Ebac 3850e dehumidifier review

By
Updated on April 25, 2024
Written by
Danny Ashton
Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers since 2010. He is our lead tester and reviewer, and is also the human in front of the camera in our YouTube channel.

Our verdict

If you are living in the UK and suffer from humidity issues then the Ebac 3850e is worth the extra investment over the competition. The fact that it is manufactured in the UK is the cherry on top for a unit the fixes two of the major problems that exist with most dehumidifiers – energy usage and water leakage when changing the bucket.

Ebac (or Elliott Brothers Air Control) is a British company founded by John Elliott and his brothers in 1972. Within seven years, Ebac went on to reach a £1m turnover, becoming the leading UK brand for dehumidifiers.

Many of the dehumidifiers on the market are aimed at the United States or Asia and are designed for those particular climates, but Ebac is a specialist UK dehumidifier brand and that is the reason why I chose to review the Ebac 3850e.

I live in the middle of a national park in England, and our home is a stone house built in the 1870s. This means that we face high humidity levels all year round due to continuous rain and the fact that our stone home has been standing for over 150 years. Our situation requires a dehumidifier running 24/7.

Before I take you through my review, let me mention that we bought the Ebac 3850e with our own money, as we do with all the hands-on reviews we publish here at HouseFresh. We have no relationship with Ebac, so we can be completely unbiased in our assessment of this dehumidifier.

  1. We set up the dehumidifier inside our very humid basement of 2,000 sq. ft.
  2. We set up our trusted SensorPush wireless hygrometer to track humidity levels in the air every minute while the dehumidifier is running.

  3. We switch the dehumidifier on to its highest speed and record how long it takes to lower the humidity levels in our basement.
  4. We use an energy meter to measure precisely how much electricity is used when running the dehumidifier.

  5. We track sound levels emitted by the dehumidifier with the help of our sound meter.

The lowdown on the Ebac 3850e

“I live in the middle of a national park in England, and our home is a stone house built in the 1870s. This means that we face high humidity levels in our home that require a dehumidifier running 24/7. The Ebac 3850e has been running non-stop in our dining room since the end of 2021, and we have experienced zero issues. That is a testament to the quality built and efficiency of this device.”
— Danny Ashton, HouseFresh Founder & Senior Writer

What we really like

This is the highest capacity dehumidifier from Ebac, and it proved to be the perfect size for our seven-room house. 
It comes with an excellent 2-stage filter that will block dust and other smaller particles from entering the device.
The bucket has been designed to minimize water spillage.
It comes with a handy Smart Mode that works on the background based on the humidity levels in the room, helping to keep energy bills down.
The controls are simple and straightforward.
This dehumidifier is manufactured in the UK, compared to most units which are made in China.

What we think could be better

The water bucket has a 2.5-litre capacity, so when you first use it in a very humid environment, you will need to empty it once or twice daily.
Upon arrival, I noticed that the case had become disconnected from the main body. But this was an easy thing to fix.
It would be nice to see the hose and the wheels included in the package.

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Water it can remove in a day:36.95 pints (21 litres)
Recommended room size:4800 sq. ft. (450m³)
Water tank capacity:2.5 liters
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):50H x 32.5W x 27.5D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):13 kg
Maximum noise level:46 dBa
Operating temperature (minimum – maximum):3°c – 35°c
Other features:Dust filter that will block smaller particles from entering the device.
Warranty:5 years

Compact design with the perfect water container

A simple, white dehumidifier with a tank that you are likely to have to empty every day

I mean, it’s a dehumidifier. It won’t win any interior design awards and it might clash with the décor of your home, but I personally like the curvy lines and the compact size.

That said, this doesn’t mean that Ebac didn’t put any time into the design of this dehumidifier. Perhaps the point is that they put some thought into the internals and also the most important element of any dehumidifier: its water container.

That’s right, my favorite part about the Ebac 3850e is its bucket.

You might think nothing of it but if you have used as many dehumidifers as I have you will know that the worst part of having a dehumidifier is emptying its bucket. Usually these things are bulky and prone to spilling water everywhere on the trip to the sink.

But as you can see in the photo below, the bucket in the Ebac 3850e has been designed to be easy to carry without making big messes.

The bucket in the Ebac 3850e has been designed to resemble a watering can or a water container that can easily be removed without water spillages. I actually use it to water my plants, so the handle comes super handy.

You can see how the design of the bucket makes emptying super easy:

On the back of the unit, you will find the filter and the cable, which can be easily tucked in to keep things tidy.

