Delonghi DD70PE Review

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Pros

  • Built-in pump
  • Along with the Friedrich appears to be the most durable built-in pump 70 pint unit we tested
  • Constructed of higher quality parts than comparable units
  • Pump hosing is connected to the front of the unit (could be a pro or a con depending on the application)

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Didn’t perform very well in our performance tests
  • Can be difficult to input settings

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Instruction manual
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Quick Review Summary

The Delonghi DD70PE can best be described as a “luxury” large capacity dehumidifier. This unit has all the bells and whistles you would expect for a unit that MSRPs for more than any other 70 pint dehumidifier on the market. Also notable is the fact that this unit features great reliability – it is one of the most solidly constructed large capacity dehumidifiers we tested. We cover its myriad features and its superior build quality among many other aspects to this dehumidifier in great detail in our review below.

Note: In 2014 we reviewed ten different 70 pint dehumidifiers. In 2015 we reviewed six more. This particular review was written in 2014, thus all comparisons within this review were made comparing this dehumidifier to nine other 70 pint dehumidifiers and the top rated 70 pint dehumidifier at the time, the Frigidaire FAD704DWD. All new reviews compare all sixteen 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested and reference the current top rated 70 pint dehumidifier, the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1.

Performance Test Results

Energy Efficiency

We preface this section by saying that the Delonghi was the least energy efficient 70 pint dehumidifier we tested. The advertised claimed wattage by the manufacturer is 680 watts which is well below both the SPT (720 watts) and the Friedrich (746 watts). In fact, the Delonghi even outperforms units that do not include a built-in pump as far as manufacturer specified wattage is concerned. If you only had manufacturer specifications to go by you would find the Delonghi to be one of if not the most energy efficient 70 pint dehumidifier on the market, period.

As we alluded to above our real world testing garnered much different results. The Delonghi drew 655 watts of power even in our mildly humid test environment (approx. 50% RH). Compare this result to 620 watts for the Friedrich and only 600 watts for the SPT in the same environment and under the same conditions. Four of the ten 70 pint units we tested drew only 590 watts of power in the same test with manufacturer specified wattage much greater than the Delonghi. The Keystone, for instance, is rated at 720 watts and only pulled 590 watts of power in our energy efficiency test.

The bottom line is that our real world test indicates that the Delonghi is the least energy efficient large capacity dehumidifier we tested. If energy usage is a priority for you, we cannot recommend this unit.

Noise Output

The Delonghi exhausts out of the top of the unit and thus was at a disadvantage in our noise output tests (we discuss why here). Still, even compared to other top exhaust units it wasn’t the quietest unit we tested. The Delonghi placed either in the middle or the bottom half in all four of our noise output tests.

Of note is the fact that the Delonghi produced slightly less of a compressor buzz than most other large capacity units we tested. The compressor buzz was barely audible on low fan speed and imperceptible at high fan speed. Thus, the noise that it did produce was mostly fan noise which is a much less grating sound than the compressor’s buzzing noise.

Moisture Removal

The Delonghi performed less well in our moisture removal tests than we would have liked for a unit at its price point. It was 7th slowest (of ten 70 pint units we tested) in dehumidifying a 50 sq ft room from 90% to 40% relative humidity. It was the slowest of all the large capacity units we tested in dehumidifying the same room from 80% to 50% relative humidity.

If quick and efficient moisture removal is a priority for you we cannot recommend the Delonghi. There are simply less expensive large capacity units available (such as the Danby) that remove moisture much more quickly and much more efficiently.

Compared to the other two 70 pint units we tested that feature a built-in pump the Delonghi performed similarly to the Friedrich in both moisture removal tests. The SPT outperformed both the aforementioned units in both tests. It was over a minute faster in both tests.

Hygrometer Accuracy

This unit’s hygrometer had below average accuracy. Its measured readings were only within 3 to 4% of the actual room humidity at best. The hygrometer on this unit reads humidity levels in 1% increments.

