Quick Review Summary
The DD322EA-Classic is one of the highest capacity full size consumer grade desiccant dehumidifiers you can buy. With its larger than average capacity (relative to other desiccant dehumidifiers), comes a larger than average price tag. This unit is the most expensive desiccant dehumidifier we’ve reviewed thus far. Retailing for about $340, it’s a sizable investment that’s going to require that you research it as best you can before jumping in and making a purchase. We hope to streamline that research with our review below. We’ll cover everything from this unit’s most basic features to its energy efficiency and moisture removal rate. Throughout our review we’ll compare it to its closest competitors, the three other desiccant dehumidifiers that EcoSeb manufacturers. The DD322EA-Classic is the more feature rich version of the DD322EA-Simple and the more heavy duty version of the DD122EA-Classic which is, itself, the more feature rich version of the DD122EA-Simple. We’ll compare the DD322EA-Classic to all three of these dehumidifiers in our review below. We’ll also repeatedly compare this unit to compressor based dehumidifiers, as it falls in the same price range (actually a bit above it) as many large capacity compressor based dehumidifiers that get our highest recommendation.
This unit does come equipped with a built-in humidistat but it is not manually adjustable, nor does it show humidity readings on the unit’s control panel. If you’ve previously only used compressor based dehumidifiers you’ll definitely miss this functionality. Being able to manually adjust the dehumidifier’s humidistat allows you to set a specific desired humidity level. You may want to set a desired humidity level of 50% or 45%, even 46% or 47%. Most full size compressor based dehumidifiers will allow you to do so while the DD322EA-Classic does not. You can only set desired humidity levels by setting automatic dry modes which will automatically set desired humidity levels within a range, not at a specific humidity level.
For example, setting the DD322EA-Classic to Auto mode will set it to dehumidify until room humidity reaches a range of 50 to 60% RH (relative humidity). You cannot set this dehumidifier to exactly 50% RH or exactly 60% RH. In addition to not being able to exactly set an exact humidity level you also cannot monitor room humidity levels on the DD322EA-Classic’s control panel. Most compressor dehumidifiers come equipped with a digital display that shows you the relative humidity that the unit’s built-in hygrometer is reading at any particular point in time. The DD322EA-Classic does not. There is no way to monitor actual room humidity on this dehumidifier. You will have to simply trust that it is in fact lowering room humidity to 50 to 60% should you set it to auto mode, for example. Otherwise, you will have to purchase an external hygrometer separately to monitor room humidity levels to verify that the dehumidifier is working properly.
The DD322EA-Classic features a timer with more limited functionality than what you’d find on the average compressor dehumidifier, although it may still have sufficient functionality for most consumers. You can set this unit to a 2, 4, or 8 hour delayed stop. Setting the timer to 2 hours will automatically turn off the dehumidifier after 2 hours, setting it to 4 hours will automatically shut it off after 4 hours, and setting it to 8 hours will shut it off after 8 hours. Note that this unit only features a delayed stop, and can only be set to one of these three settings.
The average compressor dehumidifier can be set to a delayed start or a delayed stop and can be set in at least one hour increments all the way up to 24 hours. If this type of functionality would be helpful for you, definitely take it into consideration if you’re deciding between purchasing this unit or a compressor based dehumidifier.
Number of Fan Speeds
The DD322EA-Classic doesn’t come equipped with discrete fan speeds. Instead, fan speed is set automatically depending on which mode you set the dehumidifier to. We cover those next.
The DD322EA-Classic comes equipped with exactly the same modes as the DD122EA-Classic. For a detailed description of each of these modes and how and when they should be used please see our DD122EA-Classic review here. In the current review we’ll only briefly describe all available modes and settings.
Laundry mode is the equivalent of a continuous mode on a compressor dehumidifier. The DD322EA-Classic features two different laundry modes, or continuous modes. Normal laundry mode will set the dehumidifier to run continuously but at lower power settings – the direct result is a lower moisture removal rate and quieter operation (the equivalent of setting a compressor dehumidifier to low fan speed). Turbo laundry mode is the DD322EA-Classic’s most heavy duty setting. On this mode it will not only run continuously, but it will draw a maximum amount of power in order to remove a maximum amount of moisture in the shortest time possible. The unit’s blower will also run at full capacity – the direct result being less quiet operation (the equivalent of a high fan speed).
This unit features three different dry modes – auto, economy, and hi. As we’ve already discussed previously, there’s no way to manually set an exact desired humidity level on this dehumidifier. These three dry modes will dictate which desired humidity range the dehumidifier is set to.
