Ivation IVAGDM20 Review

Review Summary

The Ivation IVAGDM20 is one of seven Ivation thermo-electric dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed thus far in 2015. We actually tested only three of the seven units (mostly due to the fact that many of these units are very similar in their specifications and we didn’t want to be redundant in our testing). The IVAGDM20 is one of four different units that we did not do any hands on testing on. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t help you decide whether you should buy it or not. We compare it to two of the three Ivation units we did test, the IVADM10 and IVADM35, extensively in our review below. By combining our test results for these two other units with the manufacturer specifications and consumer reviews we surveyed for the IVAGDM20, we are able to give you our recommendation as to which dehumidifier is the best option among these three by the end of this editorial review.

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Manufacturer Specified Moisture Removal Rate

The manufacturer’s website specifies that the IVAGDM20 removes up to 8.5 ounces of moisture per day. This represents the maximum amount of moisture the dehumidifier is able to remove from air at 80% RH (relative humidity) and at a temperature of 86° F per 24 hour period. If the room/space you need to dehumidify is either warmer or colder than 86° F then the dehumidifier will remove less than 8.5 ounces of moisture per day. The same is true if the space is at a humidity level higher than or less than 80% RH – the dehumidifier will remove less than 8.5 ounces of moisture per day. The farther the humidity and temperature in the room you’re dehumidifying are from this “ideal” temperature and humidity set by the manufacturer, the less moisture the dehumidifier will remove.

For you to get a better idea of what kind of impact this dehumidifier can have on room humidity in a real world application, consider the fact that it took a similar unit, the IVADM10, 12 minutes to dehumidify our 50 sq ft test environment from 80% down to 75% RH at approximately 82° F. The IVADM10 is rated by the manufacturer to be able to remove 6.08 ounces of moisture per day, or approximately 25% less moisture per day than the IVAGDM20 (rated at 8.5 ounces of moisture removal per day). Applying this ratio to our test data, the IVAGDM20 could theoretically dehumidify a 50 sq ft space from 80% down to 75% RH in 25% less time than the IVADM10 – in 9 minutes. For more information on how we conducted our moisture removal rate tests and why we limited our testing to require the dehumidifier to lower the room humidity by only 5% (80 to 75%) see our IVADM10 review here.

Power Draw

The IVAGDM20 draws 60 watts of power. Compare this rated power draw to the IVADM10 which draws only 13.5 watts of power. As we discussed above, the IVADM10 removes 25% less moisture per day than the IVAGDM20. However, it draws about 80% less power to do so, making it the much more energy efficient dehumidifier. Keep in mind that both units (and really any thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market) cost very little to run. You won’t be paying more than a dollar or two at most in energy costs per month to run either unit continuously for a full month. With any sizable amount of downtime between the unit’s reservoir being full (and automatically shutting off the dehumidifier) and your emptying and replacing it (for it to resume normal operation), you’re looking at less than a dollar of energy cost per month to run either the IVAGDM20 or the IVADM10.

The bottom line here is that energy cost is really not something you need to worry about in purchasing a thermo-electric dehumidifier. All of the units we’ve tested and reviewed draw less than 80 watts of power – that’s less than a 100 watt light bulb. Energy cost only becomes something you need to factor into your purchase decision when you start looking at compressor based dehumidifiers that can draw as little as 300 to as much as 800 watts of power. An 800 watt large capacity compressor based dehumidifier can cost as much as $50 per month to run depending on where you live in the United States (cost per kilowatt hour varies per state and per city).

Durability (Build Quality)

General Impressions

The IVAGDM20 has the same style design as the smaller and less expensive IVADM10 and the larger and more expensive IVADM35. The dehumidifier has a rounded design with an on/off switch, two indicator lights, and reservoir access on the front. This unit’s internals are exactly the same as every other thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market. For more information on what components make up its internals and how they work together to facilitate dehumidification see the relevant section of our general buyer’s guide here.

As far as what we can tell you specifically about the IVAGDM20 goes, there’s not much to say. This is simply a standard thermo-electric dehumidifier. There are no added features or functionality in this dehumidifier that make it any less or more reliable than similar dehumidifiers on the market. It has slightly “beefier” internals than the IVADM10 to give it that extra 2 or so ounces of moisture removal per day but, despite their larger size, these components aren’t any more reliable than the same components that make up the IVADM10. The same is true for the IVAGDM20 compared to the IVADM35. The IVADM35 has larger heat sinks and a larger higher CFM fan but these parts are just larger and more heavy duty, not necessarily more reliable. The bottom line is that when it comes to assessing the durability of thermo-electric dehumidifiers, it’s really a wash. All of the popular brand units on the market have essentially the same reliability. Whether you’re getting the IVADM10, the IVAGDM20, or the IVADM35, you’re getting exactly the same reliability.

Brand Reputation

The Ivation brand was something of a mystery to us when we first started researching their dehumidifiers. When you buy a GE dehumidifier you know that you’re buying an appliance from a large trusted brand. The same is true when you buy a Frigidaire, Honeywell, or Kenmore dehumidifier. What do you get when you buy an Ivation dehumidifier? After a little research we found that a group called C&A Marketing, Inc. purchases (or manufactures – we’re still unclear on what exactly they do to obtain these products) all different types of generic Chinese products and brands them under the Ivation and Lyxpro name. The Ivation brand is used for a wide variety of products from kitchen items, to health and beauty items, to air quality products. The Lyxpro brand is used for professional audio equipment.