Included Features, Functionality, Build Quality, Warranties, and Value

Durability (Build Quality)

Brace

The Delonghi’s water tank does not have a brace for increased rigidity and stability when emptying. However, we found the parts used to construct the tank to be well made and rigid and we wouldn’t lack confidence in carrying and emptying a filled a water tank. On many of the units we tested the lack of a brace (to improve stability) across the top of the water tank gave us legitimate cause for concern as their water tanks were not nearly as well made as is the Delonghi’s.

General Impressions

In general, we found the Delonghi to be one of the most well built large capacity units we tested. The DD70PE does sell at a higher price point than all of the other 70 pint units we tested. Its higher price is primarily due to its inclusion of a built-in pump. While this inclusion explains its price somewhat, there are still a few less expensive built-in pump large capacity units on the market.

We definitely felt like the quality of materials used to construct this unit was another major factor in Delonghi setting this unit’s MSRP as high as they did. All of the parts on this unit look and feel more durable and of a higher quality than most of the less expensive units we tested. This is perhaps the category in which we see the Delonghi’s high price tag most justified.

Weight

Our own observations are further substantiated by the Delonghi’s above average weight. As a general rule, we noticed that the heavier units we tested were constructed of more high quality durable parts. This is certainly the case with the Delonghi. It and the Friedrich were by far the most well constructed large capacity units we tested. They were also the two heaviest 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. (Yes, the extra weight is also due to the inclusion of a built-in pump but even without a pump these units would still be some of the heaviest we tested)

Consumer Feedback

The Delonghi has received two 1 and 2 star reviews of 17 total reviews left for this unit at the time of the writing of this editorial review. While the sample size is small the small percentage (12%) of negative reviews for this unit is notable. Compare this percentage to a negative review percentage of close to 20% for the Friedrich. We note here that of the two negative reviews that were left, one didn’t even have anything to do with the unit failing (as most 1 and 2 star reviews do). The customer simply found the unit difficult to program (more on that later in the review).

If anything, the take away here is that the lower percentage of negative reviews it has received so far indicates that this unit has a good chance of becoming one of the more durable and reliable large capacity dehumidifiers on the market.

Brand Reputation

Delonghi is known for being a manufacturer of kitchen appliances, most notably coffee and espresso machines. They are more of a luxury brand compared to other brands that manufacture dehumidifiers and many of their products cater to a more wealthy and affluent customer base. It should come as no surprise that the DD70PE was the most expensive 70 pint dehumidifier we tested.

Overall Category Score

The Delonghi offers outstanding build quality, utilizing high quality durable parts in its construction and design. It and the Friedrich were the two most well built high capacity dehumidifiers we tested. The Friedrich, however, had a much higher percentage of negative consumer reviews. Thus, we have to give the nod to the Delonghi as being the most durable high capacity dehumidifier we tested. The DD70PE receives a perfect 5/5 for durability.

Adjustability

Humidistat

The Delonghi’s humidistat can be adjusted in 5% increments which is standard for the vast majority of both large and medium capacity units we tested.

Timer

This unit’s timer can be adjusted in half hour increments up to ten hours and one hour increments past ten hours up to 24 hours, again standard for most of the large and medium capacity units we tested.

Number of Fan Speeds

The Delonghi features two fan speeds, which is again standard for its size class. Unique to the Delonghi, however, is the fact that you can only toggle between high and low fan speed when the set humidity level is below that of the ambient air. When setting the desired humidity level above the ambient air’s humidity level, the fan speed will automatically be set to low and cannot be adjusted. Setting the desired humidity level below the ambient air’s relative humidity will allow you to manually select a high or low fan speed.

This unique feature is really a moot point as you most likely won’t be setting the desired humidity level above the actual room humidity level anyway, thus you’ll never feel limited in setting the fan speed. We thought it appropriate to mention this “unique feature” in this section, if only because none of the other 70 pint units we tested limited the fan speed when setting the desired humidity level above the ambient air humidity level.

