EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE Review

Quick Review Summary

The EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE is the least expensive of four different full size desiccant dehumidifiers that EcoSeb manufacturers. It features exactly the same moisture removal rate, energy efficiency, water tank size, etc. as the DD122EA-Classic. The Classic is more expensive only because of its many extra features. Both the DD122EA-SIMPLE and Classic are more light duty versions of the EcoSeb DD322EA-SIMPLE and Classic, respectively. The 322 models feature a faster moisture removal rate and are slightly more power hungry. They also come equipped with a slightly larger water collection tank. In the review below we take a close look at both 122 models – the DD122EA-SIMPLE and Classic – and how they compare to each other as well as how they compare to similarly priced compressor based dehumidifiers. We want to note here that we were unable to do any hands-on testing of this particular dehumidifier for review. As such we will rely on manufacturer specifications, consumer reviews, as well as our own experience with similar dehumidifiers to give you the most complete and comprehensive review possible.

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Adjustability

Humidistat

The DD122EA-SIMPLE does come equipped with a built-in humidistat, however, there’s no digital display on this unit (like what you’d find on a compressor based dehumidifier) to show the humidistat’s readings. You will either have to buy a hygrometer separately to monitor room humidity, or rely on the dehumidifier setting humidity levels correctly with no means to verify it.

Speaking of which, the DD122EA-SIMPLE can be set to humidity levels ranging from 80% down to 40% relative humidity (RH). Again, there’s no digital control panel or LED display on this unit – you set humidity by manually turning a knob prominently located on the top of the dehumidifier. The knob can be turned clockwise to set the dehumidifier to four different modes. Turning the knob all the way counterclockwise turns the dehumidifier off.

Three of the four modes are essentially auto dry settings – low, medium, and high. Setting the dehumidifier to low will set it to run until the built-in humidistat senses that room humidity has reached 70% RH (relative humidity). At 70% RH the dehumidifier will stop dehumidifying and will not resume operation until room humidity rises above 70% RH once again. Again, there’s no digital display on this unit that shows room humidity for you to verify that the dehumidifier has in fact dehumidified the room down to 70% RH. You will have to buy a hygrometer separately or trust that the built-in hydrostat is properly calibrated and that the dehumidifier is operating as it should.

Turning the knob further clockwise will set the dehumidifier to medium mode. On this setting the dehumidifier will dehumidify until room humidity reaches 50% RH. The final auto dry setting is high mode. On this setting the dehumidifier will run until room humidity reaches 40% RH.

Turning the adjustment knob (or dial) all the way clockwise will set the dehumidifier to laundry mode. We’ll discuss this mode in greater detail under the “Extra Modes” section below.

Timer

The DD122EA-SIMPLE does not come equipped with any timer functionality. If you think you’ll need this feature see our DD122EA-Classic review. The “classic” version of this unit is much more feature rich and includes an adjustable timer among many other additional features.

Number of Fan Speeds

Almost every compressor based dehumidifier we’ve tested and reviewed features at least two adjustable fan speeds – high and low. Compressor dehumidifier manufacturers include this functionality so that consumers have the option of setting their dehumidifiers for maximum moisture removal at the cost of less quiet operation (high fan speed) or more quiet operation (low fan speed) at the cost of less optimal moisture removal. The DD122EA-SIMPLE doesn’t feature discrete adjustable fan speeds but it does feature settings that affect fan speed nonetheless. We take a look at those settings next.

Extra Modes

This unit features a very basic control panel that consists of one adjustable knob (or dial) and one adjustable switch. We’ve already discussed the majority of settings adjustable through the manual dial. We’ll discuss the final setting next.

Laundry mode

Like the DD122EA-Classic, the DD122EA-SIMPLE also features a laundry mode, albeit a more limited laundry mode. In our DD122EA-Classic review we discuss how laundry mode on EcoSeb dehumidifiers is the equivalent of continuous mode on compressor based dehumidifiers. On a compressor based unit you can set a desired humidity level, set the unit to auto mode (which sets it to an arbitrary desired humidity level), or set it to continuous mode. All three modes will have the dehumidifier dehumidify. However, on the first two modes it will shut off automatically once a desired humidity level is reached. On continuous mode it will never shut off, no matter what the humidistat reads as the ambient air’s humidity level. The DD122EA-SIMPLE cannot be set to a desired humidity level but it does feature multiple auto modes (the low, medium, and high modes we’ve already discussed above). It also features a continuous mode – laundry mode.