In case you didn’t know, all dehumidifiers require some sort of filter system to protect the delicate internal parts of the device from being covered in dust or other small particles floating in the air.

The Ebac 3850e comes with a combination of filters that include both carbon and antibacterial filtration.

That means that your dehumidifier will be able to help clean the air at the same time it reduces moisture. Now, a dehumidifier will never be as effective at cleaning the air as an air purifier will, but this is a nice touch from Ebac.

You can see in the image below how chunky the carbon filter is:

The filter system used by Ebac is something that I hope other manufacturers imitate. It would be excellent if this becomes the standard.

Tip

You should vacuum your filters every month to ensure optimum performance.

By the way, this unit doesn’t come with a hose or wheels, but the good news is that this is something you care about, you can just buy them separately, costing around $18 (or £15).

Smart controls not found in other dehumidifiers

The screen of the Ebac 3850e can feel a little confusing at first but it’s actually pretty straightforward once you start using it.

When you first look at the menu system for the Ebac 3850e, it can be a little confusing, but once you have had a chance to play around, it’s pretty simple. 

One of the best features of the Ebac 3850e is the fact is the Smart Control mode. Most dehumidifiers allow you to set the humidity preference either as a specific percentage of humidity (like we saw in the Honeywell dehumidifiers) or as a set range (like we saw in the Delonghi dehumidifiers). 

According to Ebac’s marketing materials, there are three key elements of the Smart Control: humidity sensors that detect moisture levels, artificial intelligence that learns about the patterns of the moisture, and automatic settings that allow the dehumidifier to remove the right amount of moisture before it becomes a problem.

In simple terms, it means that rather than having a simple on-off mode, the Ebac 3850e continually keeps track of the levels of humidity and can make small adjustments to ensure your room is kept at the right level of humidity.

Ebac’s Smart Control results in a dehumidifier that consumes far less electricity compared to other non-smart dehumidifiers. Other dehumidifiers I have tested wait for humidity levels to reach higher levels before they kick in and this results in the devices working harder, consuming more electricity and generating more water. With Smart Control, Ebac helps you save money in the long run as your dehumidifier won’t be pushed as hard.

In the video below, I’ll take you through the different options on the display:

For most use cases you will just leave it on Smart Mode, and that will be the end of it.  You can adjust the fan system, but I found the Smart Mode to be fine for minor adjustments. 

The only other mode that I use on a regular basis is the Laundry Modem, which pushes the unit into a higher mode for a short period of time. It is perfect for when you have just put the laundry to dry. 

The Cost of Running the Ebac 3850e = $197.10 (or £156.95)

On the Ebac website, they mention that the unit costs 54 cents (43p) per day to run.

I’m assuming that due to the Smart Mode, Ebac has not shared specific watt usage, as it will vary dramatically depending on what the Smart Mode requires at the time.

Luckily, I used my trusted energy power meter to see how much actual energy the Ebac 3850e consumes when running at different modes. 

On the normal Smart Mode, my Ebac 3850e pulled 148.2 watts. When I switched it to its highest mode, this increased to 160 watts. So that would be 88 cents (or 70p) per day at the lowest mode and 94 cents (or 75p) per day at the highest level. 

One thing to consider is that most of the time, your dehumidifier will not be active (especially if you run it on Smart Mode), so the 54 cents (43p) per day estimate from Ebac is fair.

Bottom line: Is the Ebac 3850e worth it?

The two standout features are the Smart Mode and the anti-spillage water bucket. These two features deal with two of the biggest pain points of having a dehumidifier. 

I never thought I would get excited about a dehumidifier, but Ebac has done something very special with the 3850e.

With energy prices expected to increase, anything that can help to reduce bill costs is worth looking at. Most humidity issues don’t go away, so you will have to run your dehumidifier every single day, which can make these long-term costs quickly add up. The Smart Mode in the Ebac 3850e guarantees that your energy bill won’t be impacted as much as it would if you were to choose a different dehumidifier.

The Smart Mode combined with the clever design of the water bucket, makes the Ebac 3850e my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a dehumidifier in the UK. 

You can buy this unit from Amazon, but I would suggest buying it locally from a shop. And if that is not possible, you can also buy it directly from Ebac.

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About the author

Danny Ashton

Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers since 2010. He is our lead tester and reviewer, and is also the human in front of the camera in our YouTube channel.

Join our newsletter

We’ll send you a nice email every once in a while. No spam.

Support HouseFresh

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Your support makes it possible for us to keep doing what we do.
We are ad-free and buy all the devices we test with our own money. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, which we use to fund new product tests. Learn more