Saturday, January 23, 2016

Novita LaundryFresh™ Dehumidifier ND319 [Review]

[Sponsored Review]

In sunny Singapore, doing the laundry simply means taking the washed laundry out from the washer after tumbling dry and hanging them out on a pole to dry in the sun. That is of course, in the perfect situation but what happens when the sun decided to go on strike, or that you can only wash your clothes in the middle of the night due to work perhaps? You may have to rely on a dryer, but that's almost the same size as the washer, which consumes quite a fair bit of power too. Not to mention that it may also shrink or damage the clothes! We never had a dryer before by the way.

Unfortunately for us, we also happened to be in a very awkward situation. It happened that 2 households living above our unit are at loggerheads and would have a go at each other’s laundry using insecticides or water. It sounds horrid, but it is real. I wonder if we are really fortunate or unfortunate, but one of them would inform us whenever the war is going to happen, and we would then have to move all our clean clothes back indoors and close the windows, lest we get “involved” as well. I pray that they soon settle their differences amicably so that we can dry in peace! Of course the clothes still needed to be dried somewhere, but it is a long drying process indoors and I really don’t fancy the stale smell that sometimes lingers.

The bottom up view of my utility room with haphazardly hanged washed clothing.
This is how it looks like from the kitchen. Needed to hang them indoors due to feuding neighbours from above.
I only learnt of a new way of drying clothes indoors recently, using a dehumidifier. I had always thought of a dehumidifier as something required perhaps to keep some art collections or some camera equipment in pristine condition, and had never thought of it as something that could actually be used to dry out clothing! That was till I got to know about the LaundryFresh™ series of dehumidifier from Novita!

At the back of my mind, I was thinking that it would be just nice for our family since our old 3-room HDB flat is upgraded with an utility room (at the kitchen area) which we use mainly for storage of all sorts of stuff that we seldom used. Since that is where we would hang our clothing indoors anyway, it would be the ideal place for us to house the dehumidifier (after I clean out all the useless stuff first though)!

Operating Novita Dehumidifier ND 319

No complicated assembly is required for the Novita Dehumidifier ND 319. It comes with a easy-to-follow instruction booklet but I thought the following visuals would give you a better idea of what to expect. Even my kids can fix it!

Unbox the unit by lifting the it out using the handle bar.
Open up the side ventilation panes. This is where air will be sucked in. 
If you order the unit online, it now comes with an enhancement pack (worth $209) consisting of a portable AirCare™ Air Sterilizer NAS 300* and 24 x carbon charcoal filters (which are required by the way)! 
Just plug this cute portable alien-looking device into the power socket for controlled ozone to aid in combating airborne germs and odour! You just need to turn the knob to the desired level.
Remove the piece of filter from its packaging.
Place the filter on the panel with the charcoal side facing inwards and snap it right back in!
The unit comes with little rollers at the bottom so that you can move it easily to the desired location.
The control panel of the unit is simple to operate. Just need to turn it on by pressing the green button, select the arrow key to indicate the mode, press the timer key on the bottom left for the number of hours required and set the desired humidity level. And it's good to go!

The Test

I decided to test out the unit in my other bedroom, using washed clothes that was tumbled dry in the washer. To be really honest, I was rather sceptical about drying clothes using this method but I was really curious about its performance!

I started off by setting the humidity level to the lowest possible, at 40%. It finally reduced the humidity of the room to about 50%.
I turned the dehumidifier and air sterilizer on and left them running from 2pm till 10pm. But that room happened to be where the kids kept their toys as well and they kept walking in and out of it! I am sure the experiment would have been a greater success without their constant "disturbances". But at the end of 8 hours, the clothes did dry out and there was no odor too! It would probably be better if I left it on for another hour or two to let it dry out completely though.

You can position the humidifier with the hot air output facing the clothes so that it speeds up the drying process too!
Almost 2 liters of water collected from thin air and there is no risk of overflow, as the mechanism in the container will stop the machine it reaches maximum capacity. Alternatively you can also run a tubing for continuous drainage once you have identified the location to place it permanently.

Our Verdict 

Drying clothes under the hot afternoon sun is of course preferred by the majority and would usually be quite fast under the right conditions. However one must note that this is highly dependent on the prevalent weather condition and there is always this darn possibility of a sudden change of weather, or danger of bird “projectiles” and even gravy / sauces from foodie neighbours from hell.

Using the dehumidifier and drying your laundry indoors does seem to take a far longer time as compared to the traditional method at first, but you are in total control of the situation. This means the peace of mind and you can wash your laundry after work, setting the dehumidifier to work overnight, and waking up to dry, non-wrinkly clothes in the morning! So it really depends on how you look at it.

Given its easy operation, low-maintenance requirement and high-portability, the unit would come in really handy anywhere in the house wherever it is needed. You can leave it in the bathroom, storeroom or any room for that matter. Even at running it for 8 hours, its power consumption is still only about half of what is required by a clothes dryer in normal operations! We are also loving the air sterilizer which attacks contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses present. A thumbs up from the family!

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