Setting the DD122EA-SIMPLE to laundry mode will set it to run continuously for as long as this mode is selected. The dehumidifier will only stop dehumidifying once the water collection bucket is full (which automatically shuts off the dehumidifier). Should you employ gravity drainage (more on this later in the review) the dehumidifier will never stop running. It will run continuously and will only shut off if you manually turn the knob all the way counterclockwise to the off position.

This mode is called laundry mode on all EcoSeb dehumidifiers since this type of dehumidifier (full size desiccant) is quite popular in parts of the world in which people dry their laundry by hanging it rather than drying it in an electric dryer. Using a dehumidifier such as the DD122EA-SIMPLE to dry clothes more quickly is done more efficiently by using laundry mode, which will allow the dehumidifier to run continuously independent of overall room humidity levels.

For those who use electric dryers to dry our clothes, laundry mode is still a useful feature. You can use it to run the dehumidifier continuously in severely and/or perpetually humid environments. Setting the dehumidifier to any of the auto dry modes makes it possible for the dehumidifier to potentially shut off should room humidity intermittently reach “desired” humidity levels. For instance, you may set the dehumidifier to high mode and the room may reach 40% RH for only a few moments which triggers the unit’s built-in humidistat to automatically stop the dehumidifier from dehumidifying. A few moments later humidity in the room may jump back up to 41%. The dehumidifier will then automatically start dehumidifying again. However, now you’ve lost several minutes that the dehumidifier could have been dehumidifying. Setting it to laundry mode eliminates this loss of time. Set to this mode the dehumidifier will continuously remove humidity at any humidity level without interruption.

Economy/Turbo Modes

Earlier in this review we hinted that while the DD122EA-SIMPLE doesn’t feature discrete adjustable fan speeds, it does feature extra modes that adjust fan speed nonetheless. These two modes are the economy and turbo modes, respectively. They’re selectable by hitting the only switch on the dehumidifier’s control panel. Setting the switch to the left will select economy mode. Setting the switch to the right will select turbo mode.

Economy mode sets the dehumidifier to a lower power setting. On this setting the DD122EA-SIMPLE will operate more quietly (fan/blower speed is reduced) and use less energy. Setting it to any of the dry modes will still have the dehumidifier attempt to reach corresponding humidity levels, however it will take much longer to do so. For example, you may set it to medium. The dehumidifier will still run until room humidity reaches 50% RH. However, if you have economy mode selected it will take much longer to do so.

Turbo mode should only be used if you want to dehumidify the room or space you need to dehumidify as quickly as possible. On this setting the dehumidifier will run less quietly (fan/blower speed is increased) and use more energy but it will dehumidify much more quickly. To remove moisture as quickly as possible the user manual for this unit recommends that you set the dehumidifier to laundry mode and turbo mode simultaneously. The manual also recommends that you switch from turbo to economy mode once the room you’re dehumidifying reaches desired humidity levels. This will allow it to maintain those humidity levels at lower fan speeds (for more quiet operation) and lower energy usage (a cost savings). Of course, should the room you need to dehumidify be perpetually and/or severely humid, you’ll need to run the dehumidifier on turbo mode continuously.

Energy Efficiency

The DD122EA-SIMPLE draws between 300 and 615 watts of power depending on mode and setting. On more heavy duty drying modes such as high and laundry and the turbo setting you can expect it to draw closer to 615 watts of power. On less heavy duty drying modes such as medium and low and the economy setting you can expect it to draw closer to 300 watts of power.

For comparison, the Classic version of this dehumidifier draws power within about the same range – between 330 and 615 watts of power. Low capacity (30 to 40 pint) compressor based units draw between 300 and 400 watts of power and high capacity (70 pint) units draw between 700 and 800 watts of power. In hot (80°+ F)and severely humid (60%+ RH) conditions compressor based units are far more energy efficient, regardless of size. The average 70 pint unit even at 800 watts of power draw, draws approximately 1/3 more power than either the DD122EA-SIMPLE or Classic but removes more than 4 times as much moisture per day (both aforementioned EcoSeb units remove 15 pints of moisture per day). The major caveat here is that this is true only in hot and severely humid conditions. As temperature drops below 80° F and humidity drops below 60% RH compressor based units remove less and less humidity per day (read more about this in the section on “moisture removal” in our DD122EA-Classic review. As temperature and humidity levels drop, most compressor based units are still more energy efficient than these full size desiccant dehumidifiers, but much less so than they are at high temperatures and high humidity levels.

