Delonghi Dehumidifier compact DES12

Delonghi DES12 Front View Enlarged
Delonghi DES12 Front View Delonghi DES12 Filter Delonghi DES12 being carried with carry handle

The latest Delonghi dehumidifier proves that practical design doesn’t have to be dull. Ornamental in look and efficient in function, the DES12 will complement the decor of any modern home. It’s a good size and is slimmer than most models of Delonghi dehumidifiers on the market. If you have damp problems but do not live in a traditional home, than this is a model worth considering. It’s compact making it ideal for small spaces too.

Priced at £194 on Amazon, it falls within the medium price range. Delonghi still offers the familiar design features in earlier models alongside some new additions with the DES12.


Features you can expect from the DES12:

  • Stylish design
  • Efficient
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Visible water level indicator
  • Double condense elimination system
  • Bio Silver Tech System
  • Simple control panel
  • Smart Tech
  • Automatic defrost function
  • 2 year manufacture warranty.

Delonghi dehumidifier DES12 Overview

Delonghi have been strategic in using the features of the popular DEM10 model by improving on its appearance and functions. The first change to note is the stylistic ‘bilateral airflow’ vents on the side of the unit. This efficient feature enables more air to be drawn into the vents when the unit is close to the wall. For proper functionality, I suggest you allow a 5-10 cm gap from the wall when in use.

The DES12 is slim and angular in appearance. It has measurements of 19 cm depth x 37.5 cm width x 48.5 cm height. At 9 kg the unit is lighter than other refrigerant dehumidifiers often weighing between 10 – 11 kg on average. The unit has a compact handle which makes it easy to carry. Otherwise, you can mount it onto the casters and wheel it between rooms. It’s good to see that Delonghi have listened to their customers on the latter design feature; as this was a common request when using the heavier predecessors of the DES12.

Extraction rate

This is a powerful little machine with the capacity to dehumidify a three bedroom house within a few days. Although, this is an estimate based on mild damp conditions using medium to low humidity settings. So now, you’re probably wondering how much electricity the DES12 will need to consume. Well, that will depend on the rate you pay for your electricity and the level of humidity selected. The DES12 compact dehumidifier uses 180 watts per hour and 230 volts of power. In a very damp house with low humidity set for five hours, the unit will use about 1 kilowatt. If you pay the top rate of electricity at 15.990 p per kWh it would cost about £0.03p per hour when in use (15.99 / 1000w x 180w = 2.9p).

Delonghi claims the DES12 has a 12 litre extraction rate within 24 hours at 32ºC of 80% RH (Relative Humidity). Simply put, the UK rarely achieves those temperatures. You will probably only extract about 3 litres of water in a day or two in severe damp conditions. The same amount will be extracted over a week with mild humidity.

Visible water level indicator

The water level indicator helps you to gauge when the water tank needs emptying. This is super handy as the water tank has a 3 litre capacity and does not need emptying regularly; unless using the ‘Dry’ function continuously under very damp conditions. When full, the tank monitor system will stop extraction and the water level indicator will light up.

Double condense elimination system

The double condense elimination system automatically discharges moisture into the water tank or through the 2 metre attachable extraction hose. Attach the nozzle on the back of the unit. Leave to continuously extract water directly into a sink or a drain. Alternatively, you can easily access the water tank by sliding it out from the side of the unit. The tank has a lid but it does not have a handle, so care should be taken to prevent spillages when emptying. Perhaps this is a feature that Delonghi could consider applying to future models.

Bio Silver Tech System

The Bio Silver Tech System is a common feature across most of the Delonghi dehumidifier models. It is a built-in silver ion filter that traps and kills bacteria and airborne spores. The silver coating on the filter is unrivalled as an antibacterial agent to keep the air pure. If you are living in severely damp or mould infested conditions; and you have asthma or another respiratory condition, then the DES12 model would be a worthy investment. If used consistently, remove the filter and clean it weekly with a vacuum nozzle or a slightly damp cloth.

Delonghi dehumidifier DES12 Control panel

Control panels don’t come more easy to use than the rotary dial that moves through a range of varying options. The dial has five functions ranging from ‘Off’ to ‘Dry’. When the dial is at 12 o’clock it is in the ‘Off’ position. Move the dial clockwise from there to the ‘Min,’ ‘Med,’ ‘Max,’ and ‘Dry’ levels. Gauging the ideal humidity using the dial is not an exact science. However, the in-built humidistat will automatically regulate the humidity of the air to the set level. When humidity is ideal, the humidistat will automatically switch to the fan mode.

If the humidity level in the air rises, the humidistat will detect the change and kick-in again. The Delonghi dehumidifier DES12 has ‘Smart Tech’ which allows a three minute rest period before restarting the compressor. This prevents the device erratically switching between the two modes if the humidity level in the air is in flux.

Turn the dial to its most clockwise position to the ‘Dry’ function. This will remove moisture after cooking, drying laundry, a shower or other heavy moisture conditions. The humidistat will dry continuously so switch it off manually when you achieve set humidity. If you don’t, you could risk damaging the device or making the air too dry. Turn the humidistat down or switch it off after running it in this mode for a few days.

The DES12 Delonghi dehumidifier has only one fan speed to cover a variety of condensation situations. For some people this will not be ideal as the DES12 does not remove heavy moisture as quickly as a two speed fan device. This design choice makes the DES12 a lot quieter than other models. At 42 dB of sound in fan mode, it is very quite for a refrigerant dehumidifier.

I would not recommend placing this device directly on a surface that vibrates. This is because it tends to be a little noisier when in the humidistat mode. To reduce noise, place a small towel underneath the device to absorb the hum vibration. I would suggest using the device in a room when it is not in use. For example, do not use the unit in the living room when watching TV or in the bedroom before bed.

Automatic defrost function

The DES12 has an anti-frost protection function that automatically switches on when the temperature drops to 2ºC. No machine is exempt from glitches and the DES12 is no exception.

A few people found the device can unexpectedly switch to the anti-frost function when the temperature is well above 2ºC. The air vents will appear to be drawing in air, but it will either extract a very low rate of moisture or none at all. If you find this happens with your machine, don’t gripe about it. If you do happen to find yourself in the small minority of people who have this problem, make use of that 2 year warranty and send it to the manufacturer for a repair or replacement. This appears to be a manufacturing fault that can be a pesky nuisance for the some people. Delonghi needs to review this mode to find out the scale of the problem.

The Box Contains:

1 x Delonghi dehumidifier Compact DES12
1 x UK fitted plug
4 x Castors
1 x 2 metre extraction hose
1 x Full product instructions


The DES12 Delonghi dehumidifier has a few drawbacks such as a lack of handle on the water tank and a single fan speed. But these are add-on requests rather than necessities. The automatic defrost function is a great addition. I will say, that it’s only a problem for a small percentage of machines. The controls are very easy to use and will attract a broad customer base. Overall, I would be happy to recommend the DES12 as it is fairly priced. It also delivers an efficient and powerful performance saving you money in the long-term.


See Price on Amazon




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