Dehumidifier Energy Use: How Much Does It Cost To Run A Dehumidifier?

How much does a dehumidifier cost to run?

It depends on many things including the dehumidifier model, the amount of time that it is used per day, how humid the area is that it is working in and the space of that area, and the price of electricity. As an approximate guide, running a dehumidifier for 8 hours per day can cost between $10 to over $300 per year.

Dehumidifier Power Usage cost

The majority of the best dehumidifiers require energy to operate. Depending on how often you turn yours on to regulate the humidity in your surroundings, dehumidifier power usage, and therefore the electricity usage, will vary.

With concerns regarding climate change and the carbon footprint we leave behind each day, energy use is a serious issue. So, it is good to understand exactly how much power your dehumidifier consumes.

In this article, we will explore how dehumidifiers use energy and how much different-sized dehumidifiers typically cost to operate on a regular basis. We will also offer suggestions on how you can reduce your energy costs if you own and operate an older model dehumidifier.

But first, we should take a moment to better understand what an electric dehumidifier does.

Understanding Dehumidifiers

Excess moisture in indoor spaces can lead to discomfort, health issues, and even structural damage. Dehumidifiers, as essential appliances, play a crucial role in maintaining optimal humidity levels. Their primary purpose is to reduce and control the moisture content in the air, creating a more comfortable and healthier living environment.

The Importance of Dehumidifiers

Excessive humidity can result in various problems, ranging from musty odors and mold growth to respiratory issues and deterioration of furniture. By extracting excess moisture, dehumidifiers help prevent these issues, contributing to improved indoor air quality and overall well-being.

Scenarios Requiring Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are particularly necessary in certain conditions and environments:

  • High Humidity Regions: Areas with naturally high humidity levels, such as coastal regions, tropical climates, and rainy seasons, often require dehumidification to maintain comfortable living conditions.
  • Damp Basements: Basements tend to accumulate moisture due to their location below ground level. This can result in mold growth, mustiness, and potential damage to stored items.
  • Bathrooms and Kitchens: Spaces with frequent water usage can experience elevated humidity levels, making them ideal candidates for dehumidifier use.

Types of Dehumidifiers and Power Efficiency

Dehumidifiers come in several types, each with its own mechanism for moisture removal:

  • Compressor-Based Dehumidifiers: These are the most common type, utilizing a refrigeration cycle similar to air conditioners. Air is drawn in, cooled to condense moisture, and then reheated before being released. While effective, they can consume more power due to the cooling and reheating processes.
  • Desiccant Dehumidifiers: These use a desiccant material to absorb moisture from the air, and then the material is heated to release the moisture. They are often more energy-efficient at lower temperatures compared to compressor-based models.
  • Hybrid Dehumidifiers: Combining both compressor and desiccant technologies, hybrid dehumidifiers offer better efficiency across a range of temperatures and humidity levels.

Variations in Power Efficiency

The power efficiency of dehumidifiers can vary based on their type, capacity, and design. Factors that influence power efficiency include:

  • Energy Star Ratings: Look for dehumidifiers with the Energy Star label, indicating that they meet certain energy efficiency standards.
  • Capacity vs. Room Size: Choosing the right-sized dehumidifier for your space ensures that it operates optimally without unnecessary energy consumption.
  • Settings and Usage: Running a dehumidifier on higher settings or constantly can lead to higher power consumption. Adjusting settings based on actual humidity levels is more energy-efficient.

Factors Affecting Dehumidifier Energy Usage

The power consumption of a dehumidifier is influenced by a variety of factors, each contributing to how efficiently the appliance operates. Understanding these factors is essential for estimating energy costs and optimizing the use of your dehumidifier.

