Quick Review Summary
The Perfect Home EWDH4 has a manufacturer specified moisture removal rate of up to 4 pints per day. While this isn’t much compared to your average compressor based dehumidifier (the smallest capacity units remove 25 to 30 pints of moisture per day), it is much more than what’s average for a thermo-electric dehumidifier. Most thermo-electric dehumidifiers retail for between $40 and $100 and remove between 8 and 25 ounces of moisture per day – that’s only 0.5 to 1.5 pints per day. The EWDH4′s claimed 4 pints of moisture removal per day is therefore a remarkable claim, especially at its price point of only about $60. Needless to say, we were quite eager to verify this claimed moisture removal rate as we tested the EWDH4 in addition to seven other thermo-electric dehumidifiers in 2015. We share our findings (and accompanying recommendations) in our review below.
Note that of the eight total thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested, we consider three to be “lighter” duty mini models and five to be “heavier” duty larger models. The EWDH4 falls into the latter category which also includes the Ivation IVADM35, the Ivation IVADM45, the SPT SD-350, and the SPT SD-350TI. We’ll try to limit our comparisons in the review below to only those units that fall in this same “heavy duty” thermo-electric dehumidifier category.
Performance Test Results
The EWDH4 was one of the louder thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested. To measure this unit’s noise output at close range we held a sound meter in front of and slightly above the dehumidifier. The EWDH4′s measured noise output with the sound meter held in this location was 60.2 dB. This was second worst among the eight thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested. Only the SPT SD-350TI was louder with a measured noise output of 63.2 dB at the same range.
For comparison, the average noise output for all eight thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested was 53.2 dB. The quietest thermo-electric dehumidifier we tested, the Gurin DHMD-210, had a measured noise output of only 44.5 dB at the same range. Two other units (the Ivation IVADM10 and IVADM45) were also measured at sub-50 decibel levels. To put these measured decibel levels in perspective, 40 dB is 1/8 as loud as 70 dB, 50 dB is 1/4 as loud as 70 dB, and 60 dB is half as loud as 70 dB. Thus, the EWDH4 with a measured noise output close to 60 dB is a little more than twice as loud as average and between two to 4 times as loud as some of the more quiet thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested (those units with a measured noise output below 50 dB).
Keep in mind that all of these noise output tests results were obtained from close range testing. At longer range (several feet from the dehumidifier) we were unable to get a measurable reading for any of the thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested. The sound meter we used for all noise output testing can only monitor sound levels between 40 dB and 130 dB, thus all eight of the thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested produced less than 40 dB of noise at long range.
In summary, the EWDH4 is much louder than most other thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested at close range, however at longer range (which is much more indicative of how you’ll experience this unit’s noise output in any sort of real life practical application) it is just as quiet as every other thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market. 40 dB is the equivalent of the type of “noise” you can expect to hear in a library or in your home with no one talking and with no appliances (a TV, for example) on. The bottom line is that all of the thermo-electric units we tested are essentially “whisper quiet” at long range and will hardly be noticeable even in the most quiet environments.
Moisture Removal Rate
To test the EWDH4′s moisture removal rate we placed it in a 50 sq ft room and turned up the humidity in the room past 80%. We then measured how long it took the dehumidifier to dehumidify the room from 80% down to 70% relative humidity. Since the room was initially above 80% RH the dehumidifier was essentially given a “rolling start” to dehumidify the room from 80% (the humidity level at which we started the timer) down to 70% (the humidity level at which we stopped the timer). We limited the range of testing (80 to 70%) for these units as compared to the range of testing we used for compressor based units (90 to 40%) due to the fact that thermo-electric dehumidifiers dehumidify at a much lower rate of speed than compressor based dehumidifiers. When we tested compressor based dehumidifiers the range of testing was much less limited (90 to 40%) but we were only able to conduct testing within these parameters because the compressor based dehumidifiers we tested were able to dehumidify the room from 90 to 40% RH at a much higher rate of speed (each trial could be conducted in under 20 minutes) than what’s possible with a thermo-electric dehumidifier. If we were to test how long it would take a thermo-electric dehumidifier to dehumidify the room from 90 to 40% RH it would take much longer than 20 minutes – it would in fact take several hours, if not a few days (depending on the size of the room) and thus we limited the range of testing to 80 to 70% RH.
With that being said, it took the EWDH4 an average of 20 minutes to dehumidify our 50 sq ft test environment from 80% down to 70% RH. For comparison, both SPT units (the SD-350 and SD-350TI) took just as long (20 minutes) while both of the larger sized Ivation units we tested (the IVADM35 and IVADM45) were almost twice as fast, taking only 12 minutes each to dehumidify the room under the same conditions.
