LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier review: An essential smart household appliance
LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier review: An essential smart household appliance
Note: This review was first published on 17 February 2023.
Taming mould and mildew growth
The rainy and wet weather in January might be behind us, but Singapore’s climate is still very humid all year round, and this has caused many problems for homeowners like myself.
Aside from the laundry taking a longer time to dry, I had to deal with mould and mildew growth in some parts of my home. I decided to invest in a dehumidifier for my home. With so many options in the market (check out our recent dehumidifier deals article to get a feel of the wide variety of options), why did I end up buying the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier with Ioniser?
When it came to buying a modern home dehumidifier, I looked out for these four criteria:
Wi-Fi control via a mobile app
Ability to use it in different usage scenarios
Low noise during operation
The LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier with Ioniser seems to tick off everything on my checklist for a smart, capable and modern dehumidifier and I made the jump to purchase it. Here's my review of LG's Dual Inverter dehumidifier after more than one month of usage.
Design and Ease of Use
The top of the LG dehumidifier has touch-based controls, so operating it is a breeze. However, unlike some of the more popular smart dehumidifiers such as those from Xiaomi (refer to the article's lead image above), the LG dehumidifier does take up some space. It measures 415 x 685 x 296mm, so do take its physical footprint into consideration in the location you plan to use or store the LG dehumidifier on a frequent basis. Weighing 16.7kg, the LG dehumidifier is also heavy, but fortunately, its Push-and Pull handle design along with 360-degree caster wheels make it very easy to move around the house to maximize your investment. I also like that there is a power plug hanging handle at the bottom to wind up the power cable neatly when it's not in use.
In terms of dehumidification performance, the LG dehumidifier has a water tank capacity of 5.3 litres. The company says it can dehumidify up to 30 litres daily which is equivalent to 120 pieces of 250ml bottles. LG says its dehumidifier can cover areas up to 79m2 (~850sqft), which is ideal for three-room HDB unit or a two-bedder condo unit. Of course, this point of statistic is to give a reference on what area the dehumidifier can comfortably handle to lower the humidity, but if you plan to focus on using the LG dehumidifier in certain spaces like your laundry drying area and a specific set of rooms, this unit shouldn't face any problems in larger homes since you can cart it around easily.
Emptying the water tank is quite easy; you hold the top handle of the water tank and take it out. Be careful not to yank it out too fast as there could be water on the drain lid which could spill out. It helps that the water tank is transparent as you can gauge when to empty it before it is full, in which case, the dehumidifier will send you a prompt on the LG ThinQ app to inform you it's time to empty the water tank.
If you are going to be away for more than a few days or plan on just running the dehumidifier in one spot continuously, you could opt to keep the dehumidifier running via the continuous drain feature where you attach a hose to a nearby sink or drain. The continuous drainage hose is not included in the retail package, but you can choose to buy any third-party hose for this purpose as long as you ensure that the internal diameter is 16mm.
Smart Control - LG ThinQ App
What I like about the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier is the ability to control it from the LG ThinQ app while I am on the go. The clean interface makes it easier to navigate and straightforward to use. The fact that I have other LG smart home appliances is a plus as I can control them collectively from the same ThinQ app.
The home screen of the LG ThinQ app shows the status of the dehumidifier (whether it is turned on or off, the mode it is operating at), the indoor humidity (you can opt to activate the sensor whenever the dehumidifier is turned on, or have it always on; I chose the latter), Schedule (to turn on/off, OFF time, add schedule) and Ioniser.
There is also an Energy Monitor feature under the Useful Features tab to keep track of the power consumption for the month and the preceding month. It is quite detailed as you can see the energy consumption by day, week, month and year.
I would highly recommend keeping the humidification sensor always on as the device will automatically prompt you to turn it on whenever it detects a humidity level of at least 80%.
While most dehumidifiers are used for drying laundry and/or keeping a room dry, the LG dehumidifier goes the extra mile with Spot drying.