  • Size and Capacity of the Dehumidifier: The size and capacity of a dehumidifier are directly related to its power consumption. An undersized dehumidifier might need to run continuously to achieve the desired humidity level, resulting in higher energy usage. On the other hand, an oversized dehumidifier might cycle on and off frequently, which can also increase energy consumption. Choosing the right-sized dehumidifier for the specific room or area ensures efficient moisture removal and lower energy costs.
  • Humidity Levels in the Environment: The initial humidity levels in your environment determine how hard a dehumidifier needs to work. If the air is extremely humid, the dehumidifier’s compressor and fan will need to operate longer to reach the desired humidity level. Lower initial humidity levels generally require less energy for dehumidification.
  • Room Temperature: The temperature of the room impacts how a dehumidifier functions. In cooler environments, the cooling and reheating processes used by compressor-based dehumidifiers might require more energy. Desiccant dehumidifiers, which operate well at lower temperatures, can offer energy savings in such conditions. Additionally, warmer rooms might have higher humidity-absorbing capacities, potentially reducing the time a dehumidifier needs to run.
  • Dehumidifier Settings and Fan Speed: The settings you choose on your dehumidifier significantly affect its power consumption. Higher humidity level targets, fan speeds, and continuous operation modes generally lead to increased energy usage. It’s advisable to set your dehumidifier to maintain a comfortable humidity level rather than an excessively dry one, as this can help save energy.
  • Frequency of Usage: How often you use your dehumidifier also impacts its power consumption. If you use it around the clock, the energy costs will naturally be higher compared to using it intermittently. Assessing the actual need for dehumidification and using the appliance strategically can help manage energy usage.
  • Smart Usage Practices: To optimize power usage and reduce energy costs:
    • Regularly monitor and adjust the humidity settings based on actual indoor conditions.
    • Use the timer feature, if available, to control the operating hours of the dehumidifier.
    • Consider utilizing the dehumidifier’s built-in humidity sensor, if equipped, to maintain a consistent humidity level without overworking the appliance.

Dehumidifier Power Usage & Cost To Run

dehumidifier power outlet

Different manufacturers design and build many different models of electric dehumidifiers. Each has a specific energy rating that has been measured through a testing process. This information is typically printed on the packaging of a dehumidifier and is often also posted on the actual product. The dehumidifier wattage (in Watts (W) or kilowatts (kW)) is a measurement used to indicate how much energy is being used.

Below we have a breakdown of dehumidifier power consumption ratings of some commonly found dehumidifiers of various sizes. The costs below are based on the following assumptions:

  • Usage = 8 hours usage/day
  • Electricity price = $0.15c/kWh
  • Power consumption (W) values provided by manufacturers are accurate.

Of course, costs will vary depending on whether any of the above assumptions differ.

Formulae To Calculate Dehumidifier Power Usage & Costs

How Much Power Does a Dehumidifier Use?

To calculate the amount of power or electricity your dehumidifier consumes per day, use the formula below:

Power Consumption (kWh/day)
= Dehumidifier Power Rating (W) x Daily Usage (Hours) / 1000

How Much Does It Cost To Run a Dehumidifier?

To calculate the costs of running your dehumidifier (or any electrical appliance), use the formula below:

Daily Cost ($/day)
= Dehumidifier Power Rating (W) x Electricity Price ($/kwh) x Daily Usage (Hours) / 1000

Real-World Examples of Dehumidifier Energy Consumption & Costs

Large Dehumidifiers

Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier
Amazon button

Example: Frigidaire FFAD7033R1, 70 Pint

Power Consumption = 745W (more information)

The Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 (see our review here) is a large-sized 70-pint dehumidifier. The amount of water/moisture per day it can remove is noted in the pint measurement (70 pints/day, or 33 liters/day). The dehumidifier power usage or consumption of this product is listed as 745W.

The formula to calculate the daily power consumption and daily/annual cost to operate this particular dehumidifier is:

Daily Power Consumption = 745W x 8hr / 1000 = 5.96kWh/day

Yearly Operating Cost = 745W x $0.15c x 8hr / 1000 = 89.4c/day = $326/year

Medium Dehumidifiers

frigidaire 50 pint dehumidifier
Amazon button

Example: Frigidaire 50-Pint

Power Consumption = 530W (more information)

The Frigidaire 50-Pint dehumidifier (see our review here) is rated at using 530W of power. The formulae for this model dehumidifier would be:

Daily Power Consumption = 530W x 8hr / 1000 = 4.24kWh/day

Operating Cost = 530W x $0.15c x 8hr / 1000 = 63.6c/day = $232/year

Note that the smaller the dehumidifier is, the lower the dehumidifier power usage consumption rating generally is. This unit requires 530W of energy compared to the larger dehumidifier example above which is rated at 745W.