Noise Output

The DD122EA-SIMPLE has exactly the same noise output as its Classic counterpart. For more information on how the noise output of both units compare to that of compressor based units see the corresponding noise output section in our DD122EA-Classic review here.

Moisture Removal

The DD122EA-SIMPLE has exactly the same moisture removal rate as the DD122EA-Classic also. See our DD122EA-Classic review for more information as to how both units’ moisture removal rates compare to that of similarly priced compressor based dehumidifiers.

Versatility

Operating Temperature Range

The DD122EA-SIMPLE has a slightly more limited operating temperature range compared to the Classic. The Classic’s range is 34° to 104° F while the Simple’s range is 34° to 95° F. As we discuss in our DD122EA-Classic review, the important thing to realize about a desiccant dehumidifier’s specified operating temperature range, is that you can actually dehumidify at any temperature that falls within the specified range. The DD122EA-SIMPLE, for example, will dehumidify just as well at 34° F as it does at 104° F. The same isn’t true for compressor based dehumidifiers. Compressor dehumidifier manufacturers give a similar specified operating range (normally about 40° F to 90° F) as desiccant dehumidifier manufacturers, however, operating their dehumidifiers in these specified ranges will garner varied results depending on where the actual temperature you’re operating the dehumidifier in actually falls.

For example, a 70 pint dehumidifier may be able to dehumidify at 45° F, but it definitely won’t be removing as much as 70 pints of moisture per day at the said temperature. You can expect it to remove as little as 30, 20, even 10 pints of moisture per day at these temperatures. At 80° F and 60% RH it will do fine and remove exactly as much moisture as its manufacturer claims that it can – 70 pints per day. Compressor based units also have to deal with frost build up at lower temperatures. Frost build up further reduces efficiency and results in even lower moisture removal rates.

The bottom line is that if you need to dehumidify a space that sees extreme temperatures, you may be better off purchasing a desiccant dehumidifier. At 15 pints of moisture removal per day the DD122EA-SIMPLE doesn’t remove close to as much moisture as a 70 pint compressor based unit. However, should temperature and humidity levels be extremely low or extremely high, the discrepancy in moisture removal rate between these two types of dehumidifiers is dramatically reduced.

Drainage

You can drain this dehumidifier using gravity, however, it will require that you make permanent alterations to the dehumidifier’s plastic exterior. For more information see our DD122EA-Classic review, which uses the exact same drainage system.

Ease of Use

Setup Difficulty

The DD122EA-SIMPLE lacks the complexity of its Classic counterpart. As such, it’s much easier to use. While the Classic requires that you absolutely read its manual in order to use it, you can probably get by operating the Simple (on a basic level at least) without ever consulting the manual. As we’ve already discussed the Simple’s control panel is comprised of only one knob and one switch. To start using the Simple all you need to do is turn the knob clockwise to turn it on and set it to any one of only four available drying modes. The final mode at the end of the dial, laundry mode, might confuse US consumers and if you’re one of them we suggest you read the manual and perhaps more importantly, our discussion of this mode (for a full explanation of what its for) which you can find earlier in this review. Other than the knob which selects all available drying modes there’s only one more item on the dehumidifier’s control panel – a switch that can be pushed to the right or the left. Pushing the switch to the right activates turbo mode and pushing it to the left activates economy mode.

Filter Removal Difficulty

This unit’s air filter is very easy and simple to remove. We do want to note here that EcoSeb recommends that the air filter be replaced every 1 to 2 years. While you could probably get by simply cleaning the filter and using it for more than 2 years, we did want to note here that EcoSeb makes this recommendation in the DD122EA-SIMPLE’s manual.

Manual Clarity

The manual for this unit is very well diagrammed and very well written. We had no problem navigating through it in order to learn how to use all of the available settings and modes on this dehumidifier.

