The E-333 is one of two different rechargeable moisture absorbers manufactured by Eva-Dry – the other being the slightly heavier duty E-500. Both units remove moisture from the ambient air by adsorption (adsorption, not absorption, is the technical term for this process). Inside the E-333 and E-500′s outer plastic shell is a silica gel which facilitates this adsorption. Once the silica gel reaches capacity (the point at which its saturated and can no longer remove any more moisture) it changes color from blue to pink. On the outside of the E-333 and E-500 is a small indicator window that shows the color of the silica gel so you’ll know when this happens (when it reaches capacity). When the desiccant (silica gel) reaches capacity you’ll need to recharge the device. This involves plugging it into a wall outlet. The electricity from the wall outlet will heat up the desiccant and liberate moisture from it. This acts to “recharge” the device. The recharge process takes about 8 to 10 hours for the E-333 and 10 to 12 hours for the E-500. Note that since the recharge process involves the liberation of moisture you’ll want to recharge the device outside or in a well ventilated indoor space such as a garage or utility room, not the room or space that you’re trying to dehumidify.
Moisture Removal Rate
The E-333 has a moisture removal capacity of 4 to 6 ounces. Eva-Dry states that the E-333 will reach this capacity after 2 to 4 weeks of use, depending on the conditions of the space that the unit is dehumidifying. In more humid and warmer conditions you can expect the E-333 to reach capacity more frequently (once every 2 weeks or so) while in less humid colder conditions you can expect it to reach capacity less frequently (once every 4 weeks). Note that even in the most humid, warmest conditions this unit will not reach capacity until a few weeks have passed.
Compare the E-333′s moisture removal rate of 4 to 6 ounces per 2 to 4 weeks to that of its primary competitor, the Eva-Dry E-500, which removes 6 to 8 ounces of moisture per 4 to 8 weeks. Thus, the E-500 removes about 50% more moisture than the E-333 but takes 100% as long to do so. So, the E-333 removes less moisture per recharge but removes moisture faster than the E-500. Note that despite the fact that the E-333 removes moisture faster than the E-500, it remove moisture slower than almost every other type of dehumidifier we’ve tested and reviewed.
The average compressor based dehumidifier removes 30 to 70 pints (approximately 500 to 1000+ ounces) of moisture per day. The average thermo-electric dehumidifier removes about 10 ounces of moisture per day. Full size desiccant dehumidifiers remove about 20 pints (approximately 300 ounces) of moisture per day. The E-333 and similar devices should therefore only be used for extremely mild humidity problems in extremely small spaces.
Outside of specifying this device’s area of coverage (a topic which we’ll discuss in detail next), Eva-Dry does a good job of pointing consumers in the right direction as far as what the E-333 is capable of. The manufacturer recommends this device for small spaces such as closets, pantries, kitchen cabinets, and small bathrooms – all spaces in which the E-333 can certainly work well to reduce dampness. Eva-Dry also recommends the E-333 for small spaces in which dampness can cause odor problems. Examples include washing machines and gym bags.
Area of Coverage
Eva-Dry specifies that this device can work in areas up to 333 square feet, hence the model name for the device which is the subject of this review, the Eva-Dry E-333. The E-333′s manufacturer specified area of coverage is approximately 150 square feet less than the E-500′s manufacturer specified 500 square feet. We disagree with both of these “manufacturer specifications”. 500, even 333 square feet is a sizable area – an area larger than what we believe these devices are capable of dehumidifying.
To put this type of square footage in perspective imagine two different rooms, one that’s 333 square feet and another that’s 500 square feet. Our example 333 square foot space is 33 feet long and 11 feet wide. Our example 500 square foot space is 25 feet long and 20 feet wide. These are sizable spaces. As we discussed above, Eva-Dry recommends the E-333 and E-500 for small spaces such as closets, pantries, small bathrooms, etc. Do any of these spaces have anywhere close to the dimensions of 33 by 11 ft or 25 by 20 ft? The answer is no. Thus even Eva-Dry themselves don’t recommend these products for any type of space with the same dimensions as their specified area of coverage of 333 or 500 square feet. Why then does the manufacturer attach these large overblown square footage numbers to what they themselves call mini dehumidifiers?