Small Dehumidifiers

Ivation 30 Pint Dehumidifier
Amazon button

Example: Ivation 30 Pint

Power Consumption = 345W (more information)

Ivation has a 30-pint model (see our review here) that has a power consumption of 345W. Using our power consumption formulae:

Daily Power Consumption = 345W x 8hr / 1000 = 2.76kWh/day

Operating Cost = 345W x $0.15c x 8hr / 1000 = 41.4c/day = $151/year

Mini Dehumidifiers

Eva-dry Edv-1100 Electric Petite Dehumidifier
Amazon button

Example: Eva-dry Edv-1100

Power Consumption = 22.5W (more information)

The Eva-dry Edv-1100 (see our review here) is rated to remove 8 ounces of moisture per day and uses only 22.5W. The power consumption and cost of running this dehumidifier is:

Daily Power Consumption = 345W x 8hr / 1000 = 0.18kWh/day

Operating Cost = 22.5W x $0.15c x 8hr / 1000 = 2.7c/day = $9.85/year

It is important to know that obviously the larger the dehumidifier, the more it will cost to operate. However, it also means that bigger dehumidifiers will extract more moisture from the air which contributes to the higher cost and won’t necessarily be the most energy-efficient dehumidifier.

What Determines The Cost To Run A Dehumidifier?

Aside from the size of the dehumidifier, there are a number of factors that determine the amount of energy one will require to operate. The top factor is how often you use the dehumidifier. If you only need it during the warmer summer months, this will reduce your annual cost.

However, if your home has an ongoing moisture problem, you may use a dehumidifier daily and for longer hours. Based on the rate of $0.15c per kilowatt of energy, you can see from the breakdown noted above that even the large dehumidifiers are still relatively affordable to operate.

Older vs Newer Dehumidifiers

Primarily because concerns related to dehumidifier energy usage have become a fairly recent issue, dehumidifiers have gone through a bit of a remodeling phase. This generally means that the newer your dehumidifier is, the more energy-efficient it will be.

This is simply because the standards of today did not exist just a few years ago. This also means that newer models will also perform better than older ones. It is for this reason that upgrading to a more modern dehumidifier makes good sense saving you on energy costs.

How Efficient Are Newer Dehumidifiers?

Modern dehumidifiers are designed to use less energy in order to remove moisture from the air. Typically, some models can record up to 20% more efficiency compared to the average. With a properly functioning unit, this much saving in energy costs can be significant.

Use Your Dehumidifier in Optimal Conditions

Dehumidifiers function best in cooler temperatures but can experience problems when operated in temperatures that are below 60 degrees F. This is because very cold temperatures can cause the cooling coils or other parts of the dehumidifier to freeze over and become damaged reducing dehumidifier efficiency.

Other Ways To Reduce Dehumidifier Costs

If you are not prepared to upgrade to a newer, more efficient dehumidifier model, you can still take control of your costs. Reducing the amount of time you rely on your dehumidifier is a great way to save energy. Plus, it will reduce wear and tear on your unit.

Using fans to better circulate the air is another way to cut down on your energy use. Although electric fans will require energy to operate, they do not require nearly as much as your average dehumidifier. Opening windows can also reduce humidity and condensation in your home.

