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

Dehumidifiers are useful pieces of equipment that give you greater control over the environment in your home. They work to decrease the moisture in the air, protecting your home and your belongings from damp and they’ve even been proven to help support your overall wellbeing.

However, despite all the benefits of a dehumidifier, you need to consider the cost.

Dehumidifiers need power to operate, and many people ask if dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity. In this guide, we’ll help you understand how much energy a dehumidifier uses, if it’s expensive to own one, and whether there are energy efficient dehumidifiers on the market.

Woman on Humidifier Maintenance

To properly understand how much electricity a dehumidifier uses, it can be useful to know how they work and which elements require power. Humid air is drawn into your dehumidifier and cooled on a metal surface. The liquid then collects in a tray, and the dry air is released back into the room using a fan. Power is needed to operate the fans to direct the air, to power any cooling elements, and for any displays or controls on the outside.

The amount of electricity used by a dehumidifier will vary depending on your device’s make, model, and size. The energy consumption 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. This is an indication of how much electricity will be used by the dehumidifier every hour.

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

Generally, dehumidifiers do not take up too much power, and on average, it’s 300-700 watts. To put this into perspective, it’s about the same as a laptop and less than your toaster, iron, or air conditioner.

Here’s a quick 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 300 Watts
50-pint 500 Watts
70-pint 700 Watts
90-pints or more 900 Watts Plus
Energy Power Symbol

How to Calculate the Energy Efficiency Of Dehumidifiers

Knowing the amount of energy needed for a dehumidifier is important, but you really want to be able to translate that into energy efficiency.

For dehumidifiers, this is expressed as Energy Factor Value (EEV), and it’s measured in liters per kilowatt-hour (L/kWH). This is basically an expression of how much electricity is needed to remove 1 liter of moisture from the air.

The higher the number of liters of water a dehumidifier can remove in 1 hour, the more efficient it is. EEV is given in a single, whole number. The EEV should be advertised clearly in the specifications, and the higher the number, the better. 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 given an energy star rating based on their overall efficiency.

Energy Rating Star Guide

Approximate Operating Cost Of Electric Dehumidifiers

Once you understand the EEV, you can use this to estimate how much the dehumidifier will cost to run. This allows you not just to work out the running costs but actively compare two different dehumidifiers so you can see just how much they would cost you relatively.

This is a great way of illustrating the savings of an energy efficient dehumidifier and showing you just how much you could save over the course of a few years.

First, you need to know the watts used by your dehumidifier and the average price of a kilowatt per hour in your area. 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 (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, and the lower the operating costs will be.

How To Make Your Dehumidifier More Efficient?

There are steps you can take to improve the overall efficiency of your dehumidifier. These help lower your bills and, over the course of several years, could translate into a significant saving. Here are some top tips:

1. Place Your Dehumidifier Correctly

Your dehumidifier needs to be in the right place to operate correctly and efficiently. You should have it situated near the source of the moisture if possible so it can operate more effectively. You’ll normally want to use dehumidifiers in basements, cellars, or laundry rooms, but it totally depends on your home.

2. Maintain Your Dehumidifier

If you fail to maintain your dehumidifier, then it will stop working effectively. Dust, debris, and other damage can impact the machine’s capacity and mean it needs to work harder to achieve results. This not only puts a strain on the dehumidifier but can impact your energy bills.

3. Choose An Energy-Efficient Model

Choosing an energy efficient model is the easiest way to get more for less. Always look for the EEV of the unit and the energy star rating.

4. Provide Support

Another way to help your dehumidifier’s efficiency is to make its job easier by helping reduce moisture in other ways. Look to fix any leaks and make use of existing vents to improve ventilation in your home.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are new dehumidifiers more energy efficient than older models?

Yes. 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, so they have time to work. Many models can be left on 24/7, but that will cost you more over the course of a year.

Can I leave the dehumidifier running at night?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to leave a dehumidifier running at night, and they can actually be really effective. 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?

Many people think you need dehumidifiers in autumn and winter because of the wet weather, but it’s actually the opposite. The humidity levels rise much more in spring and summer, which is when dehumidifiers are most useful to help protect your home and your belongings.

Conclusion

Dehumidifiers can cost anywhere from $30 to $300 a year to run. Understanding how dehumidifiers work and how energy is drawn can help you search the market to find an energy efficient model. This will help you save on your energy bills year on year and give you much better value for money when buying a new dehumidifier.

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.

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.

Top