Spot drying is exceptionally convenient to use whenever you want to dry your shoes, drawers, and closets. This can be done by attaching the extension hose with the Shoe Dry Y-hose or Closet Dry T-hose. I use the Spot drying mode at least once a week for my closet and drawers. If you have more than a dozen limited edition sneakers, this function should come in handy to keep the mould and mildew at bay.
The LG dehumidifier offers four other modes for different scenarios, which are:
Smart: It helps to maintain pleasant indoor conditions at your preferred humidity level. Once the desired humidity level is reached, the compressor will stop, and only the fan will operate. If it detects the humidity level going up, the compressor will kick in again. In this mode, you can select the wind strength and set a timer. This is the mode which I used most often during the past month and is the default mode of operation whenever you turn on the dehumidifier.
Jet: Helps to remove indoor moisture quickly. LG claims the Jet Mode offers 30% faster dehumidification. In this mode, you are unable to set your preferred humidity level and the wind strength is set at high. By default, it will switch over to Smart mode after an hour of Jet mode operation. If you prefer to use Jet Mode for a longer duration, you have the option to set a timer.
Silent: This will set the wind strength to low and you can select your preferred humidity level. This mode is especially useful for people who are light sleepers and want to keep the room humidity at comfortable levels. LG claims its dehumidifier operates at 33dB in this mode, which falls somewhere between a whisper and a quiet library, which sounds about right in my trials.
Laundry: As the name suggests, this mode is designed for drying laundry. By default, the wind strength is set at high. You cannot set your preferred humidity level, and the louvre will move up and down while blowing hot air at the same time. This mode is very useful during the rainy season. For exampIe, on some days I would hang towels in my room and they would almost never dry. Since using the dehumidifier, my towels are dry. It may seem trivial, but it means less washing, and no smell in the room.
There is another mode, Auto Clean which helps to keep the dehumidifier dry to prevent mould growth. Auto Clean can be activated by pressing the operation mode for 3 seconds during operation.
As mentioned above, the LG dehumidifier can operate at 33dB in Silent mode. Normal modes such as Smart and Laundry are not as noisy at 39dB, which is similar to a quiet library and significantly lower noise generation than moderate rainfall (50dB) and dishwashers (60dB).
LG claims the Dual Inverter Compressor saves up to 50% more power than conventional models. A conventional compressor will run at a constant speed, and starts/stops regularly, which will lead to higher energy consumption. An inverter-based compressor runs fast when the humidity is high, and runs slower when the humidity is low; hence it is more energy efficient. With two of them on the LG, it would require even less driving time which in turn leads to higher energy efficiency. This is similar to the same spiel you might have often heard when aircon systems were all out promoting their efficiency when they started offering such compressors.
Putting the technical jargon aside, I am quite surprised at the power consumption of the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier. Based on the LG ThinQ app, the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier consumed 23.35kWh of power through my usage in January, which translates to an estimated extra cost of S$7.20 to my monthly utility bill.
My usage pattern involves turning on the dehumidifier whenever:
I am working in office, which is about three days a week.
There is heavy downpour, which happened almost daily for the better part of each day in the second half of January.
I carry out my weekly dehumidification of my closet and drawers by wheeling it next to them and using spot mode.
LG says its dehumidifier has an annual energy consumption of 131 kWh which is estimated to cost you an estimated extra S$40.60 to your yearly utility bill. I derived this cost based on my energy supplier's tariff of 30.98 cents per kWh for the month of January. Your tariff rate might vary, but this is fairly close to the national rate of 31.27 cents (for January 2023).
Although in my use it added more than S$7 to my monthly utility bills, which translates to more than S$85 per year, I feel it’s a small price to pay to minimise the growth of mould and mildew. I could have spent a lot more cleaning up my clothes, furniture and home if the high humidity levels accelerated the growth of mould and mildew.