Tips for Energy Efficiency When Using a Dehumidifier

Ensuring that your dehumidifier operates efficiently is not only beneficial for your energy bills but also for the longevity of the appliance. Here are some practical tips to help you minimize dehumidifier power consumption while maintaining a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

  • Properly Size the Dehumidifier for the Space: Choosing a dehumidifier that matches the size and capacity of the room is crucial for energy efficiency. An undersized dehumidifier will struggle to control humidity levels, leading to longer operating times and increased energy consumption. Conversely, an oversized unit may cycle on and off frequently, wasting energy. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult a professional to select the right-sized dehumidifier for your space.
  • Maintain Consistent Room Temperature: The temperature of the room influences how a dehumidifier functions. If possible, maintain a consistent room temperature within the recommended range. Cooler temperatures can lead to more energy consumption for compressor-based dehumidifiers as they need to heat the air after cooling it. Consider using a hybrid or desiccant dehumidifier in cooler spaces, as they tend to be more energy-efficient in such conditions.
  • Clean or Replace Air Filters Regularly: Air filters play a crucial role in the efficiency of your dehumidifier. Clogged or dirty filters restrict airflow, causing the appliance to work harder to extract moisture. Regularly clean or replace filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This not only improves energy efficiency but also maintains better indoor air quality.
  • Empty the Water Collection Tank as Needed: A full water collection tank can impede the dehumidifier’s ability to operate effectively. When the tank is full, the unit might run longer to maintain desired humidity levels. Make it a habit to check and empty the tank regularly, especially during periods of high humidity.
  • Consider Using a Timer or Humidity Sensor: Many modern dehumidifiers come equipped with timers and humidity sensors. These features can help optimize energy usage:
    • Timer: Set the dehumidifier to operate during specific hours when you anticipate higher humidity levels. This prevents unnecessary operation during periods of lower humidity.
    • Humidity Sensor: Use the built-in humidity sensor to automatically turn the dehumidifier on and off based on the desired humidity level. This prevents over-dehumidification and reduces energy consumption.
  • Additional Steps for Energy Savings:
    • Seal Leaks: Address any leaks or sources of moisture in the room, such as leaking pipes or poorly sealed windows, to reduce the workload of the dehumidifier.
    • Use Natural Ventilation: Whenever outdoor conditions allow, open windows and doors to promote natural air circulation and reduce indoor humidity.
    • Maintain Regular HVAC Service: A well-maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can help manage indoor humidity levels, potentially reducing the need for continuous dehumidifier operation.

Dehumidifier Energy Use FAQs

How does the size of the dehumidifier affect its power usage?

The size of a dehumidifier can affect its power usage in several ways. Generally, larger dehumidifiers will use more power than smaller ones, simply because they have more capacity and need to remove more moisture from the air.

However, the power consumption of a dehumidifier also depends on its efficiency, which can vary widely between different models and brands. A smaller, more efficient dehumidifier may use less power overall than a larger, less efficient one, even if they have similar capacities.

Another factor to consider is the size of the space you are trying to dehumidify. A dehumidifier that is too small for the space may need to run longer and more frequently to remove the same amount of moisture, which can increase its power usage. On the other hand, a dehumidifier that is too large for the space may consume more power than necessary, which can be wasteful and increase your electricity bill.

You should take into account the area’s square footage, as well as the relative humidity and temperature of the environment, to choose the right size dehumidifier for your room. To assist you in selecting the ideal dehumidifier size for your requirements, the majority of manufacturers offer guidelines and charts.

Is it better to use a dehumidifier with a higher energy efficiency rating?

Yes, it is generally better to use a dehumidifier with a higher energy efficiency rating, as this can help you save on your electricity bill and reduce your overall energy consumption.

Dehumidifiers with higher energy efficiency ratings will use less power to remove the same amount of moisture from the air, which means they can operate for longer periods of time without consuming as much electricity. This can be especially beneficial if you need to run your dehumidifier frequently, or if you are using it in a large space.

The energy efficiency of a dehumidifier is usually measured using a rating system called Energy Star, which is a program established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote energy-efficient products. Dehumidifiers with an Energy Star rating are designed to meet specific energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA, which means they will use less power than non-certified models.

It’s important to remember, though, that dehumidifiers with higher energy efficiency ratings might also cost more upfront. To decide whether a higher efficiency rating is a worthwhile investment for your specific needs, you must balance the upfront cost of the unit against the potential long-term savings on your electricity bill.

