Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity? What Is The Running Cost?

Many people have this question in their heads and here is the short answer: Dehumidifiers are NOT expensive to run and only use a modest amount of electricity. However, there are more detailed answers that we will address one by one including how to calculate a dehumidifier annual operation cost and how to pick an energy-efficient model. We will also briefly touch on the alternate ways to reduce home humidity levels without resorting to a dehumidifier. Let's get started.


Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

A dehumidifier consumes less electricity than an air conditioner, washing machine, hairdryer, and vacuum cleaner. On average, a 30-pint dehumidifier only draws 280 watts of energy per hour or 0.28 kilowatts-hour. You will not get hit by exorbitant utility bills even if you use it on a daily basis. All manufacturers are required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for residential dehumidifiers since 2007. That said, the amount of electricity used is highly dependent on the type of dehumidifier, the size, version, and energy efficiency. For example, a larger 70-pint dehumidifier would use more electricity than a smaller 30-pint dehumidifier. Another example is a refrigeration type dehumidifier would use more electricity than a thermoelectric type. Lastly, a newer generation model tends to be more energy-efficient than the predecessor model it is replacing.


Calculate A Dehumidifier Energy Efficiency (Energy Factor)

(EEV) Energy factor is a measurement of a dehumidifier energy consumption that encompasses both dehumidification and non-dehumidification mode. You can measure the energy factor performance by the liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh). The higher the energy factor value, the more energy-efficient is the dehumidifier therefore the lower the electricity cost. For example, A dehumidifier will an integrated Energy Factor of 1.8 uses less energy than a dehumidifier with an energy factor of 1.5. All ENERGY STAR label models are rated at temperatures as low as 42 degrees.

Cost To Run A Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are not expensive to run. The average cost of running a dehumidifier is averaging between $0.08 to $0.16 hourly. Based on the figures, the cost to run a dehumidifier 24/7 is between $1.92 to $3.84 per day. The annual running cost of a dehumidifier would amount between $23.04 to $46.08.

How to Calculate An Dehumidifier Energy Cost?

Before you begin calculating the energy cost to run a dehumidifier. You will need these 3 figures in hand:

  • The total wattage of the dehumidifier or Watts Per Hour. You can find this printed on the box, specification sheet/ manual, or product’s website.
  • The number of hours you intend to run the dehumidifier.
  • The average electricity cost in your area. In the US, the power rate varies from state to state.
  • Your monthly power bill in KWH or kilowatt-hour.

Here’s the formula to get the dehumidifier estimated daily energy cost:

Watts x Running Hours / 1000 Kilowatts x Power Rates = Cost Per Day

For example, a 300W dehumidifier runs for 8 hours straight, the daily running cost calculation will be: 300 (watts) x 8 (hours)/ 1000 (kilowatts) x 0.15 (power rates) = $0.36 per day.

To get the dehumidifier monthly running cost, multiply the daily cost by 30: $0.36 x 30 = $10.80 per month.

For the dehumidifier annual running cost, multiply the monthly cost by 12: $10.80 x 12 = $129.60 per year.

Tosot 30 Pint Dehumidifier

Moisture removal rate is very important in assessing a dehumidifier’s energy efficiency. A 70-pint dehumidifier will consume more energy than a 30-pint dehumidifier due to the higher output. However, you would need to operate a 30-pint dehumidifier for a longer period as less moisture is removed at a go. The longer the running hours, the higher the total electricity cost.

In short, a larger capacity dehumidifier is more efficient than a smaller capacity model. However, a high-capacity dehumidifier can be overkill in a small room or basement. If you have moisture problems in a small enclosed area like a closet, a low running cost, rechargeable dehumidifier would make more sense.


How Does A Dehumidifier Work?

Dehumidifiers absorb moisture in the air, condense it into water droplets, and disperse the dry air back into the room. It will improve breathing quality, remove musty odor, halt the growth of mold, mildew, and other microorganisms. A dehumidifier can also lower electric bills and cool room temperature. By keeping humidity under 50%, a dehumidifier will improve the energy efficiency in the home by allowing the air purifier and HVAC system to run more efficiently.

Factors That Drive Up Dehumidifier's Electricity Cost

Here are several things you should take into consideration when buying a dehumidifier with running cost in mind. The most common factor is the room size. The larger the room, the more operation hours the dehumidifier needs to run to manage the room humidity. Ambient temperature affects the dampness level and the performance of a dehumidifier, particularly during summer. The more moisture there is in the air, the longer the dehumidifier would be kept in operation. The kWh rate charged by the power company also plays a key factor in the overall utility cost.

Continue on, a dehumidifier placement is equally important as the closer it is to the source, the faster moisture can be removed. A certified Energy Star Label model will consume less energy than an equivalent capacity dehumidifier. Opt for a dehumidifier with an Integrated Energy Factor of at least 1.5 L/kWh. You can visit the official Energy Star website to compare which dehumidifier models are the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

How To Reduce Indoor Humidity Level Without A Dehumidifier

When the indoor humidity level is exceedingly high, it will also affect your electricity bills. Instead of purely relying on a dehumidifier to reduce dampness in the air, here are few cheaper, non-dehumidifier ways to consider as well:

  • Improve room ventilation - Open windows and doors help moved stale, damp air out. You can also turn on a fan or exhaust fan to circulate fresh air.
  • Use disposable salt crystal, desiccant, calcium chloride, or charcoal products - You can easily find moisture absorbent products in any home improvement stores. There are no recurring fees but most of them have a short, single usage lifespan.
  • Increase room temperature - Space heater, wood stove, or HVAC system are all home appliances that will warm the air and dry up the moisture. Perfect for winter season use.
  • Make room for houseplants - Air-filtering plants like Epiphytes, Spider Plant, English Ivy, Reed Palm, Boston Fern, Peace Lily could also do the job as well.
  • Multi-purpose air conditioner - There are modern air conditioners that come with a dehumidifying feature. Get this if you don't plan to operate 2 separate appliances at the same time.

Visit our complete how to reduce humidity level without a dehumidifier page to learn more.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.