Review & Analysis: Afloia Mini (Gun Safe) Dehumidifier

Afloia Mini Dehumidifier

8.7

Overall design

8.0/10

Effectiveness

8.0/10

Ease of use

10.0/10

Pros

  • Very energy efficient.
  • Highly effective in small spaces.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can be reused indefinitely.

Cons

  • Not suitable for large areas.
  • Cloth outer layer can collect lint.

When most people think about air quality, they’re thinking about the air quality in their whole home. Is it too humid? Is it too dry? Are there contaminants like pollen or mold that are causing breathing issues? These are all legitimate concerns, and there’s a good reason to take the answers to those questions seriously. But for many of us, air quality is also important on a smaller scale. This is particularly true for collectors, firearms enthusiasts, and electronics enthusiasts.

In the case of antique collectors, you want to protect your investments. Humidity can cause paper to mold and other materials to degrade or rust. Rust is concern number one, two, and three for gun owners. Whether you own a single hunting rifle or a small arsenal, corrosion can wreck an otherwise-excellent firearm. That’s why it’s so important to control the humidity in your gun safe. And if you keep a lot of electrical parts, you want to prevent any amount of condensation. As they say, you want to store computer parts in a “cool, dry place.” A compact dehumidifier will have you covered, at least on the dryness front.

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Today, we’re going to review the Afloia Mini Dehumidifier. Afloia is a well-known brand, and we’ve already reviewed several of their offerings. Among these is the Afloia Air Purifier, which we particularly liked. But just because Afloia has made some good equipment in the past doesn’t mean their dehumidifier is any good. To find out whether it actually performs as well as advertised, we had to put it to the test. We’ll discuss the physical design, and how the dehumidifier works. Next, we’ll look at how it performs, and what it can be used for. Finally, we’ll look at the necessary upkeep. When we’ve examined all those factors, we’ll have a complete picture of what we’re looking at. Let’s get started, and see what we learn!

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

Overall Design

The Afloia Mini Dehumidifier comes as a two-part unit. The main part is the dehumidifier itself, which is a cylindrical tube measuring 7.48 inches long and 2.56 in diameter. It’s small enough to fit in almost any drawer, and still large enough to hold a reasonable amount of water. It’s constructed from three layers, with a fine cloth cover on the outside. This grey material is easy on the eyes and soft to the touch, but it tends to attract lint. You’ll need to clean it off occasionally when you’re recharging it. This material wraps over an ABS plastic frame, which is slotted to allow air to flow through.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

Air comes in from 360 degrees around the cylinder, allowing for maximum coverage. After passing through the outer layers, it enters a chamber filled with silica gel beads. These beads absorb moisture from the air, which then flows out through a slot around the end. It’s a simple, straightforward design, and it ensures plenty of flow. Just make sure to keep the end unobstructed so the air has somewhere to go. The standard kit includes one dehumidifier and one base. However, you can also order an upgraded version with two dehumidifiers. They’ll both share the same base, but as we’ll see, that’s not really a big deal.

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The base unit is constructed from black ABS plastic, with an easy-to-clean satin finish. Like the dehumidifier, it’s cylindrical in shape, although it’s a bit shorter and fatter. The overall measurements are 3.84 inches in diameter and 4.13 inches high. It’s slightly tapered near the base, which has rubber anti-skid pads on the bottom. There’s a white Afloia logo on the front of the housing, which is otherwise entirely plain.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

The base is engineered for recharging the dehumidifier cylinder. We’ll go over this more in a second, but it involves heat. To accommodate the dehumidifier, there’s a round socket on the top of the base. When it’s time to recharge the dehumidifier, it fits right into the socket. When it’s inserted, the base will automatically activate and begin the recharge cycle. There’s a green LED on the front of the housing, which illuminates when a cylinder is currently recharging. On the back of the housing, you’ll find a standard three-prong cord for providing power. The total weight of the base and the cylinder is just 2.54 pounds. As a result, it’s easy to move around wherever you need it.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

Features & Benefits

A typical dehumidifier works via the principle of condensation. It contains a set of cooling coils, which are connected to fins. The air blows over the fins and coils, and they absorb heat. This causes the air to cool down, reducing the air’s maximum water capacity. As a result, condensation forms on the fins, and drips down into a reservoir. The air that’s blown out is cooler and drier than it was when it went in. In principle, a dehumidifier isn’t much different from an air conditioner.