Are there any features or settings that can help reduce the power usage of a dehumidifier?

Yes, there are several features and settings that can help reduce the power usage of a dehumidifier:

Humidistat: Many dehumidifiers come with a built-in humidistat that allows you to set a target humidity level. Once the desired level is reached, the dehumidifier will turn off automatically, which can help reduce power usage.
– Timer: Some dehumidifiers have a timer feature that enables you to program the appliance to run for a predetermined amount of time. This can assist you in avoiding idly running the dehumidifier, which can waste energy.
– Fan speed: The majority of dehumidifiers have adjustable fan speeds. The unit can use less power while still effectively removing moisture from the air by running at a lower fan speed.
– Auto-defrost: Choose a dehumidifier model with an auto-defrost feature if you plan to use it in a cold environment. When ice accumulates on the coils, this feature will automatically turn the unit off, which can help prevent damage and save energy.

Can a dehumidifier overload or damage my electrical circuit or outlet?

It is possible for a dehumidifier to overload or damage your electrical circuit or outlet, particularly if the unit is not properly maintained or if the outlet is overloaded with other devices.

Most dehumidifiers require a significant amount of power to operate, particularly when running at full capacity. If the electrical circuit that the dehumidifier is connected to is already overloaded with other devices or appliances, this can increase the risk of an electrical overload, which can cause damage to the circuit or outlet, or even start a fire.

Make sure the outlet you are using is rated for the power needs of your dehumidifier in order to avoid overloading. The power specifications are listed on the dehumidifier’s label or in the user guide. Using extension cords or power strips with your dehumidifier is also not recommended because they increase the risk of overloading.

Is it safe to leave a dehumidifier on overnight or when no one is home?

It is generally ok to leave a dehumidifier on overnight or when no one is home, as long as you follow some basic safety guidelines.

Firstly, it’s important to make sure that the dehumidifier is placed on a stable surface and is not blocking any vents or air circulation. This will help prevent the unit from overheating or tipping over.

Additionally, you should ensure that the dehumidifier is not placed near any flammable materials, such as curtains or papers, as this can increase the risk of fire.

It’s also a good idea to periodically check the dehumidifier to make sure that it is working properly and that the water collection tank is not full, as a full tank can cause the unit to shut off or overflow.

The dehumidifier’s electrical cord and plug should always be in good condition, and it should always be plugged into a grounded outlet.

Overall, it is generally safe to leave the dehumidifier on overnight or when no one is home as long as you follow these fundamental safety precautions and regularly check the appliance.

Can I use a timer or smart home system to control the power usage of my dehumidifier?

Yes, you can use a timer or smart home system to control the power usage of your dehumidifier.

You can lower your electricity bill and conserve energy by setting a timer to turn the dehumidifier on and off at specific times. For instance, you might program the timer to turn the dehumidifier on in the evening when humidity levels are typically at their highest and off in the morning when temperatures are lower and humidity levels are lower.

Similarly, you can operate the dehumidifier remotely by using a smart home system like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. You may even be able to set up automated schedules or routines so that you can turn the dehumidifier on and off from your smartphone or other device.

If you are concerned about power usage, using a timer or smart home system to control your dehumidifier can be extremely helpful as it enables you to restrict the amount of time the device is running and limit energy consumption. But, it’s crucial to verify sure the timer or smart home system is compatible with your dehumidifier and that you adhere to any installation and use guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

In Conclusion

Electric dehumidifiers use varying amounts of energy depending on their size. The newer the dehumidifier is, the more energy-efficient it can be. Regardless of how often you use one, in general terms, dehumidifiers are not that expensive to operate.

However, if you desire to conserve energy, you don’t always have to use an energy-efficient dehumidifier. You can reduce the humidity in your living space by opening windows and using electric fans to circulate the air. Or you can reduce how often you use your dehumidifier.

With environmental concerns increasing, it is important to understand your dehumidifier energy use and to purchase the right-sized dehumidifier necessary to do the job.

Leave a Comment