Informational Guide

Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Energy bills can be a constant concern. We investigate if dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity and exactly how much you can expect to consume.

by Josh M

Are you trying to be greener at home and lower your energy bills? Then you need to understand how much electricity your dehumidifier is using and what your overall dehumidifier energy cost is.

Over the years I’ve used a wide variety of dehumidifiers, and the energy costs can vary massively. It’s important to know how much electricity your specific dehumidifier is using so you can predict the electricity cost.

In this guide, I’ll show you how much electricity your dehumidifier needs to function, and what that means for your dehumidifier energy costs.

Woman on Humidifier Maintenance

Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Dehumidifiers do not take up too much power, and on average, it’s 300-700 watts of electricity. However, dehumidifiers generally have to be left on for a long time to be effective, so they can end up using a lot of electricity for homeowners.

To put this into perspective, it’s about the same as a laptop and less than your toaster, iron, or portable air conditioner.

Dehumidifiers work by drawing air in, removing moisture, and releasing dry air back into the room. Your dehumidifier needs energy to operate the fans, power the cooling elements, and light the display or controls on the outside.

The energy consumption/energy usage of a dehumidifier is measured in watts, which is the measure of how much power is running through your device. Some dehumidifiers talk about electricity in terms of kilowatts per hour (or kilowatt hour). This is an indication of how much electricity and how much energy will be used by the dehumidifier every hour.

The amount of electricity used by a dehumidifier will vary depending on your device’s make, model, energy star, and size.

How Much Electricity Do Dehumidifiers Use?

Dehumidifiers generally use between 300 Watts and 900 Watts. The smaller the dehumidifier, the less electricity it will use and the lower your energy costs will be. High-wattage dehumidifiers are generally used for larger areas and will increase your energy bill.

Whole-home dehumidifiers will therefore increase your electric bill more than portable dehumidifiers.

All dehumidifiers clearly advertise the wattage in the specifications and on the box so you can see the exact electricity rate there. The fewer watts or kilowatts per hour being used then the more energy efficient your device will be, so when you’re looking for a new model, it’s a key factor to look out for.

How many watts your particular dehumidifier uses can vary depending on the dehumidifier energy efficiency rating and energy star rating [1].

Just remember, it’s not just about the electricity cost or usage, it’s about getting the right size dehumidifier for the room. You can find our full guide for choosing the right size dehumidifier here.

The below table provides a rough breakdown of the average electricity used for the different-sized dehumidifiers, but remember this only gives an indication, and different models may have other specifications:

Dehumidifier Electricity
30-pint (small dehumidifier) 300 Watts
50-pint (medium dehumidifier) 500 Watts
70-pint (large dehumidifier) 700 Watts
90-pints or more (very large dehumidifier) 900 Watts Plus

Does A Dehumidifier Use More Electricity Than An Air Conditioner?

Dehumidifiers use less electricity than air-conditioning units. At peak consumption level an AC unit will use around 3000 – 4000 watts which is considerably more than a dehumidifier.

Here is the wattage of other household appliances to put your dehumidifiers electricity usage in perspective:

  • Water Heater – 12000 Watts
  • Washing Machine – 3000 Watts
  • Iron – 2000 Watts
  • Hair Dryer – 1875 Watts
  • Toaster – 1400 Watts
  • Kettle – 750 Watts
  • Computer – 750 Watts
  • Refrigerator / Refrigerator Coil – 194 Watts
  • TV – 180 Watts
  • Fan – 75 Watts
  • LED bulbs – 10 Watts

Large dehumidifiers tend to use more electricity, but as you can see from the list above they still have fewer expected Watts than more appliances [2].

Energy Power Symbol

What About Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers?

Energy-efficient dehumidifiers can remove more excess moisture from the air with less energy usage, lowering your overall dehumidifier energy consumption. By purchasing a high-energy efficiency model you can reduce your electricity bills and offset the cost of the device.

Getting the most energy-efficient dehumidifier can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year because there’s a lower running cost. Check out our list of the most energy-efficient dehumidifiers here.

How To Calculate The Energy Efficiency Of Your Dehumidifier

To calculate the energy factor and energy efficiency of your dehumidifier you need to know the Energy Efficiency Value (EEV) or Integrated Energy Factor (IEF). The EEV or IEF should be clearly advertised on the packaging and in the specifications of your dehumidifier. The higher the EEV number, the more energy efficient your dehumidifier is.

This EEV or IEF is expressed in liters per kilowatt hour (L/kWH) and represents how many liters of water the dehumidifier can remove from the air in a kilowatt hour.

Generally, you should look for energy-efficient models or an HVAC system with an EEV rating of at least 1.5. If you have a 75-pint dehumidifier or higher, it will be required to have an energy rating of 1.9 or higher. If it’s between 75- and 185-pints capacity, then it needs to have an energy rating of 2.8 or higher.