Extra Modes

The Delonghi does feature a continuous mode. We discuss the benefits of this mode in detail here. The unit does not feature an auto mode. We discuss why auto mode isn’t really helpful in complete detail here.

Overall Category Score

The Delonghi gets average marks across the board in this category. The fan speed quirk is really not a negative as we explain above. The unit does have a continuous mode which contributes to its slightly above average score of 4/5 for adjustability.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

The Delonghi has an above average set humidity range at 30-80%. Many of the 70 pint units we tested could only be set to 35%. In any scenario where a dryer than normal environment is desired, this extra 5% on the low end of the range will allow you to achieve it. We don’t really recommend that you dehumidify past 40% RH (relative humidity), however, we do recommend a unit that can be set to at least 35% RH as we discuss further here. The Delonghi fulfills this requirement and gives you the extra 5% of leeway should you require this functionality.

Operating Temperature

The Delonghi has a slightly below average operating temperature range. Most of the large capacity units we tested were recommended (by the manufacturer) to operate in temperatures between 41° F and about 95° F or 96° F. The Delonghi is recommended to be operated in temperatures between 41° F and 89.6° F. As you can see this unit won’t limit you in low temperature applications, however, should the operating environment reach temperatures greater than 90° F, the Delonghi may be less efficient than most of its competitors.

We should note here that we didn’t test any of the units extensively in temperatures outside of the manufacturer recommended range, thus we can’t tell you whether operating the dehumidifier outside the manufacturer recommended range impacts efficiency dramatically. Obviously, operating the unit below the recommended range (below 41° F) is not advised and will result in certain parts of the unit freezing up and/or breaking. However, operating the unit above the recommended range really shouldn’t have any lasting effects on the unit (such as parts breaking). If anything, efficiency may be reduced but we cannot verify this as we didn’t test it.

Still, we find it important to note that the manufacturer, Delonghi in this case, does not recommend that you operate the unit outside of the recommended temperature range. Thus, we do not recommend this unit if you’re going to be operating it in temperatures exceeding 90° F. There are other options that can be operated up to 96° F and should you need to operate the dehumidifier beyond 96° F, we can only surmise that the Delonghi will perform less efficiently than those units that have a higher recommended temperature range.

Gravity Drainage

A gravity drain hose is included although its short length limits its usefulness. The gravity drain hose included with the Delonghi is the same length as the gravity drain hose included with the Friedrich (only 39 in). We discuss how this may affect you in detail in our Friedrich review. Here we’ll simply mention that we do not recommend the Delonghi (or any of the three built-in pump units we tested) if you’re going to be draining the unit using gravity.

Built-in Pump

This is most likely the reason why you’re even considering the Delonghi to begin with. This unit does feature a built-in pump and we should note that a second drain hose is included with the unit that comes with a fitted adapter that clicks into the drain hose port on the front of the unit. This pump drain hose is over 16 ft long.

Delonghi recommends that you do not drain the unit further than 13 ft away from the dehumidifier. Compare this recommendation to 15 ft for the Friedrich and 16 ft for the SPT, the two other built-in pump units we tested. You can see that the Delonghi has the smallest range of three built-in pump 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested and by a substantial margin. Depending on where you plan on placing the unit and the location of where you’re going to drain the unit you may need the extra few feet of drainage range.

As we mentioned above, the Delonghi’s pump drainage port is on the front of the unit. The other two built-in pump 70 pint units we tested feature pump drainage ports on the back of the respective units. Again, depending on the application this feature may be useful or limiting.

Overall Category Score

The Delonghi has an above average set humidity range. It has a below average operating temperature range and we really cannot recommend it, especially at its price point, if you’re going to be utilizing gravity drainage to drain the unit.

On the positive side, the unit’s built-in pump is perhaps its greatest selling point and because of its inclusion we give the Delonghi an average score of 3.5/5 for versatility despite its shortcomings in this same category.

Extra Features

Temperature Display

The Delonghi does feature a separate temperature display that shows the ambient air temperature. We discuss why we consider this to be a useful feature here.

