Dehumidifiers can have a surprisingly high running cost, especially if you’re using them for long stretches of time. I’ve used tens of different dehumidifiers and there can be a big difference in how much energy they use and what that can mean for your electricity bills.
In this guide I’ll explain the average running costs for a dehumidifier and show you the formula for working it out yourself, along with some tips on how to choose a dehumidifier with lower running costs.
Average Dehumidifier Costs Explained For Homeowners
It will cost between $0.03 and $0.16 per hour on average to run a dehumidifier. This means it could cost between $0.72 and $3.84 a day if you left it running 24/7.
Every dehumidifier is different and the costs associated with it will be different. The exact cost will vary depending on the make, model, size, whether they’re fixed or portable dehumidifiers, and how much damp air you’re dealing with.
To know the true energy cost for your dehumidifier you’ll have to work out how much electricity it’s using. Keep reading to find out how your specific dehumidifier will impact your electricity bills.
How Much Electricity Does A Dehumidifier Use?
A dehumidifier / dehumidifiers needs electricity to function, and given the fact you’ll have to run it for several hours a day, it pays to understand how much it uses. To understand the power consumption you should look for the following information on the box and in the product specifications:
- The watts or wattage, or the kilowatts per hour. This is the amount of electricity your dehumidifier uses.
- The integrated energy factor of your dehumidifier. This is the amount of water it can remove from the air per kilowatt hour.
The exact amount of electricity a dehumidifier uses depends on the make, model, energy efficiency or energy star, and size. With most dehumidifiers, the bigger they are, the more electricity will be needed. A 30-pint dehumidifier may only use 300 watts, but a high-capacity dehumidifier, like a 70-pint dehumidifier, will use about 900 watts.
You can find a full guide explaining how much electricity a dehumidifier uses here.
Calculating the Electricity Cost Of Your Dehumidifier
To calculate the cost to run your dehumidifier you need:
- The electricity usage of your dehumidifier
- The average cost of a kilowatt of energy in your area [1]
Once you have these figures, then use the equation below:
Charge per kilowatt x number of kilowatts used by dehumidifier = electricity cost per hour
You can find the average cost of a kilowatt of energy by looking at a recent utility bill or online. The power your humidifier uses should be shown clearly on the packaging and in the specifications. Usually, this is in watts, but if it’s in volts and amps, then you’ll need to multiply them together to get the wattage. You then need to divide it by 1000 to get the kilowatt figure.
It’s important to get these as accurately to work out the amount of power your humidifier draws, the average costs, and what this will mean for your electric bills.
Breaking Down The Cost Of Running A Dehumidifier
Ready to apply this equation to see how much it will actually cost to run a dehumidifier in your home? Good, well then let me show you how to work out the cost per hour, per day, and per month.
Here’s a quick breakdown for each with worked examples:
Per Hour
To calculate the electricity cost per hour, you need to know the average cost of a kilowatt of energy and the number of kilowatts used by a dehumidifier:
Charge per kilowatt x number of kilowatts used = hourly cost
Worked Example: Let’s say the average cost of a kilowatt of energy is 13 cents (or $0.13), and the dehumidifier is a 30-pint model using 300 watts.
0.13 x (300/1000) = $0.039
Therefore your 300-watt dehumidifier would cost you 3.9 cents per hour.
Per Day
To understand the cost per day of the dehumidifier, you need all of the above and the average number of hours it will run for. Then the equation is:
(Charge per kilowatt x number of kilowatts used) x hours run = daily cost
Worked Example: Let’s say the average cost of a kilowatt of energy is 13 cents ($0.13) again, the dehumidifier is a 50-pint model using 500 watts, and it runs for 10 hours a day.
(0.13 x 0.5) x 10 = $0.65
Therefore, your 500-watt dehumidifier would cost you 65 cents a day to run.
Per Month
Finally, to work out the monthly cost of a dehumidifier, you need all of the above, and then you need to multiply it by 30. The equation is;
((Charge per kilowatt x number of kilowatts used) x hours run)) x 30 = monthly cost
Worked Example: Let’s say the average cost of a kilowatt of energy is 13 cents ($0.13) again, the dehumidifier is a 70-pint model using 900 watts, and it runs for 10 hours a day, 30 days a month.
((0.13 x 0.9) x 10)) x 30 = $35.10
Therefore, your 900-watt dehumidifier would cost you $35.10 a month to run.
Calculating How Much Your Dehumidifier Costs You A Year
So, how much does it cost to run your dehumidifier for a year? Well, Once you have your monthly figure, you can multiply that by 12 to work out the annual cost.
We’ve given two worked examples below so you can see the differences between dehumidifiers and how much you could potentially save each year:
Dehumidifier 1 is a 50-pint, 500-watt machine, and the average cost of running an hour is 13 cents ($0.13). It runs for 12 hours a day, 30 days a month.
(((0.13 x 0.5) x 10)) x 30))) x 12 = $234 a year
Dehumidifier 2 is an energy-efficient 50-pint machine that only uses 300 watts. The average kilowatt per hour cost of running is 13 cents ($0.13), and it runs for 12 hours a day, 30 days a month.
(((0.13 x 0.3) x 10)) x 30))) x 12 = $140.4 a year
As you can see from the calculations above, the energy-efficient dehumidifier saves you $93.60 a year because it uses less energy. Over several years this translates into a huge saving, even if you spent more on the energy-efficient model in the first place.