We believe that manufacturers of low capacity light duty dehumidifiers give such high area of coverage specifications so that consumers look toward these numbers, instead of moisture removal rate, when comparing inexpensive mini dehumidifiers to more expensive large full size compressor based dehumidifiers. The top rated Frigidaire FFAD7033R1, an approximately $250 compressor based dehumidifier, is specified by its manufacturer to be capable of dehumidifying spaces up to 2500 square feet. The E-500 with a manufacturer specified area of coverage of 500 square feet is thus inferred to be capable of dehumidifying spaces only 1/5 as large as those spaces that the FFAD7033R1 can dehumidify. Thus the consumer is inclined to think that the E-500 is 1/5 the dehumidifier that the FFAD7033R1 is. The E-500 at approximately $30 is almost 1/10 as expensive as the FFAD70333R1 and so the consumer is also inclined to think that the E-500 is the better value. Keep in mind that the device’s area of coverage is in its model number – E500 = 500 square feet of coverage – easy to see and immediately makes the consumer aware that this is the size space that this mini dehumidifier should be capable of dehumidifying.
Buried within the product description for the E-500 is the fact that it only removes 6 to 8 ounces of moisture and that it takes 4 to 8 weeks to do so. Thus the E-500 removes less than 1 ounce of moisture per day. For the sake of this discussion let’s say that it removes 8 ounces of moisture in 4 weeks. 4 weeks = 28 days. 8 ounces divided by 28 days = approx. 0.3 ounces of moisture removal per day. Compare this number to the 70 pints = 1120 ounces of moisture that the FFAD7033R1 removes. 1120/0.3 = 3733.33. In other words, the FFAD7033R1 removes almost four thousand times as much moisture per day as the E-500 at less than 10 times the cost. When comparing moisture removal rate, the larger compressor based dehumidifier is clearly the much better value.
That being said, such a large dehumidifier would be overkill for a small only mildly humid space. The E-333 and E-500 certainly have their uses and we recommend them for the same spaces that Eva-Dry recommends them for – damp closets, cabinets, etc. We strongly disagree with Eva-Dry, however, on the size of the spaces that these devices should be used for. We would not recommend either the E-333 or the E-500 for any space larger than about 50 square feet. Either device, in our opinion, is simply not powerful enough to dehumidify any space larger than approximately 50 square feet.
At approximately $20, the E-333 is a very inexpensive solution to mild humidity problems (and by mild we mean very mild). The E-500 is about $10 more expensive and it does have a slightly greater capacity than the E-333, but it also takes much longer to reach that capacity. Thus, the E-500 has a lower moisture removal rate than the E-333, at a greater price. Between these two devices, our recommendation is the E-333 for two reasons – for one, it’s cheaper and two, it removes moisture faster. Only buy the E-500 if you value its greater capacity and thus also value the fact that you’ll need to recharge it less frequently.
At approximately $20, we’re also inclined to compare the E-333 to the two DampRid products we’ve tested and reviewed. The FG50T and the FG83LV remove moisture in much the same way as the E-333 does – a chemical desiccant removes moisture from the air by adsorption. The major difference between both DampRid products and the E-333 (and similar products) is the fact that the former cannot be recharged (they’re disposable) while the latter can be recharged and reused for up to 10 years. Thus, by purchasing either the FG50T or FG83LV you are saving about $10 in initial cost (both products retail for about $10) BUT they can only be used one time. Thereafter you’ll need to throw them away and possibly will need to replace them (costing another $10 (approx.) and already putting you at about the same price as the E-333). Thus, our recommendation is that you buy those DampRid products only if your humidity problem will be taken care of by buying one tub of the FG50T or one pack of the FG83LV. If you have any reason to believe that you’ll need to buy another tub or another pack in the future our recommendation would be that you buy the E-333 or the E-500 instead. Both Eva-Dry products are also “wireless” (thus they can be used in places such as a car) like both DampRid products and both remove about the same amount of moisture per unit time as both DampRid products. The difference again is that the Eva-Dry products are rechargeable while the DampRid products are not.
Finally, we want to warn again (as we did above) that the E-333 does not serve as a replacement for large compressor based dehumidifiers. It will not be able to dehumidify a severely and/or perpetually humid space, no matter what size it is. Again, the E-333 removes less than 10 ounces of moisture over the course of several weeks of dehumidification. If your humidity problem is severe and/or the space you need dehumidified is large our recommendation is that you read our general dehumidifier buyer’s guide and purchase a full size compressor based dehumidifier.