely my own.