It’s definitely worth asking yourself ‘how much does it cost me to run this dehumidifier?’ before you choose one.
4 Factors That Can Impact Dehumidifier’s Electricity Cost
The above equation will give you a reasonable estimate of the cost to run a dehumidifier, but there are some other factors that may cause the device to draw more energy and increase the electricity costs.
Here are a few of the top factors that can have an impact when running a dehumidifier:
Extreme Humidity Levels
Your dehumidifier will need to work harder and probably longer to deal with the excess moisture. This could impact the running costs because it is active for longer, or just because it has more moisture to deal with. Either way, this can lead to a rise in your energy bills even if it has a good energy star rating.
This is typically why dehumidifiers are more useful in the summer months rather than winter because the humidity levels spike. It’s worth checking the room’s air circulation and keeping air vents clear to lower your dehumidifiers cost. You should also empty the tank regularly.
Room Size
The bigger the room, the more work the dehumidifier has to do to regulate the moisture in the air. It may have to run for longer to reduce the humidity and when you run a dehumidifier for longer then it means more electricity is used. This will lead to a spike in your electricity bill.
Therefore, it’s important you pick a dehumidifier that matches the size of your room so it can work effectively, though larger dehumidifiers cost more than a small dehumidifier.
Room Temperature
The temperature of the room can have an impact on how hard the dehumidifier needs to work. A hot room will increase the amount of moisture in the air and make it more difficult for the dehumidifier to cool it down and condense the moisture from it.
This can lead to a slight spike in the unit’s electricity consumption and give you a higher electricity bill.
Local Energy Provider Rates
Rates for electricity vary considerably from town to town and state to state [2]. The cost of your dehumidifier will be directly impacted by these rates, and you’ll need to understand the average electricity cost in your area to predict the cost accurately.
It’s also good to be aware if the rates are changing because it might impact how and when you use different devices.
The Cheapest Types Of Dehumidifiers To Run
Certain dehumidifiers cost more to run than others. This is usually because they use less energy so it’s worth looking for energy-efficient dehumidifiers.
There are two types of dehumidifiers:
- Desiccant dehumidifiers – a desiccant dehumidifier works by drawing in air and passing it over a material that soaks up the moisture. An internal heater is then used to dry out the material so it can be used again.
- Compressor dehumidifiers – these work by creating a cold surface which causes the moisture in damp air to condense. It can then be removed and dry air recirculated in your home.
Compressor dehumidifiers are cheaper to run, so it’s worth looking out for that type of model if you want to lower your costs. It’s also worth checking the energy star rating of whichever dehumidifier you choose.
Energy-Saving Features To Look For
Dehumidifier energy efficiency is key for lowering your running costs. You can save a lot of money if you look for energy-efficient models with these features:
- Advanced Humidistats
A humidistat is used to measure the relative humidity in the room so they can determine if the device needs to start working. Advanced humidistats improve dehumidifier efficiency by only checking the relative humidity periodically. This allows your dehumidifier to switch off when not in use and lowers the overall electricity usage and cost of running the device.
- Adjustable Speeds
Modern, energy-efficient dehumidifiers allow you to customize the speed (just like you can with ceiling fans or air conditioning). This means you can have it on a low setting and save money when the air is less damp. It can also help to protect the air filter and exhaust fan in the dehumidifier as they won’t be used as much.
- Laundry Function
Some modern, energy-efficient dehumidifiers have a function that will test the fresh air to see how much moisture there is and only turn on when there is excess moisture. This lowers the overall dehumidifier use, and the cost to run a dehumidifier. This is a particularly useful feature if you only run a dehumidifier at specific times (like when you’re drying clothes).
Common Questions About The Running Costs Of Dehumidifiers
How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier 24/7?
It costs anywhere from $1 to $5 a day to run a dehumidifier 24/7 but this depends on the energy star rating, how many watts it uses, and how energy efficient it is. Most modern dehumidifiers are designed to be used 24/7 but running a dehumidifier for longer will cost more.
How energy-efficient are dehumidifiers compared to AC units?
A dehumidifier is much more energy-efficient than an AC unit and will be at least 3 times cheaper to run. AC units and dehumidifiers are very different, and one can’t replace the other, but you can get some combination units that are more energy efficient.
Should you leave a dehumidifier on all the time?
Dehumidifiers should be left on for at least 10-12 hours a day. You can leave them on all the time, but it depends on how much moisture you have in your home you may not need to. It’s worth considering the electricity costs and power consumption because If you are running your dehumidifier all the time, the energy bill will be higher.
Can one dehumidifier do a whole house?
Yes, higher-capacity dehumidifiers can work for a whole home. You need to look for specialize whole-house dehumidifiers that can regulate the moisture in the air for your whole home. These tend to have a higher dehumidifier wattage and a higher cost to run.
Conclusion
So, how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier? Well, it depends on a lot of factors, but even though dehumidifiers are relatively low-cost to run, it pays to understand the cost per day for different models so you can make an informed choice. A good, energy-efficient dehumidifier can translate into hundreds of dollars worth of savings over the unit’s life, making it worth paying a little bit extra upfront.
Hopefully, this article has helped explain how much it costs to run a dehumidifier and how you can work it out for yourself.
References:
1 – https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices_selectedareas_table.htm
2- https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state/
Last Updated on January 25, 2023
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