Dehumidifiers are energy star certified depending on how much energy they use and as a way of promoting energy efficiency. You should always look for energy star-certified dehumidifiers and the energy star rating should be clearly displayed on the packaging.

AC Energy Rating Star Guide

How Much Do Electric Dehumidifiers Cost To Run?

To calculate your potential dehumidifier energy costs you need to use a simple equation using the following information:

  • Electric dehumidifier wattage (on the packaging)
  • Average cost per kilowatt (you can look at a recent electricity bill from your power company for this)

For this example, let’s assume it’s 13 cents per hour, with a 300-watt dehumidifier running for 10 hours a day:

Average kilowatt charge x watts / 1000 = Running cost per hour

13 x 300 / 1000 = 3.9 cents an hour

3.9 x 10 = 39 cents a day to run (the daily cost is calculated assuming it’s running for 10 hours)

The higher the EEV, the less power it will take to remove 1 liter of moisture from the air. This means you won’t need to run it for as long, so your electricity usage decreases (along with your electric bills).

Check out our full guide to help you calculate daily operating cost, monthly operating cost, and yearly running cost of your dehumidifier here.

5 Tips To Make Your Dehumidifier More Efficient

Optimal energy efficiency with your dehumidifier is not always possible, but there are steps you can take to improve the overall efficiency of your dehumidifier. These will help lower your electricity bills and, over the course of several years, will save you money.

Here are some top tips:

1. Place Your Dehumidifier Correctly

Your dehumidifier needs to be in the right place to operate correctly and efficiently. There are many causes of high humidity in the home [3], but you should have it situated near the source of the moisture if possible so it can operate more effectively and increase energy efficiency. This will help to limit the amount of electricity it draws on.

You’ll normally want to use dehumidifiers in basements, cellars, or laundry rooms, but it totally depends on your home.

2. Limit Airflow

Dehumidifiers work best in an enclosed space. Limiting air flow allows your dehumidifier to focus on one area and means it can work more efficiently. This will also help to reduce cold air and keep the device at an ambient temperature. This can reduce the dehumidifier’s energy cost and your electricity bill.

3. Choose An Energy-Efficient Model

Overall energy efficiency is usually determined by the model you choose. Choosing an energy-efficient model is the easiest way to limit how many watts are needed and get more for less. Always look for the EEV energy factor of the unit and the energy star rating to lower your dehumidifier electricity cost.

4. Clean It Regularly

Even the most energy-efficient dehumidifier, air conditioner, or HVAC system needs to be properly maintained. You should clean and empty the water tray after each dehumidifier use, and look to keep it in good condition so it doesn’t have to work harder than it needs to.

5. Set The Right Humidity Level

You should be able to set your dehumidifier so that it only turns on when your humidity reaches a certain level. The optimal humidity in your home is 30-40%, so limit dehumidifier use to when the humidity goes above that point. Many modern dehumidifiers have a smart humidistat that will sense the humidity and turn the dehumidifier on and off.

By using your dehumidifier only as needed you can drastically reduce the amount of electricity you use.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are new dehumidifiers more energy efficient than older models?

New dehumidifiers are generally more efficient than older models because new technology has allowed dehumidifiers to do more with less. This means they can operate with less electricity but still achieve the same results, saving you money on your energy bills.

How long should I leave my dehumidifier on?

Dehumidifiers should be left on for a minimum of 10-12 hours, depending on the amount of moisture in the air. Many models can be left on 24/7, but increased dehumidifier use will increase your daily and monthly cost to run it.

Can I leave the dehumidifier running at night?

Dehumidifiers are perfectly safe to be left running at night to decrease moisture levels while you sleep. However, unless you have a quiet dehumidifier such as these models, it could disturb your sleep if you have it running in the bedroom.

What is the best time of year to use a dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers are most useful in spring and summer when humidity levels rise, but they can also be useful in autumn and winter because of the wet weather. The specific environmental conditions where you live will determine when dehumidifiers are most useful.

Conclusion

Dehumidifiers are great for improving indoor air quality, but they can cost anywhere from $30 to $300 a year to run. Investing in an energy-efficient dehumidifier, and considering other energy factors can reduce your dehumidifier energy usage and lower your electricity cost – while still giving you better air quality.

Hopefully, this article has given you everything you need to better understand how much a dehumidifier costs to run and how you can make some savings.

References:

1- https://www.energystar.gov/products/dehumidifiers

2- https://www.daftlogic.com/information-appliance-power-consumption.htm

3-https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/image_maps/23-moisture-sources-in-our-homes

Last Updated on January 25, 2023

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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