During the colder months in Australia people tend to keep their home doors and windows shut for most or all of the day to keep warmth inside.
Unfortunately this often results in a build up of moisture and window condensation inside from your breathing, having a shower, boiling kettles, heating food on your kitchen cooktop etc.
Not only is it uncomfortable for most people while trying to work from home the high humidity also encourages the growth of indoor mould and damp which is bad news for allergy / asthma sufferers and can easily ruin your clothes, shoes, curtains, furniture etc.
Ionmax Vienne ION630 Specifications
The new Vienne ION630 desiccant dehumidifier from Australian company, Andatech, delivers an impressive daily dehumidification rate of up to 10 litres a day, has a relatively large 4.2L tank and its smooth black curved design looks nicer than most boxy angular white dehumidifiers.
If you’re running the ION630 in a room with a floor drain eg bathroom or laundry there’s a clear plastic pipe supplied in the box that you can use to send collected water straight to the drain rather than into the 4.2L tank.
Andatech has a good track record with dehumidifiers as several of its older models have received high ratings from CHOICE.
The unit can be set to dehumidify between 40 – 60% relative humidity (RH) at increments of 5%, which is a substantial reduction from the 80%-90% Sydney households have had to put up with this week.
You can easily control humidity levels in your home by changing the settings, the lower the percentage the drier the room will be and the more power will be used:
- 60% – Maximum energy saving and quiet operation
- 50 – 55% – Inhibit mould and bacteria growth
- 40 – 45% – Super dry mode to prevent condensation
4 Power levels can be chosen from:
- Auto – Convenient automatic operation. As the name suggests it works hard to reduce humidity if it’s much higher than your target % and works more quietly as it gets close to your target %.
- Low – Power saving and low noise for daily use
- High – Offers rapid de-humidification
- Laundry (Continuous) – Dry clothes faster during winter
The countdown timer mode is very helpful (12, 8, 4 and 2 hours) so you can set the ION630 to run and know it will turn itself off after the number of hours you set. I found it worked quite reliably.
Various safety features allow the Vienne ION360 to operate unattended, such as fall-down, tank-full and abnormal temperature detection.
Sizing is 520mm (H) x 379mm (W) x 239mm (D) and it weighs 7.5kg.
Even better in the next model would be if users could auto run the dehumidifier for a length of time eg 2 hours at a particular time of day eg: 11 am – 1 pm when solar generation is high to dry a room out without having to use grid electricity.
The Vienne has a power consumption level of 420-740 watts per hour depending on the mode of operation which would cost approximately 10-20c/hour to run. This is 20 – 40% less than a portable air conditioner.
If you have enough spare solar power then you could run it during daylight hours for “free” by using your own power instead of grid power.
Suited for large areas up to 42 sqm, the Vienne also has a great side effect feature. As a desiccant dehumidifier, it helps to heat a room during autumn/winter by about 3-5 degrees since it produces some heat as part of the dehumidification process.
What is a desiccant dehumidifier and how does Zeolite work?
The IONMAX 630 is a desiccant dehumidifier that uses zeolite as the material to remove excess moisture from the air.
A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance (able to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment) that induces or sustains a state of dryness (desiccation) in its vicinity.
Zeolites are highly efficient at removing moisture from the air. They are also capable of regeneration, which means the only maintenance the Ionmax 630 needs is vacuuming the filter occasionally.
The zeolites are used in the desiccant wheel of Ionmax dehumidifiers. When a zeolite is placed in an air stream, it will absorb moisture up to its maximum capacity (or saturation point) and will not absorb any more moisture.
When the zeolite has reached its saturation point, the dehumidifier runs a stream of hot air through it and vents the moisture away from it.
This moisture collects in the dehumidifier’s water tank. This is necessary to prevent the captured moisture from being reintroduced into the conditioned space.
After this, the zeolite can begin to absorb moisture and the cycle is repeated. Desiccant dehumidifiers need to have a heating element to heat the zeolite in order to regenerate it.
Heating the zeolite discharges the absorbed water into the water tank. The zeolite regenerates itself during the heating process and is then able to absorb more water.
Should you choose a Desiccant or Compressor dehumidifier?
The type of dehumidifier that’s suitable for you depends on where you live in Australia. As you can see in the graphs below a Dessicant dehumidifier is more effective when used in temperatures up to about 22C C.
If your home is warmer than 22C most of the time during damp times of year eg: QLD, NT and Northern WA then a Compressor dehumidifier is best for you.
For everyone else living in NSW, VIC, SA, TAS and the Southern part of WA a dessicant dehumidifier is best for you.
Should you buy the Ionmax Vienne ION630 Dehumidifier?
There are a few solutions for reducing high levels of humidity in your home before you consider buying a dehumidifier to help.
Using temperature/humidity sensors throughout your home is a good start so you know what the actual levels are at different times of the year.
- If you have an externally vented bathroom exhaust fan run it while anyone in the house is in the shower and for 15-30min afterwards to dry the bathroom out.
- If your kitchen cooktop has an externally vented rangehood make sure you use that during and just after heating food on your cooktop.
- If you have a standard clothes dryer that dries clothes but blows all the damp air out into your laundry, consider either venting that damp air outside via ducting and a hole in your wall or even better get a heat pump clothes dryer which uses much less power and collects water in a tank/drains it away via a pipe.
- If you have reverse cycle aircon, these sometimes have a dehumidifier mode that you can run until indoor humidity drops to 60-70%.
- Last but not least is to use a standalone dehumidifier in particular rooms to reduce humidity there.
As explained earlier desiccant dehumidifiers are best for cold season internal temperatures below 22C and compressor dehumidifiers are best for higher indoor temperatures than that.
So if you live in the colder parts of Australia (NSW, VIC, SA, TAS and the Southern part of WA) and venting bathroom/kitchen moisture doesn’t reduce humidity levels enough in particular rooms than a portable desiccant dehumidifier like the ION630 is suitable for you as long as you remember to manually carry it to whichever room needs to be dried and start it on the appropriate settings.
Also remember that the ION630 is not a miracle worker, it will only dry out the room it is in (up to 42 sqm) and ideally, that room should have its door shut while the dehumidifier is operating. No portable dehumidifier can dry out a whole home at once unless you have a small studio apartment.
I found the ION630 quite effective at drying out a bathroom on rainy humid days, helping to dry out soaked shoes, removing condensation from windows on cold mornings and making our gym room smell much drier and nicer.
If manually carrying a 7.5kg dehumidifer to where it needs to be and starting it doesn’t work for you then hopefully you have reverse cycle aircon (ideally with Wi-Fi remote control) across your home so you can run it on dehumidify mode at any time whether you’re at home or not and the excess moisture will be sucked outside.
All Ionmax air quality products will now have a 2-year product warranty. This applies to all Ionmax products including air purifiers, dehumidifier, humidifiers and heaters purchased as of 1 January 2021. To validate the 2-year warranty, customers just need to provide their proof of purchase from Andatech or authorised resellers showing the date of purchase.
The Ionmax Vienne ION630 Dehumidifier is available from the Andatech website for $450 as well as some resellers like Catch.