The IVADM15 is one of several thermo-electric dehumidifiers manufactured by Ivation. We didn’t get a chance to do any hands on testing of this model, specifically, but we can learn enough from its manufacturer specifications and consumer reviews to combine with the knowledge we gained from our hands on testing of other very similar thermo-electric units in order to give you a detailed editorial review of the IVADM15 below.
Manufacturer Specified Moisture Removal Rate
The manual for the IVADM15 states that this dehumidifier is able to remove up to 8 ounces of moisture per day in ideal conditions. However, the manual also states that the unit cannot be run for longer than 12 hours at a time (in other words, half a day). Thus, this unit is only able to remove 4 ounces of moisture per day. This equates to the IVADM15 having half the moisture removal rate of the three mini thermo-electric dehumidifiers we actually tested for review (the Ivation IVADM10, Gurin DHMD-210, and Eva-Dry EDV-1100) which are able to remove up to 8 ounces of moisture per day and do not have any restrictions with regards to how long they can be kept running continuously at any particular time.
The IVADM15 draws only 22.5 watts of power which is exactly the power draw of the DHMD-210 and only half a watt more than the EDV-1100. The IVADM10 draws only 13.5 watts of power. Regardless of which of these four models you purchase, you won’t find its use to have any noticeable effect on your monthly power bill. It costs a fraction of a cent for every hour you run any one of these dehumidifiers which equates to a dollar or two increase in your monthly power bill should you run any one of them continuously for a full month.
Power draw is more of an issue with compressor based dehumidifiers which draw upwards of several hundred watts of power. Even a small capacity 30 pint compressor based dehumidifier (which draws between 300 and 400 watts of power) can cost as much as $1 to run continuously for only 24 hours. In this case, you’d be paying a substantial $30 or so more in electricity monthly if you were to run the dehumidifier continuously for a full month. Of course, these units draw substantially more moisture out of the air (a 30 pint unit draws about 50 times as much moisture out of the air per 24 hours as the IVADM15) which is why their power draw is so much greater.
Durability (Build Quality)
The IVADM15 has a slightly more modern aesthetic when compared to the IVADM10, DHMD-210, etc. but the components that comprise it are essentially identical. Pretty much all of these small or “mini” thermo-electric dehumidifiers use exactly the same parts in their design. While the outside plastic shell of the dehumidifier varies from model to model, the core of the dehumidifier which does the dehumidification is comprised of exactly the same components, which are: a small brushless fan (which is the only component that makes any noise), two metal heat sinks, and a Peltier module (which is the “heart” of the dehumidifier). These components work together to process warm humid air into warm dry air. Since the components that make up the core of the IVADM15 are essentially the exact same components that make up every other thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market, you can expect it to have similar reliability. For more of our thoughts on thermo-electric dehumidifier reliability, in general see our general buyer’s guide here.
Most negative feedback for this dehumidifier has nothing to do with its ability to dehumidify. To the contrary, most negative reviews have to do with how the IVADM15 cannot be run continuously for longer than 12 hours at a time. The most helpful consumer review we found for this unit calls it the IVADM15′s “fatal flaw”. And yes, we agree with the reviewer and with every other consumer that has left a negative review for this unit for this same reason. The fact that this dehumidifier cannot be run continuously for longer than half a day is completely unacceptable. Keep in mind, however, as you peruse this unit’s reviews, that it doesn’t have a negative reputation for being unreliable. It is this one “fatal flaw” that is the cause for most of its negative consumer reviews. The IVADM15 is just as reliable as every other thermo-electric dehumidifier from Ivation.
Water Tank Size
The IVADM15 has a 20 ounce water reservoir (tank) that collect condensate as it drips down from the cold side heat sink of the Peltier junction assembly (for more information on how this assembly works click here). The IVADM15′s 20 ounce tank is slightly larger than the 16 ounce tank of the EDV-1100 and DHMD-210 and the 17 ounce tank of the IVADM10.
Normally, for a thermo-electric dehumidifier, tank size correlates with convenience. For example, the IVADM10 has a 17 ounce tank and removes about 6 ounces of moisture per day. Thus, you need to empty its tank once every 2 to 3 days – convenient. The SPT SD-350 has a 68 ounce tank and removes 12 ounces of moisture per day. Thus, you need to empty its tank once every 5 to 7 days – more convenient.
Unfortunately for the IVADM15, the fact that it cannot be run continuously for longer than 12 hours immediately makes it an inconvenient dehumidifier to use, regardless of tank size. Yes, you can have it operate 12 hours a day for up to 5 days before you’ll need to empty and replace its tank. But, you can’t leave this dehumidifier on and “set and forget” it for 5 days. You have to turn it off every day after 12 hours of operation. The IVADM10, EDV-1100, etc. can be set and you only need to worry about their operation (emptying their water tanks) once every two or three days, not every single day.
The IVADM15, like every other mini thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market, is a very small and light appliance. It’s less than 9 inches tall, less than 6 inches wide, less than 6 inches deep, and weighs a mere 2 pounds. Compare this weight and these dimensions to even the smallest lightest compressor based dehumidifier we tested, the Haier DM32M-L, which weighs 29 pounds and is about twice as tall, wide, and deep. Thermo-electric dehumidifiers, in general, are highly portable appliances, and the IVADM15 is no exception to this rule.
This dehumidifier does have a warranty but we were unable to obtain the exact terms of the warranty as it isn’t explicitly stated the unit’s manual, nor on the manufacturer’s website.
The IVADM15 retails for approximately $40. This puts it at exactly the same price point as the IVADM10 and DHMD-210 which also retail for around $40. The EDV-1100 is slightly more expensive, retailing for around $60.
Of the fourteen thermo-electric dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed thus far, the IVADM15 is one of the least expensive . Still, is it worth its $40 (approx.) price tag or are similarly priced units such as the IVADM10 and DHMD-210 better options? The short answer is no, it is not and yes, they are.
The fact that this unit absolutely cannot be run for longer than 12 hours at a time is simply unacceptable. A thermo-electric dehumidifier should be a low maintenance appliance. It shouldn’t be something that you have to worry about before going to bed every night. Other units can be run continuously for days at a time. You can leave your average thermo-electric dehumidifier on, go on a vacation for two weeks, and come home with no damage to the dehumidifier. It will automatically shut off when its condensate reservoir is full and won’t resume operation until the tank is emptied and replaced.
The IVADM15 will also will shut off automatically when its tank is full. But, you absolutely need to turn it off after 12 hours of operation. That means that you can’t leave it on and forget about it like almost every other thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market. For this reason alone we do not recommend this dehumidifier to anyone looking to purchase an inexpensive low capacity thermo-electric dehumidifier.
A far better option is either the IVADM10 or the DHMD-210. Both units are normally also about $40 and both units remove more moisture per 24 hours. Both units also do not require you to turn them off every day. They can be run continuously for several days and will shut off automatically when their tanks are full. For our IVADM10 review click here and for our DHMD-210 review click here.