Auto mode will set the unit to a desired humidity range of 50% to 60% RH (relative humidity). After reaching this range the dehumidifier will automatically stop dehumidifying until humidity levels climb above 60% once again.
Economy mode should only be used once a desired humidity level (or range) has already been reached. Let’s say the room you’re dehumidifying had an initial humidity level of 80% RH. After a few hours of setting the DD322EA-Classic to auto mode the room has reached a comfortable 55% RH. Instead of keeping the dehumidifier on auto mode, which uses more power and sets the dehumidifier to a higher fan speed, you can set it to economy mode, which uses less power and sets the dehumidifier to a lower fan speed. Setting the dehumidifier to this mode should allow it to maintain comfortable humidity levels unless the room you’re dehumidifying is perpetually and/or severely humid, in which case we would recommend that you NOT run it on ANY dry mode but use turbo laundry mode instead.
Hi mode sets the dehumidifier to bring room humidity down to 40 to 45% RH – the dehumidifier’s “dryest” setting outside of turbo laundry mode. Only use this mode if you find those humidity levels reached through setting the unit to auto mode uncomfortable.
Like the DD122EA-Classic, the 322 version also comes equipped with a louvre that “swings” in various directions to direct the dry air exhausting out of the dehumidifier. For a full description of the four available swing modes see our DD122EA-Classic review.
Modes Exclusive to the DD122EA-Classic
The DD322EA-Classic is more expensive than its 122 counterpart and features most of the same settings and functionality. However, it is missing two features that you’ll only find on the DD122EA-Classic. The first is the 122’s ionizer and the second is the 122’s 3D adjustable louvre. The 122’s ionizer purifies air that exhausts out of it. Its 3D louvre is fully adjustable and allows you to set the dehumidifier to exhaust air so that it “spreads” that exhausted air in all directions or so that it “spots” the air in one direction. For more information on these settings and their proper application see our DD122EA-Classic review.
Like all other EcoSeb desiccant dehumidifiers, the DD322EA-Classic’s power draw fluctuates according to mode and setting. The power draw range for this particular model is 400 to 740 watts. On normal laundry mode and economy dry mode the dehumidifier will draw closer to 400 watts. On turbo laundry mode and hi dry mode it will draw closer to 740 watts of power.
Compare the DD322EA-Classic and Simple’s power draw range of 400 to 740 watts to approximately 300 to 615 watts for the DD122EA-Classic and Simple. At the lower end of its power draw range the DD322EA-Classic has similar power draw to low capacity 30 pint compressor based dehumidifiers. At the higher end of this range (around 700 watts) it has similar power draw to high capacity 70 pint compressor based dehumidifiers.
Note that a major factor that determines any particular dehumidifier’s power draw is the time it takes to remove moisture from a particular volume of air – any particular room (that you’re dehumidifying) has a set volume of air (measured in cubic feet). A 70 pint compressor based dehumidifier removes a greater quantity of moisture per day (in ideal conditions) than a 30 pint unit, but it also removes moisture at a higher rate. Back to the volume of air that needs to be dehumidified – the 70 pint dehumidifier is going to remove moisture from the same volume of air faster than a 30 pint unit and thus will need to be running (at full power) for a shorter amount of time than the 30 pint unit to dehumidify that volume of air. Thus, despite the fact that it has a greater power draw, it is more energy efficient because it needs to run at full power for less time. Remember, the cost of electricity is proportional not only to power draw but also to time (hence why power is billed by killowatt hour of usage).
In the same way that a 70 pint compressor based dehumidifier is more energy efficient than a 30 pint unit because it needs to run for a smaller amount of time to dehumidify the same quantity of air, so a 30 pint, 50 pint, and 70 pint compressor based dehumidifier is more energy efficient than a low moisture removal rate desiccant dehumidifier such as this one (the DD322EA-Classic removes 21 pints of moisture per day) even if the desiccant unit has a lower power draw. The bottom line – if you’re at all concerned about energy efficiency a compressor based dehumidifier is a better option than a desiccant dehumidifier at most humidity levels and temperatures.
Both the DD322EA-Classic and Simple produce more noise than their 122 Classic and Simple counterparts. Manufacturer specifications for the DD322EA-Classic list noise output for this unit at 43 dB, the exact same noise output as the Simple version. Both the 122 Classic and Simple have a listed noise output of only 33 dB.