Manufacturer Specified Moisture Removal Rate
The EWDH4 is marketed according to how much moisture it removes per day – it’s marketed as being a “4 pint dehumidifier”. This is rather unique as every other thermo-electric dehumidifier we’ve tested and reviewed is not marketed this way. Many thermo-electric dehumidifiers are marketed as being “powerful” (the IVADM45, for example is marketed as being a “Powerful Mid-Size … Intelligent Dehumidifier”) but you’ll very rarely see a number attached to the word “powerful”. This is because thermo-electric technology simply doesn’t allow for a high moisture removal rate. Most thermo-electric dehumidifiers remove between 8 and 25 ounces of moisture per day. There are 16 ounces in a pint and so most thermo-electric units have a daily moisture removal rate between 0.5 and 1.5 pints. You can easily see how putting this number on the retail packaging might turn away buyers who are comparing a thermo-electric dehumidifier to a 30, 50, or 70 pint compressor based unit. Perfect Home doesn’t shy away from advertising this number because the number for their dehumidifier is much higher than average for the thermo-electric dehumidifier category. 4 pints isn’t close to 30 and nowhere near 70 but it’s certainly much greater than 0.5 and even 1.5.
So, the EWDH4 has a claimed moisture removal rate of up to 4 pints of moisture per day. Our own findings strongly contradict this claim. As we discussed above, the EWDH4 took almost twice as long as the Ivation IVADM35 and IVADM45 to dehumidify the same 50 sq ft space from 80% down to 70% relative humidity. This is remarkable because both Ivation units have a claimed moisture removal rate of only 20 to 25 ounces per day which is less than half the claimed capacity of the EWDH4 (4 pints = 64 ounces). The bottom line – while the EWDH4 has a claimed moisture removal rate much higher than average, our test results show that among the five heavier duty thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested, it is one the worst performers in terms of moisture removal rate. If you’re looking for a thermo-electric dehumidifier that removes moisture quickly then either the Ivation IVADM35, or IVADM45 is a much better option.
Included Features, Functionality, Build Quality, Warranties, and Value
The EWDH4 draws 70 watts of power. The IVADM35 and IVADM45 draw 72 watts of power each. We find it interesting that the manufacturer specified moisture removal rate for the EWDH4 is more than twice as much as it is for the IVADM35 and IVADM45 while the power draw for the EWDH4 is almost identical. Either the EWDH4 is a much more energy efficient dehumidifier or the claimed moisture removal rate is incorrect. In light of our own moisture removal rate testing (as we discuss above) and what we discuss in the next paragraph, we’re inclined to go with the latter option.
Power draw in a dehumidifier normally scales with its moisture removal capacity. For example, in the realm of compressor based dehumidifiers 30 pint units draw an average of about 350 watts of power, 50 pint units draw 500 watts, 70 pint units draw 700 watts, etc. As the moisture removal rate goes up so does the power draw. The same is true for thermo-electric units. Smaller capacity units that remove around 8 ounces of moisture per day draw about 20 watts of power while larger capacity units such as the EWDH4 draw about 60 to 70 watts of power BUT, unlike the EWDH4, most larger capacity units only remove between 20 and 25 ounces of moisture per day. How can the EWDH4 remove so much more moisture with no increase in power draw? We definitely feel as if its low power draw (in comparison to its high claimed moisture removal rate) further substantiates our own findings – that this dehumidifier does not remove nearly as much moisture per day as its manufacturer claims that it does.
Durability (Build Quality)
We observed no issues with the EWDH4′s build quality during the time we had it for reviewed. Thermo-electric dehumidifiers, in general, are fairly reliable as we discuss in much greater detail here. There was nothing about the EWDH4 that we observed, that would suggest that isn’t just as durable and reliable as every other thermo-electric dehumidifier we’ve tested and reviewed.
Ease of Use
This dehumidifier, like most other dehumidifiers in its class, is very simple to setup and use. Unlike on a compressor based dehumidifier, there’ s no control panel on this dehumidifier with different settings to set or different modes to select. There’s one on/off switch and two indicator lights – that’s it. Simply hit the switch to turn the unit on – the green LED on the front of the dehumidifier should light up. When the dehumidifier’s water tank is full a second LED will light up indicating that you need to empty and replace the tank. After doing so, the dehumidifier will resume normal operation.
The EWDH4 has a very basic manual that reflects its very basic design. Since there aren’t really any settings to adjust or various different modes to toggle between the EWDH4′s manual simply covers general specifications and how to clean and maintain the dehumidifier.