I did a test with two common use modes for further cost calculation comparisons for those interested:-
- Laundry mode - Turning it on for an hour consumed about 0.34kWh of energy. This translates to an estimated cost of 10.53 cents.
- Smart mode - An hour of operation consumed about 0.28kWh of energy. This translates to an estimated cost of 8.67 cents.
By now, you can tell that I've had a good experience using the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier, but what is its performance like? To put it to the test in harsher environments, I convinced my peer to get a unit too since I've had a great experience and he stays near the reservoir. Here's his account from using it which brings about a stronger understanding of how useful this purchase has been.
For those staying nearer reservoirs and other water bodies i.e. in possibly more humid areas, you can feel the difference almost instantly. We're talking about humidity going from 70% indoors to about 40% within two to three hours of using the dehumidifier. It's much more pleasant when you walk into a room, and the humidity doesn't smack you in the face like a warm, wet blanket.
The humidity in my flat (which is only six years old) was so bad, that it caused mould to form on most of the ceilings and walls in my house. It cost me S$3,000 to remove this mould professionally before I invested in dehumidifiers like this LG to keep mould and mildew growth in check.
Lastly, a small but useful tip - For effective dehumidification performance, keep all windows and doors closed when the dehumidifier is on to prevent more humidity from the outside from coming in.
Priced at S$699, the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier is one of the more expensive smart home dehumidifiers on the market. However, if you consider what LG offers in this dehumidifier, it is hard to find an equal at this price category. Let's take a look at a few other options for consideration against the LG.
In terms of coverage area, the S$349 Sterra Sun Dehumidifier can be used in areas up to 30m2 while the Novita Dehumidifier ND298 has a recommended coverage area of 32m2. This means that you probably need to buy at least two units to cover the same area that a single LG dehumidifier can tackle, especially if you plan to keep humidity low all through your compact home (sub 1,000 sqft) at the same time.
In terms of water tank capacity, the Sterra Sun Dehumidifier has a 3.2-litre water tank while the Novita Dehumidifier offers a 2.6-litre water tank. While the water tank capacity might seem trivial, a larger water tank pays dividends in the long run as it means lesser trips to the shower/toilet to empty the tank, and longer operation duration.
Apart from these straightforward comparison traits, something else that's not talked about much is their dehumidification rate, which gives you an understanding of how much humidity they can extract out of the air for a day. For example, both Novita and Sterra Sun state it can extract 12L per day, but LG states it can tackle 30L per day, which is clearly a much higher performance unit. This means the LG dehumidifier can bring down the humidity in a given space much faster than the more affordable options, which also translates to a more comfortable space for you sooner, as captured in my performance experience section.
When it comes to Wi-Fi connectivity and smart control, there is only a handful of dehumidifiers that have this feature. An additional bonus if you have other LG smart home appliances is that you can control all of them from the ThinQ app, which saves you time and is more convenient than jumping between apps. This is probably my favourite feature as I have the flexibility to turn on the dehumidifier when I am on the go, especially if the humidification sensor sends me an alert on high humidity levels.
While most dehumidifiers in the market are designed to dehumidify spaces and dry laundry, LG extends its dehumidification feature to shoes and closets via the shoe dry Y-hose and Closet Dry hose. The versatility of the LG dehumidifier impresses me as I get an all-in-one dehumidifier for my home, big or small spaces.
The only thing I wish it also had was air purification functionality, which while LG states the dehumidifier releases nano ions to remove harmful substances like airborne bacteria. While that's nice to know it also cleanses the air, it's not designed to double up as an air purifier, nor does it have (HEPA) filters that require replacement over time. Perhaps LG might have a newer edition in time to come with these added functions (which would no doubt be pricier), but for now, as a dehumidifier, the LG Dual Inverter Dehumidifier with Ionizer is one of the best home appliances I have bought, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
If you're all set to get one, as I did, you can find it online at Courts, Gain City, Mega Discount Store, and Shopee.