That said, there are a few downsides to a traditional dehumidifier. The first is that you have a physical water reservoir. This needs to be cleaned regularly, or it can collect mold. Another downside is that dehumidifiers increase the temperature. Yes, they blow out colder air, but the overall process creates heat via the motor. An air conditioner vents this heat outside. A dehumidifier doesn’t. Finally, a standard dehumidifier requires a constant source of electrical power. This is inconvenient if you’re trying to dry a display case, drawer, safe, or humidor.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

People have been using silica packs for some time to get around this problem. They’re particularly popular for humidors and gun safes. However, silica packs are typically single-use items. Once they’re saturated, you need to replace them. This is bad for the environment, since it produces a lot of waste. It’s also bad for your budget, since you have to keep buying new dehumidifier packets.

The Afloia Mini Dehumidifier contains reusable silica gel beads. This gives you the best of both worlds. On the one hand, the dehumidifier can be reused almost indefinitely. Unless you physically damage the canister, there’s no limit on how many times the beads can be dried and reused. On the other hand, you also don’t need a constant power supply. The dehumidifier only needs to be on the base when it’s recharging. You also don’t need to worry about cleaning a reservoir or producing unwanted heat.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

The dehumidifier cartridge itself is capable of absorbing four ounces (100ml) of moisture. This assumes a temperature of 86 degrees and an ambient humidity of 80 percent. Your mileage may vary slightly, but it’s reasonably effective no matter what. In an enclosed environment, it will continue absorbing moisture until the ambient humidity is 30 to 50 percent. Either that, or it will get full first and need to be recharged. It’s rated for 54 square feet of floor space, which equates to about 400 cubic feet. That’s enough for a mid-sized closet, but not for any rooms.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

Cleaning & Maintenance

We’ve already talked about some of the Afloaia dehumidifier’s advantages. It doesn’t produce waste, and you don’t need to clean out any reservoirs. That said, there’s a big difference between low-maintenance and maintenance-free. You still have to recharge the dehumidifier cartridge now and then, whenever it’s become saturated.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

So, how do you know it’s time to recharge the cartridge? All you have to do is look. The top of the cylinder is transparent, and you can actually see the silica gel beads inside. They look like a bunch of tiny paintballs, packed together tightly with just enough room for expansion. They’re also hard to miss, because they’re a high-visibility orange. However, the material is designed to change color as it gets wet. As the beads absorb moisture, they’ll slowly transition from orange to dark green. When they’re all green, you know they’re fully saturated, and it’s time to recharge your dehumidifier cartridge.

This is where the recharging base comes in. You place the dehumidifier in place, and let the base run. It works by blowing hot air through the silica beads, which dries them out and prepares them for reuse. The process only takes about two hours. You can set it up when you go to work, or even when you leave to run errands. By the time you get home, the dehumidifier will be ready for use. There’s one important thing to keep in mind about this process.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

When it’s recharging, the Afloia dehumidifier will actually be increasing the humidity in the room it’s in. It’s quite literally dispersing excess moisture through the air! If you’re using it for a closet or container, that won’t be an issue. But if you’re using it in a bathroom, recharge it in a different room. Otherwise, it’s not going to be doing you much good.

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The last thing we should point out is that this is a dehumidifier, not a humidifier. It dries your air out. If you’re already dealing with dry air and you need more moisture, you’ll want a humidifier instead. In that case, consider the TaoTronics Model TT-AH046. It’s a compact, top-fill humidifier designed for use in a single room.

Afloia Mini Gun Safe Dehumidifier

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the Afloia Mini Dehumidifier is exactly what it’s advertised to be. It’s a compact, battery-free way of keeping small spaces as dry as possible. Whether or not it’s a good choice for you will depend on whether that’s what you need. You certainly won’t be able to dehumidify a full-sized room, much less an entire house.

The dehumidifier cartridge is easy to use, and is attractive as well as effective. It’s easy to monitor, with transparent windows so you can see the silica beads’ status. When it’s time to recharge, the whole process is quick and painless. In only two hours, you’re ready to put your dehumidifier back to work. Not only that, but the base is slick, compact, and straightforward. Afloia came up with an excellent design and executed it flawlessly.

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