What can we then take away from this information? Is it necessarily a bad thing that a third party (C&A Marketing) is buying generic Chinese products and rebranding them for sale in the United States? The answer is no, not really. The truth is that all of the large trusted brands we mentioned above (GE, Frigidaire, etc.) also have almost all of their dehumidifiers manufactured in China (there are exceptions but not many). The Gree Electric Appliances recall of 2013 was the largest dehumidifier recall in US history. Over 2.5 million dehumidifiers were recalled in the United States alone. Brands included in the recall were GE, Danby, and Kenmore, just to name a few. The obvious deduction is that Gree, a Chinese manufacturer, is or at least was the manufacturer for most popular US brand dehumidifiers. The bottom line is that almost all dehumidifiers are manufactured in China including Ivation thermo-electric dehumidifiers. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It’s simply the way things are.

Water Tank Size

The IVAGDM20 has a 20 ounce water tank which means that you will need to empty its tank once every 2 to 3 days, provided that you run it continuously in a fairly humid environment over those 2 or 3 days. This unit’s 24 hour moisture removal capacity to water tank capacity ratio is fairly standard among the thermo-electric dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed and, more specifically, among the Ivation thermo-electric units we’ve tested and reviewed. The IVADM10 has approximately the same ratio with a tank capacity of 16.9 ounces and a 24 hour moisture removal capacity of 6.08 ounces – 16.9/6.08 = 2.78 meaning that you’ll need to empty and replace its tank once every 2 to 3 days also. The IVADM35 has a much larger 68 ounce tank but it also removes more moisture per day – approximately 20 ounces – 68/20 = 3.4 meaning that you’ll need to empty and replace its tank only once every 3 to 4 days. Other Ivation units have similar ratios. The bottom line is that you’re looking at having to empty and replace your Ivation dehumidifier’s water tank once every 2 to 4 days depending on which model you buy. If you want to worry about water tank emptying and replacement as little as possible the IVADM35 is recommended. If it’s not a big concern for you, any other Ivation unit will do.

Portability

This is a very light dehumidifier but so are all the thermo-electric dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed. Of the 14 or so models we’ve reviewed, not one weighs more than 5 or 6 pounds. The IVAGDM20 weighs in at approximately 2 pounds. It isn’t very large in size either. This unit is less than 9 inches tall and less than 6 inches in width and depth. The IVADM10 has almost exactly the same dimensions while the IVADM35 is slightly larger (approx. 14 inches tall, 8 inches wide and 7 inches deep).

If you’re looking to place the dehumidifier you end up buying under a sink or up in a closet either smaller model is probably a better option. If you’re simply going to place the dehumidifier on a floor or in a space where its height won’t be an issue then the larger IVADM35 can work just as well. In either case you won’t have a heavy appliance that you need to lug around from one location to the next. These dehumidifiers are very light and very easy to move around.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

We couldn’t obtain any specific warranty information for the IVAGDM20 or any other Ivation thermo-electric dehumidifier we’ve reviewed. The manufacturer does state that a warranty is included with your purchase but the exact terms are never revealed explicitly. If you’re looking to buy a dehumidifier with a proper included warranty we would recommend that you stay away from thermo-electric dehumidifiers, in general. Almost all brands of this type of dehumidifier do not do well to clearly state warranty terms. If the manufacturer makes it difficult for you, the consumer, to simply learn about exactly what the included warranty entails, how much harder is it going to be to actually get that same warranty honored by the manufacturer should something go wrong with the unit you end up purchasing? Again, if you’re the type of person that buys appliances with warranties and actually keeps track of those warranties we do not recommend that you buy a thermo-electric dehumidifier, including this one. Instead, we’d recommend that you purchase a compressor based unit. Yes, they are more expensive. But, if something does go wrong, you’re getting a much better warranty included with the average compressor based unit than you’ll ever get with an inexpensive thermo-electric unit.

Value

Speaking of “inexpensive”, the IVAGDM20 is just that. This unit retails for a mere $50 (approx.). Comparable units retail for about the same price. The IVADM10 is slightly less expensive at around $40 while the IVADM35 is slightly more expensive – its price fluctuates between $85 and $90 (approx.) at major retailers. Which unit you buy really comes down to how much dehumidification you need. The price for each unit reflects how much humidity it can remove per 24 hour period. The IVDM10 can remove the least (6 ounces per 24 hours) but it’s also priced the least. Conversely, the IVADM35 can remove the most (20 ounces) but it also comes with the highest price. The IVAGDM20 lies somewhere in the middle. It removes slightly more moisture than the IVADM10 but it’s also priced higher. It removes less moisture than the IVADM35 but it’s also priced lower.

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Final Thoughts

Our recommendation, if you’re interested in purchasing the IVAGDM20, is, quite simply, that you buy the IVADM10 instead. Save the $10 (approx.) and buy the slightly smaller slightly less heavy duty unit. Yes, the IVADM10 removes less moisture per 24 hours but it’s only 2 ounces less. 2 ounces less moisture in the air you need to dehumidify per 24 hours will not be noticeable. If you’re buying a thermo-electric dehumidifier you’re probably already looking to save money over buying a compressor based unit. You might as well save a little more and get one of the most inexpensive thermo-electric dehumidifiers money can buy, the IVADM10. For our full review of this unit click here.

Comments

  1. Linda Smith-Perry says

    I purchased the IVATION Mini “20″ last Spring. At first it worked great in the bathroom. I kept it clean and emptied it on a regular basis. Then this Spring after just a year it stopped working. I tried everything including a new cord. It is in the original box and is clean, but I have been unable to contact the company. It was rarely used in the winter, so it only lasted about 9 months. I am very dissatisfied with the product and their customer service.

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