Defrost

The Delonghi also includes a defrost mode for more efficient low temperature operation. Both the Friedrich and the SPT also feature a defrost mode which means the Delonghi’s inclusion of a defrost mode isn’t a fact that separates it from the competition.

Check Filter Light

Due to the setup of the LCD control panel (more on this later in the review) the Delonghi doesn’t feature a check filter light.

Overall Category Score

The Delonghi features a separate temperature display and a defrost mode. It doesn’t, however, offer a check filter light to let you know when the filter needs to be cleaned. We still give this model a perfect 5/5 for extra features.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

A defining feature on the Delonghi – while all other large capacity units we tested had an LED display, the Delonghi featured a far superior back-lit LCD display. The control panel on this unit looks much better than any of the control panels on the other dehumidifiers we tested.

Setup Difficulty

While the LCD display looks great, we found it a little bit more difficult to input settings on this unit than we did for most other large capacity units we tested. First, the back-light on this unit turns off after a few seconds of not inputting any settings. It’s very difficult to see the settings you left it on in bright daylight or in any environment that has a lot of lighting. In this same scenario you’ll need to press a button for the back-light to turn on and only then will you be able to see what the settings are.

Once you are able to see the settings there are a few things that may make setup a little bit more difficult for some users. First, toggling between fan settings will highlight either a large or small fan symbol. You’ll need to figure out (again, this may only be difficult for some users) that the large symbol is associated with a high fan speed and the smaller symbol is associated with a low fan speed.

Should you turn the unit off and immediately back on, the defrost light will blink, signaling that the unit will not resume normal operation for a few minutes. During this time you won’t be able to set the fan speed. Unless you read the manual, you probably won’t have any idea why the defrost light, of all indicator lights, is blinking for this reason. You also probably won’t know why you can’t set the fan speed while this is happening.

These are all small issues that you won’t find on any of the other 70 pint units we tested. Our goal here is only to inform. If you find our bringing up of these “issues” to be nitpicking then we certainly understand. We just want to let you know of these little quirks before you consider buying this particular unit.

Filter Removal Difficulty

To remove the filter on this unit you will first need to remove the water tank. You’ll then be able to access the filter through the tank compartment. This is a standard design for most of the dehumidifiers we tested. The Friedrich does feature a top slide-out filter which is easier to access. However, you really won’t be removing and replacing the filter often, so don’t let this be a deciding factor in your purchase decision.

Manual Clarity

This model’s user manual was easy to read and follow. We have no complaints.

Water Tank Size

This unit has the smallest tank size of the three built-in pump 70 pint units we tested at 12.7 pints.

Overall Category Score

We give the Delonghi a slightly below average 3/5 for ease of use. While the LCD display looks great it does make this unit a little more difficult to operate. For most of the dehumidifiers we tested, you probably won’t ever have to even look at the manual. On this unit, you may find looking at the manual before operating it useful. It does have a few quirks that make it a little bit more difficult to use than its competitors. This unit also features a smaller than average water tank, further detracting from its score in this category.

Aesthetics

A very strong category for the Delonghi – we mentioned above how we felt like its higher price was at least partly justified by the high quality parts used in its construction. These same high quality parts also come together to make for a very good looking dehumidifier. The Delonghi features a very elegant and tasteful design. The front grille’s design is pleasing aesthetically and also contributes to improved airflow in the front fan on the unit pulling humid air onto the dehumidifier’s evaporator coils. We found the Delonghi and the Friedrich to be the two best looking large capacity units we tested. If you’re going to be placing the dehumidifier in a highly trafficked area central to your home, what it looks like may be a priority for you. If that is the case, definitely consider either one of these units as great options to dehumidify your home.

