Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Dehumidifiers are expensive to run even though they are super effective in reducing mold and mildew growth. It's also no secret that a dehumidifier consumes more electricity than any other air purifier in the market. On average, a 70-pint model could cause more than 120 dollars a year with just 8 hours of operation. So is it still worth having one at home with the rising cost? What other alternate ways to reduce home humidity levels without resorting to dehumidifier?

How to Calculate an Dehumidifier Energy Cost?

Your monthly power bill from your utility company is calculated by the KWH or kilowatt-hour. First, check the energy consumption on the label, manual or back of the product. Then multiply it with kWh and the state’s power rate. Hypothetical, a dehumidifier runs for 8 hours straight, the calculation will be: 300 (watts) x 8 (hours)/ 1000 (kilowatts) x 0.15 (rates) = 0.36 (cent/ day) x 30 days = 10.80 dollars (cost/ month). If you plan to run for weeks, or months, multiply the total cost by 7 or 30/ 31.

To recap, the formula for cost per day is:

Watts x hours / 1000 kilowatts x rates = Cost per day

To get the monthly electricity cost:

Cost per month = Cost per day x 30

To get the estimated yearly electricity bill:

Cost per year = Cost per month x 12

Here’s an important side note. Dehumidifier energy factor is based on its performance per kWh. The power rate varies from state to state. The longer the hours it is running, the higher the total electricity cost. That being said, the 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 model due to the higher output. However, you would need to operate a 30-pint dehumidifier at a longer period as less moisture is consumed at a go. For example, a 30-pint unit might take 24 hours to remove excess moisture in a room. A 50-pint unit will only take 11 hours and a 70-pint unit takes only 6 hours to achieve that. Therefore, the total power consumption rate could end up the same.

In short, a larger capacity dehumidifier is more efficient than a smaller one. However, a high-capacity dehumidifier can be overkill in a small room or basement. If you are going to operate the air purifier in a large room running the whole day, a small dehumidifier would make a lot of sense cost-wise.

Factors That Drive Up Dehumidifier’s Electricity Cost

The most common factors that would affect a dehumidifier running cost is room size. The larger the room, the longer an operation hour is needed to manage the room humidity. Ambient temperature will also affect the dampness level particular during summer. The more moisture there is in the air, the longer the dehumidifier would be kept in operation. As for the dehumidifier, placement is equally important as the closer it is to the source, the faster the cleaning it can be. A certified Energy Star Rated model will consume less energy to an equivalent capacity dehumidifier. Proper maintenance such as filter cleaning will ensure optimal performance at every go.

How To Reduce Humidity in House Without Dehumidifier

When your indoor humidity is too high and so are your electricity bills, here are some cheaper, non-dehumidifier ways to consider. To learn more, visit our how to reduce humidity without dehumidifier page.

  • Improve room ventilation – Opening more windows and doors helps moved stale, damp air out. You can also turn on the fan or exhaust fan to circulate fresh.
  • Use calcium chloride or charcoal products – That is super absorbent to moisture. You can find products like salt crystal, desiccant, charcoal deodorization in home-improvement stores. There are no recurring fees but most of it has a short, single usage lifespan.
  • Increase room temperature – Space heater, wood stove, or HVAC system are all appliances that will warm the air and dry up the moisture. Perfect during the winter season where you could rely less on the dehumidifier.
  • Make room for houseplants – Specific houseplants like Epiphytes, Spider Plant, English Ivy, Reed Palm, Boston Fern, Peace Lily could also do the job as well.
  • Multi-purpose air conditioner – Modern air conditioner also comes with a dehumidifying feature. Get this if you don’t plan to operate 2 separate appliances at the same time.

Let's us share with how we determine dehumidifier power consumption here at airfuji. First, we need to ensure the relative humidity in the room is consistent throughout the test. Next, we will set the dehumidifier at an average 50% humidity level to ensure there is steadiness throughout the test. Fan speed would also be set to the highest level as so the compressor cycle is at its peak. Connect to an electricity usage monitor and voila, you have your answer. You could perform the test by yourself in different settings but remember, the key is consistency.

Kingston Kay

Growing up in New Orleans; one of the highest relative humidity in the United States, Kingston Kay knows a thing or two about humidity. Besides reviewing dehumidifiers for living, you will find him gyming in the basement.