Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cure for Condensation

The recent cold weather has resulted in an unpleasant build-up of condensation in the flat.

I can cope with slightly steamed up windows but when small pools of water started building up on window-ledges, it was time to do something about it.

Leaving windows open for long periods of time helps with the problem but it's not really a solution when the weather is as cold as now.

The cause is quite simple: too much moisture being produced (breathing, cooking, showering, etc) and too little air exchange with the outside (because it's COLD and the windows are CLOSED!)

I did some research and decided that the solution would be do invest in a dehumidifier.  Sadly, it seems that everybody else has had the same idea and everywhere is out of stock.

I decided that the Delonghi DEM10 would be the best choice as it seems to get good feedback and it is priced keenly.  Unfortunately, it seems to be out of stock everywhere.   I stumbled upon one in the basement of John Lewis on Oxford Street last week and almost wept with joy.  I stood guard over it while I furiously tried to get the attention of an assistant.  When somebody finally came over, I was distraught to learn that it was the only one he had and that he was not prepared to sell it to me!  Apparently it had been on display for six months and had undergone so much abuse that there was no chance it would work.  I even offered to take it off his hands for £20 with a promise not to return it if it proved to be faulty.  No joy: he wanted to keep hold of it as a demonstration model.   


He did give me one piece of useful information, however.  Apparently a container full of DEM10s was supposed to arrive in the UK before Christmas but didn't turn up.    I suppose a missing container of a popular model, combined with a cold snap, might be enough to result in a nationwide shortage of pretty much all similarly-priced products.

So I returned to the web and stumbled upon a company that appears to specialise in nothing but Dehumidifers.  Ebac appear to live and breathe dehumidifiers. Indeed, it looks like they make their own and have been doing so for some time.   I suspect the £100 price point was not one they addressed until recently and so I had to hunt quite hard on their website until I found the "Amazon", which appears to be their entry-level model for price conscious people like me.

Now, I have to admit that I was initially somewhat suspicious.  "Ebac" does look quite like "Ebay" so any company that names one of their best-selling products "Amazon" is either stunningly naive or trying just a little too hard to game the search engines.

Anyway, I thought I'd give them a go.

And I have to say that I'm impressed.    The machine isn't pulling gallons of water out of the air but it is slowly but surely filling up the water container.  More importantly, the condensation has almost completely gone.  The bathroom mirror clears far more quickly after a shower and there are no unpleasant pools of water under the windows.   So, I'm somewhat impressed so far.

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