Unfortunately, we were unable to test any one of these 4 units for noise output ourselves and thus cannot directly compare their noise output to the measured noise output of the compressor based dehumidifiers we actually tested for review. We indirectly do so in the same section (Noise Output) of our DD122EA-Classic review.
The DD322EA-Classic and Simple both remove 21 pints of moisture per day, 6 pints per day more than their 122EA equivalents (which both remove 15 pints per day). Compare this moisture removal rate to 30 pints per day for a low cost (approx. $180) low capacity compressor based dehumidifier and the 70 pints per day of a higher cost (approx. $250) high capacity compressor based dehumidifier.
The most important thing to consider when comparing the moisture removal rate of desiccant and compressor based units is the fact that the moisture removal rate for desiccant units is constant at any temperature (within its specified operating temperature range) and at any humidity level (outside of extremely low humidity levels – less than 20% RH), while the moisture removal rate of compressor based units is drastically reduced at lower temperatures and at lower humidity levels. For more information on this phenomenon see both our DD122EA-Classic and Simple reviews.
Operating Temperature Range
The operating temperature range for the DD322EA-Classic mirrors that of its 122EA equivalent – 34° to 104° F. Simple versions of each unit have a more limited range of 34° to 95° F.
This dehumidifier doesn’t come equipped with a built-in pump but it does come with gravity drainage functionality. A short drainage hose is included for this purpose.
This is actually one of few categories in which the DD322EA-Classic has an advantage over its 122EA counterpart. The 122EA version requires that you permanently knock out a piece of plastic on the outside of the dehumidifier in order to feed the provided drain hose through it and connect the same hose to a corresponding connector inside the dehumidifier. The DD322EA-Classic doesn’t require that you make any permanent alterations to your dehumidifier’s exterior for gravity drainage. To employ gravity drainage on the DD322EA-Classic first remove a small rubber plug located on the back of its water tank (make sure you keep this plug in case you stop using gravity drainage in the future). You can then feed the provided drain hose through a hole in the back of the dehumidifier and connect it to the connector (where the rubber plug was) on the back of the unit’s water tank. After putting the water tank back in place the dehumidifier is ready to be drained using gravity.
Ease of Use
Setup/Filter Removal Difficulty and Manual Clarity
Our comments regarding this unit’s setup difficulty, filter removal difficulty, and manual clarity will exactly mirror those we made for the DD122EA-Classic as both units have almost exactly the same control panel (and the settings and modes that go along with it), filter setup, and manual. For our complete comments see the corresponding sections of our 122EA review here.
Water Tank Size
DD322EA-Classic’s 7.4 pint water tank is almost twice the size of its 122EA counterpart’s 4.2 pint water tank.
Durability (Build Quality)
See our DD122EA-Simple review for more information on the durability of this type of dehumidifier.
EcoSeb’s desiccant dehumidifiers (including this one) are much lighter than even the smallest capacity compressor based dehumidifiers. A “light” 30 pint compressor dehumidifier weighs about 30 pounds. The DD322EA-Classic and Simple both weigh only 18.7 lb. each and their 122EA counterparts weigh only 13.2 lb. each. The one important caveat regarding this unit’s portability is the fact that it doesn’t come equipped with casters. To move it from place to place you’ll need to pick it up off the ground to move it. Granted, it’s much easier to pick up an 18.7 lb. appliance than a 30 lb. or 50 lb. (the weight of some 70 pint compressor dehumidifiers) appliance but you should be aware of the fact that you can’t roll it around on casters should you plan on moving this dehumidifier for one location to another with any type of frequency.
The DD322EA-Classic comes with a 2 year warranty as does the three other EcoSeb desiccant dehumidifiers we’ve mentioned throughout this review. This warranty guarantees that the dehumidifier will be “free from defects in materials and workmanship” for 2 years from the date of purchase.
The DD322EA-Classic is the most expensive dehumidifier EcoSeb manufacturers. At approximately $340 this dehumidifier is a sizable investment. It’s a whopping $150 (approx.) more expensive than the DD122EA-Simple (about $190), $90 (approx.) more expensive than the DD122EA-Classic (about $250), and $60 (approx.) more expensive than the DD322EA-Simple.
The first thing that’s going to jump out at you when looking at this dehumidifier is its price. $340 (approx.) is a lot of money to spend on a dehumidifier. The obvious question that follows is “is this dehumidifier worth its high price tag”. We answer that question at the very end of our DD122EA-Classic review which you can find here.