Water Tank Size
The EWDH4′s water tank capacity is perhaps the final nail in the proverbial coffin in our debunking the “myth” that this unit can remove up to 4 pints of moisture per day. All other thermo-electric dehumidifiers we’ve tested have a water tank size capacity that’s much larger than their daily moisture removal rate capacity. The IVADM45, for example, can remove up to 25 ounces of moisture per day but it has a 68 ounce tank – the water tank capacity is almost three times the moisture removal capacity. What this means is that you have to empty and replace the water tank on your average thermo-electric dehumidifier once every two to three days. In less than ideal conditions (less humid or lower temperature conditions) you only need to empty the tank once every three to five days. If the EWDH4 can remove up to 4 pints per day as it claims, then you would need to empty and replace its water tank at least once per day as its water tank size is only 3.2 pints – thus, its water tank capacity is less than its moisture removal capacity. This is the only thermo-electric dehumidifier on the market for which this is the case.
Note that, in terms of convenience, the fact that the claimed moisture removal rate for this dehumidifier is incorrect is actually a good thing for the consumer. Since it removes much less than even 3.2 pints of moisture per day you’ll only need to empty and replace this unit’s water tank once every two to three days, just like every other heavier duty thermo-electric dehumidifier we’ve tested. If the claimed moisture removal rate were true, having to empty this unit’s tank every day would be quite the inconvenience.
The EWDH4 weighs only 4.07 pounds. For comparison, compressor based dehumidifiers weigh anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds. Compared to other dehumidifiers in its class (other large thermo-electric dehumidifiers), the EWDH4 is just as light and just as portable. Both SPT units are 3.65 pounds and both Ivation units are approximately 4.5 pounds.
The EWDH4 does come with a limited 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. We give Perfect Home credit for explicitly stating the terms of this unit’s warranty in the actual manual for the dehumidifier. We had a hard time obtaining warranty terms for most other thermo-electric dehumidifiers we tested. Ivation units have their warranties nowhere stated in their manuals or even on the manufacturer’s website. The same is true for Eva-Dry and Gurin dehumidifiers. Upon opening the EWDH4′s manual, the unit’s warranty terms and a toll free number are clearly given within the first few pages.
The EWDH4 retails for about $60. For comparison, the IVADM35 and IVADM45 retail for about $90 and about $100, respectively. The SPT SD-350TI is also about $60 and the non-TI version, the SD-350 is about $10 cheaper, retailing for about $50.
The Perfect Home EWDH4 has the number 4 in its model number. The 4 is there because the manufacturer claims that it can remove up to 4 pints of moisture per day. This simply isn’t the case. This unit dehumidified at the same rate as the SPT SD-350 and SD-350TI during our testing. Both SPT units have a claimed daily moisture removal rate of approximately 12 ounces of moisture per day. Thus, you can expect the EWDH4 to do about the same – it can in fact only remove 0.75 pints (12 ounces) of moisture per day.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t buy the EWDH4 expecting it to outperform similarly priced thermo-electric dehumidifiers, at least in terms of moisture removal rate. It’s the same price as the SD-350TI and removes moisture at the same rate of speed. It’s about $30 less expensive than the IVADM35 and about $40 less expensive than the IVADM45 but it also removes moisture at almost half the rate of those units.
Whether or not you buy the EWDH4 should come down then to something other than moisture removal rate. Unfortunately, the EWDH4 really doesn’t do anything else much better than similarly priced units either. It’s slightly quieter than the SD-350TI but it’s louder than the less expensive SD-350 and it’s also louder than pretty much every other thermo-electric dehumidifier we’ve tested. Noise output may be one of the primary reasons you’re looking to buy a thermo-electric dehumidifier to begin with (as they’re much less noisy than compressor based units on average) and the EWDH4 is one of the least quiet thermo-electric dehumidifiers you can buy. If noise output is a concern for you, you’d be much better served with the IVADM45, which is more expensive, but can remove almost twice as much moisture per day as the EWDH4 and is approximately half as loud. If moisture removal rate isn’t the biggest concern for you, then the approximately $40 Gurin DHMD-210 only removes a few less ounces of moisture per day and is extremely quiet at a measured noise output at close range of only 44.5 dB (compared to the 60.2 dB of noise produced by the EWDH4). In conclusion, it should be clear that we do not recommend this dehumidifier but advise you to consider the alternatives we’ve outlined above instead. The links over the model numbers above will take you to our reviews for those respective dehumidifiers.
Have a question or comment? Let us know below.
very nice & thorough review! – much appreciated! However, it would be extremely helpful if you also presented the results in a comparison table so that it’s easy to see which units have what features, capacities, power consumption, noise, etc.
Thank you for your input. This is definitely something we’re working on for a future update.