Portability

Weight

The DD70PE was the second heaviest large capacity unit we tested (of ten total) at 46.3 lb. Only the Friedrich, another built-in pump unit, weighed more at 47 lb. Among the three built-in pump large capacity units we tested, the Delonghi was also second heaviest. As we mentioned, the Friedrich was the heaviest followed by the Delonghi. The SPT was the lightest built-in pump unit of the three we tested, weighing only 40 lb. If weight is a big factor for you -say, if you’re going to be carrying the unit up and down stairs or across large distances regularly, definitely take a look at our SPT review. While the approximately 7 lb difference between the Delonghi and the SPT isn’t necessarily a deal breaker one way or the other, it is still a substantial difference and should be factored into your purchase decision if you’re deciding between these two units and portability is important to you. We definitely felt a noticeable difference between picking up and carrying around the Delonghi versus transporting the much lighter SPT. The SPT was much easier to carry and move around.

Handles

The Delonghi doesn’t feature a top extendable handle like some of the more portable units we tested. It does feature standard side handles by which you can pick up the unit if you need to carry it. Note that the unit does come installed with casters so if you don’t need to actually pick it up you can easily push it across carpet or any smooth hard surface.

Cord Storage

The Delonghi also doesn’t feature any type of cord storage. As we discuss in much greater detail here, this feature may seem unnecessary to many potential buyers. If, however, you plan on moving the unit around a lot (as we had to during our testing) then cord storage is a great addition and a very helpful feature. Thus, we detract points for portability for any unit that doesn’t offer cord storage, including this Delonghi.

Quality of Casters

We didn’t have any problem moving the Delonghi around on carpet or tile. It should do fine on any smooth surface. The reason we have this category is because some of the units we tested didn’t perform well on carpet because of their low quality casters. The Delonghi’s casters were standard quality and performed well in any situation where we had to move the unit from place to place.

Overall Category Score

The Delonghi is a heavier 70 pint unit. It also doesn’t have a top extendable handle or any place to store or wrap the power cord. Mostly due to its weight we have to give the Delonghi a less than stellar 3/5 for portability. There are simply better choices if you’re looking for a 70 pint dehumidifier that’s portable (the Frigidaire) or if you need a unit with a built-in pump that is portable (the SPT).

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

The Delonghi comes with an industry standard full 1 year warranty on the dehumidifier itself and an additional 4 year warranty on the unit’s sealed system (compressor, condenser, etc.). Of the ten large capacity dehumidifiers we tested, only the Danby units come with a better warranty (full 2 year warranty on all parts).

Value

As we mentioned earlier in the review, the DD70PE is the most expensive large capacity dehumidifier we tested. It retails for about $350 although we’ve seen it priced as high as $450 and as low as $320 online. Compare its price at $350 (approx.) to slightly less than $300 (approx.) for the Friedrich and only about $250 for the SPT, the other two units we tested that also come equipped with a built-in pump.

The bottom line is that the unit’s built-in pump is not reason enough to buy it at this more expensive price point, even if you require pump drainage. You can purchase a Keystone dehumidifier and a separate condensate pump at under $250 (approx.) for both items. Even the highly rated Frigidaire with a separate pump and hose should cost less than $270 (approx.).
 
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Final Thoughts

Compared to other built-in pump 70 pint units, the Delonghi is also not the best value. Both the Friedrich and the SPT are less expensive and also feature built-in pump functionality.

Why then, should you even consider the Delonghi as a possible solution for your humidity problem? As we discussed earlier in this review, the Delonghi was perhaps the most solidly constructed dehumidifier we tested. All of the parts on this unit are very high quality which bodes well for the unit’s durability and eventual longevity. Consumer feedback doesn’t indicate that the unit is likely to break down. And should it last longer than some of the less expensive units available on the market, it should make up for its higher price over time.

The Delonghi is also one of the better looking dehumidifiers we tested. If you’re going to be using the dehumidifier in a highly trafficked part of your house and you want an appliance that doesn’t stand out like an eyesore, the Delonghi is a great choice. As we noted above, the Delonghi was the only unit that featured an LCD display versus the “microwave-like” LED display that is used for all of the other units we tested. If you value this type of attention to detail and quality then the Delonghi is highly recommended. We also note here that in the rare case that you need a built-in pump unit that drains out of the front of the unit instead of the back the Delonghi is also our recommendation.

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