Water Tank Size

The DD122EA-SIMPLE has exactly the same size water tank as the Classic – a 4.2 pint tank. Our Classic review contains our take on how this size tank compares to the size tank you find on the average compressor based dehumidifier.

Durability (Build Quality)

In order to assess the durability (and the associated longevity) of the compressor based dehumidifiers we tested for review we used two different resources. First, we used our own observations. By using and closely inspecting each dehumidifier that we tested we were able to form an opinion as to the overall build quality of the dehumidifier in question and how it compares to the build quality of similar units. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we used consumer reviews to give us a better idea of each dehumidifier’s overall durability within an extended timeframe. We only had each dehumidifier we reviewed in our possession for less than a month. A month isn’t nearly a sufficient timeframe within which to determine a dehumidifier’s reliability. This is where consumer reviews come in. By surveying consumer reviews we get a much better idea of each dehumidifier’s durability over the course of several months even years of ownership. A 1 or 2 star review (what we consider to be a “negative review”) can be left for a myriad of different reasons, but, from what we’ve observed, in most cases it’s left because of a problem that relates to the dehumidifier’s durability or reliability. Thus, we find that the percentage of 1 or 2 star reviews (compared to 3 to 5 star reviews) is a good even great indicator of how reliable any particular dehumidifier is.

That being said, the average negative review rate (the percentage of overall reviews that are 1 or 2 star and indicate problems with durability) for the large capacity 70 pint compressor based dehumidifiers that we’ve tested and reviewed is about 19%. For smaller capacity 50 pint units the average drops down to 12%. At this time we haven’t reviewed enough 30 pint units to have a sufficient sample size from which to get an average negative review rate. Regardless, the bottom line is that compressor based units, on average, see anywhere from between a 10% and 20% negative review rate, indicating a 10% to 20% probability of issues with durability or reliability (parts of or the whole dehumidifier breaking down).

Full size desiccant units have a much lower negative review rate. The DD122EA-SIMPLE has a very impressive 5% negative review rate. The classic version is even better reviewed – it has only a 4% negative review rate. Both DD322EA EcoSeb dehumidifiers (the Classic and Simple version) have less than a 7% negative review rate. The Classic has a 3% negative rate and the Simple has a 7% rate.

The bottom line and takeaway here is that, at least according to those consumer reviews we sampled, we have no reason to believe that any one of EcoSeb’s desiccant dehumidifiers is an unreliable appliance, including the DD122EA-SIMPLE. Consumer reviews indicate that these dehumidifiers are actually more reliable than their compressor based counterparts. We, unfortunately, were unable to test even one EcoSeb dehumidifier for review. Regardless, we feel confident in giving these dehumidifiers our stamp of approval for good durability and reliability, solely based on the consumer reviews we’ve sampled.

Portability

The DD122EA-SIMPLE is a highly portable dehumidifier. Compressor based units are heavy. Why? Because they’re comprised of heavy parts including a compressor, condenser, and evaporator. Desiccant units are comprised of much lighter parts (for more information on these parts see our general buyer’s guide here) and as such they’re much lighter overall. The DD122EA-SIMPLE weighs just as much as the Classic – 13.2 lb. Compare this weight to an average weight of around 30 lb. for small capacity 30 pint compressor based units and as much as 50 lb. for large capacity 70 pint units. If portability is a priority for you we would definitely recommend a desiccant dehumidifier such as this one over any compressor based unit on the market.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

The DD122EA-SIMPLE comes with a two year warranty, as does all EcoSeb desiccant dehumidifiers. Compressor based units normally come with a full one year warranty and a two to five year warranty on the dehumidifier’s sealed system. This extra warranty only covers the dehumidifier’s compressor, condenser, etc.

Value

The DD122EA-SIMPLE is the least expensive of EcoSeb’s four full size desiccant dehumidifiers. It retails for about $190. The Classic retails for about $250. The more heavy duty EcoSeb DD322EA-SIMPLE and Classic retail for approx. $280 and approx. $340, respectively.

At approximately $190 the DD122EA-SIMPLE is a little more expensive than a 30 pint, slightly less expensive than a 50 pint, and much less expensive than the average 70 pint compressor based dehumidifier.

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Final Thoughts

For our overall recommendations regarding each of the four EcoSeb dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed see the end of our review for the DD122EA-Classic.

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